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Dramabeans exclusive: Interview with City Hunter, Doctor Stranger PD Jin Hyuk

We’ve got a special treat for you guys today, and are excited to present to you our very own exclusive interview with one of dramaland’s hitmaker directors, PD Jin Hyuk, whom you may know from his string of popular dramas like Brilliant Legacy, Prosecutor Princess, City Hunter, Master’s Sun, and Doctor Stranger. I know, so many of our favorites!

As you may know, PD Jin was recently in LA to speak as a featured guest at KCON 2015. We were fortunate to hear his panel, and honored when he graciously agreed to an interview. We’d heard great things about him, and can now confirm firsthand that he’s as lovely, friendly, and thoughtful as we’d heard.

You probably don’t need us to tell you how much girlfriday and I geeked out to get to pick the brains of a famous PD (City Hunterrrrrrr!) and ask questions we’d always wanted to ask, from what it’s like working in the drama-making system to specific questions about characters and dramas and sequel opportunities.

We asked PD Jin about whether he knew about international response to his dramas and if he read much, and he explained that he didn’t know that sites like Dramabeans existed but that he’d be sure to read up on it. And we’ll be sure to send him this post, so if you have questions, comments, or just plain love to send his way, please do! (He reads English, so no problems there.)

Without further ado, let’s just dive right in:

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Waaa if you Pd for city hunter and briliant legacy then i am your fans! Hope you read it ?????

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Maybe my memories failing me but I don't remember City Hunter being that amazing of a show. It was pretty much a knock off version of Gaksital with considerably less talented leads and a faulty storyline

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While I respect your opinion on City Hunter, I will say that Gaksital came out after City Hunter so its not fair to call City Hunter a knock off.

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Yes, your memory is failing you.

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+1

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City Hunter aired a full year ahead of Gaksital so...

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Well it's the first drama that made me not dislike Lee Min Ho so...

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Me too. That's the only drama that I've come to like Lee Min Ho.

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City Hunter made me fall in love with Lee Min Ho... but The Heirs ruined it. lol... I liked him in Personal Taste though (his 2010 drama with Son Ye Jin).

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Hahaha. Same here. Love him in City Hunter. But Heirs was a complete disaster.

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City Hunter aired May 25, 2011 - July 28, 2011
Gaksital aired May 30, 2012 - Sept. 6, 2012

Yes, your memory is failing. Maybe try to remember before writing such comments next time.

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lmao BURN

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Let's do a fact check: City Hunter and Gaksital both had a hero whose father died before he was born? No, only City Hunter.
CH and G both had balding side kicks? Nope, only CH.
CH and G both had best friends who turned on them? Nope, just G.
CH and G were both current, time-wise? No, G was a period drama.
CH & G both had horse riding heroes? Nope, just G, whose hero rode a cool, masked horse.
CH & G both worked at the blue house? No, only CH.
CH & G both had brothers faking injuries? Nope, just G.
CH & G both had charismatic, handsome, young lead actors who hid their true identity?
Okay. I'll give you that one.
So you got 1 out of how many? Either you got on, thinking you were first and had to write SOMETHING in a hurry, before you had a chance to think it through. Or you consider your comment "witty." Either way, sad.

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I think your reply is under the wrong comment? I agree with it though!

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Should've done your research first before commenting.

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Yeah, City Hunter was great and totally different than Gaksital, so you really shouldn't compare them.

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It wasn't that great but I don't think the production was the objectionable part. I mean, it wasn't amazing, but it was professional the whole way through. The problem for me was in the writing and acting--the genre mixing was ridiculous and awful, and the veterans like Kim Sang-joong routinely blew LMH and friends out of the water while sleepwalking through their roles themselves. It was just really embarrassing to watch.

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When I saw what the post was about, I was spazzing for you girls. I know how much you loved CH and always praising the directorial touches during recaps. :) Reading those, that was the first time I noticed how a PD can elevate a drama too.

Can't imagine how you stayed coherent during the interview!

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I'm still spazzing!! Yay, he mentioned the Master's Sun fan project!!! A-mazing!

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whoaaaa how awesome!!!! pd-nim, city hunter was just all sorts of fabulousness :)

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And you have video too! Aww ?

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Wow! So many good dramas, city Hunter and master's sun are two of my favorite dramas.
Sending you love from Australia :-)

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I have always wanted to thank some of the writers and directors personally for all the joy and laughter (and tears) they bring into our lives. Here is my chance! Thank You PD Jin - we really are quite amazed by the crazy hours that go into bringing us our weekly episodes - you make it seem so easy! Best wishes for your future projects.

