Inventing Anna: Here’s How The Alluring Manhattan Office Came To Life in The Show

Inventing Anna: Here’s How The Alluring Manhattan Office Came To Life in The Show

A workplace with a seductive appeal. People walk in and out of the office, reporting the most appealing news. Some sixty-seventy desks in the Manhattan office for different writers. Remember something? Umm, yes, it’s the famous Manhattan Magazine office of Inventing Anna. And if you have already binged through the show, you know its walls are all about the color of love.

The designers have left almost no place devoid of red color. But have you ever wondered why a popular press in Manhattan would have such an interior? Although if you haven’t already watched this show, everything will possibly go above your head. Hence, we strongly suggest watching it first and coming back to us later.

Everything you need to know about the office

Anna Delvey amorously diddles New York’s elite and swindles millions of dollars from their bank. Her case was first reported by Jessica Pressler, a reporter of the New York magazine. In the show, Anna Chlumsky’s character Vivien Kent is Jessica Pressler in this fictional world. Further, the fictional Manhattan magazine where she works is a stand-in for New York magazine.

Notably, the production design team had an agenda behind the interior look of the Manhattan office. They wanted to visualize Delvey’s story through the mise-en-scene of the show. Seemingly, this office was the best fit. Talking to Netflix Tudum, the lead designer, Henry Dunn, interestingly reveals how they came across such an alluring idea.

Final warning to those who haven’t streamed the show: Watching it first and then reading this would make more sense.

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Dunn on the set of Inventing Anna

“We’re telling this seduction story,” Dunn tells Tudum. “Basically, it’s a con job, but it’s a con through seduction — [Anna] was selling herself.” As mentioned earlier, to reflect this idea throughout the series, the creative team attempted to “distill the visual essence” through this office in Inventing Anna’s set.

Part of it chiefly meant highlighting New York’s signature single red wall and putting it in Manhattan’s fictional setting. “We took that seductive thing – there is a red wall as you get off the elevator that says ‘New York magazine,’ but the rest of the interior is all white, with some black on white graphics inside of it [in the real location],” Dunn says. “But we thought that red was such a great statement. Let’s bring it in, let’s put it in as many places as we can and sell the sexy side of chasing a story.” 

So how did the Manhattan office come to life in Inventing Anna?

According to Henry Dunn, the production design group did extensive research before actually putting it up. He explains how the office isn’t an exact replica. “We didn’t want to shoehorn the look of New York magazine to wherever we went; we wanted to take the building where we would end up and then use that to determine what we were going to do.”

Dunn further explains to Tudum how it took months to just dress the set. According to him, the set is assembled in a way that, “If you sat at any desk, in that whole place — and there were 50, 60 desks — you would have known whether that [person] was a food writer or it was a style writer or politics [writer]… and whether they’d been there long, if they had personal or kid photographs.” 

He also emphasizes how the team faithfully worked on even the minutest things. There were lots of notes and to-do lists involved in this mission. They truly made it feel alive and enticing. “And while an office might not be the most glamorous set the team had to work with, it had its own allure,” Dunn says. “We wanted to get the romance of reporting in there.” And we couldn’t agree more.

Do let us know in the comment section what do you think about the Manhattan office in Inventing Anna.

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