Danny from North Korea – BTS

Wow. It’s been an incredible year so far – just 2 weeks in. I spent New Years with friends in Hong Kong, continuing a tradition with my buddy Scott of going to a different international location every year. Scotland, London, Israel, Nicaragua, and now Hong Kong.

The last 12 days have been spent in Seoul, South Korea filming a documentary for Liberty in North Korea – an incredible organization that I’ve long supported and loved. We’re making a film about Danny, a 25-year-old North Korean who defected in 2005 and recently gained his US citizenship. I’m really excited about this story. Not only is Danny’s story compelling, but we’re trying to step outside of the box of what a non-profit doc can look like and really push ourselves creatively. I think it’s going to be a great little film.

Most of my snaps from the trip are on my iPhone but I grabbed a few stills here and there in-between shooting. Also, check out our little teaser we put together this week. It’s a short preliminary piece – mostly for LiNK to use to book screenings of the film this spring around the country – but it gives you a tiny taste of whats to come.

Lots happening this year. My head is already spinning thinking about all of the ground I have to cover. But I’m really energized and optimistic about all that’s happening in two zero one three.

Justin Wheeler, VP at LiNK, prepping for the cold.

Danny’s mother, so hospitable.

Seoul at night. It was -2 degrees Fahrenheit when we got into Seoul.

Example of a North Korean home at the DMZ.

Freedom bridge. One day, this gate will be open to North Korea. This is where the last prisoners were exchanged after the Korean War.

That’s North Korea on the other side of those blue buildings. You can’t see it very well, but there’s a North Korean soldier looking at us through binoculars. Notice the guards are ready at all times to be shot at.

Danny from North Korea. Always looking swaggy.

Danny on our shoot in rural South Korea, re-enacting his escape. Not looking so swaggy…

Our make-believe Tuman River.

Planning Danny’s dash across the frozen “Tuman River.”

Icy cold “North Korea.”

Director directing.

Justin, Danny and myself after a long, cold days’ work.

  1. So freaking epic – can’t wait!

    Scott H.

  2. such interesting subject matter…would love to hear the rest of his story. what’s happened in N. Korea is tragic.

    susie sjoberg

  3. such interesting subject matter…would love to hear the rest of his story. what’s happened in N. Korea is tragic.

    susie sjoberg

  4. A story most of us would never know or relate to if it weren’t for devoted photo journalists like you! Thanks for letting us tag along.

    Marilyn H Sjoberg

  5. So impressive. Hope to see the finished product.

    Kathy Rankin

  6. AWEEESOMMMEEE! Cant wait for the full film to be out! 🙂

    Michelle Sham

  7. you might be the coolest person i know. ok yes, you actually are. cant wait to see this!!


  8. I am glad another person made it out of that treacherous country and is living a better life in the South of Korea. I hope your life keeps looking up and never feel bad for anything that happened in the north because life is worth living when you are happy.

    Much Respect,

  9. Is this the man whose life story is written about in “Escape from Camp 14” ….Blaine Harden is the author.

    Paul Sjoberg

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