DEE SHIN Directing K-pop
By Jess Tyler
BY JESS TYLER
Heaps of tiles of nonstandard shapes lie before you, awaiting a series of abstract connections and dances of logic. It’s within these pieces that a creative puzzle can fully take form, under the curiosity and inspiration of a dedicated hand. As a director of countless music videos, Dee Shin has done just that and much more! A K-pop soothsayer, she brings to life a dreamland of musical moments. She’s worked with an all-star lineup of potential GOATS. From Shinee and Winner, to Weekly and Chunga. (Editor's note: her dog even knows BTS). Dee Shin has followed her own heart-centered path and has given us a glimpse of what it takes to get there.
Dee has helmed works with powerhouse companies like YG Entertainment, where she crafted 2NE1’s iconic ballad banger and Blackjack favorite "Come Back Home", as well as adding an extensive collection to the AKMU dictionary which spanned concept films to the incomparable "Dinosaur.”
She’s partnered with Monsta X to create "The Clan" series part 1 and 2, a harrowing symbolic journey, which surely helped to cement the group’s future love of cinematic interwoven stories. And being called to collaborate with Big Hit has culminated in lively projections that are playful and poetic. Her gallery home was also the location for BTS’s indelible "Life Goes On.”
Across her works, there are shades of fairytale magic, (think less Germanic and more enigmatic). A land of giant moons, flying motorships, and talking pineapple pizza. The magnitude of whimsical concepts and energetic undercurrents surprises and delights the viewer.
Her visual tapestries spark conversation for people to pour over and speculate on to uncover their own meanings. Connecting people to the song, the artists, and that much more.
K-pop music videos are as important as the songs themselves, or the fashion that goes into them. Even 2-second clips become immortalized in both internet discourse and revelry. A testament to their multifaceted dopeness.
Dee Shin was generous enough to give us some insight into her process and industry-making moves in between takes of her stacked schedule, and we couldn’t be more grateful.
- So many of us film students dream of the creations we will make. How did you get your start as a filmmaker? Was it something you studied?
I studied neuroscience and psychology. I made short films as hobbies during college and got a bit carried away.
It was 2010 when the dsrl was kicking in, commercial clients started approaching so I and several old friends set up an office (they now are MOTHER and Fantasylab). As for music videos, K-pop music videos back then used to be directed mostly by older dudes in their 40’s, so I wasn't getting any request. I made a fan video for a Canadian musician Patrick Watson and it went viral on art blogs. YG saw it and I made 2NE1's “Come Back Home.” It was in the newspaper that a young newbie made a high budget music video. Strange time.
- Is it your job to create the atmosphere on set? And if so, how do you do that?
Definitely. I DJ accordingly and also we applaud intensely after every take.
- There’s so many ways to approach a music video, where do you usually start? Is it the song, or a concept, or…?
I start with studying the group history and see where they should be heading next. Project Objectives is always the first page on my treatment.
- In addition to directing, I noticed you also often involved in the editing and producing process as well. You’re a triple threat! What’s it like being involved in these multiple areas on a production?
K-pop has its unique system where the director must produce and edit. I think it works and I like it.
- Who do you consider to be original?
- What’s the most original item in your closet?
A hoodie with my dog's face on it.
- Is there any advice you’d give to someone interested in becoming a part of the film industry? Any advice for someone looking to take a step into the K-pop world in particular?
Gang up a crew. Be in Korea. Speak Korean.
To Find Dee Shin online, check out the following links:
YouTube: Click HERE