Fear Eats the Seoul

In Entertain Me, The Social Fabric on March 5, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I’ve never met an ESL teacher in Korea that has not had some kind of gripe about their school, boss, kids, landlady, landlady that is their boss who owns the school their kid goes to…

But now there is a film that may work out that aggression, told from one who knows it first hand. Nick Calder has thrown off the shackles of an easy stereotype, and committed himself to doing what he loves whilst still educating the Korean masses.  His first film “Fear Eats the Seoul” is a bloody horror with monsters and demons, as metaphoric as any would wish to take it.  Currently in post production, there is already a buzz amongst the expat community anxious to support someone breaking the mold.

Korean society is a swiftly evolving creature, that if you close your eyes for a few years you may not recognize it when you open them again.  It’s quite impressive to watch, but watching is not enough.  The expat community has a task to keep up with this change, and challenge its own existence within Korean society.  There’s no secret that the ESL teacher reputation is not altogether glorious, assumptions made about money makers and 24 hour party people.  Whilst this may still hold true to some measure, there is an increasing number of expats who are trying to make a greater contribution.  The point is, realizing that you can.  There is not a lot of information out there about how to go about exploiting your talents and skills without selling your soul to schools. But that makes the challenge all the more rewarding.  Being a part of diversifying Korea’s culture in a positive and constructive way is inspiring in itself.

A great percentage of teachers that come here are not teachers at all, and it can be easy to forget what it was you once were before you arrived.  Nick summed it up perfectly in an interview with Sugar and Thunder.

“It came from hating my last job as a preschool ESL teacher and feeling like I had become complacent. There are situations in Korea that I can’t help but culturally clash with, including teaching English to 18 month old babies. I was very unhappy because I had no clue what I was doing in the classroom anymore. It dawned on me that I was venturing so far from the path I once set out to take. And ultimately making decent money and having a free place was not enough. My dream kept bubbling to the surface while I was trying to push it down for the sake of a comfortable lifestyle.

So I finally quit that job and found a part-time one and my own place, which opened up my mind and my time to follow my own path. It became clear then that money was not as important if I was able to do what I was passionate about. So I finally accepted I AM a filmmaker and if that is so, I should start making some films.”

Well said.  There are people out there doing it, and they are sources of inspiration.  I’m not the biggest horror genre fan out there, but I will be waiting with bated breath for the release of this film because it marks another kind of triumph.  Small or big, however you want to see it, just see it.


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