Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, ‘Minari’ is a poignant take on the lives of a Korean immigrant family who try to establish their farm in Arkansas. The film is based on Chung’s own experiences of growing up in rural America. In the 1980s, the family heads to Arkansas from California in their newly acquired land. Jacob and his wife Monica work in a hatchery where they determine the sex of chicks.
The couple resides in a trailer with their kids, all the while trying to adjust to the new environment. A unique story in its own right, ‘Minari’ offers a fresh perspective into the immigrant diaspora and the cultural clashes that become an integral part of their lives. If you are wondering about the filming locations of this semi-autobiographical drama, you are at the right place!
Minari Filming Locations
Even though Chung’s drama film is based in Arkansas, ‘Minari’ was filmed in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Filming began in July 2019 and was completed in a span of five weeks. Here are further details.
Tulsa served as the primary filming location of ‘Minari.’ The film was exclusively shot in and around the city. One of the most diverse productions in Oklahoma, ‘Minari’ was filmed in Sand Springs, Skiatook, Broken Arrow, and Rose in Mayes County. Rogers Boulevard in Skiatook was closed for a specific time period in August 2019 as production underwent at the old Bayouth’s store and the Exchange Bank. Some scenes of the film were also shot at the Longshot Ranch.
A member of the production remarked that Skiatook’s old town feel was beneficial in recreating the 1980s vibe of Arkansas. Also known as “The Natural State,” Arkansas did not have favorable production infrastructure to aid the filming process of ‘Minari.’ The filmmakers considered Georgia for its lucrative tax credits but were deterred by the state’s controversial anti-abortion Heartbeat Bill. Hence, the producers decided to shoot at the foothills of The Ozarks in Oklahoma.
The crew had to build everything from scratch. For setting the family’s house, Production Designer Yong Ok Lee arranged for a remodeled trailer, which was advertised on the local television.
Cinematographer Lachlan Milne avoided the usage of diffused lighting to capture the heat of the environment. Moreover, under his insistence, the barn depicted in the film was actually burnt down to achieve an authentic depiction of the tragedy. Executive producer Joshua Bachove considered Tulsa to be the ideal location for the shoot. The production crew was aided in the filming process by Film Office executives of Oklahoma.
As production began in July, almost 170 Oklahoma industry members came on board while enlisting local businesses for acquiring equipment and availing lodging and catering services. Other films like ‘To the Stars’ and Paul Dano’s directorial venture ‘Wildlife’ was also filmed in Oklahoma. Moreover, the filming of ‘Minari’ proved to be an economic boost for the state of Oklahoma as it was reeling from the after-effects of a devastating flood in May 2019.
Read More: Best Korean Movies of All Time