늘 건강하시고 행복하세요!

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yeah, I'd like to say thanks to him too.

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That PD is so humble and cute<3

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I really loved those qualities, too and I liked that he tried to be as honest the industry allows him to. I admired the fact that he admitted that he would like to do things differently if possible and that the clash of opinions with the writer may have spoiled the overall result in a drama. I think it takes a lot of courage to admit such a thing even to oneself.
Anyway, I enjoyed all the dramas he has done that I watched and I hope to see more dramas at least as good as the older one. If all my dramas were at least that good, my Dramaland would be a great place!

PD-min, may you have a long and prolific career!

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Lollllllll to the "Doctor Stranger" path he would've taken over the writer. Seems the shipping war wasn't just between fans. Lol. I feel ya, PD-nim.

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I was right up there with the ardent of most ardent Lee Jong Suk and Kamg Sora shippers but now that the PD explained exactly WHY they didn't go down that road I don't feel quite that bad. I can see why they wanted him to avoid falling for another girl after being crazy about Jae Hee in the first half of the show. If only they went with Kang Sora from the get go though..

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I KNOW. I wasn't particularly fond of the drama, but I did like the inkling of that couple being together.

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idk, the way he said it, I felt like it was a rationalisation he made himself accept, to come to terms with how the drama ultimately turned out.

Because a lot of the whole Jae Hee issue was just the writer forcing the issue, while the chemistry was more natural between Lee Jong-seok and Kang Sora. It's like the writer wrote the story into a corner when the other elements (acting, chemistry) didn't quite back it up.

But yeah, I suspect PD-nim did get a little of his own back, by making sure to show us what a Hoon/Soo-hyun oriented story could be like (all that skinship!). And come on, we've seen SO MANY dramas where the hero has to get over a first love. Dr Stranger could have been a far more interesting story if you had the hero getting over his guilt and adjusting to life in South Korea, with the nice South Korean girl being a part of that.

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Eventhough, I did not particularly like Han Seung-Hee persona, I am glad they went toward that road. It would not have made sense that he will switch after all the suffering and sacrifice they have endured.

I did love Oh Soo-Hyun and I wanted her to get the man of her dreams. Alas, it worked it for the best.

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Omg the 'other road' revelation made my day! This is why I gave up the show...poor choice of heroine!

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hahaha. I remember how crazy the shipping war was. I was team Soohyun. I feel you pdnim!

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Awesome insight! Hope we can see more of this in the future!

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PD Jin, thank you for your hard work creating great dramas! You've produced so many of my favorites as well as my all-time favorite: City Hunter. 감사합니다!

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This interview was great! It really made sense what he said about Doctor Stranger. It did seem like Sora should have been the female lead, but the writers reasons were valid as we. Thank you so much for posting the video! It was a real treat. :-)

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Omg.. thank you for this great treat db and gf. Its feels like an advance bday present for me. Hehehe
anyway i love your dramas pd-nim. Especially city hunter and brilliant legacy. No words can explain how obsessed i was during those dramas run.

My question would be a little off but here goes: Is there a possibility that you'd do sports drama mub like last match...? I dont see enough dramas that show the life, struggles of athletes. They do romance dramas with a little hint of sports. But nothing like a full on main genre sports drama...

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Wow, you're lucky DB! He's a good PD. Like someone mentioned above, directing can elevate a drama. It was probably the only redeeming quality from Doctor Stranger. The directing made the drama looked polished, despite the mess in storyline. City Hunter is my most favorite LMH's project. This PD excels more in action dramas, nevertheless I also enjoyed Master's Sun. Hope to see more of his works in the future.

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Great job ladies!!! Wonderful development of the site. I recalled you were mentioning about all different things that you would like to do as the site grow... One was the podcast, then the mystery theater 3000 view of the kdrama, now panelists at the KCon and to top that you interviewed a very awesome individual responsible in making the great quality crack that feeds us.
Kudos on your everlasting effort in branching out different angles of this great entertainment world. Keep up the wonderful achievement. I'm very proud to see how your site grow positively.
From one of your biggest fan and supporter.
99

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I don't know that it was same PD who directed brilliant legacy, city hunter, masters sun and doctor stranger. These dramas are few of my top fav dramas. Looking forward to his next project! Hopefully he will work with writer Park Ji Eun and create a very good drama. And he sorta hinting that he might work again with either lee seunggi, leeminho, so ji sub or lee jongsuk for his next project. Lee seunggi and lee min ho still can do one last drama though before they enlist. I think they decide to enlist next year.

