Action Boys

Synopsis: A documentary on five young wannabe stuntmen working in the South Korean film industry.
101 min

1980. Byung-gil joins family

as their younger son.

1988, year of the Seoul Olympics.

His dream, becoming a soccer player.

Later, he finds out Korea has never

won a gold Olympic medal in soccer.

He changes course to wrestling

for they have won many medals.

1990. He is recruited by a school

due to his amazing talent.

But upon seeing his coach's

crushed ears, he quits.

1991. He suffers for nearly a year

from nightmares where

his ears are totally crushed.

By chance, he sees Van Gogh's

self-portrait minus an ear.

The nightmares magically disappear.

He decides to become a painter.

Winter, 1996.

He enters Anyang Art High School

as an art major.

But girlfriend, Kanghee Choi,

is not accepted by the school.

Attending different schools

eventually leads to break-up.

However, Byung-gil doesn't mind.

Of the 50 art student majors,

he is the sole male.

Even his homeroom teacher

is a woman.

He thinks his fellow art majors

will all fall in love with him.

But the only one who loves him...

is his homeroom teacher.

1997. He is

the younger boyfriend of

the kindhearted Yonhwa Lee,

a high school senior.

1998. The kindhearted Yonhwa enters

Hongik University, a top art school.

And she dumps him.

But he doesn't mind.

With his genius talent,

he will easily get into Hongik

next year and be reunited with her.

1999. He is... rejected

by Hongik University.

Life is like... sh*t.

2000. Second attempt at Hongik.

As luck would have it...

Rejected again.

With his amazing talent,

he makes a living painting

movie billboards for theaters.

But shortly after,

theaters start using

lifelike prints instead.

2001. In search of

spiritual enlightenment,

he coops up at home watching videos

and teaches himself filmmaking.

His hero is now Stephen Chow.

His dream, to become

an actorldirector like his hero.

But he falls into despair when called

up for his mandatory military duty.


But he falls into despair when called

up for his mandatory military duty.

2004. He is discharged from the army.

For the next 3 months,

he watches 7 videos a day.

Then one day...

He goes to return a video when

the nosy part-time clerk

grabs his hand

and looks at him with pity.

Excuse me...

You don't have a job, right?

I know of a factory job

that offers room and board.

Her blunt words are like

a dagger thrust into his heart.

Byung-gil immediately

applies to stunt school.

No more an impotent daydreamer,

he is reborn a man of action.

Hello everyone!

I am Byung-gil Jung, age 25.

What sports can you do?

Give us a small demonstration.

On that day, he is accepted

on his big mouth alone.

He loses 30 lbs during the

6-month training course.

And finally starts looking like

a human being.

He is also presented with

the chance to make a film.


Seoul Action Stunt School, 2004

In 2004, at the 8th year audition,

36 guys made the cut.

But the vomit-inducing,

murderous training

has 17 of them dropping out

in less than a month.

A month before graduation.

Only 14 remain out of pure grit.

Of course,

there always some freaks.

The last group trip of

the last 14 survivors.

After this trip, they plan to shoot

a film to showcase the stunts

they've learned through risk

and grit for the past 6 months.

I look good, huh?

Stop shooting already!

Director Byung-gil JUNG

The director was Byung-gil.

Having penned the script himself,

he wrote himself as the hero.

As if he were Stephen Chow.

Stunt director Kyung-tae KIM

Stunt director Kyung-tae Kim.

A former member of the

707th Special Missions Battalion.

Those guys jump in and out of

North Korea as easy as pie.

Therefore, he just demonstrates.

You need to do it like this.

It didn't work

cause you overacted.

All the dangerous stunts

are for Gui-duck.

NG (No Good).

Let's try it again.

Let's go again.

Gui-duck KWON

Gui-duck, are you okay?

I'm okay.

Despite throwing himself like that,

Gui-duck never got hurt.

That is until... Fancying himself

the hero, Byung-gil hits him.

- Byung-gil, don't get so excited.

- Let's take a break, a little break.

You were nervous.

Too nervous.

Saying that he's taking a break,

Gui-duck leaves the room.

Looking at his retreating back,

for the first time,

Byung-gil resents Stephen Chow for

making him desire to play the hero.

Behind the Scenes Camera

Kyung-min KIM

Gui, are you really okay?


Despite losing a tooth, Gui-duck

worries about holding up the shoot.

Saying that he's fine, he asks

Kyung-min not to tell anyone.

Returning to set, Gui-duck breaks

a table as if nothing has happened.

At that moment, the only one

recalling his injury is Kyung-min.

Jin-seock KWAK

That's amazing under this light!

Former boxer Jin-seock's specialty

is his six-pack abs.

Let's take a look

at Byung-gil's abs.

They look quite different

in the film, don't they?

Six-Pack Abs Double

Jin-seock KWAK

Sung-il is

Byung-gil's stunt double.

With no prior sports training,

Sung-il worked hard to complete

the 6-month training course.

Sung-il SHIN, Sye-jin JEON

As a result, he plays the hero

in the film's highlight fight scene.

Sye-jin JEON

To writhe on the floor

like a frog...

That must be wh Sye-jin endured

those grueling 6 months since spring.

Is your phone on vibrate mode?!

Change it to ring mode!

Take the call...

Now, he raises HORSES

in Jeju Island.

Byung-gil's graduation project

"Standing on the Edge of a Sword"

It may be a film just for them

showcasing the stuntman

like no other.

But it is also a precious record

of their shared 6 months in 2004.

They take a break from shooting

to watch TV.

This TV show features their debut.

At the time, they were happy to see

themselves on TV and full of dreams.

Yet 4 years later, at present,

only 3 of them still work in stunts.

Jin-seock, Gui-duck, and Sung-il.

Hey! I'm supposed to be

in that scene. Where am I?

Crap! That's only my arm!

Were these 3

different from the start?

Let's start with Jin-seock

whose arm only made it on to TV.

This is his audition tape.

2004 Seoul Action School Auditions

Jin-seock KWAK

I used to be a hairdresser...

Well, you can't show that here.

Show us something physical

you can do.

As usual,

his secret weapon is his abs.

How does the saying go?

"Heroes are made by the era..."

That year, the boxing film "Crying Fist"

was being made so he got in.

Won-joong KIM

Stunt Director/Actor of LEGEND

What were the 8th year auditions like?

Oh, those guys!

They were...

They were real... Idiots.

I was betting everything

on this so...

At first...

I'd just charge through.

Have you done any sports?

Gui-duck KWON

No, I haven't. But I've done

some construction work.

Did you wear dress shoes

to this audition?

From the best shop in Daegu...

Aren't they uncomfortable?

Dress shoes and

jeans are a little...

It shows a lack of...

You seem ill prepared.

I thought today was about

seeing how I looked,

that sort of interview.

We don't care how you look.

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Dong-kyu Kim

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Action Boys" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jul 2024. <>.

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