May 15, 2015
In “Wayward Pines,” looks can be deceiving. Set in Wayward Pines, Idaho, the mystery thriller follows Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) who is searching for two missing federal agents who were last seen in the bucolic town. Things get spooky when the agent begins to wonder if the same fate may befall him.
M. Night Shyamalan, executive producer and director of the premiere episode, developed the series, which is based on the book trilogy by Blake Crouch. The 10-episode Fox series also features Juliette Lewis, Terrence Howard, Hope Davis, Toby Jones, Shannyn Sossamon, Reed Diamond and Tim Griffin.
The televised version has a misty gray feel that reflects the Northwest’s damp and dreary climate. Costume Designer Mary E. Vogt created the look of the characters so that it would enhance the overall feel of the production.
“It was like a black and white film with color infused in it,” she said. “There are no bright colors. I worked very closely with the production designer and the cinematographer. We’d change the clothes if they didn’t go with the set.” Production Designer Curt Beech created a concept map that laid out the scenic palette for each set, the lighting type and temperature and even the keywords that signaled the emotional content.
To get a sort of Edward Hopper, film-noir feel, the color palette is typically soft and muted, like the deep greens and grays of an Oregon forest. To evoke an air of mystery, not every costume is strictly of the present.
“In the beginning, we weren’t sure how retro we were going to go with the series,” Vogt said. “It was intentional to mix up the sense of time. Hopefully, it was subtle enough that it doesn’t stand out.”
Vogt created a fitted white nurse uniform for Melissa Leo as Nurse Pam. Its waist-cinching silhouette is more common to the 1940s than today’s baggy scrubs. Other characters, such as Kate Hewson (Carla Gugino), blends eras in one look. She wears a Dolce & Gabbana top with a retro belt and sweetheart neckline over a modern skirt with a flared hem. Her character’s signature look tends toward florals on a black background.
“It’s like the mood of the town,” Vogt said. “It’s pretty, but there is a darkness underneath.”
“Wayward Pines” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.