'Four Sons' has been facing internal conflict with its production company.
The drama stars Park Hae Jin, Nana, Kwang Si Yang, Ren, and more. However, since May 10th, the drama has halted filming and is at risk of being canceled. There are various reasons, but the biggest reason is the production company's unrealistic demands and failure to pay staff.
Insiders reported that Bigtory Contents, the producers of the show, had failed to pay the staff 3 times and did not properly support filming. The producers did not pay for the drone and MCC camera rentals as necessary for filming as well as the stunt choreographer or accident handling.
One staff member said, "We had a lot of preparations because the ending of the first half is very important. We wanted to borrow equipment from the Busan Film Commission for 4 million KRW (3,600 USD), but the producers did not schedule it on time so we had to use from other companies, which cost 8 million KRW (7,200 USD). Because of the difference in price, we were told to delay filming. We couldn't because of the actors and staff schedules, as well as the location that we borrowed. At first, PD Jang Tae Yoo said he would cover the price, but he had already spent 10 million KRW (9,000 USD) of his own money to cover fees. So the camera PD said he would cover the difference in price. Generally, the rental fee is 12 hours, and after that, there are surcharges. After we filmed, the cost cameo ut to 18 million KRW (16,200 USD). But the producers would not cover that amount and told the camera PD to pay for all of it because we used equipment that they told us not to use. PD Jang also paid for other equipment rental because they wouldn't let us rent non-filming related equipment, either. They wouldn't even pay for the teaser production fees, so PD Jang paid for everything, and then they demanded to see the original."
Another staff member also relayed that PD Jang had paid for everything else as well. The staff said, "We filmed the day after Daegu saw its snowstorm. The staff and PD worked with the fire department all day to clear the snow. There's a waltz scene that Park Hae Jin and Nana dance to during the proposal scene. Because we needed a choreographer, we hired a friend's little sibling that's part of the city dance team. We had to pay them, and I heard that PD Jang's company paid them. When we asked why the producers didn't pay for it like they should have, we were told that they wouldn't support it. The PD paid for the three choreographers. We had to use a drone for a scene, and that wasn't supported, either. PD Jang also paid for that. When I heard that, I thought he was amazing."
Yet another staff member revealed, "We needed a rainy scene, but the production company told us that they couldn't pay for the sprinkler truck and told us to film on a rainy day. When there was an accident during filming, they told the stunt team to pay for it because they were driving. But PD Jang held onto hope, and he tried to continue filming until recently."
Even though 'Four Sons' started filming in January, the staff was not paid properly until May, and PD Jang covered all costs instead of the production company. A staff member reported, "Film staff are paid monthly. However, the production company asked PD Jang to fix the script before filming, so we filmed 4 times in January and once in February. After that, the production company said they would pay us daily instead of for the month, so two teams left after reporting the situation to the Ministry of Labor. The other staff were paid for their January and February work in April, and this happened three times. When other staff who weren't paid left, PD Jang took the contract to this company and paid the staff himself, and received it afterward from the production company. He used 10 million KRW of his own money by paying the staff and borrowing equipment."
The staff tried to change producers, and because of this, filming has been halted since May 10th. Most of the staff had left in the process, and when Bigtory Contents tried to restart filming, most of the staff that were remaining said they would leave if the production company did not change. A staff member revealed that they had also sent a legal notification because they had not been paid 25 million KRW (22,500 USD).
Most staff reported that PD Jang had tried to continue filming with all responsiblity, but the producers blamed PD Jang not being able to be contacted for the halting of the drama. However, another staff member reported, "PD Jang tried to get the money he'd used from his own pocket. Even if he couldn't be contacted, they could contact his label, but they didn't try that. They threatened him through text and came to his office after being drunk, and the police had to come drag them out. Because of so much stress, PD Jang even had to be hospitalized. I saw him afterward, and he is not in a good way."
The drama was originally scheduled to premiere in November on TV Chosun, but it may be canceled if the current situation continues.