And for doctor stranger, I'd always want lee jong suk end up with kang sora. T.T i think most ppl prefer their loveline too. The tension between SK and NK is somewhat that makes the latter story become too complicated and bit ridiculous.

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I was definitely on the Kang Sora ship as well..lol This was such an interesting interview! Thank you DB and Jin Hyuk PD! I wish the industry was more aware of us international fans, but I suppose it is a little more difficult besides the ease of language issue but the time issue as well. While there are those of us who do stream shows occasionally or watch without subtitles it is difficult to be part of realtime comments especially when most of us wait for subtitles or re-watch with subtitles. I'm not sure what I am getting at here, only that it would be nice to get some recognition in some way..and if it could improve our experience that would be great too. So it was really cool hearing his reaction to the popularity of dramas and communities like DB. :)

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Wow...how exciting for you to be able to have a sit down with PD Jin Hyuk. Thank you for sharing, loved hearing his comments.

Wouldn't it be great if this was just the first of other interviews you would be able to get!!??

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He is so humble :-) Pd vs writer do exist hahaha

I feel bad for the Pd they are the one is being harass by everyone (viewers, writers , higher ups of the public stations because of ratings ...) waaaaa so stressful ~ Fighting PD Jin Hyuk!

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Can't believe that there might be a possible Master's Sun 2!!! One of my favourite dramas of all time :) Can't wait, I will look forward to it. Awesome interview! Thanks!

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Love PD Jin-Hyuk! He was kind enough to take a snapshot of himself when he received the Soompi international fan project book for Master's Sun. Made our day, for sure! What a lovely, talented fella! Thanks for posting the interview, ladies. x

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It would be nice if they do Master's Sun 2 as he's saying! I loved this drama!

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This is so cool! I always feel like the kdrama creators never realize just how popular their dramas are internationally; they should be brought to more attention on sites like this. And i LOVE City Hunter, it was my first kdrama and will forever be held dear to my heart. Master's sun is probably second after that. Thank you PD-nim!

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PD Jin Hyuk seems really friendly and relatable, yet honest at the same time. A love ending wt Kang Sora, culturally, was the wrong way to go, but we were left wt such an empty ending with that love line. Truthfully I gave up mid way and I think I read the ending on Dramabeans. Oh well, You win some. You lose some. Nonetheless loved CH & MS! So I'm glad this PD loves his job and I hope he keeps finding great projects!

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PD Jin Hyuk , please cast Ji Chang Wook in your next drama project!

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And Kang Sora!

(jk but she's a really good actress, I would like to see PD Jin Hyuk work with her again, this time as first lead)

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that would be my dream pair :) :) please please make that happened

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YES to this! It would really be a dream pairing.....

(if I can't have a repeat of So Ji-sub/Gong Hyo-jin, this is totally the thing I want)

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PD-nim, please cast Ji Chang Wook and Moon Geun Young next time!!
(my dream pairing)
I don't care if it's melo, romcom, thriller/action, noir or whatever genre.. just cast these two please!

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Great idea :) !

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What a wonderful scoop! Thank you javabeans and girlfriday :) PD Jin Hyuk IS "lovely, friendly, and thoughtful". ^^ Hope he continues to enjoy his work because we kdrama fans certainly look forward to enjoying more of his dramas!

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It would be really interesting to hear how he motivates his actors. What does he tell them? Is there a favorite story/fable/adage/motto that he tells all his actors?

Thanks DB for a really interesting interview!

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Enjoyed the interviews.I think I learned a lot of new information.Thanks a lot to PD-nim for being so sweet and earnest in answering those questions for international fans.

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Thank you for this... I think it will be better if you put watermark on the video too.

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Thank you javabeans and girlfriday, and thank you PD Jin for a wonderful interview. The behind-the-scenes stories are fascinating, and help us, the international viewers, better understand some of the developments we see. PD Jin, thank you for making such good dramas! City Hunter and Master's Sun helped me get through recovery from two difficult surgeries; the time flew by, and I was able to forget the pain. I hope you have much continued success in your work, and I look forward to viewing all of your dramas.

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DAEBAK!!! A season 2 for Master's Sun!!! That would be a dream come true for SOGONG Shippers!! PD-nim! please make it come true!! I think I have watched Master's Sun for about 10 times but I still cry everytime Joo Joongwon dies.

