Emmy for Main Title Design: ‘American Horror Story’ could finally win for creepy ‘Freak Show’

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A good opening credits sequence can make or break a program’s success. This year’s nominees for Best Main Title Design display visionary work across series and miniseries. The winner will be announced at the Creative Arts ceremony on Saturday. Let’s take a look at the contenders.

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“American Horror Story” has received its third nomination in this category for its latest installment, “Freak Show.” Creator Ryan Murphy once again teamed up with veteran credits designer Kyle Cooper — a previous Emmy-winner for Best Short-Form Picture Editing for “The 81st Annual Academy Awards” — to create a creepy and haunting mix of stop motion and CGI. They are joined by first-time nominees Lee Nelson (art director/3D supervisor) and Nadia Tzou (art director/2D supervisor). (Click here to watch our exclusive video interview with Cooper.)

Amazon’s “Bosch” contends in this category for the first time. Creative director Grant Lau, a previous winner in this category for “Masterpiece Theater: American Collection” (2001) and a nominee for “Storymakers” (2009), teamed up with first-time nominees J.J. Gerber (creative producer), Michael Radtke (editor), and Rod Basham (flame artist) to produce the show’s kaleidoscopic opening credits.

Halt and Catch Fire” is another first-time nominee. Creative director Patrick Clair and animator Raoul Marks won this prize last year for their work on “True Detective,” and their brooding, blood-red sequence on this show have earned them a second bid along with Eddy Herringson (designer) and Paul Kim (typographer).

Manhattan” is also new to this category. Art director Jeremy Cox is a two-time nominee for his work on “Human Target” (2010) and “Rubicon” (2011), and along with creative director Dan Gregoras, creative producer Jon Hassell, and designer Griffin Frazen he contrasted bold splashes of color against a spartan black-and-white backdrop to create a mysterious, classical opening.

Daredevil” has three bids for its first season on Netflix: one here, one for Best Sound Editing, and another for Best Supporting Visual Effects. Patrick Clair is here again with another blood-soaked, comic-inspired opening, and he’s joined this time by CGI lead Andrew Romatz, fluids lead Miguel Salek and lead compositor Shahana Kahn, all receiving their first bid.

Olive Kitteridge” reaped a sixth nomination in this category for creative director Garson Yu, who has also competed for his work on “Desperate Housewives” (2005), “The Triangle” (2006) “Ugly Betty” (2007), “Bernard and Doris” (2008) and “Silicon Valley” (2014). Art director Synderela Peng was also nominated for “Bernard and Doris,” and along with editor Michael Lane Parks and director of photography Alex Pollini crafted a melancholy collage of Americana imagery.

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