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O Magazine
2015-2017

Yall. Together

by María Sosa Betancor

From the day in which Rafa Montilla told me something about a project in Korea I didn’t quite understand to the moment we landed in Seoul ready to shoot not a lot of time went by, or at least that’s my perception. I guess it must be down to excitement.

I could tell you many things about this trip, but if there’s an objective highlight, from a purely tangible point of view, is that the raw material we shot, counting all the cameras we used, amounted up to 17 hours.

More than 17 hours shot in 3 days, that is 6 hours of material per day.
More than 17 hours to fit a song that lasted little more than 3 minutes.
More than 17 hours for an edit that had to be presented a week after our return.

Indeed, I’ve learnt a great deal with this project.

In my defence I’ve got to say that one of the cameras, the handycam, had the double function of recording my tourist moments and shooting Hyo Joo unaware. The problem arose when the border between these two worlds disappeared. The camera went from hand to hand so that each could improvise his/her vision of the moment. So all that material ended up in the same folders in the same hard disk, with no distinction at all.

That’s why I think I should dedicate this article to all those hours of material that have been left unused and forgotten.

1.
My obsession for recording everything started already in the plane. But I’ve got to say that Korea Airlines is quite cool and my brain was receiving too many new inputs: the crew’s uniform; the company logo (a mixture between the Korean flag and the Pepsi brand logo); the Korean alphabet; the Bibimbap in the plane menu.

2.
Apart from the texture of the image we were looking for with the handycam, the reason to use that camera was that it became invisible. It has a 700 (digital) zoom, so no one ever noticed we were shooting. I’m fascinated by this voyeur thing you get with such a tiny and, apparently, inoffensive camera.

3.
We spent hours inside the car changing localization. Seoul has horrible traffic jams and the landscapes end up becoming crowded roads full of car lights and vehicles that are exclusively white, grey and black. There are only cars in these three colours; they tried to explain to me why, but the explanation had no logic whatsoever

4.
Our arrival coincided with Korea’s National Day. As a tourist that might be very interesting, but when it comes down to shooting it complicates things. All the streets were full of Korean flags, and their flag happens to be very pretty, so now I have this very large collection of pictures of Korean flags.

5.
Seoul’s buildings captivated all those that had a camera in their hands. They were giant blocks of buildings of repeating pastel colours, only distinguishable from one another by a name and number written in giant letters.

6.
It also rained and everything became grey.

7.
This was the first time we saw Hyo Joo on the longboard. Here we realised that she was going a lot faster than we had thought and that Nicolás (Segway operator) was going to have it tough in order to follow her.

8.
I wasn’t the only one obsessed with recording moments, or the best equipped to do so.