[Culture] Interview with alumna Chang Yeong-yeop, editor-in-chief of Cine21
The Ewha DNA series of interviews introduces esteemed Ewha alumnae from various fields. Today, the Ewha DNA series of interviews introduce alumna Chang Yeong-yeop (graduating class of 2008, Department of English Language and Literature), the chief editor of Cine21 which is the first and only weekly film magazine in Korea.
Q. Hello. Please tell us about yourself.
Hello. I’m Chang Yeong-yeop from the incoming class of ’03 in the Department of English Language and Literature. I’m working as the chief editor of Cine21.
Cine 21 is the only weekly film magazine with the longest history in Korea, which was founded in 1995 and celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. As editor-in-chief, my main task is to plan and organize the most noteworthy film industry issues for the week in around 90 pages of the magazine. I coordinate collaboration among various sections such as the reporting team, editing team, photography team, and design team that participate in production, while contemplating most effective ways to deliver timely issues on the film industry that readers might find interesting. Recently, I am also considering how to communicate with readers through other platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube channels and other portal sites.
Q. It was a big issue that you were selected as female editor-in-chief in 14 years and the first one born in 80s. There must had been a lot of things in play until you became the chief editor.
I started working as editor-in-chief in December last year. Since I joined Cine21 in 2008, there had been a total of five editors, who were all males. While working as a film reporter in Cine 21, I rarely thought that I was discriminated against as a woman, but the fact that it was hard to find female seniors and role models promoted to the chief position influenced me as well as other female reporters when thinking about future careers. When the company selected editor-in-chief regardless of rank or age, there were concerns that I was too young to be well-suited for the position. I felt overwhelmed, but on the other hand, I took pride in setting a precedent. I also feel a sense of responsibility to do as best as I can.
Q. Do you have any particularly memorable experience while working as the chief editor of Cine 21?
The most memorable thing was the issuance of Cine21 No.1243, the "Parasite” Special Edition. It was an ambitious project that filled almost an entire issue with the stories of “Parasite” directed by Bong Joon-ho. Our staff moved and planned ahead of others, and as a result, we reprinted copies twice more after the first copies were sold out. It was a very proud and impressive experience as we published a sold-out issue amid a perception that paper magazine sales are not as good as what they used to be.
Q. Have you always wanted to work in the movies?
I always wanted to be a reporter since elementary school. I only had part-time jobs and participated in on- and off-campus activities related to being a reporter. However, I watched a film directed by Wong Kar-wai at the Jongno Film Festival in 2004, which was a turning point of my life. I wanted to know more about film as a medium, and since then I started watching movies incessantly. I reviewed a special lecture on movies while working as a student reporter for the cultural team in the Daehak Naeil magazine, which led me to work as a guest reporter for Cine21 and join the company.
Q. What advice would you give to many Ewha students who are aiming for a job in the film industry?
First, you have to keep in mind that movies are an art of collective creation that you can never work alone. You can create a movie, for example, in a movie club, even if you’re not a film major. However, networking is essential to get deep into the movie industry. It would be better if you participate in film festivals such as independent film festivals, or go to a film education institution such as Korean Academy of Film Arts or Korea National University of Arts.
If you want to be a film journalist, the most important quality is writing skills. In addition, you have to have a steady and constant interest in movies and keep up with film industry news. How much interest the applicant has in the film is also an important evaluation in the recruitment process.
Q. What are your future career goals and directions?
First of all, maintaining Cine21’s own influence within the film industry, and helping it successfully fulfill its role as a media outlet that provides in-depth coverage of the film industry and a place for thought. These are my most important goals in the next few years. I hope many people who like movies support us!
Q. What do you think the Ewha DNA is?
I think the Ewha DNA in me is the courage to pioneer a new path that no one has been to. I could acquire a sound judgment to disagree discriminatory and unjust practices while studying at Ewha. Entering the business world, you might often find no female role models in your field and feel stumped. However, I believe Ewha students have enough potential to make their own path even with no precedent.