How ‘The Essex Serpent’ uses color to tell the growth of a main character
Apple TV + program The Essex Snake is getting a lot of attention right now, and you should also keep in mind that it stars two of the most important names in the business — Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston. Now, a new report looks at how the people behind the show told a whole story of their own through the character of Claire Danes.
Danes plays the show’s protagonist, Cora Seaborne, and Variety reports on the work of production designer Alice Normington and costume designer Jane Petrie as the couple worked to tell a story about her.
On the Apple TV + show, Seaborne lives in London after being widowed, and this begins a mini-story of its own.
Normington’s designs touched on the idea of heaven, hell, and earth to portray Cora’s agitation. When the character is at home in London, the red tones are a reflection of his past as viewers learn about the abuse he suffered there. “That house is her hell, and the bedroom where she was abused is the mouth of hell,” explains the production designer. Red wants to show “he was violent and passionate,” he explains.
But when Seaborne leaves London and moves to the seashore, things change. Her new home is painted a white-yellow finish because “it’s the only color that symbolizes the sun, joy, and happiness,” says Normington.
It’s not just the places, it’s the clothes. Jane Petrie put the Danes with high, tense necks, but as the show progresses, as does the character, everything changes.
In the end, Cora’s new autonomy is reflected in the brighter colors and warmer textures she wears, and she wears an open-neck top. “Hopefully,” says Petrie, “there’s a clear visual journey through the dress.”
If you want to see how the Danish character changes over time The serpent of Esses you can watch it now on Apple TV +, assuming you have a subscription, of course.
If you want to enjoy The Essex Snake With style, be sure to check out our list of the best Apple TV deals on the market today. Other than that, the playback service can be seen on just about anything, including game consoles, streaming sticks, and more.
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