the best action filmmakers

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John Woo
Director, Face/Off
Born in southern China, John Woo grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his film career as an assistant director in 1969, working for Shaw Brothers Studios. He directed his first feature in 1973 and has been a prolific director ever since, working in a wide variety of genres before A Better Tomorrow established...
“ No one is better at heroic bloodshed. Face/Off, The Killer, Hard Boiled, And A Better Tomorrow are landmark action classics that simply cannot be bettered. His unique dance-like choreography, two-fisted gunplay, and unmatched use of slow-motion and staccato editing will continue to influence generations of filmmakers. ” - redzone225
James Cameron
Writer, Aliens
James Francis Cameron was born on August 16, 1954 in Kapuskasing, Ontario, Canada. He moved to the United States in 1971. The son of an engineer, he majored in physics at California State University but, after graduating, drove a truck to support his screenwriting ambition. He landed his first professional film job as art director...
“ Cameron cannot be given enough credit for raising the bar for special effects technology and action stuntwork on film. The Terminator, Aliens, T2, The Abyss, True Lies, even Titanic (particularly during the second half),and Avatar--they leave me breathless every time I watch them. ” - redzone225
“ The KING of old-school kung fu. His innumerable Shaw Bros. classics, including "The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin", "Dirty Ho", "My Young Auntie", "Legendary Weapons Of China", "The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter", and "Mad Monkey Kung Fu" have arguable the most complex-choreographed, intricately performed, and flat-out awesome non-wired fights scenes ever done on film. Long takes, with trained martial artists and stunt people doing all their moves on camera, on the ground, with no wires going at it full-contact, performing 20 to 30 insanely complex movements before a cut takes place--Liu's fight choreography raises the bar and wraps it in barbed wire. ” - redzone225
Jackie Chan
Hong Kong's cheeky, lovable and best known film star, Jackie Chan endured many years of long, hard work and multiple injuries to establish international success via his early beginnings in Hong Kong's manic martial arts cinema industry. Jackie was born Kong-sang Chan on Hong Kong's famous Victoria Peak on April 7...
“ Chan singlehandedly elevated modern-day stuntwork to an artform that cannot be duplicated. The reason that so much of his Hong Kong films remain action classics is because he directed, co-directed, and/or choreographed all of the movies be starred in. Police Story 1-4, Project A 1 + 2, The Young Master, Miracles, Drunken Master 1 + 2, Rumble In The Bronx, Wheels On Meals, Who Am I? and literally dozens of other films he starred in have some of cinema's most awesome fight and stunt choreography, mixing classic kung fu, modern kickboxing, daredevil stunt work, and comedic use of props and environments in a way I've truly never seen done before or since. He's a fantastic action director and stuntman who leaves me in awe every time, and we'll never see his likes again. RESPECT!! ” - redzone225
Michael Bay
Producer, Transformers
A graduate of Wesleyan University, Michael Bay spent his 20s working on advertisements and music videos. His first projects after film school were in the music video business. He created music videos for Tina Turner, Meat Loaf, Lionel Richie, Wilson Phillips, Donny Osmond and The Divinyls...
“ Love or hate him--he's one of Hollywood's very best action directors. His overall storytelling quality may be up to debate, but the action sequences in Transformers:Dark Of The Moon (the wingsuit entry, the collapsing tower escape), The Island, Bad Boys 1 + 2, and The Rock are some of the most hair-raising, breathelessly staged and brilliantly choreographed action sequences seen in American screens in a long time. ” - redzone225
Michael Mann
Producer, Heat
A student of London's International Film School, Michael Mann began his career in the late 70s, writing for TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. He directed his first film, the award-winning prison drama The Jericho Mile, in 1979. He followed that in 1981 with his first theatrical release, Thief starring James Caan as a safe-cracker who falls under the spell of the mob...
“ His gunfights are searingly realistic and wonderfully choreograped. Heat, Collateral, The Last Of The Mohicans and Public Enemies have amazing battle scenes that hit hard. He's irritatingly underrated and a master filmmaker by any standard. ” - redzone225
Lilly Wachowski
Writer, The Matrix
Director, writer and producer Lilly Wachowski was born in 1967 in Chicago as Andrew Wachowski, the son of Lynne, a nurse and painter and Ron, a businessman. Lilly was educated at Kellogg Elementary School in Chicago, before moving on to Whitney Young High School. After graduating from high school, she attended Emerson College in Boston, but dropped out...
“ He and his sister Lana (formerly Larry) are some of the few Western filmmakers to know how to shoot and edit fight/action choreography and do it beautifully. Their "Matrix" trilogy had some awesomely well-shot and performed fight sequences; they're the only one I trust to collaborate with Hong Kong choreographers and not screw up their work on camera. ” - redzone225
Gareth Evans
Welsh born writer/director, in 2003 directed a short film "Samurai Monogatari" telling the tale of a Samurai waiting to be executed. The short was in Japanese language and starred students from Tokyo who were studying at Cardiff University at the time. In 2003 he also graduated with an MA in Scriptwriting...
“ This guy is going to explode, mark my words. "Merantau" and "The Raid" are two of the very best action movies done in the last ten years. He's another non-Asian filmmaker that has mastered the art of shooting and editing fight choreography and his films are also relentlessly fast-paced. Him and martial artist Iko Uwais are a dream team to be celebrated. ” - redzone225
John Frankenheimer
Director, Ronin
Born in New York and raised in Queens, John Frankenheimer wanted to become a professional tennis player. He loved movies and his favorite actor was Robert Mitchum. He decided he wanted to be an actor but then he applied for and was accepted in the Motion Picture Squadron of the Air Force where he realized his natural talent to handle a camera...
“ Frankenheimer's car chase sequences in "Ronin" and "Grand Prix" are brilliant. Old-school stuntwork with no CGI done in camera like only he can. He's already missed, RIP. ” - redzone225