Written and directed by Kogonada, ‘After Yang’ is a science fiction drama movie based on the short story ‘Saying Goodbye to Yang’ by Alexander Weinstein. It follows the life of a family in the near future where android robots are bought as companions or live-in babysitters. The narrative takes birth when Jake’s young daughter’s android companion, Yang, breaks down out of the blue. As he is trying hard to fix Yang and get him to work again, Jake realizes that life has been passing right in front of him all this time without him really living.
Since it is better late than never, Jake looks to rekindle his relationship with his wife and daughter. The eye-opening movie reminds the viewers of what it actually means to be human. It also sheds light on the importance of real connection through a touching narrative that takes place in some desolate-seeming locations, with hints of luminosity, symbolizing hope. This blends in perfectly with the metaphor of what life is like for many people who don’t really have a sense of belonging. If you are curious about the filming locations used in the movie, we have got you covered!
After Yang Filming Locations
Set in an undefined future and undisclosed location, the theme of the movie demands it to be filmed in a somewhat quiet and isolated location. However, to most of your surprise and disbelief, ‘After Yang’ was filmed in New York. The principal photography for ‘After Yang’ commenced in May 2019 and wrapped up in June 2019.
It's a wrap!
I'm so blessed and forever grateful for this opportunity to work with these amazing, the most talented, and the nicest people these past couple of months: @kogonada, #HaleyLuRichardson , @justinhmin , #jodiesmith, #ColinFarrell. I will definitely miss you all! pic.twitter.com/OJ3vWrTazM
— Malea Emma (@MaleaEmma) June 13, 2019
The hustling and bustling backdrop combined with the modern landscape that New York offers have made it an ideal filming destination for several movies throughout the decades, such as ‘St. Vincent‘ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street.’ It is intriguing, isn’t it? A warm and touching movie like ‘After Yang’ to be filmed in New York. Let’s find out how the production team made that happen by learning about the specific locations used for the movie!
Rockland County, New York
The production team used quite a few different regions of New York to film the movie. However, one of the most prominent locations where a majority of the sequences were filmed was Chestnut Ridge, located in Rockland County within the New York metropolitan area. To be specific, the crew rented one of “the lost Eichlers,” which is situated at the aforementioned location, for some time. As reported by the Journal News, a neighbor reported that several trucks and filming equipment were spotted in the neighborhood and that the crew had been shooting primarily during nights since May 2019.
— Malea Emma (@MaleaEmma) March 3, 2022
Kogonada opened up about filming on the property in an interview with Vogue. The director said, “…Here I wanted to have technology feel largely invisible. And because so much of the movie happens in the home, there had to be something open and interesting about that architectural dynamic. We found this lovely, very tiny Eichler house in New York, which is very rare. And at the time, it was gutted, so we got to design it from scratch. We grabbed any opportunity to integrate plants, so that’s why there are plants in the tunnels and cars—there was a real desire for it to be like a city in a forest.”
The team had to deal with many difficulties while filming ‘After Yang’ in New York. When asked about the biggest challenges he had to face during the production of the film, Benjamin Loeb, the Director of Photography, told the Filmmaker Magazine, “I think the hardest part about shooting this film was to shoot it in New York, to be honest. Finding the right locations became quite a hard task, as the film wasn’t really embracing New York and it is set in a somewhat undefined future.”
Loeb had much more to say about shooting in the Eichler house. Talking about the most challenging scene he had to realize, he stated, “I think generally all our scenes in the Eichler house. We were shooting there for about 12 days in a row and needed continuity and flexibility. And the house had so many windows, which turned into massive mirrors when it got darker. My 1st AC, David Regan, became the reflection wizard—finding all the things we had all forgotten to hide around the house.”
Loeb further added, “Also, we had sort of boxed the house in to control the sun and make our own, and the lawn in front of the house was so tiny it was like playing Tetris getting the lifts just up and down each day.” Over the years, the Eichlers have been chosen as one of the many production sites for various Hollywood films, such as the Jennifer Aniston-starrer ‘Cake’. However, an Eichler house has never served as a primary location in a Hollywood feature film before ‘After Yang.’ So, thanks to ‘After Yang,’ even the audience and the cast and crew members can have some idea of what it would be like to live in one of the Eichler houses.
Read more: Best Robot Movies of All Time