It’s not always easy to quantify what makes directing “good” but you know it when you see it. Or maybe not. Either way, you definitely know a drama is brilliantly directed when you experience the feels. We’ve all definitely had our fair share of the feels when watching a particularly engaging drama, and we can thank the directing for playing a large part in that.
Number 4 on our 2014 Countdown: Best Directing!
Best Directing of 2014
Anna: For me, the best directing in a drama in 2014 has to be for the Chinese drama, Battle of Changsha. Not only was the series wonderfully written and acted, the artistic elements in it really contributed in making it a worthwhile watch. Although I’m not racing out to rewatch Changsha anytime soon because I’m still slightly heartbroken from it, I really appreciated how the directors (Kong Sheng & Zhang Kai Di) were able to capture every little emotion from the characters and their actors. The choices they made in the drama, like filming the ash in the sky as if it were rain or focusing the camera on a couple’s tearful goodbye for a second longer, truly enhanced the viewing experience. When watching Changsha, so much of it felt more like moving art (as corny as that sounds…) than just your run-of-the-mill WWII drama.
Estelle: Incomplete Life/Misaeng definitely wins the best director’s category. Despite having a semi-rookie team of actors, director Kim Won Suk was able to make this series both engaging and emotional in every sense of the words. Office setting stories can easily be boring and dry, especially when its trying to closely portray the real world, but under Kim’s magical hands, this realistic world became an escape of sorts, and I was able to fully embrace the characters and their lives. His pacing and timing for music, or the lack of, was simply perfect. I loved the way he was able to capture every single awkward pause or subtle shift of the body or hands. Unlike most kdramas with two teams of editors and producers switching off, Kim did all the directing and editing by himself, and it really does show! The natural flow of the scenes going from one to the other, together with the beautiful aerial shots made this so pleasing to watch. I looked forward to the weekly dose and I found myself nostalgic for the office cubicle when the characters left it (as if I don’t already work in a cubicle!). By the end of the series I felt like someone leaving her old work place behind, missing it so much, but at the same time fully prepared for a new adventure from the lessons I’ve learnt.
Best of 2014 Countdown #5: Best OST
Stay tuned tomorrow for…the Best Cinematography of 2014!