Few TV shows’ title sequences are as mesmerizing as the one in “Sense8,” with its colorful barrage of exotic images culled from eight countries.
The nearly 2-minute-long clip — set to atmospheric music by “Sense8” director Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”) and his Pale 3 bandmate Johnny Klimek — sets the tone for Netflix’s wanderlusty thriller about global connectivity.
More than 100 scenes went into it, most of them shot by Karin Winslow, who’s married to “Sense8” co-creator Lana Wachowski. While Lana and her team filmed the 12-episode season last year on location, Winslow ventured off in a rental car with a camera assistant, scouring the surroundings for interesting faces and places.
“My directive from Lana was to go out and describe each country by what you see; find the nuances, find the food, find what people are doing, get a feel for the place,” Winslow said in a phone interview from her San Francisco home. “It was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done in my life.”
Here’s a breakdown of where each of these 108 slices of life comes from. Read it while you watch the opening credits roll. The images are fast and fleeting, so unless you’re Evelyn Wood, be prepared to give that pause button a workout:
1-9. The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at sunrise kicks off a string of mostly aerial footage of Chicago (2), Iceland (3), London (4), Berlin’s domed Bode Museum along River Spree (5), Nairobi, Kenya (6), Mexico City (7), Seoul, South Korea (8) and the Bandra-Worli sea link bridge in Mumbai, India (9).
10. Rainbow over Gullfoss waterfall in Iceland.
11. Neon sign of Twin Peaks Tavern, a gay bar in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco.
12. Baby elephants nuzzling at an elephant orphanage in Nairobi. “They rescue these orphans whose moms had gotten poached or killed in some way,” said Winslow, who gave me behind-the-scenes anecdotes about many of the scenes she shot. “You can watch them get fed with these big bottles. It’s heartbreaking but sweet.”
13. Afternoon tea at London’s Haymarket Hotel.
14. A man at Mumbai’s laundromat, Dhobi Ghat. “That guy was just sleeping on a desk. It was powerful.”
15. Arch of the Revolution in Mexico City’s Plaza de la Republica.
16. Monroe Street in the Wachowski siblings’ native Chicago, a city Winslow spends a lot of time in. She filmed this scene from the Renzo Piano-designed pedestrian bridge connecting the Art Institute’s Modern Wing with Millennium Park. “I stood there forever to get the two L trains and the bus. It was not kismet.”
17. Hangang Bridge over the Han River in Seoul.
18. Giraffe in Nairobi. “There’s a nature park that goes through Nairobi and the animals migrate through there. I went there at sunrise to get this shot and it was the cloudiest, most overcast day.”
19. Religious trinkets and memorabilia for sale at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
20. Giant Buddha statue at Bongeunsa Temple in Seoul.
21. Berlin’s Molecule Man sculpture by American sculptor Jonathan Borofsky.
22. Pyramid of the Sun at the ancient ruins of Teotihuacán, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Mexico. The once-thriving city is believed to date back to 100 BC. (An earlier version of this story erroneously attributed the ruins to the Aztecs. An astute reader pointed out my mistake.)
23. Cloud Gate — better known in Chicago as “The Bean” — by Indian-born British artist Anish Kapoor.
24. Icelandic horses.
25. London cab crosses the Thames River on Tower Bridge.
26. Mumbai’s 19th century train station, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
27. Lighthouse in southwest Iceland.
28. Seoul’s spaceship-like Dongdaemun Design Plaza, billed as the world’s largest three-dimensional amorphous architectural structure. Built without any straight walls or lines to evoke flowing water, the DDP was designed by Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-born architect based in Britain.
29. Dusty streets of Nairobi.
30. Old Royal Library on the Bebelplatz during Berlin’s annual Festival of Lights in October.
31. Lincoln Park Zoo’s honeycomb-like pavilion on the nature boardwalk in Chicago.
32. N Seoul Tower, a k a Namsan Tower.
33. Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
34. Cottage in Iceland. “What you would see if there wasn’t cloud coverage behind it is a massive glacier. I probably drove six hours total to get a shot of the ocean, this green hill and the glacier behind it, but of course the clouds are blocking the glacier.”
35. Buckingham Fountain in Chicago.
36. Haji Ali Dargah, a mosque and the tomb on an islet off the coast of Worli in Mumbai.
37. Tower Bridge in London.
38. Cricket game in Mumbai.
39. Fruit stall in Nairobi.
40. Sheep in Iceland.
41. Sausages grilling during Berlin’s Oktoberfest celebration in Alexanderplatz.
42. Street art in Berlin’s colorful Hackescher Markt. “It’s just a cool, weird, beautiful Berlin place” in the Mitte borough.
43. London Tube.
44. Street scene in Nairobi, shot from the roof of a transient hotel.
45. Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai.
46. Cable car in front of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
47. Houses of Parliament in London.
48. Lava erupts from Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano. “It was the coolest thing I think I’ve ever seen. I had to pinch myself.”
49. Mexico City’s Angel of Independence, built in 1910 to commemorate the centennial of the start of Mexico’s War of Independence.
