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Parasite: The House That Bong Built

Updated: Apr 18


In an interview with Cartoon Brew on his 2017 feature Okja, director Bong Joon-Ho said: “I’m usually pretty faithful to my storyboards and previsualizations”. This is evident throughout his catalogue of work, and particularly apparent in his Oscar-winning film Parasite. The precision of each shot tells us the story of the Kim family simultaneously working their way to achieve one collective and cunning goal. Demonstrating that Joon-Ho knows exactly how important the envisioning of a film through pre-vis truly is.

People worldwide were blown away by Parasite, and so were we. Not only does it boast a spectacular cast, but each character also brings a key element to the development of the story, with one presence standing out significantly: the house. The Park’s home is not only where 80% of the movie takes place, but is also the objective of the Kim family’s plan. They want to live in that house, they want to own it, as did a lot of us watching. It was only after the screening at Cannes Film Festival that audiences discovered a dream shattering piece of trivia, the house does not exist… at least not as we see it on screen.




The house in the film was created by production designer Lee Ha-Jun, who worked closely with Joon-Ho to create four sets to make up this exquisite piece of modern architecture. When designing each section of the house Ha-Jun had to consider the movements of the characters within each space as well as the camera positions required for each shot. ‘I then gradually developed the production design through constant designing and running 3D simulations.’. What makes this achievement even more impressive is that the entire movie was achieved on a mere $11 million budget and grossed over $266 million worldwide. Unlike Okja, The Host, and Snowpiercer, Parasite doesn’t use much in the way of “in your face CGI”. Most of the rendering in the film is used to stitch together sections of the house to create a realistic environment and the true feel of the family’s home. The rest is peach fuzz.



As if Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite didn’t satisfy audiences enough, HBO have already confirmed that they will be teaming up with the man himself to bring the story to the small screen in a six-part adaptation. Joon-Ho said about his upcoming project “My goal with this limited series is to create a six-hour-long film.”. As of yet not much more has been disclosed on what the series will entail. Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts, hopes and dreams.


Writer : Jonathan Murphy



Quotes: https://www.cartoonbrew.com/interviews/qa-okja-director-bong-joon-ho-talks-working-visual-effects-155643.html https://thespaces.com/parasite-set-design-lee-ha-jun/ https://www.indiewire.com/2020/01/parasite-tv-series-bong-joon-ho-six-hour-movie-1202205540/ Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq36iIb8V8o Neon

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