Break down the blue, green and purple pieces inside 'Severance'

Break down the blue, green and purple pieces inside ‘Severance’

For “Severance” art director Andrew Baseman, crafting story and meaning sparingly was a challenge for the self-proclaimed “maximalist” craftsman. Through meticulously placed details in the sets of the Apple TV+ series, Baseman aimed to create a contrast between the inner and outer worlds.

“We wanted the outside world to have a lot more warmth and color, rather than the really tight or Lumon color palette, which is mostly green and blue,” Baseman said in a chat for Variety Craftsmen presented by HBO. “And then there’s a room that’s purple, you can see a bit of it. It is for enlargement. I think we have been there several times, you get an idea. The desks were covered in tarps, so you couldn’t see much of it, but it’s probably season 2. We’re going to enter the purple world.

Baseman dove even deeper into the Emmy-nominated production for the sci-fi series (which includes the work of fellow production designer nominees Nick Francone and production designer Angelica Borrero-Fortier) explaining their plans for the big reveal of Helly, what each character’s house said about their outer selves and the secrets that hide within the ordinary Lumon site.

“The whole point of dressing Lumon in contrast to the outside world was to make it vague,” Baseman explained. “Time is blurry. It is therefore deliberately neutral. So the furniture is reminiscent of the 1940s, there are a lot of industrial pieces. In the viewing room, the table there looks like a steel desk from the 1940s and 1950s. And the chairs are probably, again, from the era of the 1940-50s propeller base chairs which are classic, but they would probably have been in use in Lumon for about 70 years.

He continued, “Those who work in Lumon, everything is kept there. Even in the MDR supply closet, you see a few scenes of them standing against reams of paper. It’s all, of course, anal and straight and lined up, but off camera you don’t see that there are lamps from their offices years ago that they don’t use anymore but they’re all stored there. So there are three different eras of lamps. There are old staplers, there are tape dispensers, all the things that would be on their desks, even picture frames.

Watch Baseman break down the complex sets of “Severance” in the video above.

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