Running Man Producer Gong Hee Chul recently attended a press conference where he explained the difficulties of producing for a show that has been going on for 8 years.
Running Man aired its first episode on July 11, 2010.
The most difficult aspect, according to the producer, was coming up with new ideas.
“Because it’s a program that’s been going on for 8 years, the staff does experience some difficulties during meetings. There’s nothing we haven’t done. The thing about old programs is that there is nothing new since it’s been going on for so long. When a new idea comes up, the producer has to look back and see if it’s already been done in the past. Also, ideas that haven’t been used were not used for a reason.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
Other hindrances included a lack of production cost or inadequate sets.
“There were ones we gave up at the planning stages due to a lack of production costs and ones that we couldn’t do because the film set was different from what we expected.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
Moreover, a single episode was just not long enough to show the interesting characters of the stars who appear on the show.
“Many stars are born through Running Man but an episode was not long enough for their characters to show through.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
As a result, the Running Man team is now working on a project involving the expansion of one episode into four or five episodes so that the program can travel abroad more frequently as well.
“We wanted to try showing the guests in numerous episodes so we came up with the idea of having 4 or 5-series episodes. With numerous episodes, we could also link them to international projects. We would probably not have been able to highlight Lee Sang Yeob and Lee Da Hee’s characters if they only appeared on one episode.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
Running Man’s recent trip to England and Switzerland was filmed according to this new structure, and it seems to have satisfied both the producer and cast! They seek to discover new variety program characters among the guest stars.
“Our recent England and Switzerland trip has a total of 3 episodes. I think it was the multiple episodes that created an interesting story. The producer and Yoo Jae Suk have a strong need to consistently discover new characters and both are passionate about discovering these new characters from among the guests.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
Moreover, Yoo Jae Suk has been extremely helpful to Gong Hee Chul by offering his input based on his long and wide-ranging experiences.
“Yoo Jae Suk has done many programs with numerous attempts so when he hears about a new item, he tells me how it would work on set. His experiences and stories are extremely helpful to the producer.” ㅡ Gong Hee Chul
Despite the difficulties and pressure of maintaining an 8-year-old variety show, no one can deny that the producer is doing a fabulous job at keeping it going. Here’s to another great 8 years of Running Man!