Parasite cleaned up at the Academy Awards, winning four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. And the historic win for Korean director Bong Joon-Ho also marks a slightly less massive but still super cool victory for one former Ottawa pizza shop employee.
At the beginning of the film, the Kim family tries to scrape together some cash by folding boxes for a local pizza joint. Hopping online to do some YouTube research, protagonist Ki-woo discovers a video of a young woman folding boxes with shocking dexterity. If they could do it like her, they’d be done in a day.
Here’s the scene, along with the first ten minutes of the movie:
The film is fiction, but the video is real. It features a then-18-year-old Breanna Gray, who worked at the Ottawa-based chain Gabriel Pizza, folding boxes in a flurry of movements that takes her about three seconds per.
The moment was captured in 2008, but didn’t get posted online and go viral until Gray rediscovered it in 2015. The video’s success led to some promotional work with Gabriel Pizza, including an appearance in The Great Canadian Pizza Box Fold Off, which she won, naturally. Ellen DeGeneres’ people also reached out to invite her on the show, but that never panned out.
Fast forward a few years and Gray gets a call from some Korean movie producers who explain they’d like to use her clip in a movie and are willing to pay around $1,000.
“They gave me a very, very brief description of how it was going to be used,” explains Gray in a recently posted YouTube video. “Just that this ne’er-do-well family is trying to make pizza boxes really fast like the great Western master blah, blah, blah. And I was like, ‘Well, that's pretty cool, yeah, sounds good’. At the time I didn’t know who the director was… it was a much bigger movie than I was expecting.”
Following the film’s release and subsequent Oscar buzz/win, Gray’s video blew up again. To date, it’s been viewed nearly 1.5M times.
“It’s pretty neat,” she says in the most Canadian way imaginable, wearing an orange toque, aviators, and a plaid coat. “I can say, 'My video was in an Oscar-winning movie,’ but it’s not a big deal.”