The Emmy awards ceremony coming next week honors some of the nominees, but the creative arts categories, in which Jessica Jones and Daredevil were nominated, were awarded yesterday, at a separate ceremony. Jessica Jones has already proven to be a hit with award committees, having brought a Peabody and Hugo Award to the MCU. While those awards were based on the culturally relevant content of the show, the Emmy nominations for the show were based on the technical achievements of the series.
Last night, Sean P. Callery of Jessica Jones was awarded the Emmy for “Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.”
— Television Academy (@TelevisionAcad)
The title sequence, featuring art by David Mack, set the tone for the series with it’s eerie movement through Jessica’s world. The sequence, put together by Imaginary Forces, was heavily inspired by Hitchcock, Hell’s Kitchen itself, and the watercolor style of Mack’s art. Creative Director Michelle Dougherty and Lead Designer Arisu Kashiwagi of Imaginary Forces explained these influences to Art of the Title last year, when the show first premiered.
Michelle: I have always loved Hitchcock’s Rear Window. I would say it’s one of my top five. I remember being fascinated by the concept of constructing a story through bits and pieces of information. Jessica Jones uses her camera and is also a private investigator so a voyeuristic approach seemed natural. Joan Lau headed the design for this concept. It was photo-real, rich and cinematic.
I also thought about using the city as a character — Hell’s Kitchen. I remember hearing that the Avengers are the superheroes you see in the sky and down on the ground were the Defenders. The light of the city, the dark spaces, the grit were all part of the place she investigates. I wanted this concept to be painterly in style and knew just the designer to do this: Arisu. She has an amazing sensibility and is fierce with the brush. I’m always moved by her work and she didn’t disappoint.
Arisu: Since there are so many painterly sequences already, we wanted this one to have a more modern, abstract look while also embracing the spirit of David Mack’s watercolour paintings from the original Jessica Jones comic books.
We based the concept off of Jessica’s PTSD and alcoholism, her blurry, unreliable point of view, and translated that visually using paint strokes that smear and obfuscate the scenes. We wanted her visions and memories to be triggered by light, and floating in black negative space. So the scenes would appear only in small sections of the frame, either blocked by a foreground element or contained inside of a silhouetted framing device.
Jessica Jones was also nominated for “Outstanding Main Title Design.” Daredevil again came away from the Emmys empty handed, but was nominated for “Outstanding Stunt Coordination For A Drama Series, Limited Series, Or Movie” and “Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.” While we have all watched the Emmy-winning title sequence for Jessica Jones at least thirteen times, you an see it again, below. Meanwhile, congratulations to Marvel Television on their first Emmy win!
(Jessica Jones Main Title courtesy of Imaginary Forces on Vimeo)