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Idol’s timetable  Myriad of sleepless nights For 3 minutes of perfection Even if no one gives you credit There’s nothing to be sorry about
Just a few finger moves.
That’s all it takes for people to enjoy a music video.
Push the play button then you see a group of girls skipping ropes, and running at full speed, then drifting through the grassland on motorbikes. Within 1 second, the screen promptly shifts from one scene to the next with each beat. Gazing at a perfectly synchronized group dance seamlessly filling the screen, all of a sudden you realize the music video has come to an end. 3 minutes and 31 seconds, is the total playtime of the 7-member girl group TRI.BE’s ‘RUB-A-DUM’ music video. It’s also time not quite enough to cook instant noodles. But to create this clip…
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Songsun Hyunbin Kelly Soeun Jinha Jia Mire (7)

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Directing, technical staff for the music video (41)
Production DESERTBEAGLE
Chief Director Oroshi
Director Hong jaehwan
Assistant Director Baek jongwoo
Production Assistant Joung yuseok
Son jueun, Sim hyunsoo, Kang heegeon, Kim gichul
Production Assistant [Jeju] :Kim seoyoon
Yang jaeyong, Kim woobae, Lee kwisaek
Director of Photography Kim Jooseung
1AC Seo seohee, Min sungju
2AC Kim kwangmo
3AC Park sumin, Kim jimin
DIT Ahn juyoung, Yu minju
Gaffer Park byungju (b.think _light)
Oh gyeongho, Jeon jong won, kim gi beom, kim yeong jae, Jo dong woo
Generator truck Kwon Seunghyeon
Art Director Bok sebin
Kim miji, Shin yejin, Jo seoyeon, Kim kyungrae
Jimmy jib Lee dongjin
Kim kitae, Lee seokchan
FPV Lee munhyoung
Show light Ma sungkeun
Post Product
Edit Hong jaehwan
2D Baek jongwoo, Leasti
DI Lee seonjin

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entertainment company staff and personnel(33)
Executive Producer: TR Entertainment/Universal Music Ltd.
Producer: Shinsadong Tiger
Executive Supervisor Kang beomchang
Finance & Administration Seong jangyong
Chief Management Lee jeongmin
Management Director Park yewon
Management Park gahee Yoon jiho
A & R Ryu hanna Cho eunbi Lee yoogyum Lee changho Won jihoon Kwon jiyoon
Planning & Marketing Eo hyein Park jeeon Lim gayoung Son heejeong Park hyungyu
Contents Production Park hyunmin Kim heesun
Overseas Business Li Xin, Liu Wanqiao
Media Public Relations @HNS HQ
Music Producer Shinsadong Tiger ELLY
Performance Director Bart Lee @SUPREMEFIELD
Choreographer YURI Haeinyss
Visual Production Kim jonghoon Park hyunsik Park gwanyong
Making Film Heo yoonseo

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assistant staffs to support Hair-Makeup-Stylist(15)
Hair Dami Areum (asst Dogyu Leon Jiyoung Hyunjun)
Makeup Eunbi Isoo Ayoung (asst Hi-e Seoin)
Stylist Yujoo Lee (asst Dayeon Shin Hyerin Kim)

All 96 people above committed their everything - for four days, and night. By simple arithmetic, a single minute of the music video translates into more than a single day of some 100 people. To be fair, taking into account the time dedicated to perfecting the choreography and the song that underpin the video, the weight of that one-minute becomes incalculable.
The time schedule for shooting a music video tends to be extremely tight, filled with different scenes to shoot by the minute from early morning till late into the night. After two days of shooting on Jeju island, the last day of shooting took place on April 21st, in Bundang, Gyeonggido. The shooting was slated to begin at 7am and end at 1:30 am, but the actual wrap up time was past 4 am.
Endless displays of ‘incompleteness’ toward perfection
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“Members, it’s time to move.”

The seven members alongside the hair · makeup · stylist staffs headed toward the auditorium on the 3rd floor in a long file for the group dance scene. “What should I do,” said Soeun, one of the members of the girl group TRI.BE, holding up a walker boot with a dangling sole.

The costume team swiftly took out an adhesive. “They’re brand new, but the soles keep coming off, with the girls dancing all the time….” said Yujoo Lee, the stylist. Until the camera rolled again, the team pressed hard on the glued sole but failed to fix it - Soeun had to wear similar but different shoes from others for the scene.
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Once the camera starts to roll, the only thing that catches one’s eyes is the perfect group dance. Impeccably synchronized and measured group choreography is a long established must-have for K-pop idols. From the foreigner’s eyes however, it’s still a miraculous sight, because ‘camp-like training culture’ is far from the norm in most countries.

