News & events > NZ filmmakers selected for Seoul Screenplay Development Support program
28 Oct 2018

NZ filmmakers selected for Seoul Screenplay Development Support program


New Zealand filmmakers Michelle Turner and Nick Ward are immersing themselves in Seoul culture for two weeks, as part of a program run through the Seoul Film Commission. Six projects from around the world were selected through an international call by the commission for the Seoul Screenplay Development Support program, all with the aim of promoting the South Korean city and developing foreign stories set there. The filmmaking duo submitted their plan for a sci-fi TV series, Alone, set in the city.

"I thought why don't we do something that says 'Hi, I want to explore your culture'. For some reason, Michelle came on board and though it was a good idea," writer Ward said.

The pair will be meeting people in the South Korean film industry, scouting locations and looking to develop their screenplay for their drama series. Ward, who has worked on Wellington Paranormal and Westside, travelled to Seoul a few years ago. He found himself almost isolated in a strange city where he didn't understand the language.

"I felt like an alien. This is what it's like to be in a place that's completely alien to me."

That's also where the genesis for Alone came from: a businessman on a trip to Seoul wakes up to find the city deserted and himself living in some sort of strange solitary confinement.

Alone already had an 18-page pitch treatment, a first episode written and up to a fifth series planned out - mostly in his head and on scattered papers. For Turner, sci-fi was much more than someone in space with a laser gun. The pair will be in Seoul for two weeks. 

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Seoul Screenplay Development Support offers round trip flight tickets for two, the use of a scenario work space located in Seoul for a maximum of 30 days to foreign directors, producers, and screenwriters during their stay in Seoul as they write and do research for their scenarios. The 2018 call for applications closed in April 2018 - check website for further calls - see results for 2018 call

The Seoul Film Commission's Location Scouting Support provides the cost of Seoul location scouting for directors, producers, cinematographers, production designers, or location managers of international projects planning to shoot in Seoul. Producers or production companies of any nationality with: Production companies of foreign films planning to shoot in Seoul – feature films, documentaries, and television programs (including but not limited to television films, mini-series, series, sitcoms, infotainment, and television shows such as reality shows, variety shows, and other shows similar thereto) and web dramas (film, hereinbefore and hereinafter) with a minimum running time of 60 minutes are eligible to apply. 

Applications are accepted all year round

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