Beautiful Italian landscapes featured in Disney's 'Luca' handmade by Korean artists

연합뉴스 / 2021-06-09 10:41:10
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▲ This photo provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows master lighter Joh Sung-yeon. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

▲ This photo provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows a scene of Luca and Alberto in the animation film "Luca." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

▲ This photo provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows Korean layout artist Kim Sung-young. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

▲ This photo provided by Walt Disney Company Korea shows a scene from the newly released animation "Luca." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- The various beautiful Italian coastal villages that appear in Disney and Pixar's new animation "Luca," were built at the fingertips of veteran Korean artists.

Joh Sung-yeon, who has been working at Pixar for 21 years, and Kim Sung-young, a layout artist for 10 years, participated in the making of "Luka," which will be released on the 17th. The master lighter and the layout artist are responsible for lighting and camera production, respectively.

In an online interview with Yonhap News Agency, the two showed their affection for "Luca" by talking about scenes each of them made, including the sunset, the location of objects on the ship, as well as the shadows of scattered laundry.

"Luka" is about Luca and Alberto, who turn into sea monsters whenever the water touches their skin, meeting their human friend Julia and spend an unforgettable summer together.

"The lighter gives light and shade to the 3D space of the animation. It helps create a sense of time, space, and the atmosphere of a certain place," explained Joh.

"There's a scene where Luca and Alberto look down at the human world from a high place and as the sunset sets, the color of the sky changes," Joh said. "I was able to create this scene after studying how the sun sets in the sky on the Internet as well as climbing up the mountains to observe it with my own eyes."

Joh also mentioned the hard work she invested in order to revive Italy's unique atmosphere. The master lighter said she studied the direction of the sun rising and falling and the color of light that varies from time to time, while looking for a time lapse video of a coastal village on the Italian coast.


"In the scene where Luca and Alberto meets Julia, Julia is riding her bike around an alley. Even when I was on a trip to Italy, I realized there were a lot of laundry hanging down from places. So when Julia is riding her bike, I referred to my experiences and made sure to recreate the laundries hanging in the alleys. I also made sure to make the laundry shadows look cute," Joh said.

Kim also said that he considered the layout of each scene including the movement of the camera, the structure of the screen, and the movement of the character, while also paying close attention to the details.

"The skills and technology required to carry out a film depends on the imagination of the director," Kim said. "I was in charge of the opening sequence, and I made the overall atmosphere feel mysterious. There is a scene where someone is fishing on the deck at night, and I paid close attention to how certain objects were placed on the ship. In fact, fishing is my hobby, so I gave people advice on how to make fishing hooks look realistic."

Both the master lighter and layout artist mentioned that the production of "Luka" was special because the whole process was done by working from home due to the coronavirus.

"For close-up scenes we have what is called a 'big screen check-up,' where we meet once or twice together and check the scenes on a big screen, however this process was difficult," Kim said. "At first, my supervisor went to check the scenes and I later checked again by wearing a VR headset that made me feel like I was watching from a big screen in the theater."

"This is the first time I finished a film by working at home," Joh said. "Only the crew gathered together last week to screen the movie, and it felt different."

As two Koreans who have worked a long time in the animation industry said their career was both rewarding and agonizing.

"There are usually around 10 to 20 Korean people working together," Joh said. "I haven't lived in the U.S. since I was young, so I still have difficulties in terms of speaking English, but after 20 years of working, I feel like a family member and friend, not an employee."

Kim added, "Recently, the times I feel excluded as a foreigner have reduced and I'm earning more opportunities. Last year, I screened director Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' at Pixar, however I had to watch while standing on the stairs next to the theater because that's how many people were interested in watching Korean films."



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