Despite a foggy start, the sun finally peeked out a little today, and we were able to get some nice footage of the city and its residents. My favorite part of the day was a funny little kids park where all the young'ns were "driving" mini cars that their parents were steering via remote control. It was adorable. We finished our day with some fried chicken and beer, which definitely did not elicit any complaints from me. We've been here for a week, and South Korea gets an A+ for cuisine. That said, I'm glad we're leaving soon, because I would be an absolute house if we stayed for too much longer.
Our host left this morning, so today was meant to be a day for getting B Roll around the city. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. Songdo is under an insane amount of fog right now. This is the view from my hotel room:
Although we didn't have a chance to shoot much outside, we did have some other stuff on our agenda. We shot a scene at a local grocery store, which was absolutely the nicest grocery store I've ever seen. Also, we got a chance to check out some super useful technology in the parking lot. The garages have signs outside that update the number of available parking spots in real time. The spots themselves also have lights that illuminate green when a spot is available, and red when they are taken. As you can tell from this photo, there isn't any shortage of available spots in this nearly empty city. When we left, there were 723 available.
Been a bit of a whirlwind for the last several days. Songdo, it turns out, is a very strange place. Some interesting facts:
- The streets are nearly empty.
- It's only about a 25 minute walk to the city center from any point in the city.
- There are too many coffee shops to count, but most of them have the exact same menu. And I still can't find a cold brew :(
We've seen some pretty crazy technology while we've been here, and I can't say that I think all of it is for the best. Yesterday, we filmed inside a major city control center, and saw the incredible degree to which every person in Songdo is monitored. And everyone here seems totally okay with it!
I'm in Songdo, South Korea today on a project with Manhattan-based documentary company, Partisan Pictures. After a 13-hour flight from LA, we sat through the incredibly archaic customs carnet process, then drove to our hotel. After checking in (on the 19th floor), we had an amazing breakfast buffet, then all decided it was time to take a nap. When we finally woke up, we had lunch (also at the hotel buffet), then set out to explore the town.
It's an odd place. Songdo was a marsh as recently as about ten years ago, before the city was built from scratch. With a population of less than 75,000, the city can feel a bit like a ghost town. Walking through the painstakingly landscaped parks surrounded by skyscrapers, it's hard to escape the feeling that you are in a futuristic theme park.