Okja: The Art and Making of the Film Review

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Titan Books has just launched their new art and making of the film book, all about Netflix’s hit movie Okja. This new book gives us a closer look into how Netflix created such a moving movie about a young girl named Mija and a massive animal named Okja. Simon Ward put together this fantastic glimpse into the behind-the-scenes information, and it adds more clarity to the movie.


Introduction

Okja: The Art and Making of the Film gives us information into the creation of Okja, and all the hidden meanings behind the moving movie.

“’It was 2010, I was driving a car in Seoul, and I saw a huge animal in a highway underpass – it was an illusion of course – a very large animal, but with a very sad expression on its face” recalls Director Bong Joon Ho. “It sparked my curiosity about why this creature was feeling this way and how such a big creature could be shy. I started thinking about it. The size of the creature lends itself to questions about its origins, for example: the super tomato, the super salmon. They are all a big size that relates to the food industry. With products, size denotes the productability of certain things, so I started thinking about production.’

So began Okja. A film about consumerism and friendship, about communication, nature, and inherent value versus monetized value. It takes us from the gentle, unspoilt countryside of South Korea to New York, the bulging wallet of the USA. Featuring cutting-edge CGI and an all-star cast, it is one of the earliest original productions from streaming service Netflix – as well as being the first Netflix film to premiere at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. It may even be the most vegetarian film ever.”

Okja: The Art and Making of the Film provides backstory to the Netflix hit, alongside concept art, imaging before CGI, and how they created the infamous Okja animal.

Chapter Details

The book is broken up into many chapters that take you around the movie from Seoul South Korea to New York City:

  • Chapter One: The Creation of Okja
  • Chapter Two: The Mountains, Mija, The Homestead, Okja and Mija
  • Chapter Three: Mirando Corp, Lucy Mirando, Nancy Mirando, Dr. Johnny Wilcox
  • Chapter Four: Seoul, Mirando Korea, Animal Liberation Front, Farewell Seoul
  • Chapter Five: The Lab, Alfonso
  • Chapter Six: New York City, Super Pig Festival
  • Chapter Seven: The Slaughterhouse
  • Peace and Tranquility

Behind Information on Creating the Okja Puppet

Some fantastic info is given in this book, including how Mija interacted with Okja on set and filmed the movie.

“We decided to try and shoot everything in situ; we didn’t want to shoot this plate then go away and shoot Mija on the greenscreen in a more controlled environment… We designed about 25 unique solutions, or props and set pieces, that we could use as a representation of Okja as you see her. Sometimes it was just a head, and Steve Clee would hold up the head and puppeteer it, and An would act against it. Sometimes the head was a very light version, so that we could run around with it and have the agility, but sometimes it would be a heavier version that we could bump and push and knock people with.” – Erik De Boer, VFX Supervisor

Mirando Corp

Mirando Corp is the catalyst for the movie, and although they are doing bad, Lucy Mirando believes she’s doing good in the world by ending the hunger crisis. The corporation has slogans prepared alongside a plethora of employees who care for Lucy. The company is in charge of creating the super pigs in their labs.

The Lab & Slaughterhouse

This is probably the most grim and upsetting part about the movie and book, simply because it shows what happens when everything goes wrong. Mirando Corp was creating the super pig and along the way there are ones with deformities, sicknesses, and other ailments that are shown; and of course their destined slaughterhouse where they are prepared for the general public.

The book shows every single part of the movie that is grim and unsettling about the massive food production industry, in this case, for the super pig Okja.

You can purchase your own copy of Okja: The Art and Making of the Film here directly from Titan Books. We highly recommend it!

Good

  • Large connection to the Netflix movie, and covers everything relevant plus more.
  • Fantastic concept art and sketches.
  • Complements the movie.

Bad

  • Some graphic images of the lab and slaughterhouse that may be unsettling or disturbing.
9.5

Amazing

Length of Book - 9
Concept Art - 10
Background Information - 8.5
Details on Creation & Filming - 10
Connection to Netflix Movie - 10
An avid gamer, journalist, literary reviewer, and lover of all things Marvel; wrapped in a colorful hair-do.
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