Last night we watched Bong Joon-ho’s The Host again, which is probably my favourite giant monster movie ever. If you haven’t seen it do so immediately! It more than stood up to a second viewing. We then watched the Making of The Host documentary, which was way better than those things normally are. For starters, they barely talked to the actors at all—always a very good sign. Pretty much every aspect of film making was covered: from the initial idea to the storyboards to sound design. Q: How did they create the monster’s voice? A: Painstakingly.
A lot of time was spent on the logistics of filming on location in sewers. Every cast and crew member had to have preventative shots. On account of they’d be working in raw sewage infested with parasites and rats and hideous diseases. Yum! The smell was overwhelming. Many of the cast & crew were barely able to keep from vomiting. They had to deal with the non-mixability of electricity and water. Yet there they were filming in a great deal of (raw sewage) dampness. Summer shooting meant they had to be alert to flash flooding. In winter the ice had to be scraped up before every day’s filming. What larks, eh?
The doco left me extremely grateful that I write novels. I can create giant monsters living in sewers without having to spend weeks and weeks in an actual sewer. I can write about winter from the comfort of summer. I can create pretty much whatever I want without having to change out of my pyjamas or worry about how much it will cost or whether it should be a physical or post-production effect or if it’s possible to get that many extras. Luxury.
And that’s why I write novels and don’t work in the film industry.