Squid Game – How was Netflix’s hit made?


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The Squid Game has become a real global phenomenon. The story of desperate people who take part in a bloody tournament of games for children breaks records of popularity. How was this series created? Will there be a second season?

The Squid Game series was directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, who is also the writer and originator of the story. The script took two years to develop and was completed in 2009. “I read a lot of comics and it was my dream to create a comic book story that would take place in Korea,” explains Hwang Dong-hyuk. Hwang made his debut as a director, so he finally decided to turn a comic book into a movie.

Although the script for “Squid Game” was ready in 2009, Hwang Dong-hyuk had to put it back on the shelf and pursue other projects. – Back then, the script of this series seemed very brutal. Some thought it was too complicated and had no chance of commercial success. I did not manage to raise enough funds for the production, and finding the cast was not easy either. I tried this project for a year, but finally had to give up. The script matured in a drawer, and the director turned to other films that turned out to be successful.

The Squid Game scenario lay in the closet for a total of 10 years. Director Hwang Dong-huyk got Netflix producers interested in this story. – I was given full creative freedom – he says – I could work as I wanted. Thanks to this opportunity, the director developed his story, transforming it into a series that is now watched by the whole world.

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One of the most eye-catching visual aspects of the series is the colorful scenery that sets it apart from other survival stories. Art Director Chae Kyoung-sun explains: “We wanted to make our viewers think about the hidden message from Squid Game in our sets. Huge installations and vivid colors take them to a realistic yet fantastic world. After all, the series alludes to children’s imaginations and games from their youth.

Director Hwang Dong-hyuk deliberately chose children’s games that everyone knows and that have simple rules. However, when you analyze these games, you can see how much planning has gone into each round. The popular game “Red Light, Green Light” goes first. The robot is modeled on a girl from children’s textbooks. However, the game quickly turns into a struggle for survival. The use of such huge sets made the acting game more natural – the actors were supposed to feel like they were on a big play set. On the other hand, the combination of a place associated with pleasure and fun with the struggle to survive quite strongly influenced the imagination.

One of the longest-running plans is a replica of typical Korean neighborhood streets from the 1970s and 1980s – The playground felt real, as did the side alleys of the past. It felt like we had moved back into the past. This caused a strange feeling of nostalgia in everyone and an atmosphere of tension on the set, explains actor Heo Sung-tae.
All of these aspects add up to a story that is both universal and Korean. Most children’s games around the world look similar, but some of them are typically Korean. The human emotions and struggles that the characters go through will touch many viewers, no matter where they come from. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk comments: “This survival game is both entertainment and a human drama.”

Squid game – the show’s message

The series explores human nature and how we change from childhood to adulthood, showing adults returning to children’s games.
Director Hwang Dong-hyuk says: – I wanted to write a story that would be an allegory of modern capitalist society, a fairy tale about extreme competition, somewhat reminiscent of extreme competition for life. The show’s message isn’t entirely depressing, though, as we see the characters clinging to their humanity and hope. This comment on human nature and society is definitely thought-provoking.

Squid game – controversy

The popularity of the series all over the world meant that this production – aimed mainly at adults, is also eagerly watched by young people. The subject of games for children may seem safe at first, but the series connects them with a rather bloody struggle for survival. It turned out that the series is also watched by the youngest, and the games known from the screen are played by children in schools. The penalty for losing is usually physical violence.
Jakub Markiewicz
Jakub Markiewiczhttps://jotem.in
Hi, I am the author of the Jotem.in blog and series of thematic portals since 2013. I have nearly 15 years of experience in working in the media, marketing, public relations and IT. If you are interested in cooperation, you would like me to write about something or test a product - let me know.
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