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Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards Review

Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards Review

-Written by: Will

Like many, I fell in love with the film Parasite last year. Bong Joon Ho’s direction and brilliant script made for a great satire on economic inequality. The film was worthy of the Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture, the first foreign language film to do so. Being a fan of the film, I wanted to see how Parasite came to life. I really enjoy the behind-the-scenes materials, especially the storyboards. It’s really cool to see the director’s vision before they put it to camera. Luckily, Parasite: A Graphic Novel In Storyboards is exactly that. This hardcover book works as a great supplement, but in no way an alternative, to the film.

For those who haven’t seen the film

As part of his filmmaking process, Bong Joon Ho drew storyboards for every scene before filming, so the entire story is told in this book, but I strongly recommend you watch the actual film before diving into this book. The storyboards were meant to help him visualize scenes and give his crew an idea of what he was aiming for. As such, everything is very utilitarian. The drawings are rough sketches, with some characters represented by their names. The storyboards are also small to allow for multiple storyboards on a single page, plotting out a scene. This process means leaving out many details that are shown in the final product. A lot of the beautiful set designs would be lost if people only read the storyboards.

Another thing to note is that inclusion of the script alongside the storyboards can be hard to follow if you haven’t seen the film. Storyboards don’t include speech bubbles, so the script is included with the storyboards. If you haven’t seen the film, it will be very difficult to match the dialogue with the correct storyboards.

For those who have seen the film

Storyboarding has been a practice in animation for years but its usage has grown in live-action mediums. The storyboards often don’t get published, which makes this hardcover so precious. Along with the storyboards, Bong Joon Ho also drew out diagrams to show how to move the camera around the set to get the pans, tilts, steadicam shots he wanted. As someone who constantly wonders “How did they film that,” this is a wonderful inclusion. He even mentions the frames per second on slow motion shots for even more detail. These storyboards include scenes that didn’t make the final cut, so you get to “watch” deleted scenes, including an alternate ending. If you're into set design, there's an “early drawings” section that shows Bong Joon Ho’s concept sketches planning out the architecture for the Park’s house and the Kim’s semi-basement. I would have liked to know how they designed the neighborhood sound stage for the flooding sequence, but you can’t have everything.

This is a great item for lovers of Parasite and filmmaking. I’ll be sure to keep a copy for my dream scenario of getting it signed by Bong Joon Ho himself (and see if the image below is an accurate translation). I give this storyboard collection an overly enthusiastic “Respect!”

Parasite A Graphic Novel In Storyboards (Hardcover)

In hundreds of mesmerizing illustrations, Parasite: A Graphic Novel in Storyboards is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the making of one of the best films in years and a brand-new way to experience the award-winning, global phenomenon. As part of his unique process, Director Bong Joon Ho storyboarded each shot of Parasite prior to the filming of every scene. Accompanied by the film's dialog, the storyboards he drew capture the story in its entirety. Director Bong has also written a foreword and provided early concept drawings and photos from the set which take the reader even deeper into the vision that gave rise to this stunning cinematic achievement.

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