Song Ji-na’s “Faith” Q&A Part 1 and Episode 1 and 24 Scripts
I miss this drama. I really, really do. It was a long three months of intense devotion so it’s hard to let go of something like that. It doesn’t feel like the drama ended because it still holds a huge place in my heart, even though I definitely think about it less everyday. I miss everyone from “Faith” very much- Eun-soo, Young, Gongmin, Noguk, Lady Choi, Choong-suk, Dol-bae, Deok-man, Dae-man, Joo-suk, Do-chi, Ji-ho, Shi-wool, the rest of the Suribang, even Ki Chul.
Here is an awesome Young and Eun-soo image capture music video that almost had me in tears again as it brought back so many memories. F.Y.I., the song is “The Person I Will Love” sung by Lee Seon-hee for “My Girlfriend is a Gumiho” soundtrack.
After “Faith” ended, there was a lot of talk about missing scenes from the script that didn’t appear in the aired episode. I became curious and joined Writer Song’s website to get access to the scripts, as well as her Q&A with fans. I knew there were English translations already out there but I wanted to get at the primary source for myself. F.Y.I., her website is dramada.com. It is entirely in Korean and you need sign up to view its contents.
Song Ji-na did a fifty question and answer event with fans of “Faith” who posted on her website. There were a lot of repeat questions or questions that overlapped so I think Writer Song actually ended up answering more than fifty. She didn’t reveal everything but her answers do provide a lot of insight into her writing process, how she envisioned the drama, and how it actually turned out. It was an amazingly interesting read and while I know other wonderful fans have translated the Q&A already at Soompi, I wanted to take my stab at it and provide a space where fans can talk about it in more detail here. Since I can’t translate everything all at once, I decided to do it in parts. I will be translating the questions in the order Writer Song answered them and will skip over questions already asked if need be.
Many of the questions in the Q&A were about the last episode and through Writer Song’s answers, I saw how important episode one was to understanding episode twenty-four. Everyone who asked a question had read the scripts. So in order to provide the context to people’s questions and Writer Song’s answers, I will go over the scripts for episode one and twenty-four first. I will point out key points and differences and provide my own explanation, if required.
1. Hwata is a real Chinese physician who is called Hua Tou in Chinese. The exact year in the drama during which Hwata disappeared into the portal is 208 A.D. According to real historical records, that is the year historians estimate Hua Tou died.
2. It didn’t rain on that day at the Yuan border. I don’t know what they filmed it as so and there seems to be no answer even in the Q&A and in episode 24 (you will see later what I am talking about when I go over episode 24).
In a still cut we got early in the beginning of the broadcast, we see the scene filmed without the rain.
3. Jang Bin does not have any supernatural power. So in episode two when we see “energy” coming out of Jang Bin’s fan, it is only a special effect put in by the director to emphasize Jang Bin’s ability to hit specific acupuncture points, disabling his opponents.
4. Noguk was attacked in the afternoon, not at night like we saw in the broadcasted version. So there was no glow-in-dark powder or swords used by the Woodalchi.
5. Which means when Gongmin and Young go to the portal, it is still afternoon, unlike what we saw in the broadcast.
6. In the script, Writer Song wrote a scene for when Young was inside the wormhole. She envisioned it like a long tunnel that Young is running through. At one point, he comes up against a dead end but he sees a small passageway off to the side and runs through there.
7. When Young comes out of the wormhole, it is night in Seoul. So Goryeo time and Seoul time are definitely working on a different level.
8. While in the broadcast we never saw the boyfriend see Young, in the script, both boyfriend and girlfriend see Young with their own eyes.
9. An entire scene in the script disappeared in the broadcast. Choi Young is stopped by the manager at the conference when he tries to go in without a ticket. The manager would be the same guy who later talks to Young in the security room.
10. Writer Song specifically wrote that Eun-soo grabs three antibiotic bottles from the sales booths to perform surgery on the injured manager. This number later becomes important in episode two because we see how Eun-soo uses two up with Noguk and Dae-man destroys one.I don’t think this missing detail really matters because we get the point that there is no antibiotic left for Young after she stabs him, whether we knew how many Eun-soo grabbed or not.
11. Young obtains the police shield a different way. He actually grabs it from a policeman. Unlike the broadcast, Young gets into a physical confrontation with policemen before he blasts them with his power.
12. The portal opening in Seoul is not as distinct as it is in Goryeo. Song Ji-na wrote that the portal opening is hard to see.
13. Before Eun-soo and Young enter the portal, Eun-soo doesn’t trip and Young doesn’t bend down in front of her. Instead he says, “I am Goryeo warrior,” as he walks toward Eun-soo and she backsteps. She ends up tripping closer to the portal and Young catches her. Then he walks into the portal with her like that.
