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Director Yang Jeong-woong on PyeongChang Winter Games’ successful opening ceremony

Yang Jeong-woong, executive producer of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games` opening ceremony, speaks during The Korea Herald`s Global Business Forum on Wednesday. (Jenny Jung)
Yang Jeong-woong, executive producer of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games` opening ceremony, speaks during The Korea Herald`s Global Business Forum on Wednesday. (Jenny Jung)


When the grand opening of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games unfolded, it wowed viewers with various spectacular scenes, including 1,217 drones in the air and hundreds of South Korean snowboarders in light-emitting jumpsuits who slid down the slopes with the drones flashing above them.

There was also a controversial feature: Inmyeonjo, a mythological bird with a human face that often appears in ancient tomb murals of the Three Kingdoms of Korea.

Some viewers were disappointed when watching the creature on TV, and it became one of the most searched terms in real time on the internet.

Yang Jeong-woong, executive producer of the opening ceremony, who insisted on adding the creature, said it was one of the biggest achievements.

“As a director, creating a new star is one of the most exciting things. “Inmyeonjo” was the rookie I presented.”

Yang, speaking at The Korea Herald’s Global Business Forum on Wednesday, shared his experience of preparing and presenting the opening ceremony that received universal positive feedback.

The opening performance included high technologies in drones and LED combined with Korea’s traditional elements. Inmyeonjo was just one of Korea‘s traditional features that the producer reincarnated for the opening ceremony, presenting a theme of five children tracing Korea’s history and traditions through media art and technology,

“I watched almost every opening ceremony that existed and analyzed what makes great opening ceremonies. As I watched them, I got a lot of inspiration and ideas,” he added.

The overall positive feedback of the opening ceremony was realized despite its small budget. The opening and closing ceremony cost 66.8 billion won ($53 million).

“It’s thanks to the soldiers Almost two-thirds of the dancers and participants were those serving their military term,” Yang added.

The 53-year producer shared how he would create an Olympics opening performance should it happen again. “It would be easier to create one now, given that many more culture references such as ‘Parasite’ and ‘Squid Game’ have been born.”

Meanwhile, Yang, a longtime theatrical producer, had his cinematic debut as a director last year with “The Box.”

(gypark@heraldcorp.com)
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