Inside the ‘Parasite’ movie house

(Source: Instagram/parasitemovie)

The film ‘Parasite’ has been making headlines lately after the South Korean-made film won multiple awards at the Oscar Academy Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Golden Globes.

At the heart of the movie is the Park family home, with roughly 60 per cent of the film taking place in the house.

But viewers may not know that the house was completely designed from scratch by production designer Lee Ha Jun – and it’s not, as viewers may believe, an actual house, but rather an ‘open set’ built on a parking lot.

According to Architectural Digest, the floor and garden set is built on an empty lot, while the second floor and basement were built on a soundstage.

"I had to really meticulously design the house itself. It’s like its own universe inside this film,” Parasite director Bong Joon Ho told IndieWire.

(Source: 2019 CJ ENM CORPORATION, BARUNSON E&A)

“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.”

In the film, the house is designed by a celebrity architect, and having to think like an architect created a particular challenge for Parasite production designer Lee.

(Source: Instagram/parasitemovie)

“We had to consider the cinematic factors but also had to create a house so real that the audience could accept the idea the characters were actually living in it,” he said.

What you’ll see in the film is a house that is open, minimalistic and futuristic, with lots of wood, glass, and clean lines that are reminiscent of an art gallery. Furniture was purpose-built for the film.

(Source: Instagram/parasitemovie)
(Source: CJ ENM CORPORATION, BARUNSON E&A)
(Source: CJ ENM CORPORATION, BARUNSON E&A)

“The purpose of the first floor living room was to appreciate the garden,” said Lee.

“I wanted the wide living room and the large garden to look like one impressive picture,” he says.

And since the house was built outside, the production team made the most of natural light – and even tracked the sun’s movement to know how light might fall on the house.

"We had to remember the sun’s position during our desired time frame and determine the positions and sizes of the windows accordingly," Lee told IndieWire.

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