Fans of multiple K-Pop groups know all too well that certain music video locations are popular among directors. It’s common to see the same sets appear in the videos of different groups.
One of them is none other than abandoned college building in Gimcheon. It is popular for its high ceiling and numerous balconies made out of stone.
Kim Ji Hwan, a camera director, and Song Na Ra, an art director, know about this set all too well, and they discussed the decision-making behind using it in AYO‘s “Comment Defenders” series.
Regarding the building, they remarked that it’s a place that they can’t help but visit often.
When I arrive at the scene, [I’m like] ‘Here again?’ [I’ve] been there too often.
— Kim Ji Hwan
Though it may seem tiresome to the staff to keep visiting the area, it’s iconic for a reason. It retains its popularity simply because of how perfect it is for music video shoots.
There’s a reason you go there again. It’s really ‘Woah!’, ‘It’s killing!’, ‘It’s grand!’ [You wonder] ‘There was a place like this in Korea?’
— Kim Ji Hwan and Song Na Ra
In order to make locations seem less redundant, they try to change up the angle, lighting, or post-production editing to make the set more personal to the artist.
I filmed PIXY’s MV and AB6IX’s MV there. I was so worried there because the same director is shooting in the same place so it might have the same angle as the other one. I try to make it different somehow because the idol’s universe is important.
— Kim Ji Hwan
In VICTON‘s “Mayday,” for instance, it was edited to be monochromatic and dark. The art team also added dust and rocks to emphasize its appearance as a destroyed building.
On the other hand, Minseo‘s “ZERO” had probably the most dynamic shots of the Gimcheon structure as she was filmed in different levels and angles.
Stray Kids also made full use of the various crevices, walls, and floors of the building. With bright red lighting, it had a very threatening aura that was different from the other music videos.
That’s the power of the music video’s director! For more K-Pop insider information, check out the full video below.