The Genius is a reality television show in which participants from various backgrounds compete in a survival game. Every round consists of several games that primarily test players’ intelligence and luck. Despite being a cable television show, The Genius has built a large fan base over two seasons especially among college students, recording a maximum viewer rating of 2.6%. Not long after the show has gone off the air, several KAIST students decided to produce the KAIST version of the show, “The Genius At KAIST.” With great expectations, KAISTians are eagerly waiting for the first broadcast of the show to see who “the genius” of geniuses at KAIST is. The KAIST Herald met up with the public relations team of “The Genius At KAIST” to find out more about the production and contents of the program.
How did you decide to produce “The Genius At KAIST?”
We enjoyed watching both season one and two of The Genius on channel tvN, and thought producing a KAIST version of The Genius would spice up our winter break. We started small last semester with Kang-in Kim as the production director, but the scale of the project increased as we progressed.
Please briefly describe “The Genius At KAIST.”
Nine students and graduates of KAIST have participated as game players. As in The Genius, there is the main match and the death match for each round. Two or more people with the poorest performance in the main match go on to play in the death match. Only one player from the death match can survive and participate in the next round. There will be five rounds and ten games in total, including four main matches, three death matches, and three play-offs.
Please comment on the recruiting and the filming process. Did you encounter any difficulties?
We filmed over the winter break. While recruiting was not difficult due to KAIST students’ keen attention and active participation, the filming process did not always go smoothly in spite of our enthusiasm and efforts. Some challenges were inevitable, considering that we are all amateurs in this field. Still, with the help of the experienced film director, Seung-Joon Lee, who filmed “Les KAISTroubles”last year, and the production manager, Jin Hwan Park, a lot of these difficulties could be overcome.
Could you elaborate on the production process?
The entire production took more than four months from initial planning to filming and editing. More than 30 staff members have worked with us. Most games were created by our staff, led by the production manager, while some were modifications of those used in the actual show. We tried to minimize the usage of numbers, and none of the games require knowledge of science or math. More than 100 balance tests and five field tests were performed with random KAIST students. We held several meetings that were each ten hours long. We knew that “The Genius At KAIST,” once released, would be subjected to comparison with the original show, so we did our very best to make our games as flawless and fair as possible since we knew our film equipment and studio were not as professional as those used in The Genius. We are greatly proud of the quality of every single game that we made: every player has equal chance of winning, and while alliance is possible, the games were structured so that any one player can break up the alliance. We tried to emphasize fairness because season two of The Genius has been caustically criticized for alliance formation that target a loser for each round.
Where can we watch “The Genius At KAIST” and how does it compare to The Genius?
“The Genius At KAIST” can be watched via Youtube and Inven Communications. The exact date of the first release is still undecided. We are trying our best to release the first clip within March, or April at the latest, and pne round will be released each week.I think the original version was certainly better than ours, at least in terms of film quality and expertise. However, we tried to make up for our weaknesses through the high quality of our games.
Is there anything you want to say to the viewers?
An astonishing number of people have visited our Facebook page and Twitter account to send us words of encouragement. We have received more attention than we deserve. We just hope our work can meet everyone’s expectations.