Songwriter Adrian McKinnon who ‘s been working with artists at SM Entertainment since 2015 shared his experience of visiting a music video set for Shinee’s ‘Married to the Music’, in which he also took part.
“And these guys, they were dancing so well. Like when you see it live, it's... I don't know, like I know they do really good with the camera work, but like when you see it live, there's something different about how they move. And so, we were sitting there, we were like, holy crap, these guys are great movers. And then they came out to greet us, and I was like, you guys are incredible dancers, and it was like, oh that? That was just like, 45, 50 percent, cause we're just doing a little rehearsal, like trying to get it right. And I was like, that was half-ass? And they were like yeah, yeah, you'll see, just wait. And then they really go in the next time, and those guys move like robots, almost. They're incredible.” Source: ReacttotheK
The road to perfection nevertheless, is brimmed with all kinds of ‘incompleteness’. The choreography is finalized right before the music video shooting, after countless modifications and adaptations. Yuri Sohn, the choreographer behind TRI.BE’s dance moves said, “the chorus, the highlight of the whole act, especially goes through lots of change; not much of the first version is left”. This part is deemed critical because the overall atmosphere of the music depends on the chorus. In the timeframe of a week or so before the shooting, the members stay up all night to master the choreography and individual positions. At this point, it’s up to them to bring themselves to near ‘perfection’.
Never ending repetition
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The last day of shooting on April 21st was mostly dedicated to group dance scenes. At the ‘cut’ sound, staffs come running to the members on set. Moments ago, they brought blankets but this time, held portable fans in their hands. While some staff members were even wearing padded jumpers as it got chilly after sundown, the members in short sleeves and pants, couldn’t stop sweating amid constantly repeated takes.

From afar, group dance shoots are in fact a series of never ending repetitions. As soon as ‘cut’ sound fills the set, hair · makeup · stylist staffs scurry to the members.

The hair staffs wipe away the sweat to keep baby hair from sticking on the neck and forehead, comb each strand of stray hair of all seven members then spritz hairspray to hold the style. The makeup staffs use small brushes to touch-up the bits of makeup that sweat off. The stylists spruce up the girls again, from the socks that slid down after dancing to snips of loose thread.
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At the standby signal, tens of staffs bustling in the camera angle suddenly scatter out of the view. It doesn’t matter how intense and hard-hitting the dance routine is. Every new take begins with the members looking just as glamorous as if they came straight out from the makeup studio.

Hours pass by as the group dance shooting progresses, but what happens on the set doesn’t seem to have much variation. The camera crane, also called Jimmy Jib, constantly moves back and forth in between the dancing members. Eventually, these miniscule differences in what seems like constant repetitions of the same thing culminate in distinctions that make all the difference.

As the group dance unfolds, the camera operator keeps changing the lens of the camera to portray the set from various viewing angles. The camera movement can zoom from a narrow angle to a full screen, spin dynamically, or drop from up above. The powerful dance scenes that flick through before the viewers’ eyes in a split second of the final music video is the result of tightly knitting these various frames.
Moreover, to stay within the budget, getting the most out of shooting is essential given the limited time on set. The members have no choice but to repeat their group moves for as long as they can until they are completely exhausted.

The last group dance scene’s shooting began at 9:30 pm that day in front of a massive screen. Meal boxes and coffee cans for camera staffs were lying around at the corner of the set, left unopened.

Past 11pm, the song that resounded the set all day suddenly halted then came silence. The members laid Soeun on the floor behind the screen and began massaging her legs. Hours of rubbing her feet into the slippery floor had given her cramps. The manager of the group handed a tissue to Soeun, who was crying.
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It was also an uneasy situation for Jaehwan Hong, the assistant director who had been watching the girls iterate the group dance sequence nonstop since 4:30 pm.

“It kind of hurts to see the girls dance time and again, when we know they are not in good form after all the overwhelming practice they’ve been doing. I hope that the members don’t get upset thinking that the shooting is delayed because of them. They are already doing everything they can, to the point they’re physically drained. So we’re actually the ones who feel sorry about adding new takes.”

