On Assignment in Jeju – Part 4

It’s the continuing (belated) retelling of my research trip to Jeju this spring, in search of reference material for my short film about the giant old lady who created Jeju Island. Previously:
 
 
 
 
Today’s episode: The quest for Seolmundae Halmang’s voice!

“설문대 할망 애니메이션”은 프로젝트의 초반부터 제주말으로 덥빙하고 싶었다. 제주말을 유창하고 목소리가 멋있게 말할 수 있는 사람을 찾으려 제주에 가야 했다.

From the beginning of the project, it’s been my express desire to play out the creation story of Jeju in the native dialect of the island. Because of it’s endangered status, though, finding fully-native speakers is not easy. Finding speakers in Canada — that’s just impossible.
 
It was the need for an authentic voice for Seolmundae Halmang that initially prompted me to return to Jeju last spring, and it was the quest for her voice led me — serendipitously enough — to a Canadian international school on the island’s muggy south side.
 
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Finding voice actors in Jeju was only half the battle — it wouldn’t be any good if I couldn’t record them. But thanks to a tip from a friend in Jeju, I reached out to Pete Stewart at Branksome Hall Asia, a brand new international branch of the renowned private Canadian girls’ school. They had just established a campus on Jeju, and rumour had it that they had a fully-equipped recording studio.
 
Branksome very graciously offered the use of their facilities, in return for me spending a day conducting animation workshops with their students.
 
우선 녹음실을 찾아야 됐었다. 음향 녹음 장비가 없으면 제주 성우를 찾기 쓸모 없는 것이다. 다행히도 제주에 있는 친구의 조언 덕분에 ‘브랭섬 홀 아시아’를 찾았다. ‘브랭섬 홀’은 유명한 캐나다 여학교이는데 ‘브랭섬 홀 아시아’가 새로운 국제 교정이잖다. 거기 좋은 녹음실이 있다는 소문을 들어서 연락하고 협상해봤다. 제가 학생들에게 애니메이션 워크숍을 하루만 열어 주면 녹음실을 사용한다는 거래했다.
 
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While I worked to secure recording facilities, my friend and operative on Jeju, Jenie Hahn — an ardent aficionado of Jeju culture, lecturer at Jeju National University and former host on Arirang Radio — led the hunt for voice talent. There were only two real speaking roles in the story — the giantess Seolmundae herself, and a male villager — but they needed to be authentic Jeju speakers who were comfortable with voice acting in a studio environment. This was far from an easy task — even on Jeju island.
 
제주에 사는 한진이씨 덕분에 성우 두분을 찾았다. 설문대 할망의 역할을 맡은 여성우는 민요 가수 진성희입니다. 제주주민은 목소리를 연주하는 진성구씨가 제주문화 학자입니다.

 

But Jenie completely knocked it out of the park when she located an elderly Jeju couple who also happened to be professional cultural archivists. Mrs. Jin Sung Heui, the voice of Seolmundae Halmang, is a folk singer and official archivist of traditional Jeju labour songs for her community. Since Jeju Minyo (folk songs) are a designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, this lady is quite literally a national treasure.
 
The gentleman, Mr. Jin Sung Gu, a lifelong scholar of Jeju language and culture, provided the voice for the Jeju villager. And what a voice!
 
이것은 저의 마음에 드는 클립이는데… 진성구씨는 제주말으로 설문대 할망의 전설을 애드리브로 연주했거든.

(This is one of my favourite clips: We started off with a sound check, but Mr. Jin misunderstood and proceeded to freestyle the entire myth of Seolmundae Halmang in Jeju dialect.)
 
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Jenie helped me take the actors through the story scene-by-scene. My written script had almost no dialogue in it; instead, I framed the scenes one at a time, and had the actors ad-lib their parts. It was very  difficult at first for them, but I think the results were astounding. The actors would often embark on long monologues or improvise whole conversations on story points that took up little more than one or two lines in my script.
 
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In the scene below, the giantess Seolmundae Halmang is making a deal with the residents of Jeju — if they make her a silk dress, she’ll build them a bridge to the mainland.
 
이 클립에서는 거인 설문대할망이 제주사람들과 거래하는 중인다. 제주사람은 할망의 명주옷을 만들어 주면 할망이 그들에게 다리를 본토로 만들어 주겠다고 거래한다.
 
 
In this clip Mr. Jin (as the male villager) has to confess that the villagers were unable to find enough silk to finish the dress:
 
 
불행하게도 명주가 큰 옷을 만들게 충분하지 않다.
 
You can see the actors performing the scene in this clip:
 
 
Angry that the villagers were unable to fulfill their promise, Seolmundae Halmang tears up the partly-finished bridge she was making and stalks off into the distance.
 
설문대 할망이 약속을 지키지 못한 제주사람들에게 화가 나서 다리를 허물다.
 
 
All these recordings were made back in May; most of my time since then has been devoted to untangling the enormous amount of material I have in my hands now — organizing recordings, transcribing takes (the recordings were all made in the Jeju dialect with no script — even Jenie wasn’t completely sure what they were saying half the time), and editing the best takes to rough animated storyboards.
 
모든 녹음을 전 5월에 원료 됐었다. 밴쿠버에 돌아오기부터 기록한 제주말 대화를 열심히 번역하고있었다 (애드리브로 덥빙하기 때문에 대본와 완전히 다른지). 그 밖에 이제 초안 애니메이션을 하고 있다.
 
Next time on On Assignment on Jeju … just how far up the riverbed do you have to hike to get a decent owl recording?
 
 
곧 업데이트 하겠다!
 
 

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