Korea’s Ran Ro remembers the first time she fell in love with the idea of filmmaking. It was when watching the iconic French film Amelie. As she took in the film, it was a different experience than simply watching a movie. In one scene in particular, the narrator lists out what Amelie, the protagonist, likes, as audiences see the visuals depicted by the narration. That moment sparked a fire inside Ro. She took in how the “mundane” aspects of a film could easily be ignored by the masses but can be captured so beautifully and significantly. It was then when Ro decided she wanted to be an editor. She loved the power that such small decisions could have over the telling of powerful stories, and she was ready to become a master of the artform.
Now, Ro is known for doing just what she admired when watching Amelie. Her attention to detail creates visual masterpieces, whether she be working on a minute long commercial or a feature film. Her work with brands such as Tastemade, BackBeatRags, and Elite Model Management captivated worldwide audiences, and when she embarked on her most personal project ever, the film In Between, she once again impressed.
“The underlying concept of the project was developed when I stumbled across a memorial park in Honolulu. I was supposedly at a place that represents the end of life, but all there was in front of me was empty scenery. Observing the sunlight landing on the unmoving landscape, I couldn’t help but feel oddly at peace. In comparison, I began to think about the emotional turbulence that one goes through in life. The script was written shortly after this experience, as a means of unravelling the curiosity that arose that day at the memorial park. My childhood experience of being raised by my grandmother became a central plot line of the main character of the film,” said Ro.
In Between tells the story of Tina, who in the middle of a suicide attempt on New Year’s Eve discovers a mysterious path inside her duvet cover, leading her to an ethereal space filled with an infinite number of lights. Not only did Ro edit the film, but she also wrote, directed, and produced it.
After premiering last year, the film saw immense success at several prestigious international film festivals. It won the Award of Excellence at Best Shorts Competition and was a semifinalist at the Los Angeles CineFest, the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards, and the Hollywood Screenings Film Festival, to name a few.
“It is rewarding and also very encouraging to have seen the audience resonate with a story that involved my personal experience. It motivates me to create stories that are meaningful and that challenge me to be more curious and observant about things around me and about human emotions,” said Ro.
Music played a large part in the film, from the writing process all the way to editing. One of the music scores titled “Reoccurence” greatly inspired Ro, and she played it repeatedly throughout the production, allowing it to stimulate the rest of the cast and crew.
“During rehearsals with actors, I played the same music to match the pace of their dialogue and the rhythm of the music, knowing that I would be using that score when editing. Once the actors were tuned into the music, the whole scene fit into it – the very last dialogue ended with the last beat of the music,” she described.
Filming went very smoothly, which made the editing process almost effortless for Ro. She knew the exact pace and tone that she wanted for each scene after being involved in the writing and directing processes.
The film uses otherworldly places to visually portray metaphors on time and space. In one scene, this is exemplified when the protagonist crawls through an endless path underneath a duvet cover when time freezes during the New Year’s countdowns. She encounters a little girl who guides her to another otherworldly place, “The Gap”, a realm in between life and death where the souls reside.
The Gap was instrumental to the film, and it was conceptualized when Ro imagined an unperceivable place that exists in between every second. She thought of it as a place where all past moments exist. The main character in the film, who keeps her dear memories of her grandmother, reunites with a younger self of the grandmother in The Gap. This was Ro’s favorite scene in the entire film, and the one she felt the deepest connection with.
“I enjoyed seeing my vision come to life every step of the way from writing, casting to production. It was surreal but also very exciting to see what I envisioned actually happen right in front of me. I felt very grateful that the crew that I was working with truly understood my vision and used their talent to materialize it,” she concluded.
Be sure to watch the beauty of Ro’s work on In Between here.
Written by Annabelle Lee