Behind the Scenes in K-pop: YG Music Video Director Dee Shin Interview pt. 3

This is the third part of our interview with YG music video director, Dee Shin. In the first two parts we talked about her work on AkMu’s Melted, working with YG, 2NE1’s Come Back Home and the importance of music video for Korean indie acts.

We have now come to the final part of this long but fascinating interview and in this part we will be talking WINNER, K-pop music videos, advice for young directors and, of course, what it is like to work with all those idols. As we conducted the interview a few weeks ago, the answers related to WINNER’s debut is a little out of date. Since then her final teaser for the group and her music video for their double title track Color Ring have both been released.

Regardless of this, once again all her answers are interesting and insightful and we hope you enjoy reading them.

Lately you’ve been working on teasers for WINNER. Can you give us any information about they’re upcoming debut?

Actually, I just shot another teaser for WINNER. It’s like they’re teasing forever, but they are really debuting this time. August 1st.

The teasers look a little like the kind of promo videos high fashion brands use. Was that deliberate?

Oh yeah. It’s not my idea actually, the whole team is branded as a fashion brand for this album. That was my homework: ‘Consider this as a fashion brand and then make something’. In the most recent one I produced, I  shot a whole fashion show with them. That’s the final teaser.

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

Probably YG all year. I get assigned to do teasers mostly but I think I get to make a music video when the song has the indie vibe that matches my style. I love making teasers since it’s a genre of its own and I get the most creative freedom when I’m doing teasers.

Outside of your own work, do you have any opinions on K-pop music videos in general?

This is something I’m currently working on with a whole group of directors. To be completely honest, we don’t always like other K-pop videos. Sometimes they seem like they’re from a factory. It’s all about the dancing and singing.

But at the same time that does have its own value. That’s what people want and what they expect when they hear ‘K-pop’. So I’m getting used to those kinds of expectations but I haven’t had a chance to show a mix of the two as of yet. We really want to make music videos that are proper ‘music videos’, as in, we want to create a special visual for each song. But, at the same time, for ‘Come Back Home’, we didn’t shoot any of the typical singing and dancing and I am regretting it. In a way, we have to give the viewers what they are expecting because it’s so special.

So I guess that’s my next challenge, I want people to really respect it. K-pop videos are fun to watch but I want to make something where you can have fun watching it but, at the same time, you can still respect it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring music video directors?

Yes, I do! Just make it. There’s no excuse because it’s so cheap now to rent a little DSLR camera and the editing software is so easy to play with. So just pick your favourite song and make it and people will see it if you just upload it. Try competitions like I was doing mostly commercials and had a break so I submitted a video to the competition and that’s when I got the most exposure to my works.  I’m looking for new directors that I can work with. Labels are always on YouTube trying to find new filmmakers. So just make it and it doesn’t have to be perfect because when we see it, we can see the potential of a director. That’s how I got picked with my little low budget videos. YG saw the potential and he just gave me a lot of money! So just make it! It’s so easy.

You’ve worked with lots of different YG acts. Who are some of the ones you’ve really enjoyed working with so far?

I like Akdong. I mean we all have a soft spot for them, right? They’re just down to earth. Those kids, they’re so… they’re just them. What you see is who they are and they’re so smart. I also like 2NE1. I’m one of the few female directors and they’re a girl group so I have a soft spot for them.

People are always really curious about K-pop idols and what they are really like behind-the-scenes. What have you found working with YG’s artists?
They are surprisingly really sweet. Everyone is. What you see is who they are. I was surprised too because I thought they were pretty much fake. They’re really clean and super hard working. Every day, all day they’re at the office practicing.

Watching K-pop from afar it can be difficult to get a handle on what it is like behind the scenes. It has been great to be able share all this insight into what it is like to work in K-pop with all our readers. Personally this is my favourite interview that I have conducted for Beyond Hallyu and I want to thank Dee once again for taking the time to talk to us. If you have time, make sure you check out her website which contains all her music video and film work.

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  • Katlyn

    I adore Dee Shin’s work. She’s been a great addition to the YGE with her creativity and vision. YGE, in general, have really been stepping up lately with their recent releases in terms of design and cohesive concepts, it’s great to see. Nice having an insight of what goes on behind the scenes and the creative process. Thanks so much for this interview, it was pleasure to read.

  • Kaybee

    I am her new fan. her LOVE the camera works in WINNER’s Color Ring and I think she is amazing as a young female director with a Psychology degree! It says a lot about her work process and creative pattern. YGE picks the best from the lot and it says a lot about the quality YGE is seeking. Like for example, looking at WINNER’s promo clip, I started wondering about the background music composer and the Piano player (has Joe Hisaishi feel) which is just so lovely… YGE surely picks the best!