The simple lines of a staircase morph into a maze and then into a luxurious home’s glass walls in Sarofsky’s main-title sequence for HBO Max’s The Staircase.
“It was always our hope that the main-title sequence would help establish the complicated family dynamics at play while capturing the show’s themes. The sequence does that, but more importantly, by presenting these Escher-like impossible spaces and portraying the interior of the house as a maze – which is constructed and then deconstructed over the course of the sequence – it really presents a lens through which the audience can view the series in a visually exciting way,” said series creator and director Antonio Campos.
The eight-episode limited series explores the true-crime case of crime novelist Michael Petersen, who called 9-1-1 in 2001 and said that he had found his wife, Catherine, dead at the base of a staircase in their grand North Carolina home.
The facts of this case have been documented in an earlier true-crime miniseries by the same name that aired on various channels around the world in 2004. On May 5, HBO Max premiered a scripted limited series based on that story starring Oscar winner Colin Firth as Michael and two-time Oscar nominee Toni Colette as Catherine, his ill-fated second wife.
To capture the lines of the story, Sarofsky literally turned the house inside out, turning it into a maze that captured people, relationships and their secrets as shadows within transparent spaces.
The Staircase premiered Thursday, May 5 on HBO Max.
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Studio: HBO Max
Director: Antonio Campos
Show Runners: Antonio Campos, Maggie Cohn
Producer: Christina M. Fitzgerald
Executive Creative Director: Erin Sarofsky
Executive Producer: Steven Anderson
Creative Director: Stefan Draht
Producer: Dylan Ptak
Editor: Tom Pastorelle
Finishing: Cory Davis
3D Animation: Nik Braatz, Andrea Braga, Oskar Fülöp, Dean Ripper, Jake Thomas, Tanner Wickware
Typographer: Cat McCarthy
Concept Development: Andrea Braga, Stefan Draht, Cat McCarthy
Storyboard Artist: Tricia Kleinot