The Self-Seers is a Korean language short film, shot in Jeonju, South Korea, during the summer of 2019. It stars Song Narin, Kang Seongkyeong, Kim Chaejeong and Park Misu.
Grasped by increasingly horrifying, brutal bouts of sleep paralysis depicting a malevolent doppelgänger, Korean high school girl, Yu Ye Ri, is faced with the thing she fears most – her shadow self. When the sudden death of a sleeping classmate is uncovered, it appears Ye Ri and her friends may each, in turn, suffer the same fate.
I thought it might be interesting to share my initial “scratch draft” of The Self-Seers. Here it’s simply titled, Untitled “Sleep Paralysis.”
I wrote it in a single sitting, following a morning medical, in a quiet gourmet coffee shop called Cafe The Herringbone here in Jeonju. I used some notes, and already had in mind what would happen and where in the story, but this was the first real pen-to-paper draft of the film. It contains the majority of what eventually manifested itself, aside from the ending, which fluctuated and altered up until the day of the shoot.
This is a series of storyboards I drew on my Wacom Bamboo Slate around the same time. Many became existing shots in the final film. There’s a deleted scene of Ye Ri taking pills, which was shot but cut for time.
According to the annotation, on the first of December 2018, I watched the Netflix documentary, The Nightmare, about sleep paralysis as research for the short, so I included my (hopefully legible) notes and thumbnail sketches from that day here, too.
Here’s a before and after of our initial poster, and the 2020 festival laurel version.