Oscar Winners 2020: Where did they shoot?
South Korean feature Parasite made history at the ninety-second Academy Awards by becoming the first foreign language film to win in the best picture category. The Location Guide takes a look at where Parasite, and the other winning films shot.
Parasite director Boon Joon Ho was named best director, and the South Korean feature won in the best international feature film and original screenplay categories as well as becoming the first foreign language film to win in the best picture category. The dark comedy thriller's sees themes of greed and class discrimination play out between the wealthy Park family and the destitute Kim clan. Family homes for both were designed and built on outdoor lots by production designer Lee Ha Jun, one a architectural masterpiece and the other an apartment in a crowded neighbourhood. The film also shot on location in Seoul, at neighbourhood spots including a local supermarket, a family-run pizza shop and the Stairs of Jahamun Tunnel. Foreign productions shooting in South Korea can access up to 25% cash rebate on expenditures incurred for goods and services. To access the full 25% productions must shoot more than ten days and spend over KRW2 billion in South Korea.
Top acting accolades went to Renee Zellweger and Joaquin Pheonix for leading roles in Judy and Joker. Laura Dern and Brad Pitt took home supporting acting awards for Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Set in 1968, Judy sees singer Judy Garland arrive in London for a five-week run of sold-out shows. The film shot on Pinewood’s D Stage. On location filming doubled East London’s Spitalfields for Soho and Carnaby Street during night shoots, and took place at the Hackney Empire. The UK's Film Tax Relief provides a 25% cash rebate on expenditure including above-the-line talent - irrespective of nationality.
LA-shot Once Upon a Time in Hollywood transformed the city into the Hollywood of a bygone era. As well as Brad Pitt’s supporting Actor win, the film triumphed in the production design category, going to Barbara Ling. Tarantino's ninth feature centres on the relationship between spaghetti Western actor Rich Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt man Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Melody Ranch's western style backlot in Santa Clarita was utilised for certain 'western' scenes. Principal photography took over one hundred days, during which time location manager Rick Schuler secured night shoots on Hollywood Boulevard during the busiest month of the tourist season, and at iconic Hollywood venues such as Musso and Frank’s Grill. Read our interview with Schuler to see behind the scenes of the film. Under California’s 25% Tax Credit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood received USD18 million in grants.
Dark comic-book prequel Joker from director Todd Phillips doubled New York City and Newark, New Jersey for the gritty fictional city of Gotham. One of the most recognisable locations is a staircase in The Bronx which has since become a tourist hotspot. Additional street scenes were filmed in New Jersey. Both US states provide generous tax credits. New York State’s 30% refundable credit offers an additional 10% on qualified labour costs in certain counties. Productions filming in New Jersey can claim a 30 – 35% tax credit depending on which counties the project films in, as well as an additional 2% diversity bonus.
Best adapted screenplay went to Jojo Rabbit from Taika Waititi. The film is based on Christine Leunen’s book Caging Skies which follows a lonely German boy who discovers his single mother is hiding a Jewish girl in their attic and is forced to confront his nationalism during World War II. The film shot on location in the Czech Republic in 2018, utilising Barrandov Studios. The bright and vivid colour palette of Waititi's film emphasises the innocence and optimistic outlook of youth, even in a country at war. On location shoots took place in colourful baroque towns including Zatec and Ustek as well as Prague Castle. The Czech Republic has a 20% cash rebate on qualifying Czech spend as well as up to 10% on qualifying international spend and enforces no cap on per-project grants.
BAFTA Film Awards favourite 1917 took home three Academy Awards, with Roger Deakins’ cinematography recognised, as well as the film’s sound mixing and visual effects. The immersive World War I drama filmed in a series of extended uncut takes stitched together to produce a seemingly single shot. The production team spent many months on location across the UK preparing for the unique challenges the filming style involved. Supervising location manager Emma Pill says “I have never worked on anything like this before”. Read our behind the scenes interview here.
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