SEOUL—The historic setting of Alhambra, Spain, serves as the perfect backdrop for Netflix Originals’ “Memories of the Alhambra”. Director Ahn Gil-ho chose the location exactly because of it.
“Granada, Spain, is rich in Islamic and medieval backdrop. It is a historical site and putting the digital aspect into it becomes very symbolic. You meld the analog with the digital,” said director Ahn during the press conference held in Gangnam last Nov. 28.
The director is talking about the augmented reality (AR) element in the drama. Using AR is the first of its kind in the K-drama landscape. In “Memories of the Alhambra”, the characters wear smart lenses and they become players in an AR game.
“I had to imagine what scene was being created. For example, there is a way to grip a sword and I needed to sustain that grip by myself. We had to shoot a lot of scenes several times because it had to be taken from my perspective and the perspective of those around me,” said actor Hyun-bin who plays Yoo Jin-woo. Hyun-bin is known for his previous dramas such as “My Name Is Kim Sam Soon” and “Secret Garden”.
The drama will be streamed one hour after broadcast on Netflix every Saturday and Sunday. Ahn said that the drama can stand against other shows on the streaming platform because “Memories of the Alhambra” has its own color.
“Writer Song Jae-jung wrote a very tight story. Her story will surely capture a lot of attention on the global stage,” said Ahn. The writer is also behind the hits “Nine” and “W.” The director promised that the story can be followed by gamers and nongamers.
This is the second time actor Kim Eui-song will be working with the writer. He played an antagonist in “W” and “Mr. Sunhine.” He said that he knew he wanted to work on the project because of the writer.
“‘W’ was really tough to shoot for me. But there are not many writers who write like her. She is someone I would always look forward to working with,” Kim Eui-song said.
Actress Park Shin-hye said that while AR is an element, the story of “Memories of the Alhambra” is not exclusively about it. The actress is known for her roles in “The Heirs”, “You’re Beautiful,” “Doctors” and “Pinocchio.” She plays the character of Jung Hee-joo who is a classical guitar player and is a hostel owner.
“The drama has a really riveting story. In one hour, I finished reading six chapters of the script,” she said.
The actors had to shoot for a month in Alhambra, Spain. The cast and staff had their weekends off and so they were able to spend time and bond with each other.