“Originally, I worked for KBS for one year and I had passed the SBS and MBC employment test. I chose MBC because of its dynamism, novelty, and perspective on society. For example, I liked how MBC covered disadvantaged people more than other broadcasters.” “I also liked their human interest documentaries. For example, I liked Human Times on MBC. I became the cultural PD dealing with cultural, variety shows, and dramas, because of the interest about human documentary show.”
Mr. Huh directed the shows “W,” “PD Note,” and “Zero Complain.”
I asked him how he comes up with ideas for these programs. “When I direct Zero Complain, I always think about the consumer’s perspective.” “For example, I planned one episode to uncover restaurants that were unsanitary.” He continued, “When I plan a new program, I use my interest, in addition I come up with ideas through the Internet and conversations with the writers.” He told me he felt the strongest connection with the program “W.”
He spoke in a sad voice “I have become more and more interested in the issue of global warming and the impact it is having on the world. For example, many tigers live in the Sundarbans Delta in India, but due to global warming, the sea level is rising, so the tigers are becoming more limited in their range of activities. Eventually, these tigers invade private homes.” “Moreover, I saw a family of three children whose mother had died from a tiger attack. I hugged the youngest sister in that family. In that moment I connected with them as living, breathing people and not just at the subjects of my program.”
I wondered about the difficulties he faces working as a PD. He became lost in his memories and said. “We went to Fukushima in Japan, and a large number of our staff members were contaminated by radioactivity. When I work on these kinds of projects, it is difficult to leave my family.” I realized that PDs have to accept these risks to direct a great program.
PD jobs are divided into different areas of responsibility such as: organization PD, production PD, radio PD, and sports PD. The production PD duties are divided into dramas, variety shows, and educational programming.
I asked him, “What is the exact role of a PD?” “A PD takes responsibility for the show from beginning to end. For example, when a writer brings in a story synopsis, the PD has to plan for the show, configure the staff, and manage the budget. Then we have to shoot the scenes in continuity and direct them within a certain period of time. A PD is like the general manager of an organization.”
I asked him, “What qualities are needed to be a PD?” He said confidently, “It is important that we have good relationships with people and try to make an ally of the people. In addition, we need to view the world through warm eyes, and we should read books and watch TV. In other words, we have to have a cool head and a warm heart.”
Finally, “Do you have any advice to students who hope to become a PD?” He said “If I could give one piece of advice it would be that students need to pursue work that they are good at and not just because they want a job. If you think you will be good at this kind of career, then you focus on seeing things three-dimensionally, and you need to be interested in all things visual. Most of all, it is important to have good peer relationships, so you work well with the people around you. I think just studying English is not the best thing you can do with your time.”
Mr. Huh answered all my questions sincerely with a shining countenance during the interview. He finished our interview by saying, “There is a great deal of variety to this job because PDs cover many different topics in their work, and if you pursue your own path, you can be happy.” In addition, he reiterated the importance of good relationships, and we need to get along with others. The interview came to a close, and I enjoyed every minute of it.
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