2016 Official Selection: Doppleganger (KOR)

Doppelganger follows elite celebrity Min Woo, who is rapidly becoming bored with the lifestyle that fame brings. One day, a man who bears a striking resemblance to him makes him an offer he can’t turn down. The doppelganger will take over all of the mundane tasks that Min Woo feels he is above. What he doesn’t realise is just how far his doppelganger will go to take his place, even with the love of his life.

The South Korean series is one of intrigue, mystery and drama. Creator Young Man Kang especially likes the duality and depth that the characters provide. “When I read the script for the first time, I liked Min Woo & Yeon Ju’s characters, but while filming I found the doppelgangers characters much more likeable”, he said. “Min Woo’s doppelganger has more layers and struggles, and even Yeon Ju’s doppelganger has a stronger personality, letting the man do this kind of ‘time travel crazy wild adventure’ to get back their love.”

What is the digital media culture like in Korea?
South Korea is one of the most connected nations in the world, with the world’s fastest average Internet connection speed and a tech savvy population. Most South Koreans subscribe to digital cable and satellite, and the country is a pioneer of TV via mobile devices and the Internet (IPTV). South Korean TV soaps are popular across the region, including in China. They are part of the “Korean Wave” – the export of South Korean popular culture across Asia.

What was the most challenging thing about creating and filming the doppelganger character?
To create double characters both male lead and female lead through Doppelgangers, that was a big challenge. They’re living in the same world with a hard life because of the double dimensional worlds. Even though they look the same, their style and personalities are different. In the beginning of the series, the audience might get confused which one is real and the other one is fake – or not fake I would say – but which one is the Doppelganger.

What (and/or who) inspired your series?
Artworks forms like novels, paintings, comic books, films. Dual or double characters have always intrigued me in their interpretation through creative arts. The idea of a  doppelganger is especially interesting as double characters from different dimension. They also have spiritual and scientific theories at the same time to add to the interest.  

Why should people watch your series?
I think the subject matter is very unique, and the story has interesting characters and plot.

How do you reach your audience?
The first step for us getting our audience was through Korea, and then other countries in Asia and slowly in the States and Europe and other countries. Reaching audiences through web fests has been the best way so far, and publicly media articles both Korean and English and posting in social sites have also helped.

How long have you been making web series for?
I’ve been producing web series since 2012, and I’ve made three series so far.

How many people worked on this project?
We had a cast of 15 and a crew of 20.

Have you achieved the goals you set for this series?
We had a great premiere with Korean press and media. A lot of articles were out from the event, and by the end of April, 5 episodes of the series were posted in Naver TV Cast, the biggest Korean platform for web series. Looking overseas, we just finished adding English subtitles and are now ready to submit to some good web fests, so Melbourne Webfest is the first step I think it’s a great start.

From start to finish, how long did it take to complete this project?
I started talking about this project with CL Pacific production company in October 2015. Then the company set up a web series script competition for a month, and we chose one out of 50 script submissions, which was Doppelganger. We started pre-production in December 2015, then production in January 2016. The actual shooting days was during one week during the coldest winter time in South Korea. After that we did post-production for a month. So a total of about 6 months.

Doppleganger on the web:
Watch Doppleganger
Doppleganger on Facebook

Dominique McCusker

Author Dominique McCusker

Dominique is a communications intern at Melbourne WebFest and a third year Bachelor of Media and Communications student at La Trobe University, majoring in Journalism. Originally from Hong Kong, she has developed an insatiable curiousness about societies and cultures from her experiences travelling and the inherent multicultural nature of growing up in Hong Kong as a third culture kid. She is interested in a wide range of issues, from internet culture and social media, to women's cricket, to gender equality and LGBTQIA+ issues. After graduating she is hoping to pursue a career in online or print media either in Melbourne or abroad.

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