14. Eun-soo was born April 5, 1980.
15. When Young first joins the Woodalchi, Deok-man is not there yet, unlike the broadcasted version. Joo-suk should have been there instead. Dae-man is also not there but I knew that Young was the one that brought Dae-man into the Woodalchi later on when I read the character description on the SBS website. I remember complaining about the lack of backstory between Young and the Woodalchi because I wanted to see how the Woodalchi came to respect and follow Young as a leader. It turns out that Writer Song had covered that in her script but it was not filmed/broadcasted.
When Young’s backstory starts near the end of episode 1, Joo-suk (the one who was supposed to be complaining about Young, instead of Dol-bae) complains about Young coming in as daejang despite his young age. He thinks the palace guards, who already look down on Woodalchi, will have more ammunition to make fun of them.
Before Young enters the Woodalchi room, two Woodalchi come in injured after a fight with the palace guards.
This upsets everyone. At this point Young enters and everything proceeds as we saw it in the broadcast. We get as far Dol-bae reporting to Choong-suk that Young has been sleeping for days. In the script, we get an additional scene after this of Choong-suk actually waking up Young and asking him to talk to the leaders of the palace guards so that they don’t bother the Woodalchi. He wants Young to a least do that even though he knows that Young doesn’t want to be here.
Young gets up and goes down into the practice room where the Woodalchi are. He leaves his sword with Dol-bae and takes Dol-bae’s practice wooden sword instead. He leaves the room.
Choong-suk, Joo-suk, Dol-bae, and other Woodalchi come running to where Young is outside in the palace. He has just beaten a group of palace guards. The palace guards are all huffing and puffing, exhausted from the fight, while Young is still looking half-awake. It obviously cost him no energy to fight those many guards. He walks toward the gawking Woodalchi and hands the wooden sword to Dol-bae, while taking his own sword back from him.
As Young walks away, we were supposed to watch him walk by a flower bed with chrysanthemums growing. Writer Song didn’t actually specify chrysanthemums in the episode one script. She just wrote “flower that is going to be important with Eun-soo later.” I guess she was leaving it up to the production staff to find an appropriate flower. Writer Song asked in the script for computer graphics (CG) to make the flowers bloom when Young walks by. If no CG was available, at least have the flowers shake in the wind as Young walks by.
Argh, why wasn’t this scene put in?!?! It would have really helped to set up the aura of a “destined” relationship between Young and Eun-soo. I think Writer Song wanted to emphasize the specialness of Young and Eun-soo in this world, that it wasn’t a random act that Young was the one who went through the portal and met Eun-soo out of all the other doctors. *weep*
1. The scene were Dol-bae is attacked by Ki Chul happens a little differently in the script. Young doesn’t attack Ki Chul after Dol-bae falls. Instead, he goes in as soon as Ki Chul has his hand on Dol-bae’s neck so he is able to push Dol-bae away from Ki Chul after Ki Chul knocks away Young’s sword. Dol-bae falls to the ground in Young’s arms. In the broadcasted version, we see Dol-bae already on the floor when Young bends down to him.
2. Deok-man never placed Dol-bae’s spear by his side in the script. I think this was a nice addition by the director for the broadcast version.
3. Dae-man didn’t use a wet cloth to block Hwasooin in the script. Writer Song’s description for this scene wasn’t very detailed so I think the director filled in the blanks to make it more exciting.
4. Young never patted Dae-man on the head after he saw that Dae-man was still alive after being hurt by Hwasooin.
5. Young’s conversation with Lady Choi after Eun-soo is kidnapped actually happens in the palace corridor where the bodies of the Woodalchi that were killed by Ki Chul and his pledged siblings are laid out, covered in white cloth. There were other Woodalchi there also, including Choong-suk and Deok-man, so they all heard Young scream, “I’m waiting,” and say, “I feel like I am going to die.” Which means in the script we never saw Young pick up his sword again like we did in the broadcast.
6. The scene of the conversation between Young and Gongmin happened differently in the script. First, in the broadcast, the conversation happened right after the scene I discussed above, but in the script, it happened after Eun-soo saw the third relic. Second, the conversation happened in Young’s room. So instead of Young entering his room for the first time after Eun-soo’s disappearance to see Lady Choi in there, Young enters his room and finds it empty and messy after the fight. He sees his aspirin bottle on his table and puts it inside his robes. He also gently caresses the bed that Eun-soo was lying on. Gongmin enters the room at this point and they have the conversation we saw in the broadcast.
