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Jang Dong-yoon speaks about challenges of acting in first Korean 'screenlife' film 'Long D'

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A scene from the film 'Long D' / Courtesy of 12 Journey
A scene from the film 'Long D' / Courtesy of 12 Journey

By Kwak Yeon-soo

For most of its runtime, "Long D" is just Jang Dong-yoon staring at a computer screen. Jang stars as Do-ha, who tries to get back together with his ex-girlfriend after a breakup.

"Long D" follows a young couple dating via webcam after Do-ha's girlfriend Tae-in (Park You-na) moved to the southern coastal city of Geoje to make music. The couple's long-distance relationship starts to fall apart when Do-ha attends a Halloween party, blacks out and ditches his girlfriend at their fifth-anniversary dinner. Tae-in thinks Do-ha cheated on her, so he tries to restore her trust by proving his innocence.

This film is primarily told via different types of screens― computers, smartphones and security cameras. "Screenlife" genre stories are told exclusively through the screens of various devices to create a narrative based on the characters' interactions within the digital world. All of the stories play out on Do-ha's monitor with the camera following his cursor's every move. It is co-produced by Timur Bekmambetov, who produced the American screenlife mystery thriller "Searching" (2018).

Jang said "Long D" was unlike any other acting he had ever done because he shot most of the scenes alone.

"I was told the story will be told via screen actions on phones and computers. That part really scared me. It was definitely a challenge, but I tried to keep an open mind," he said during a press conference for the film in Seoul, Tuesday.

The actor elaborated that they filmed using Go Pros. "When I was sitting in front of a computer, there was a little camera facing me where the webcam would be. In almost every scene, including the part where I walk to other people on FaceTime, I acted alone," he said.

Do-ha uses apps and websites to search for evidence that he did not cheat on Tae-in and find out about Tae-in's secrets.

A poster for the film 'Long D' / Courtesy of 12 Journey
A poster for the film 'Long D' / Courtesy of 12 Journey

Park, who plays the role of a struggling musician, said she had no hesitation in choosing "Long D" because it is the first screenlife film made in Korea.

"I often had to perform alone, but thankfully, Dong-yoon had already filmed the scenes and I just had to react to him. Since I have never been in a long-distance relationship, I was worried if the audience would be able to connect to the story," she said.

In her first singing role, Park revealed that she was an idol trainee for two years. "My original dream was to be a singer and I was an idol trainee for two years. So singing in the film was like a dream come true moment for me," she said.

The film doesn't have any shocking twists, but it feels authentic because it captures the dynamics of relationships through realistic dialogue.

"Long D" will his local theaters on May 10.

Kwak Yeon-soo


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