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TV Producers Vow to Curb Exorbitant Fees for Stars

2007/03/06 Source

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TV production companies are joining hands to curb spiraling fees for acting stars, which they say take up the lion's share of production costs and damage overall quality and competitiveness. Altogether 31 production companies including KimJongHak Production, Olive Nice, Logos Film and PAN Entertainment that form the Corea Drama Production Association in a board meeting last Friday decided to improve conditions for drama production.

An association spokesman on Monday said drama production companies get W80 million to W100 million from networks per episode of a series with 16-24 installments. Of that, an average of W50 million is spent on the stars. The fees for popular writers are between W10-30 million. He said this works to the detriment of overall production quality and supporting players and crew, who number between 80-100 per episode. It also makes it hard for production companies to turn a profit, he added.

Thus if an A-list star gets W25 million per show, another will calculate his fees at a certain percentage above that. The fees for popular writers are also skyrocketing.

Korean Wave superstar Bae Yong-joon was paid W50 million per episode of "The Legend"' which deals with the history of the Koguryo Kingdom from its founding to the achievements of the King Kwanggaeto the Great. Other big stars like Go Hyun-jung get W25 million. The spokesman said this was the reason for the excessive product placements that disrupt the shows and in addition encourage under-the-table dealings.

"The situation is so bad that there is little thought for outstanding supporting players and experienced crew", he said. "But the high fees for the stars increase the cost of Korean dramas, and that damages exports".

The association will seek measures to adjust star fees and discuss the matter with the Korean Broadcasters Association as well as others in the movie industry.

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