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The Girlfriend Experience

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The Girlfriend Experience is an American anthology drama television series created, written, and directed by Lodge Kerrigan and Amy Seimetz. The first season stars Riley Keough as Christine Reade, a law student intern who also works as a high-end escort. Executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, it is based on the 2009 film of the same name. A 13-episode first season premiered on April 10, 2016, and all episodes were made available on Starz On Demand.

The production designer (Aidan Leroux) and the directors decided on a sleek, modern, minimal and muted look for the show.

The principal character, Christine Reade, begins the season as a Law student and we follow her as she enters the world of the high-end prostitute.  In her new life everything appears sleek and polished.  Any touches of flashiness or gaudiness are conspicuously absent.  Also missing from the visuals are uniqueness, character, colour and warmth.  In executing the look of the show design we made the occasional partial exception to this, often to provide contrast.  For instance the beer labels, created to appear in a scene in a college bar, were not made to look especially high end, and were more colourful than most of the design in the show for the sake of realism.  Generally, and especially when it played into the show’s themes, we went as minimal and muted as realism would allow.

Having worked on two very colourful mid-century period pieces immediately before coming on board this one, I found working within the parameters of this style to be an interesting creative exercise.