A live musical video of a The Man Who Laughs, which won the grand prize at the third Korea Musical Awards was shown at the Sowol Art Hall. Many musical fans stepped forward to hear the news that it would be screened as live videos taken when it was performed at the Seoul Arts Center's concert hall in 2018 for free. The stage performance of the musical, which invested 17.5 billion won in total production, was changed into a huge landscape painting. The video clip of The man Who Laughs was distributed through the Seoul Arts Center's performance and exhibition visualization program called "SAC ON SCREEN" (Seoul Arts Center on Scree) free of charge to literary halls, schools, and military units in rural areas with poor cultural and artistic foundations.
SAC on Screen began visualizing popular performing arts in 2013 productions and has also been useful for broadcasting excellent cultural arts performances throughout Korea and for promoting Korean culture abroad. The SAC on Screen screenings let audiences see an actor’s face close up, the backgrounds to the performance with filming done all over the stage like in a movie. Last year, there were 719 screenings. The video from The Man Who Laughs was another treat for the stage performance. The camera was able to get close-ups at every corner of the stage to deliver actors’ faces vividly, so audiences could concentrate more on the play.
Close-ups of the faces conveyed character's sad feelings, making audience feel closer to the character's emotions. They also show the unique charm of the performance by capturing the reactions of the ensemble actors in dynamic action scenes. In additions, the video which was filmed from multiple angles with about 10 cameras makes people experience a different set of emotions unavailable to even those in the VIP seats of the actual performance. Moreover, the image quality is a high resolution of 4KUHD and provides the audience with the highest level of 5.1-channel stereoscopic surround sound. As such, a new wind is blowing in the performing arts world with SAC on screen.
It is an official public utility pushed ahead with SAC’s president Go Hak-chan. It was initiated with the aim of resolving the limitations of time and region as a public institution and supporting more audiences, including those who far from the cultural and underprivileged to enjoy excellent cultural and artistic contents. Since 2013, the Seoul Arts Center has carried out a project to visualizing performances or exhibitions under the name of "SAC on Screen." As of July 2019, SAC on Screen of the Seoul Arts Center had a total of 33 repertoires, including operas, ballet, plays and musicals, and was screened at schools and multicultural centers with a total of 440,000 people watching. The live-action video of the technology is not just a record, but aims for independent cultural content in itself.
However, there is a definite problem with Korea's SAC on screen visualizing business as well. Some criticize that this technology cannot film performance according to all the flow of the play. In addition, there were opinions that repeating patterned with monotonous camera work methods failed to elicit perfect poles of immersion. This problem is caused by limitations of the filming equipment or environment, which requires constant consideration of the filming environment in order for it to develop further. Park Byung-sung, a director of The Musical, only musical magazine in Korea, even said, "Music is very important in musical, but I did not get the impression that the timing of the scene change or camera work was thoroughly planned while the song was playing." There are quite a few performance officials who have a negative view of visualizing live performances. This is because they believe that the life of the performance lies in the liveliness of the site, which is not possible to replace.
SAC on screen of the Seoul Arts Center is a benchmark for the New York Metropolitan's project to enter the theatre. After a successful live performance video of the New York Metropolitan Opera in 2006, the National Theatre Live appeared in 2009. Based on this, the popularity of the visualized performances has increased. Met opera archives and NT Live are popular because people can enjoy world-class live arts locally, even if you do not have to go to the U.S. or Britain. No matter how big the venue is, only a limited number of people can watch it. Thus, video images of performances allow more people to meet high-quality arts at an economical cost. With the help of video technology allowing close-up shots and high-flying shooting, the movie experience also conveys the charm of performance videos that people can scrutinize to give the performing arts a new sense of realism.
Shin Tae-yeon of the Culture and Media Business Department of the Seoul Arts Center said, "I imagine if a platform was created just for live video content of performances like Netflix," adding, "It would be nice, if we had a platform that would make it convenient to watch not only SAC on Screen but also domestic and foreign performance videos in one place." Nowadays, various art works are actively utilizing this new technology. In addition, performances by Seoul Arts Center such as musical X-caliber and Pinocchio are being made into a SAC on Screen productions. It is making various attempts to film a performance lively. In the play Perikles, the stage set-up process was filmed with time-lapse to create an opening video. Also, some videos show what is happening on the backstage during the intermission, while others shoot interviews and rehearsals by artists to provide additional videos.
Video footage of performances by large concert halls or performance groups has been a hot topic for years. The measure is aimed at lowering the threshold of the highly regarded concert hall and boosting interest in the performances. As a result, this process of capturing a performance as a video may still be a rather unfamiliar method for some audiences who value the sense of scene, but it is one of the most necessary factors for the development of the performing arts world. In a situation where worldwide performance officials and audiences are paying attention to the video technology capturing liveliness of film, upcoming footage technology can be highlighted as critical progress.