Things you might not know about the production of Sense8
As found in the behind-the-scenes documentary, Sense8: Creating the World
All of the scenes were shot in the countries they were shown to be in. So they really did shoot in Mumbai and Seoul and Berlin etc.
They hired local actors and crews for each of the countries, which helped increase the realism of the scenes.
Between main, side, and minor characters, there were around 180 speaking roles.
When the cast visited each country they wouldn’t break between them. They’d be in one country shooting one day, and then shooting in another in the next.
The scene with Riley and Capheus, and also with Will on the plane to Iceland was literally shot on a plane to Iceland.
The cast described traveling around the world together for 4 months as something that created a family bond between them. They all grew very close and considered the feeling of the few times where they could all be together as ‘electric’.
They described being in the different cities as having different vibes and feelings that could only be experienced by really being there, which added a lot to their portrayals and helped them a lot with understanding their characters.
There were scenes that were shot two, three, or even four times due to having to do certain parts in different countries. This often meant that scenes could be changed a little as they had chances to watch over previous takes and see if they could improve it in some way in the new city.
The show really shot in the middle of the Gay Pride parade, and the scene where Nomi fell off of the motorbike was in the midst of the ‘Dyke’s on Bikes’ part of the parade.
They also had real wide-shots from the Mumbai Ganesh festival, however it would have been impossible to shoot the acting parts because of the vast amount of people that attend.
When shooting scenes where the sensates ‘share’, they don’t shoot one character doing the scene, shoot the other, and then put them together through editing. Clever camera shots where the camera pans away for a few seconds meant they would often literally switch places by one doing things like ducking and rolling away on the ground whilst the other jumped in their place.
Aml Ameen said that when he played Capheus driving the van, 90% of it was actually him. He got to drive around Nairobi, and was actually pulled over by the police at one point and the crew had to explain what was going on.
In Riley’s opening scene that establishes her as a DJ, she was playing to a real audience. She came on between two other real and well known DJ’s, and the audience wasn’t aware that she wasn’t a real DJ.
The very first scene Miguel shot as Lito was the sex scene in ‘Demons’.
The wrestling match that Lito, Hernando, and Daniela attended was a real match, with a real crowd and fighters.
Kala and Rajan’s dance scene was repeatedly shot all in one take rather than in short parts unlike traditional Bollywood movie dance scenes.
Brian sustained multiple injuries during the course of the show through Will’s action sequences including hurting his shoulder and his triceps, including an internal bleeding bruise.
Doona Bae was extremely excited about the cast coming to Seoul as that is where she lives, and so she gave them all tours around the city.
Similarly, Max Riemelt cooked dinner for his cast mates and showed them around Berlin.
Jamie Clayton said that her favorite scene in San Francisco was when Nomi was escaping by bike and decided to try and steal a car to get away before realizing she couldn’t drive, mentioning that she herself doesn’t know how to drive either.
And plenty more. It’s on Netflix. so you guys should definitely watch it if you haven’t already!