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I prefer to think of him as the City Hunter/Master's Sun PD, because those dramas were so good and Doctor Stranger is just....... I feel sorry for poor HeadsNo2 who recapped it here. But PD Jin Hyuk is not to blame for that, his directing was the main reason why that drama was even a little bit watchable.

Also I like how if there is chemistry between actors, he really brings it out on the screen. Like with Lee Jong Suk and Kang Sora for Doctor Stranger. Even just a gaze between them had sparks. Same with So Ji Sub and Gong Hyo Jin in Master's Sun.

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What a real treat to be able to get questions answered from a PD. Thank you both for sharing the interview with us. PD Jin Hyuk was so generous in giving of his time for the interview. He was so thoughtful and at the same time honest in his answers. It helps us viewers/kdrama fans get a better understanding of all the things that a PD has to factor in when doing their work.
Master's Sun is one of my favorite kdramas so hearing the process, shifts & adjustments made, makes me appreciate the final product more. I would love a part 2! I would definitely vote yes for making that happen :)
A big thank you to PD Hyuk! Your work is appreciated and enjoyed by many international fans like myself. Look forward to your next project.

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Javabeans & Girlfriday - Congratulations on your interview with PD Jin Hyuk!!!!!!!!!
Great scoop ladies. :)

PD Jin Hyuk - Wonderful insight. Very excited to be able to let you know that I have watched your dramas - Brillant Legacy, Prosecutor Princess, City Hunter, Master's Sun, and Doctor Stranger. Forever grateful for your willingness to share "exclusively" with us, the international audience here on Dramabeans. Thank you so much for confirming what many of us suspected about the two paths in Doctor Stranger. Like you, many of us felt that Kang So-Ra should have been & was the better heroine. You certainly were not alone in advocating for it to happen.

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Thank you August !! I agree with u and I'd like give u a huge thumbs up?

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Wonderful interview, thanks!

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This this THIS is the sort of reporting/reviewing in DramaBeans that I crave!! Yes - wonderful interview in every way. So intelligent and poignant in his comments. Thank you, girls, for pulling this off - and how wonderful that PD Jin came to KCON. If only they knew how powerfully the love for K-dramas is spreading around the world!

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PD jin hyuk,I heard you and writer Park ji eun are working on a new project,pls cast Park shin hye and Ji chang wook as leads or Park shin hye and Kim soo hyun.they'll make a fine couple

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that would be awesome. action romance for PSH+JCW and rom com for PSH+KSH.

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Thanks for your insight pd nim. I'm all for Master's Sun Season 2. Pray that it'll happen someday. Jin hyuk pd, fighting!

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Such a great treat!! It was a fascinating interview and I was surprised at some of his matter of fact and blunt answers. I think especially when compared to the more "canned" or typical interviews with korean media. Lovely work! I don't know how much of the actual interview made the cut in these videos, but when he started talking about ratings I was wondering if/hoping he would mention the growing popularity of cable dramas. Again it was cool to see him talk so frankly about rating goals, ad revenues, etc.

Great job overall ladies. I hope you get more exposure and opportunities like this to share with k-media the growing love and interest of the intl fanbase ??

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You seem nice, mr. PD!

If you do happen to read this thread, I would really like you to work with Lee Joon Hyuk again! and as a lead?

Thank you, Dramabeans, fo this inteview!

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oh, actually, I have a question too, fo PD Jin Hyuk. With Masters´ Sun, I felt like it went quite close to a black comedy, and it worked well (loved the runner-ghost!). Why is this genre so neglected in Korea? I think you have a good sense of humor and also a delicate understanding of mortality, put together, it would work so well. there was something there, in the comical parts of Masters´Sun, and more than a romance, I would like a sequel or spin-off that concentrates on the morbid humor. maybe not people seeing ghosts, but from the ghosts perspective...

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City Hunter is probably the only worthwhile drama LMH did but the last 8-9 episodes ruined it IMO. Lotsa plot loopholes and unnecessary melodrama.

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PD Jin, I love your Master Sun, City Hunter, Brilliant Legacy! I hope you will work with Seung Gi and So Jo Sub again.

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August 25th is my birthday, so thank you DB for this present of letting me take a peek to the world of the kdramas making!

Among all his works, my personal favorite is Prosecutor Princess. And somehow knowing how he actually wanted LJS to end up with KSR in Doctor Stranger made me think that I could believe to follow his lead anytime. Like if he's directing, I know it'd be just up to my taste.