50. Zebras in a Nairobi nature park. “I saw this group of zebras and all of a sudden two of them started fighting. It was pure luck that I got that shot.”
51. L stop in Chicago.
52. Waves crashing on the southwest tip of Iceland. “That was a dangerous shot to get because the tide was coming in. Those waves were probably 40 feet high. It was so incredibly beautiful and violent.”
53. Angel statute at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
54. Traffic in Mumbai. “This spot is interesting; it’s where the tuk tuks and the taxis meet. One part of the city only has tuk tuks and one part has taxis. Here’s one of the rare places where you see them both is one spot.”
55. Woman working on a tea plantation in Nairobi.
56. Huntress Diana Fountain in a roundabout at Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City.
57. “That’s a geothermal plant. They were kind of all over the place in Iceland. This was one I saw randomly in the middle of nowhere and I just thought it was so beautiful.”
58. Gangnam district in Seoul.
59. Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during the lights festival.
60. San Francisco’s Castro, the most famous gay neighborhood in the United States.
61. Pedestrians in Seoul cross the street, Gangnam-style. “This is, like, 9 o’clock at night on a weekday. The mass of people there is incredible.”
62. Kids in Nairobi. (Winslow only spent a few days in Nairobi; some of the Kenyan footage was shot by Tykwer and his team.)
63. The al fresco Dhobi Ghat laundromat in Mumbai. “It’s this incredible place where people rent a cleaning area for something like $9 a month and bring their laundry there to clean it.”
64. Beer bike in Berlin.
65. Skeleton faces decorated for Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).
66. Statue of poet, philosopher and historian Friedrich Schiller in front of the concert hall in Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt.
67. Clark the Cub mascot at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
68. Soccer in Nairobi.
69. A street performer in Mexico City painting a portrait of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
70. Little girl dancing at the Reykjavik Culture Night festival in Iceland.
71. Woman selling bubble blowers in Mumbai.
72. Bridge leading to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. “Those people in the yellow vests, they were doing the British version of that monthly bike ride, Critical Mass.”
73. Two guys sharing an ice cream cone in San Francisco during Pride weekend.
74. Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in Chicago.
75. An “elf expert” in Iceland. Many Icelanders — like Riley in “Sense8” — believe in elves called Huldufolk (Icelandic for “hidden folk”). “This woman is an expert on the hidden people and she took us on a tour and we filmed her for a little documentary.”
76. Mexico City’s main plaza, the Zocalo, formally known as Plaza de la Constitucion. The giant Mexican flag is ceremonially raised and lowered each day by Mexican soldiers.
77. Girls in Nairobi.
78. An erupting geyser on the popular Golden Circle route in Iceland.
79. Harpa, the modern-looking concert hall and conference center in Reykjavik, Iceland.
80. Mariachi band in Xochimilcho, a popular spot to take a ride on festive boats on canals located on the outskirts of Mexico City.
81. Culture Night festival in Reykjavik. (And no, that woman with the orange hair is not Lana Wachowski.)
82. Men dressed up as Vikings in Reykjavik.
83. Uniformed school boys in Nairobi.
84. Man at Haji Ali Dargah mosque in Mumbai. “That guy was funny. He came up to me and asked to take my picture. I was like, ‘Sure, if I can take yours.’”
85. Winslow’s Berlin-based friend from Italy who was showing her around the city.
86. Street market in Seoul.
87. Flower stall vendor in Mumbai.
88. Muslims in Nairobi.
89. Motorcycle bikers in Reykjavik.
90. Random man in Mexico City. “I just happened to be driving by and this guy had this headdress on and a hotdog T-shirt.”
91. Wedding party in Chicago. “That was part of a really long time-lapse I did. I was next to Navy Pier by the water treatment plant on a sunny June weekend. I sat there for about an hour and saw probably 10 groups of wedding parties getting their photos taken.”
92. Dolores Park in San Francisco.
93. Gateway of India in Mumbai. “This couple was doing a photo shoot for their wedding.”
94. Carousel at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
95. Carousel in Nairobi.
96. Women dancing in Mumbai.
97. People walking in Reykjavik.
98. Performers in Mexico City dangle from ropes during a Danza de los Voladores (Dance of the Flyers) ritual.
99. Geena Rocero, a transgender model, activist and founder of Gender Proud. “She did a TED talk on trans issues. We were shooting at Pink Saturday in Dolores Park during Pride weekend and she was about to go on stage.”
100. Kids playing in a fountain in Seoul.
101. Ganesha Festival in Mumbai. The annual Hindu celebration honors the elephant-headed god Ganesha.
102. Orange flags of protestors who flooded Mexico City’s main plaza on behalf of the 43 student teachers who disappeared in southern Mexico in late September. “It was incredible. The protestors took over the square.”
103. Buskers in San Francisco.
104. Street art in London’s Spitalfields Market.
105. Ganesha Festival in Mumbai.
106. More protestors in Mexico City (see No. 102).
107. Crowds celebrating the Ganesha Festival in Mumbai.
108. Fog rolling in off the hills in San Francisco.