Parasite Movie, from Production to 2020 Oscars Best Picture

12 Feb 2020

6 Min Read

Yes, Oscar 2020 had a surprise. Among movies like “Joker”, “1917” and “The Irishman” that are at the top of the list of English-language movies of the year, a South Korean movie called “Parasite” won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is surprising as it’s the first time in the history of Oscar that a non-English movie wins this award. I know what you’re thinking, how “Parasite” was able to shine among all these great movies? A movie that has the lowest budget comparing to the other nominees. Well, let’s dig in to see the shining values of this social film.


Starting with its director Bong Joon-Ho, who many of us know him by his movie “Snowpiercer” is an adventurous director who tries different genres creatively. The main theme of most of his works is a mixture of social issues and black humor and this is exactly what Parasite is about. Bong through his recent movie tells a story that defines the big gap between social classes and what consequences it has over people’s life. What helped Bong is famous for is that he’s a visual storyteller who vividly knows what he wants out of each shot or literally out of a story. This is how Parasite is a great movie to show social inequality through the lives of three different families that overlap in the story and was good enough to convince the Academy.

Parasite Movie Behind The Scene
parasite-movie-directing 2
Parasite Movie Behind The Scene


The other piece of the puzzle that helped Parasite to glow is its original screenplay which is also written by Bong. As we look at his favorite quotes about filmmaking we recognize why Parasite is so successful, “ The most personal is the most creative, “. what we learn from this quote is that Bong has created a movie that’s been watching with his own eyes somewhere, sometime. And this is why the dialogues and the essence of the story looks so realistic and insightful.

Here’s a precise analysis from Revista de Cinema that breaks down the story very well:

…This plot, which symbolizes greed in the current world, is distributed in the script in a dramatic curve in three acts, which are well defined and clear from the point of view of the structure of the story.

Each act has its own dramatic structure, with the first directed at comedy, the second at drama, and the third at a tragedy. But these observations are only from the film’s discourse, from its “visible” structure. The three acts are for the screenwriter to correctly organize the narrative of his story. As well as to organize the internal structure of each character. This internal structure, or “invisible”, also exists for each character and is formed by his passions, projected in his actions and dialogues…


Behind the Scenes

Now that we know how they made this award-winning movie, it’s interesting to see what was on, behind the scenes. It helps us to understand how is the ambiance while making a cinematic movie so passionately. (photo)


“Director Bong is actually a very skilled editor. He starts editing in his brain once he starts writing a script,” said Jin-mo Yang, the creative editor of Parasite. He adds that the ideas and thoughts that Bong has for editing the movie have helped him to do the job better. Yang says “ When I look at the shots that director Bong filmed, it’s almost all exactly the same as what he storyboarded.” and this is how the editing of the Parasite is so beautifully done. Because they used the power of preciseness, creativity and of course Yang’s problem solving for the shots that were hard to work with. Altogether, these points made Yang a nominee for the Academy Award for Best Film Editing, an Award that is gifted to the editors of “Ford v Ferrari”. 


As we walked through the different aspects of Parasite’s production, it’s interesting to know what cameras they used to film it. The cameras they used were Arri Alexa 65 with ARRI DNA Lenses. Cameras series that are becoming a common option for filmmakers. The codec they used was ARRI Raw(6.5k) and the sound system is Dolby Atmos. Although Parasite’s cinematography is done professionally and the equipment they used is very acceptable, it was the core idea that made it brilliant, so what we just listed is just to satisfy our curiosity and is not considered an element of success for this film.
Parasite Movie


In the end, let’s see how far the movie has gone in winning different awards and have a look at the list created by Wikipedia, consist of the ones they won and nominees list. And some photos of what happened in Oscar while they won those awards.

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture (won)
    • Kwak Sin-ae and Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Director (won)
    • Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Original Screenplay (won)
    • Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
  • Best International Feature Film (won)
    • Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Production Design (Nominated)
    • Lee Ha-jun and Cho Won-woo
  • Best Film Editing (Nominated)
    • Yang Jin-mo

British Academy Film Awards:

  • Best Film (Nominated)
    • Kwak Sin-ae and Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Director (Nominated)
    • Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Original Screenplay (Won)
    • Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
  • Best Film Not in the English Language (Won)
    • Bong Joon-ho

Cannes Film Festival:

  • Palme d’Or (Won)
    • Bong Joon-ho

Golden Globe Awards:

  • Best Director (Nominated)
    • Bong Joon-ho
  • Best Screenplay (Nominated)
    • Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won
  • Best Foreign Language Film (Won)
    • Parasite

Parasite at Golden Globe Awards
Parasite at SAGA Awards
Parasite at Cannes Awards

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