7. Young uses his power to help unhinge the door to the inn that Eun-soo is trapped in. Then he knocks it down.
8. Eun-soo didn’t appear from the corner behind the door. She appears behind Young right after he kills Eum-ja. She has come to him after slicing Ki Chul and escaping from him. Young never saw Ki Chul in the inn. He doesn’t immediately ask Eun-soo if she is okay. He first checks the rest of the inn for Ki Chul and Eun-soo watches him silently. Eun-soo steps toward him and Young looks at her face. Then he brushes back her hair. He asks her if she is okay and they have the beautiful conversation we all know so well- “Can you stay by my side now?” After Eun-soo says yes, Youn drops his sword and kisses her. Writer Song’s direction- “As if he wanted to and waited for a long time to do so.” Let’s all weep now that this part wasn’t included.
9. In the broadcast version, we saw the portal repel Ki Chul. In the script, it is written that nothing happens when Ki Chul walks into the light. He leaves and tries again but still nothing happens. So he eats the medicine that Yang-gak gave him and tries again. Still nothing happens. I think Ki Chul taking Yang-gak’s medicine explains how he was able to defeat Young later on with his power.
10. The fight between Young and Ki Chul happens a little differently in the script. The only thing worth mentioning is that Eun-soo tries to run to Young as he is being frozen by Ki Chul but he tells her to not come close.
11. Young falls to his knees in the script instead of on his back at the end of Ki Chul’s attack. Writer Song describes Young’s illness as hypothermia. Eun-soo runs to him then and lays him down. Eun-soo first checks his pulse, not crying yet, as her doctor instincts have taken over. Then we are supposed to hear an audio of Young’s heartbeat slowing down, as well as his breathing. This is when Eun-soo starts CPR, crying. Then we hear Young’s narration, “Why was it this person?”
12. Ki Chul never picked up Young’s sword and stabbed the ground. He just dragged Eun-soo away.
13. While in the broadcast it looked like Eun-soo ran into the portal to get away from Ki Chul, in the script, Ki Chul dragged her in but only she could go through it, leaving Ki Chul behind.
14. There is no flashback sequence between the scene when Eun-soo is dragged away from Young and the scene with Ki Chul and Eun-soo in front of the portal.
15. Writer Song wrote that time in Seoul didn’t pass at all while Eun-soo was gone so when she returns to Seoul, it is right after she was kidnapped into that portal by Young.
16. The reporters didn’t come specifically to interview Eun-soo and the nurse asked Eun-soo about her kidnapping; she never introduced the reporters to Eun-soo. Eun-soo just grabs the backpack from the reporter and asks the nurse to give him the money for the bag.
17. Eun-soo never grabbed a necklace. Writer Song later answered in the her Q&A that she has no idea where the necklace came from. I’m guessing it was a weird product placement put in the last minute.
18. We should have seen Eun-soo specifically pick up an aspirin bottle too, along with other medical supplies at the hospital, but we didn’t get that in the broadcast version.
19. We were also supposed to see Eun-soo a little nervous about reentering the portal. I think we get a little sense of that in the broadcasted version but it seemed more like Eun-soo was saying a last goodbye instead of having anxiety. At least that is how I saw it. I wish her nervousness was a little more obvious so we can see Eun-soo’s lack of faith. Her next line of dialogue would have had a better answer for audiences if this was emphasized more and we knew for sure that it was Eun-soo’s firm faith that later opened the portal again, despite calculations indicating other times.
20. After Eun-soo finds the portal closed, having run back after not finding Young in the field, there was no flashback montage in the script.
21. After the scene with Eun-soo’s parents, we have an entire scene missing in the broadcasted version. We were supposed to get a scene of Eun-soo digging a hole where Young was dying on the field next to the tree and placing an aspirin bottle with a yellow chrysanthemum inside into the hole. We were supposed to hear Eun-soo narrate, “So everyday I went to the door to heaven. I believed that faith, not calculations, will take me back to that person again. Believing is now the easiest thing for me.”
22. We were also supposed to see chrysanthemums start to grow by where Eun-soo buried the aspirin bottle.
23. I didn’t notice this when I was recapping but the script made me see the difference. There was flowers by the rock when Eun-soo when into the portal but not when she came back out.
24. In the script, Writer Song wrote that Eun-soo speaks slightly in Goryeo-speak because she has been in Goryeo for over a year.
25. Did you guys notice that Dae-man stopped stuttering? I didn’t pay attention to that when I was recapping.
26. In the script, Eun-soo doesn’t see Young sitting by the tree. Young was standing a bit off to the side of the field and she finds him looking at her with disbelieving eyes. Eun-soo slowly takes off her hat but Young still can’t believe what he is seeing. They stare at each other like this.
