Creating a warm and cozy sci-fi future of After Yang

Creating a warm and cozy sci-fi future of After Yang
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After Yang probably the most comfortable sci-fi movie of the year. The director is Kogonadathe film takes place in an uncertain future following an unspecified disaster and follows a young family struggling to cope with the loss of their android who serves as both caregiver and helper (the titular Yang, played by Justin H. Min). brother for his adopted daughter.

The film touches on all sorts of topics, from interracial adoption to what it means to be human, but much of its world-building comes from the world. Few specific details are given about the time or place the film is set in, or the events that lead to the almost post-apocalyptic world the characters inhabit. This means that the visual design did a lot of the heavy lifting in terms of the story.

According to producer Alexandra Schaller, one of the goals was to create a sci-fi landscape that was far from the typical doom and gloom of a post-apocalyptic world. “We don’t want a future that feels alien,” he says The Verge🇧🇷 “We want a warm and comforting future, a future that is functional and that we can actually see for ourselves.”

Schaller says he was initially drawn to the project when he could imagine the world after reading the script. After Yang takes place in This decision was confirmed after meeting with the director. “Kogonada is a real aesthetic and cares a lot about design and the stories that go on in the space,” explains Schaller. “I actually came to the project very early. I had a long preparation period where I could spend time thinking about the film, talking to him about it and designing it. I did a lot of conceptual work before formal preparation. So I would say that a lot of the film looks like I imagined it, because I had a lot of time to think about it.”

And this vision is quite different from most science fiction. Schaller, an immersive theater practitioner, says he avoids even watching futuristic films to avoid being affected. After Yang’s world is teeming with plant life and the homes have an almost colossal vibe filled with muted lights and natural materials. The way people dress looks so comfortable. This is a stark contrast to the often stark and sterile view of the future found in many science fiction films.

“We wanted that part of the story to be felt rather than overtly stated.”

But it’s also more than just an aesthetic choice. “I would describe it as grounded futurism,” Schaller said. “For Kogonada, it was really important to feel like there was a post-apocalyptic setting in the background. Humanity rebuilt itself after a disaster, so it’s a very green world. It was very important to him that the film felt borderless and global.”

This presents itself in many different ways throughout the film. For example, the Fleming family’s self-driving car is filled with plants because they serve as a fuel source, while their home is dominated by a giant tree in the backyard. The tea shop where Colin Farrell’s character works has bare stone walls that look like they were carved out of a mountain, and in one scene, giant vertical farms can be seen in the background. Some features of the world are revealed; rather, they are what the audience is meant to infer while watching.

“The idea is that we’re living in a post-apocalyptic era. “Humanity has undergone some kind of big shift, and they understand that we need to live with nature, not against it,” Schaller says. “There is a symbiosis between man and nature. Everything is designed to work with nature.” He adds, “We wanted that part of the story to be felt rather than overtly stated.”

The same goes for the earth. Here are some pointers on this After Yang the film is set in the US and is about a couple played by Irish and British actors (Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith) who adopt a Chinese girl (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) after some kind of disaster. It’s a world that Schaller describes as “global,” and it’s displayed through a mix of cultural aesthetics but also small details, like a milk carton with information written in multiple languages. “It’s not really an unpleasant world, but it’s a world without boundaries, maybe more free and more accepting or more comfortable with itself,” he said.

(Among the many creators who worked on the film were concept artists Oliver Zellerwhich helps design the car and Matthew Vidaliswhich, among other things, creates all of the packaging shown.)

All of these details help create a richly defined backdrop for what is essentially a story about a family struggling with change. And it’s especially important in a movie like them After Yang, it’s full of slow, lingering shots that really let you soak in the details, making it easy to pick out the little things you might otherwise miss. “As a filmmaker, Kogonada knows the space and the quiet story that happens between the lines very well,” says Schaller. “These are the little details that won’t matter unless you’re really looking for them. But for Kogonada, it really mattered.

The contrast between them After Yang and other visions of a post-apocalyptic future can be seen in another project Schaller is working on, last year’s TV adaptation. Y: The Last Man, he had a more typical and dark outlook as expressed by his world design. Schaller felt this difference acutely. As part of her research process, she uses Pinterest to create mood boards filled with images for whatever she’s working on. “I remember finishing After Yang and thinks, “My Pinterest is awesome.” “And then I started researching Y: The Last Man and it was like ‘goodbye’.”

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