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« Locarno Winners: Huppert, The Big Sick, and More... | Main | On This Day: Basquiat, Last Temptation, Cleopatra »
Saturday
Aug122017

Emmy Review: Main Title Design

Emmy voters will be deciding the wins in each category from August 14th-28th. We'll be reviewing a few of our favorite categories.

by Nathaniel R

The Academy of Television Arts first gave out the Main Title Design Emmy in the 1976. The New Original Wonder Woman was actually nominated (how fun!) but the prize went to something called Addie and the King of Hearts. The award has had a spotty history since, going in and out of fashion, changing rules, sometimes having no winner selected, and the category's numbers have fluctuated in silly fashion anywhere from two to six nominees in a given year with no rhyme or reason. The award seems to have stabilized itself around 2003 after which there have always been either five or six nominees each time. We treasure this category because it's one of the few in which the Emmy voters are forced to have a whole new slate of nominees each year. Some of the category's most memorable winners include Game of Thrones, Six Feet Under, United States of Tara, and Mad Men.  Last year The Man in the High Castle took the honor. 

Who do you think will win this year? Let's watch the sequences nominated for 2017 after the jump... 

American Gods Main Title Sequence from Patrick Clair on Vimeo.

 

• AMERICAN GODS
Patrick Clair, creative director; Raoul Marks, lead compositor and animator; Devin Maurer, editor; Jeff Han, designer [Art of the Title Sequence]

• THE CROWN
Patrick Clair, creative director; Raoul Marks, lead compositor and animator; Javier Leon Carrillo, look developer; Jeff Han, designer [Art of the Title Sequence]

• FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN
Ryan Murphy, creative director; Alexis Martin Woodall, creative producer; Kyle Cooper, director; Nadia Tzuo, designer; Margherita Premuroso, animator

• STRANGER THINGS
Michelle Dougherty, creative director; Peter Frankfurt, executive creative director; Arisu Kashiwagi, designer; Eric Demeusy, compositor/designer [Art of the Title Sequence]

• WESTWORLD
Patrick Clair, creative director; Raoul Marks, lead compositor and animator; Yongsub Song, compositor and animator; Felix Soletic, designer; Jessica Hurst, CG modeler; Jose Limon, CG modeler/sculptor  [Art of the Title Sequence]

Thoughts? Did you have any favorite new credit sequence that wasn't nominated this year?

American Gods is the flashiest but aggressively so. Stranger Things is the simplest absolutely nailing the 80s aesthetic but then abruptly doing nothing more. Feud: Bette and Joan is the most graphic/clever but it's not the type of thing Emmy has been honoring in this category heavily constructed computer generated wonders. Westworld is the most traditionally beautiful and haunting, too. Plus it gets at the mechanics, sex, violence, and death of the central conceit well. The Crown is artful and conveys the 'heavy is the head that wears the crown' truism.

You may have noticed Patrick Clair's name pop up three times in the nominee list. He was double nominated last year and triple nominated this year so he either gets a ton of work or the Emmy voters really respond each and every time he designs something. He lost for what I think is his best work to date (Daredevil) but he's won the category twice in the past for The Man in the High Castle and True Detective. 

My money is on West World and it would make a worthy winner, no question. Still, I think maybe I'm rooting for Feud: Bette and Joan because it's feels so new or at least fresh even though it works Saul Bass nostalgia.

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Reader Comments (13)

Honestly if I were a voter I'd pick either American Gods or Westworld. I just think they are perfect in representing their shows and have such an eerie quality that can be difficult to shake off.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

This category is the only one Feud *should* win. Instantly iconic and a perfectly arch representation of the show itself.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Mareko

I'm quite sure it also deserves Costume design, art direction and Best Supporting Actress for Judy Davis' show-stopping Hedda Hopper.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDg

i thought westworld would win from the minute i saw it when the series premeired. Feud is a close second for me

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermj

It's is criminal to me that Ramin Djawadi wasn't even nominated for Main Title Theme Music for Game of Thrones. Or that he's only been nominated once for the series' score. One of the best aspects of a show they love.

My bet is he wins his rightful Emmy this year in the Main Title Theme category for Westworld. Another beaut of a creation.

Westworld probably takes Title Design too. The most elaborate (without being overly flashy a la American Gods) and longest of the lot.

My vote would be for Stranger Things. Short, beautiful and super super effective. It sets the tone perfectly. What Main Title Design should be.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve_Man

No Big Little Lies?
My bet is on Westworld. Beautiful and also checks the prestige mark.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I love this category - you can watch and evaluate all submissions in 5 minutes!

Sub out "The Crown" for "The Good Fight" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjMN12Zk5lI), and you've got a fully wonderful slate. (I prefer over-the-top cheek to over-the-top solemnity.)

Really appreciate that they gave a nod to "Stranger Things" - it may have fewer moving pieces than the rest of the pack, but it's easily the most iconic.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGabe

Feud should win in a walk.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Feud all the way.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I enjoyed The Good Fight credits sequence. Office props getting smashed. Totally cathartic

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The Eighties are an underrated decade aesthetically.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I like Feud, followed by American Gods. I have know idea which of these is going to win.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBen

My head said Westworld, my heart... Feud!!!

August 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

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