The anchor appears and addresses the TV audience with “This is MBC news desk. I’m MBC anchor Sieun, and with me is Field Reporter Lee. Lee, what is happening in the world today?” Sounds like a real news program, doesn’t it? However, these people are pretending to be on a TV news program at the MBC newsroom experience center. At the center, visitors are given the chance to become news anchors, radio DJs, and even guests such as a member of a girl group who is invited on stage to dance on the Show Music Core. SMT went to the MBC Center to learn all about it.
Since November 2015, MBC, a broadcasting company in Korea, has opened its doors to the public for anyone who wants to view and experience its televised or radio-broadcasted programs. Visitors are always welcome at its MBC World, which is located near Digital Media Station. For Sookmyungians, it is a simply one line subway trip. Students can get there by grabbing the airport railroad line from Seoul Station. Once you arrive at the MBC Center, MBC World, head to the M zone to buy a ticket. The provided service takes about 90 minutes, so use your time wisely; otherwise, you will miss something. Though it is huge, visitors don’t have to worry about getting lost because there are plenty of pleasant staffs willing to help you as you tour about. MBC World is comprised of 3 zones, M, C and B. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
M zone, Transform into a Broadcast
On the first floor of M zone, visitors will encounter a hologram theater where they can watch performances by popular idol groups like Big Bang. Next to the hologram theater is a radio booth that explains radio broadcasting and it gives visitors the real sense of what it’s like to be in a radio broadcasting station. Visitors are also invited to look around a news broadcasting set. They can also pretend to be an announcer and stand in front of the camera and read a news script that showed up in the desk. It gives visitors the feeling that they are actually reporting on the news. Next, Center staff takes visitors to the auditorium stage. There visitors can choose a popular K-pop song and dance like a K-pop star. Lastly, visitors are given the opportunity to do VR(Virtual Reality) experience. This is a wonderful chance to experience virtual reality.
Once visitors have travelled about the newsroom, they are taken to the 4th floor. On the 4th floor are memorials of historical soap operas aired by MBC in the past like Dae Janggeum, Qi Empress and the Moon Embraced the Sun. Soap stars portraits line the walls, so visitors can take pictures with their favorites. At the historical Soap Opera Center, visitors can put on clothes used on the TV show and imagine being one of the characters on the soap opera. It is also possible to learn how the soap operas were filmed. On the 7th floor, visitors get the chance to visit an actual TV film studio set and learn about real broadcast equipment. If you have even the tiniest interest in broadcasting, the 7th floor is not to be missed because it details the background to content development and operations at a TV studio.
C and B zone, Most Sought Areas
Compared to M zone, which is supervised, C zone allows visitors to grab a camera and film oneself on a small variety show studio set. Visitors can choose from ‘I’m the singer’ to ‘Living alone’ sets. At each studio set, you can either be a part of the TV set crew or join a virtual version of a popular singer like Kim Bumsoo, who appears on ‘I’m the singer’ and sing a song. The small sets give visitors a sense of what it’s like to work on a variety show.
Last, in Zone B, visitors travel to the MBC Luxury Content Center where they are free to take photos with portraits of popular soap opera actors. There are strings of photography panels from shows like ‘Coffee Prince 1st’ and ‘the Moon embraced the Sun’. It is a way for people to recall the episodes from the shows. At the MBC Brand Store are multitudes of souvenirs that one can purchase from a variety of MBC produced shows. Many of the products on display are related to ‘W’, a popular soap opera that just recently ended. Because ‘W’ was so popular, MBC Brand Store even displays several scripts from the show.
See and Feel Culture
Although there are many activities related to broadcasting, either on air or via radio, even if you are not interested in soap operas, there is still something for you to enjoy. However, you should go with an open mind and willingness not to be shy because many of the activities are hands-on experiences. Whether you are truly interested or have just a small interest, I recommend not missing this chance. At MBC’s Culture Centre, you will feel refreshed and learn about broadcasting culture.