The first Working Holiday Variety Show with men from Busan, Busan Boys: Sydney Bound(hereinafter Busan Boys) They can finally disclose everything... from making stories that feel like Mission Impossible every day to behind-the-scenes anecdotes. Let’s meet the behind-the-scenes of the Busan Boys production revealed by the three “Producers” Ryu Ho-jin, Yoon In-hoe, and Lee Seung-hwan.
A Making Talk of Busan Boys: Sydney Bound
Q. When did the chemistry between the “Producers” begin?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Producer Yoon In-hoe and I first met through Hometown Flex to Unexpected Business and on Busan Boys this time. It’s already been four years since we’ve been together. There are rumors at work that we always hang out together.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Producer Seung-hwan has worked with us for two years, from Unexpected Business 2 to Busan Boys.
Q. How did you come up with the idea of Busan Boys?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Busan Boys is under the concept of Busan people gathering for a working holiday together. Working on the program Hometown Flex, we saw that guests who have never met before become quickly acquainted if they’re from the same hometown. And from this, I thought rapid chemistry would form if we gathered people from the same hometown.
The program was planned to show the chemistry of those who were born and raised in the same hometown with many memories to share as they return to their youth through a working holiday reserved for young people. Producer Ryu Ho-jin has traveled across the eight provinces of Korea since he was a rookie producer. Is there a particular reason behind the frequent appearance of “regions” in his works?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Since I was young, I happened to work on many programs that dealt with different regions. It is very unlikely to come up with ideas for an audition program when you are working on programs dealing with districts. So, I think my ideas started branching out from genres I'm familiar with and affectionate for. I’ve always been a fan of producer Sin Won-ho’s dramas. And in his work, when characters with regional traits say a line, the same line sounds a lot more entertaining. I think a lot about how I can enhance the charms (of the cast).
The birth of “Busans” on a working holiday
Q. Why did you cast the four members out of so many celebrities from Busan?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Heo Sung-tae from the global hit Squid Game is the hottest actor from Busan. And I personally think Lee Si-eon is the funniest out of all the actors from Busan. Ahn Bo-hyun has an incredible physique that suits the working holiday concept. And with Joon-bin, it started from me being a fan of his. And coincidentally, I was wearing a KwakTube merch T-shirt, so I could appeal to him that I was his fan.
Finding Jobs in Sydney
Q. How did you cast the workplaces?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: We did preliminary research in various directions before departure. We met people who provide professional consultation on working holidays, snuck into communities and posted stuff on online communities and open chat rooms, and even looked through Vlogs of people on working holidays. And doing so, we discovered there was a wide range of occupations. What took us by surprise was that a lot of men were working at slaughterhouses or construction sites. And there’s the saying that Koreans laid 50% of Sydney’s paving.
Q. Was there a job you wanted to try for yourself?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Since I have a lot of experience in part-timing, I’m confident in pretty much everything. But work on the construction sites seemed to be well paid. I returned confused about whether I was on a field survey for the shoot or emigration. (Laughs)
Producer: Ryu Ho-jin: I was interested in Pâtissiers. Australians are awake and active early in the morning, so cafes open from 5 am, and people get off work at 5 pm. This routine will fit well with me because I’m an early bird.
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: I’m a night owl and find it hard to wake up in the morning, so I think I’ll be a nuisance to the cafe. And working on the farm or construction sites requires a lot of physical strength, so it’s only right not to go on a working holiday... (Laughs)
Q. Was there a nerve-racking moment in Australia where you thought you might be unable to shoot?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Oh, there are too many... Because we had cast actual businesses, the business owners were hugely burdened with the recruit and the shoot, so we faced many difficulties.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: In fact, the “Labor Apprentice” job suddenly vanished during the casting.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: It’s usually a job in high demand, but there happened to be a festival on the day of our arrival... We had a hard time because we had to shoot, but there wasn’t work to do.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: This is something that even our cast doesn’t know about, but our greatest crisis was with accommodation. We had booked accommodation for the cast during the field survey, but it was double-booked when we checked after returning to Korea. So we had to go to our Plan B accommodation, but we were in trouble again because it was only available from the day our cast was scheduled to arrive.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: 10 am is the usual checkout time for accommodations, but we had to start filming from 1 pm. This meant we had to install 100 rigged cameras in three hours.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We waited eagerly in front of the accommodation for the previous guest to checkout, and once they came out, 30 of us rushed in to complete the preparations for the shoot. It gives me a headache to think about it again.