As Soeun stood up getting herself together, assistant director Hong shouted a little louder than his normal tone this time. “This group dance, it’s the very final take!” At 11:48 pm, the final OK sign was announced. Amidst the cheers and applause from the members that filled the whole set… Hyunbin gave Soeun a quiet, comforting hug.
Everything is deliberated
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“There are hundreds of different ways to sing the same short phrase. I think it’s important to have an enunciation that’s distinctively my own. Especially when it comes to ㅂ(‘b’ sound) and ㄱ (‘g’ sound), and sibilant sounds like ㅍ(‘p’ sound),ㅊ(‘ch’ sound), ㅌ(‘t’ sound) and ㅋ(‘k’ sound). Instead of fully pronouncing the ㅂ sound, I create a little space between the lips to make it sound more dragged, like ‘buam~’ (as opposed to ‘bam’). Enunciation for ㄱ also can sound like it’s something between ㄱ and ㅋ. Most singers try to refrain from making sibilant sounds because it may be tiring to the ears if repeated, but I like to use them a lot, and make them stand out on purpose. Pronouncing ㄱ like ㅋ gives a more lovely and open sound.” IU · KBS Sketchbook
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Three days later at a recording studio located in Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul, TRI.BE members were busy recording their new song, ‘RUB-A-DUM’. Member Jinha was about to record her part ‘geu eoneuttaeboda deo jayulowo nan’, which translates to ‘I’m freer now more than ever’. Recording a track is not merely about singing the lyrics to the melody. Producer Shinsadong Tiger in charge of vocal directing and vocal trainer Jmee Kim emphasized to the girls that they should underscore the rhythm by stressing the first syllable of each phrase.

“geu eoneuttae bboda ddeo jjayulowo nan”
The enunciation for Jinha’s part of the lyrics gradually adapted as directed. Feeling the rhythm with her fingers, Jinha poked her finger in midair whenever she sang the word that needs to be accentuated.

Once the recording of the main part is done, singers often sing the same part again. This is a sound recording technique called ‘doubling’. The effect of doubling can make the sound more stable by overdubbing the same voice. After hearing both the main and doubling sounds Sinsadong Tiger hesitatingly tilted his head saying “Is the ‘jja’yu too emphasized?” then proposed that the main part be ‘jayu’ and the doubling sound ‘jjayu’.

The main sound ‘ja’ is a little shaky on its own, but with the doubling ‘jja’ sound added on top, a more firm and resolute feeling is conveyed. “Enunciating as ‘jjayu’ may seem like it’s too exaggerated, but mixing the sound using doubling technique can make Jinha’s part much more powerful as it leads to the chorus” said Shinsadong Tiger.
  • ja the main sound pronounced as ‘jayu’
  • jja overdubbed version with doubling sound ‘jjayu’
    on top of the main sound ‘jayu’
There’s nothing to be sorry about
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May 18th, dawn of the showcase comeback for the second single album.

TRI.BE members Jia and Hyunbin came back to the hair salon, just four days since their last visit. Just like the bubbly and refreshing concept of their album to be released, they each dyed their hair in pink & purple and blond & purple. To delay fading of the colors from their last hair dye, the girls have embraced discomfort such as washing their hair with cold water, with the timer set for 30 seconds. Just ahead of the big event to showcase their latest single to the fans, they came to the salon to have the ‘color refilled’, to make it vivid again.

“Time is of the essence for idol groups, so it’s quite common to do a hair dye at the crack of dawn depending on their schedule for the day, like showcase events.” commented Dami, head hairdresser at Oui oui atelier.

Schedule or practice room.

A typical day of an idol group member is packed with back and forth movements between these two worlds. As if they live in a binary world where everything can be expressed in two numbers, idol groups spend most of their time in practice rooms unless they are not busy making media appearances (so-called schedules). The only variable is the time allocated to schedules as it fluctuates depending on the official promotional cycle, which kicks off after release of a new album.

The period right before a comeback is the most restless and busiest time for K-pop idol groups. Even after preparations for official promotions such as shooting video clips for social media uploads and pre-interviews, endless practices to polish their choreography and live performances continue far into the night
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Six o’clock on D-day, the red light on the camera signaled it started rolling. It was the moment that TRI.BE’s comeback showcase was about to be revealed to the whole world.

To stand and perform on this stage, the seven members had to endure egregious and lonely ‘times depicted in binary’. Unless they make a lasting impression with the audience however, all their strenuous efforts over the past few years will dissipate into thin air.
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Still, there’s nothing to feel sorry about.

Everyone who’s been on stage knows what kind of fate lies ahead for these idols.

July 22, 2021

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