October 24, 1969|
Seoul, South Korea
|Alma mater||Korea University|
|Occupation||Film director, cartoonist|
|Revised Romanization||Yang U-seok|
Born in Seoul in 1969, Yang Woo-suk graduated from Korea University with degrees in English Literature and Philosophy. He became a cartoonist, writing webtoons such as If Thou Must Love Me (2008-2009) and Steel Rain (2011-2012).
Yang also began working in the film industry mainly as a producer for the companies MBC Productions, SK Independence, and All That Story, doing such tasks as production planning, investment supervision and recruiting new directors. He became interested in film technology and taught himself about HD and CGI; he produced the HD film Desire in 2004 and became the creative planning director at computer graphics company Locus.
Yang's debut as a filmmaker came relatively late in life in his mid-forties, when he co-wrote and directed courtroom drama The Attorney, a fictionalized account of former South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun's early years as a human rights lawyer in 1980s Busan. It was loosely based on the "Burim" case of 1981, when the Chun Doo-hwan regime arrested without warrants 22 students and teachers who belonged to a book-reading club on charges that they were North Korea sympathizers. Yang said, "I am interested in films that tell stories of people who struggle hard to stick to their beliefs when they come into conflict with outside environments. [...] I wanted to grasp the very moment when a man dramatically and radically changed." At first Yang had difficulty getting funding for a film with real-life historical figures given the sensitive political climate, but those pre-production budgetary woes eased when top actor Song Kang-ho was cast as the protagonist. Released in late 2013, The Attorney became an unexpected box office sensation, drawing 11,375,954 admissions as it reminded older viewers of the country's politically charged past and provided younger viewers with a window into that era. It became the ninth film in Korean cinema history to reach 10 million admissions, and became (at the time) the 8th highest grossing Korean film of all time. The Attorney received multiple awards and nominations domestically, particularly for Song who received rave reviews for his performance. Notably, it won four awards at the 35th Blue Dragon Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Actor for Song, Best Supporting Actress for Kim Young-ae, and Popular Star Award for Yim Si-wan. Yang also won several Best New Director prizes, from the 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards, the 50th Baeksang Arts Awards (where Song won the Grand Prize and The Attorney won Best Film), the 14th Director's Cut Awards, the 34th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, and the 51st Grand Bell Awards (where Yang also won Best Screenplay).
- Desire (2004) - producer, editing department
- The Attorney (2013) - director, screenwriter, planner
- Steel Rain (2017) - director, screenwriter
- 2014 19th Chunsa Film Art Awards: Best New Director (The Attorney)
- 2014 50th Baeksang Arts Awards: Best New Director (The Attorney)
- 2014 14th Director's Cut Awards: Best New Director (The Attorney)
- 2014 34th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards: Best New Director (The Attorney)
- 2014 51st Grand Bell Awards: Best New Director; Best Screenplay (The Attorney)
- Jeong, Ji-won (20 January 2014). "A most unlikely hit-maker". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Nam, Eun-joo (2 December 2014). "South Korean webtoons taking aim at US market with Huffington Post as partner". The Hankyoreh. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "YANG Woo-suk". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Lee, Yong-cheol (10 February 2014). "YANG Woo-suk, Director of THE ATTORNEY: "This Film is about the collision of individuals' different beliefs."". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Lee, Claire (19 January 2014). "Roh nostalgia shakes up box office". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Jung, Hyun-mok (21 January 2015). "Smash-hit films criticized for political leanings". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Conran, Pierce (21 January 2014). "THE ATTORNEY Crosses 10 Million Viewers in 33 Days". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Conran, Pierce (6 February 2014). "THE ATTORNEY Climbs to 8th on All Time Chart". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "The Attorney Sweeps Blue Dragon Film Awards". The Chosun Ilbo. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Ma, Kevin (18 December 2014). "Attorney wins four at Blue Dragon Awards". Film Business Asia. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Kwon, Ji-youn (20 March 2014). "Actor Song Kang-ho wins Chunsa award". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Conran, Pierce (29 May 2014). "SONG Kang-ho Picks Up Grand Prize at PaekSang Arts Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Conran, Pierce (4 November 2014). "Top Honors for HILL OF FREEDOM at 34th Korean Film Critics Association Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- Conran, Pierce (24 November 2014). "ROARING CURRENTS Tops 51st Daejong Film Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "당신이 날 사랑해야 한다면" [If Thou Must Love Me]. Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "로보트태권 브이 전5권세트 단" [Robot Taekwon V 5-volume set]. Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2 June 2015.
- "스틸레인" [Steel Rain]. Daum (in Korean). Retrieved 2 June 2015.