‘Love Is Blind’: How This Sci-Fi Movie Inspired the Netflix Dating Show
Love Is Blind was like a dating show from the future, only the future is now on Netflix. Contestants got to know each other in isolated pods so they can fall in love with each other’s personalities. Production Designer Dave Edwards designed the pods in which the contestants spoke.
Variety profiled Edwards with an interview on June 24. Edwards mentioned more than once that the sci-fi film Ex Machina was an influence. He went on to explain how he incorporated the film into his designs. Netflix has ordered a second and third season of Love Is Blind.
The lighting of ‘Love Is Blind’ was very sci-fi
Ex Machina is about a programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) who visits a genius (Oscar Isaac)’s house and meets his artificial intelligence robot (Alicia Vikander). Edwards wanted Love Is Blind to look like that house.
“Ex Machina, the film, was one of the inspirations for the director [Brian Smith] and Chris [Coelen, executive producer] and the lighting designer and myself for a lot of this,” Edwards said. “For the majority of Ex Machina you have little light and the darkness as well, and we really wanted to play with that to add depth from the pods into that hallway and into some of these areas where you have a highlight of lighting and then it flows into shadow, and that would help soften and bring interest to the design of it.”
The ‘Love Is Blind’ pods were also inspired by ‘Ex Machina’
In Ex Machina, Gleeson interviews Vikander behind a pane of glass. In Love Is Blind, men and women speak to each other through a wall, only it’s not transparent.
“The inspiration for a lot of it was still Ex Machina meets love,” Edwards said. “The idea that we had between the two sides was that everything was an exact mirror image between the men’s side and the women’s. That mirror image between the two was not only in the pods, but also as you go into their lounges and the gyms.”
Since the men and women don’t meet until the end, they wouldn’t know how their areas are different. The viewer will though.
“We wanted to design them and decorate them in a way that the women’s lounge was softer and a little more feminine but not going too far,” Edwards said. “And the same with the men; we wanted to make it a little more masculine with the color palettes and the furniture, but we didn’t want to make it feel like a frat house. We wanted everyone to feel at home in both worlds, but we wanted a distinct difference so you knew what side you were on.”
This was the only difference between the male pods and female pods
The dating pods were rather functional, just enough to let the contestants feel comfortable while they spoke. Perhaps astute viewers noticed the subtle difference.
“In the pods, everything is identical with the exception of the couch,” Edwards said. “For the women, we chose something with a more curved side that kind of wrapped the body. The men’s was a more squared-off, modern look. The color of the padding on the wall was different, as well, just so you know what side you’re in at any given point.”