Motion picture “Along with the Gods” is the first movie produced using Dexter Studio’s “one-stop” system. The entire production process, from planning to investment, filming, and post-production, was executed using systems and solutions available at Dexter Studio. “Along with the Gods” is the first movie created in Korea to utilize a fully integrated, one-stop production system. With the premiere date fast approaching, Dexter Studio staff were hard at work in anticipation of the industry-wide reception of its new one-stop system. To dig a little deeper, we looked into each step of the production process for “Along with the Gods”.
◆ Content Division – Launching the project
The Content Division at Dexter Studio is in charge of starting and finishing the production process of each piece of content. Not only does it plan new projects, it develops, produces, invests in, and distributes content. In the case of “Along with the Gods”, the Content Division received a proposal from Realize Pictures, which owned the original cartoon series by Joo Ho-min. Upon review of the series, the Content Division prepared the scenario, developed plans to shoot the film, and invested in the project. In addition to “Along with the Gods”, the Content Division is in the process of developing several other projects. Roughly eight films have reached the stage where production is a real possibility. The Division continues to work with directors by signing them to new contracts. Not only that, it “incubates” intellectual property (IP) through open competitions for scenarios, and develops them in collaboration with major investors and distributors in Korea and abroad.
◆ Workshop Division – Capturing scenes in the perfect angles
The Workshop Division is the only Division at Dexter Studio that has completed its work on “Along with the Gods”. This Division works on capturing scenes in the movie on camera. It shoots the scenes, and applies the required visual effects (VFX) during post-production. Also, the Workshop Division has the only “QTake” equipment in Korea, which allows the operator to view a preliminary shot of a scene featuring CG while shooting the VFX scene. Given the fact that “Along with the Gods” primarily took place in hell, it required a significant amount of VFX scenes. Division Manager Bae Byeong-seok said, “Some parts are difficult to process, even if you have taken the shot knowing that VFX will be used in that scene. But the QTake machine allows us to view superimposed shots in real-time, which makes filming much more seamless. When we were filming ‘Along with the Gods’, we used three cameras, and one of them was specifically dedicated to QTake”.
◆ Digital Division – Transforming unreality into reality
Scenes shot by the Workshop Division were processed with VFX technology at the Digital Division. Engineers added images to blue screens that serve as backdrops to scenes that require VFX. Also, engineers superimposed the faces of the cast onto faces in different scenes to turn scenes that cannot exist in reality into something the audience can see and experience. To do so, the Digital Division scanned each member of the cast from head to toe to acquire their data. Although the premiere date had to be pushed back a little, the Digital Division is working on the post-production of “Along with the Gods”. The Digital Division uses its know-how gathered over the course of working on “Along with the Gods” in other areas. The Division is helping Dexter Studio diversify its business into new media markets, including the VR/AR content market, and theme park video market.
◆ DI Division – Adding color to video
Time can make a particular place with a consistent light source appear slightly different when captured on film. The DI Division works to find the right color tone for each scene so that the audience can immerse themselves in the video from start to finish. Typically, it takes a month to finish a movie, but the DI Division was still working on “Along with the Gods” to put the final touches at the time of our visit. Thanks to its reputation as the best in the business, the DI Division at Dexter Studio currently works on more than 30 projects every year. tvN’s television series “Signal”, which was lauded for its movie-like color presentation, was done by the DI Division at Dexter Studio.
◆ Livetone – Final step in the video production process
Although Livetone joined the Dexter Studio family in August, it had already been working on “Along with the Gods” prior to Dexter Studio’s acquisition. For “Along with the Gods”, Livetone created the sound of hell. At the time of our visit, Livetone was also working on restoring sound that was not captured in the field at the time of shooting the scene. From the sound that suits each scent best to the volume that is appropriate to convey conversations, Livetone controls every audible aspect of the film that reaches the audience’s ears. In most cases, sound editing takes approximately three months. In previous years, on average, Livetone worked on eight projects every year. However, with additional help arriving after its merger with Dexter Studio, Livetone is looking to work on more than 20 projects next year.