Q. How was the shoot at the workplace?
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: The cleaning job was the most difficult site to shoot for the staff. Usually, it’s easy to film the process of making something on a show. But cleaning is about removing what existed, so showing the results is challenging.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Lee Si-eon had a hard time cleaning, but there was a limit to how much footage we could show. So, he would’ve found it quite unfair.
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: While it was challenging to set up for the cleaning and cafe shoot, we had to fight against the heat and insects throughout the shoot at the farm. Bo-hyun and Joon-bin, who mainly worked on the farm, would’ve been more physically challenged because the farm was so vast and hot.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Our first goal was to avoid causing any inconvenience because we were there to work for real, not to get a taste of the job. So everyone did much more labor than what was broadcasted and had tried really hard.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: Bae Jung-nam joined the working holiday on the fifth day and stood out from the moment he appeared. He instantly turned the other four into Seoulites with his authentic Busan dialect.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: At first, he was passionate, asking for two jobs and saying he’d go on a night shift as well... But his energy couldn’t live up to his ambition, so he was exhausted after the first day of work and had a hard time.
Q. Do you have any behind stories about each other since you’ve worked together for a long time? We heard that producer Ryu Ho-jin paid much attention to vehicle management throughout the shoot.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I was a vehicle maniac throughout the shoot. We need vehicles to move between filming locations such as workplaces, headquarters, and accommodation. And we call this “Vehicle Management.” There weren’t enough cars, so I couldn’t help but pay attention to the management of the vehicles.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We could only hire a few cars because the alleys were very narrow. And it was uncomfortable to dispatch many cars simultaneously. We didn’t have just one vehicle operating in a given route. Instead, the vehicles were operating in rotation.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I tend to be quite obsessive. At first, I thought about connecting the vehicles smoothly, but at some point, I wanted to locate vehicle No.4.s Eventually, I created a vehicle locating system and shared it in real time.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Our main screenwriter and I went to the farm, and on our way back, it was lunchtime. So, we were eating in K-Town, and the moment our driver updated his status, Ho-jin contacted me and asked, “Why is vehicle No.4 in K-Town?”
Producer Lee Seung-hwan: Ho-jin even had a monitoring system that tapped everything.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Unlike other programs, our filming locations were far apart, and therefore, we couldn’t monitor each other. Instead, we interconnected through a voice chat program, so we could listen to all the cast’s audio by accessing the channel.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: I listened to everything but wasn’t hugely interested in the content (because I was preoccupied with the vehicles). (Laughs)
Work Hard and Play Hard
Q. When was your happiest moment while filming Busan Boys?
Producer Yoon In-hoe: We have a group chat with the cast. We’re still communicating in it and more actively after the shoot, and I love it. They had a hard time at work, but the rough memories disappeared, and only the happy memories seemed to have remained. It was a good experience for the cast, and delivering their stories, the staff were also content.
Producer Ryu Ho-jin: The cast members missed that period a lot, and they looked like children. That was actually the first aim of the intention behind planning this program. And the most rewarding part for the staff is that our cast feels that way. In the end, the greatest delight of making a program is filming what you have planned.
Producer Yoon In-hoe: Viewers, who have been watching all along, will feel as if they’ve made friends from Gyeongsang-do. Please continue to stay tuned to the Busan Boys, working and playing hard until the end.
The three producers on today’s show are preparing a new season for Unexpected Business. Those of you who have been waiting for Unexpected Business, please wait a little longer. We ask for your love and support for Unexpected Business 3, scheduled to return soon!
※BEHIND TALK was produced based on CJ ENM YouTube channel's More and More Fun.
※Certain photos and images used in this content were provided by "tvn_joy" on Instagram.