Sound Designable Voices and the South Korean Global Film
South Korea’s audio postproduction sector has transformed itself over the past two decades, developing into an innovative, efficient, and globally competitive industry. The country’s leading sound studio, Live Tone, collaborated on celebrated director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer (2013)—the most expensive Korean film to date, and a South Korean Global Film that preserves the integrity of its Korean soundscape despite being filmed in English. Based on semistructured practitioner interviews with Live Tone’s chief sound supervisor, Ralph Tae Young Choi, this chapter considers how the already complex task of designing voices for commercial cinema soundtracks is magnified in the case of large-scale international projects such as coproductions. Snowpiercer’s complicated schedule involved shooting on a soundstage in Prague and postproduction work in Los Angeles and Seoul. Yet despite the associated challenges, Live Tone’s partnership with Bong demonstrates how solutions to complex dilemmas of mediated vocal performance can take unique or otherwise distinct forms.
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