Oh anyway JB, d

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Happy Birthday my fellow Leo! Wishing you all the best kdramafan.

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*sorry I accidentally pressed post comment*

And anyway JB, did you remember every scene in every episode of City Hunter? You amazed me. :D

Thank you DB for this amazing and wonderful treat.

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What a lovely interview. At first I was not liking the interview format of being broken up into 4 parts and the question screens, but the questions were so excellent, it didn't matter.

I loved the light banter and the inclusion of how much the dramabeans commenters are involved with the site and dramas. I hope to see more of this in the future.

Definitely sharing this!

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Wow, I loved city hunter, master's sun, prosecutor princess. I didn't know they were made by the same PD. Awesome interview.

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This as a fantastic interview! Like many others have said, PD Jin has worked on many of my favourite dramas. He has a deft hand and keen eye with regards to storytelling.

I hope this opens up opportunities for the DB team to work with dramas, help them aolve script issues long before they arrive.

PS It's good to hear your voice in Korean, JB.

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Thank You PD-nim!! Master's Sun is one of my favourite dramas with one of my favourite actresses - Gong Hyo Jin. I'm so thrilled you were thinking of doing a part 2!!! I hope it really happens :) Most of the time we get interviews with main actors so I'm so glad to hear directly from you! Thanks for being honest with us.

Broadcast stations really do give the PD-nims lots of pressure with regards to ratings, but I hope you can see how the international fans appreciate your work too. JOB WELL DONE!!!

>> Thank you JB and GF for the interview! Super awesome treat to hear directly from PD-nim :)

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I'm a big fan of PD-nim!!! <3 CITY HUNTER IS THE NUMBER ONE KDRAMA FOR ME!!!! <3 never imagined we could meet the PD through this interview after all this years!

such a fun and interesting interview!~ was glad he was honest about not being 100% real about dramas about dramas and medical dramas.

Looking forward to his next project! Thank you so much DB and GF! <3

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Kamssasimnida Pdnim... I am a fan of your works! City hunter, master sun, and prosecutor princess! Hope to see more in the future! I like your composure and friendly nature... Keep up the good work! Fighting...

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I can't see the video interview on my phone right now - damn this slow connection!- but I am so thrilled to see you've got an interview with PD Jin Hyuk!

He's a master of mood-setting and getting good performances out of his actors (when there is anything to get, that is – even he can't extract blood from stones), not to mention milking costar chemistry for everything it's worth, when they've got it. Master's Sun was a great example of this - I loved the way he framed and shot scenes to heighten the romance (all those close-ups of So Ji-sub's hands!), and all the little directorial flourishes that elevated what could have been plain old enjoyable+cute, into something incredibly romantic and swoon-worthy. Also, it was a proper treat to see So Ji-sub as a romcom hero......and with Gong Hyo-jin? Now that was inspired casting. And I still remember the mass freakout we had on the recap of episode 12 of Master's Sun, 900+ comments of everyone going 'NOOOO DON'T DIE!!!!'. I mean, we knew he wouldn't because it was a romcom, but you have to respect a PD who makes us scared of the possibility for even a second.

I'm so glad his next drama is with Park Ji-eun, because I really enjoy her particular brand of humour+romance and would love to see PD-nim do a romcom again - maybe with Kang Sora, like someone suggested? That girl can work with even the shoddiest script, but after Misaeng we know exactly how good she can be when her material matches her. But it doesn't matter, as long as whoever gets the lead roles can ACT.

And please god, no more Doctor Stranger-style dramas. Between the forced nature of the main love line, the messy premise (surgery Olympics? North-South conflict? Hospital corruption?), it was painful. And I agree with whoever said the directing was the only thing that kept it even slightly watchable. I recognise that he did his best, but PD Jin Hyuk deserves better.

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oh ok, now I watched the full interview it looks like I jumped the gun about the collaboration with Park Ji-eun. But this is like a dream writer-PD combination, and it needs to happen.

And Master's Sun, Season 2?! I did not even know this was a possibility, but now I want it so badly......

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JB & GF ~

What a treat. A nice look behind the scenes. It would be awesome if other directors and/or actors would consider doing interviews. Inside The KDramaverse with JB & GF, fighting !

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I agree. I would love reading interviews with directors, screenwriters or actors here at Dramabeans.

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seconding this. It's so nice to hear from the people behind the camera.

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I would love to hear PD & editor thoughts of I Remember You. brilliant editing.

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I still have to watch it. I need to get to this!! LOL

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I second this!

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Yes. More please.

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