He didn’t get to walk the red carpet this time, but Henry De Leon, California-Irvine ’01, still had plenty to be excited about when the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards were presented virtually in September. De Leon, a visual artist, was nominated for Outstanding Main Title Design for his work as an art director on the Amazon Prime series “Carnival Row.”
De Leon’s already an Emmy veteran, having earned awards in 2011 and 2019 for his work on the teams that created the main title sequences for “Game of Thrones.” But there was an extra special element to this year’s nomination because it marked the first time De Leon has been nominated as one of the lead creators of a title design.
“This one’s pretty nice,” he said, reflecting on his sixth Emmy nomination. “This time around, I’m officially one of the core people on the team.”
“The whole purpose of the main title is to bring you into the characters’ world,” De Leon explained. That’s a pretty hefty expectation, considering that main title sequences are typically just 30-60 seconds long.
De Leon noted an additional challenge: In most cases, artists start working on the title sequence while the show is still being filmed. A script and conversations with the show runner are usually all they have to go on. The experience on “Carnival Row” was unique, De Leon said, because they got to see a couple of episodes in the editing stage. From there, the group researched and created design concepts. The final result introduces the show’s main characters in a somber tone with muted colors that perfectly captures the murky, mysterious world in which the show is set.
De Leon and his coworkers decided they couldn’t miss out on celebrating this achievement. They all got tested for COVID-19 so they could safely get together for an Emmy watch party.
Although the team missed out on getting the Emmy this time around, De Leon is grateful for everything he’s achieved so far and being recognized for doing work that he loves.
He also expressed appreciation to SigEp for acknowledging his accomplishments and shared that the Fraternity played a big role in his adjustment to college life. “I just remember freshman year feeling overwhelmed,” he said. “After I got into the chapter, I had brothers to hang out with, study with and go to social functions with. That bond of brotherhood and having people to be accountable to — it gave me a great sense of support.”