JTBC’s K-Drama “Mystic Pop-Up Bar” Reveals How Long It Took To Complete The Show’s Praised VFX

“We really pushed our creative limits …”

Content Warning

This article includes descriptions of violence that may disturb some readers.

JTBC‘s new Mystic Pop-Up Bar — which premiered May 20, 2020 — has since been receiving high praise from the intrigued viewers for its outstanding quality of visual effects.

With all six revealed episodes increasingly charming the viewers, Mystic Pop-Up Bar‘s VFX supervisor Heo Dong Hyeok shared in a recent interview that the graphics team “worked really hard to make the VFX seem as natural yet mystical as possible.”

Guibanjang’s ghost-busting spear 

Mystic Pop-Up Bar is special. The show’s setting has modern aspects, historic aspects, and fantasy aspects. So it’s all about mixing those three aspects together. And when it comes to culturally Asian fantasies, there is a lot more to think about — as compared to other science fiction fantasies. When targeting Asian viewers with Asian fantasies, it is extremely important to make the graphics seem as real and natural as possible. As soon as it seems even the smallest bit off, the viewers find it fake and funny. So we worked really hard to make it seem as natural yet mystical as possible.

— Heo Dong Hyeok

Heo Dong Hyeok also mentioned, while “All scenes require tremendous attention to detail“, the graphics team remained extra-dedicated to creating a convincing visual of the virtual spaces.

The stairway to “The Subconscious” 

All scenes require tremendous attention to detail, but we really pushed our creative limits when it came to virtual spaces and items in the show — like the sacred tree, the Dream World, the Subconscious, and so on.

— Heo Dong Hyeok

Since Mystic Pop-Up Bar has been pre-produced prior to premiering, the VFX team had enough time to invest into these detail-oriented visual effects. In fact, Heo Dong Hyeok explained, “The sacred tree scene took six months to complete.”

The Sacred Tree

The sacred tree scene in the first episode took a long time to complete. We had to shoot the location over three separate times — to make sure we have all the sources we need. The actual VFX of the binyeo falling and setting the tree on fire ended up taking 4-6 months to complete, with all hands on deck.

— Heo Dong Hyeok

Heo Dong Hyeok believed that pre-production is exactly what makes high quality VFX possible. He commented that “The viewers are used to seeing really high-end VFX nowadays. So the real challenge came from meeting some high expectations.” The additional time truly allowed the graphics team to get it perfect.

Guibanjang’s face-swap ability 

Pre-producing the drama really helped with perfecting the VFX because we had enough prep time and touch-up time. We didn’t feel rushed to complete — so we really got down to picking on each scene. We made the best use of the time that was given to us, so that we could really satisfy those eyes that have seen some really high-end VFX already.

— Heo Dong Hyeok

And thanks to the team’s efforts, viewers remain hooked on Mystic Pop-Up Bar. Many of them admitted, “It’s the VFX that keeps [them] 200% addicted.”

Watch the latest trailer here:

Source: SPOTV and THEQOO