27. Then the next scene should have been the scene from the beginning when Young and the Woodalchi are escorting our royal couple to Goryeo from Yuan. Except this time, we specifically see Young look up at the sky. (Writer Song didn’t specify at what in the sky.) She didn’t write this in for the scene for episode 1. In episode 1, we have Young raise his ears a bit to hear the assassins following the carriage. Then Choong-suk comes up to report that he thinks there are people following them, just as we saw in the broadcasted version. Writer Song explains a little bit more about this later on in her Q&A. I won’t get to this question in this post, but it will come later on. All I will say for that is that Writer Song asked this bit to be filmed right from the beginning and they assured her that it was filmed. With the still cut I see below, we know that they must have at least rehearsed the scene that way so I don’t know why they never ended up using it. Hmm…..
28. Then Writer Song wrote in a flashback montage scene. After the montage, we have another missing scene in which we are back to the moment Young is lying on the field, dying alone. It starts to rain and we hear Eun-soo’s voice talking about how she likes the moment when it first starts raining and she looks up at the sky. When we first left Young in the field, there was no chrysanthemums but now there are. So Young’s hand is resting on a bunch of chrysanthemums as he is lying there on the ground. He grasps the chrysanthemums and feels the now half-buried bottle of aspirin. He slowly claws it out. At the same time, we are supposed to hear Young’s heartbeat beating very slowly. As Young looks at the aspirin bottle, he takes out his own from his robes, and the heatrbeat gets louder and faster to normal rate. Young smiles at his looks at the two aspirin bottles and the rain continues to fall. Writer Song writes, “He is coming back alive.”
Fanart of that missing scene. I love this fan.
29. The last scene is different in the script. After the scene I just described in the above paragraph, we go back to Young and Eun-soo staring at each other. Eun-soo slowly walks toward Young at first but soon she starts to run. Young opens his arms to receive her and Eun-soo runs into his arms. They embrace.
Q&A Part 1
1. The first question asks why the rain scene where Young comes alive was not included in the broadcast version. The poster wants to know if Writer Song agreed to its deletion. Writer Song replies, “It may have been because there was no time to get my approval. I am assuming that the filming situation must have been hard. (Still, at least the chrysanthemum inside the aspirin bottle…at least…)”
I guess they had no time to film this scene at all, especially since they would have had to bring in sprinklers for the rain. But like Writer Song said, at least film Young finding the aspirin bottle. It would have shown how Young found it within himself to live again from the hypothermia.
On the other hand, without that scene, I kind of enjoyed thinking that Young waited for Eun-soo not matter what, without that aspirin bottle telling him that Eun-soo was trying to get back to him. Ah well.
2. The question was about whether Young waited, knowing that Eun-soo was going to come back, or whether he just waited out of longing. Writer Song replies, “He believed. His belief and her belief met and opened the road! (When Choi Young saw the aspirin bottle, he knew it was a message from Eun-soo. If so, he knew that she must be trying to get back to him.)”
3. The poster asked where Writer Song got her idea for Son Yoo’s character. She replies, “Wouldn’t someone else have passed the road that Eun-soo went through? It the portal really existed, it would be weird if Eun-soo and Choi Young were the only ones that went through it, with all the people in the world! This thought was the inspiration for Son Yoo’s character.”
4. The next question asked whether Writer Song would release the story in book form. The poster asked for it to be released before August 2013. At this point, Writer Song replied that if she releases a book, she will try to release it before August.
Now we know for sure that Writer Song will write the story in book form and release it in December. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. The question was about where the chrysanthemums around the tree came from. Was it planted by Eun-soo, Young, or did they grow by themselves? Writer Song replied that the chrysanthemums in the field came from Eun-soo’s flower inside the aspirin bottle. In her imagination, she saw the field filled with chrysanthemums and it would have been famous by Young’s time (waiting by the tree) for all the chrysanthemums.
*Weeps* Too bad for the limited time and thank goodness for the fan art, as you saw in the very first picture of this post.
6. The question was about how long Eun-soo was alone by herself in the past. Writer Song replied, “One year. So when Eun-soo meets Choi Young again, their ages are between one year apart and the same.”
7. The poster asked if Son Yoo was also a time-traveler and if he was (judging by his clock), why did Writer Song write him up that way? Writer Song replied that he was written that way to just make us question, “Is he a time-traveler?” That is all she really wanted with his character.
To Be Continued with Part 2
I think we have consider that the director can’t film things exactly the way it is written in the script because filming and writing a scene is very different. It may look good or work on paper, but it doesn’t mean it can actually play out that way in the shooting of the scene. Also, the director is working with a budget, limited time, and other complications with locations, etc. Writer Song made this clear later in her Q&A so I don’t think we can lay all the blame and disappointment with the director. Still, I read some scenes and wished so much that they would have been filmed. Oh well…