Entertainment

That 'Parasite' House Is Actually One Giant, Incredible Set

Here's how director Bong Joon Ho and his production designer built the entire thing from the ground up.
October 29, 2019, 7:55pm
Parasite

Bong Joon Ho's Parasite is a a lot of things—a pitch-black comedy, a scathing satire, and the greatest scammer story in a year full of them—but ultimately, it's just a really, really good movie. And just in case we don't already have enough reasons why Parasite should win every Oscar (not just Best Foreign Film), a new IndieWire interview with Bong gave us one more: It turns out that entire house was just one huge, complicated set. Yes, it's true. That gorgeous house in the movie wasn't designed by a famous architect, like it was in the movie—it was designed by Bong and his production designer, Lee Ha Jun.

"I had to really meticulously design the house itself. It’s like its own universe inside this film," Bong told IndieWire. "Each character and each team has spaces that they take over that they can infiltrate, and also secret spaces that they don’t know. So the dynamic between these three teams and the dynamic of space, they were very much intertwined and I think that combination really created an interesting element to this film."

According to Lee, the set was built outside instead of on a soundstage, so they could make use of the natural lighting during production—they even tracked the sun's movement to know how light would fall on the house before building it. "We had to remember the sun’s position during our desired time frame and determine the positions and sizes of the windows accordingly," Lee said in the interview.

"For that last scene where the father walks out into the garden, we had a lot of sunlight then, and it’s all natural lighting," Bong continues. "It's very difficult to get that same mood or picture with artificial light, and that’s why we put in so much care when we were building the set. We shot that in the morning when we had a lot of sun."

It's an incredible set, and a masterful and mind-bogglingly complex thing to actually come to life. Head over to IndieWire to read the full interview and check out the early concept designs for the home. Look, just give Parasite all the awards already. What else do you need?