EMERGENCE was the original title sequence for the Victorian horror series PENNY DREADFUL. The piece was cut due to the decision by the network at the last minute to not market the show as an edgy modern take on classical horror, but as a strictly dramatic series. The concept for "Emergence" was developed by myself along with my team at Showtime and derives from a quote in the show that succinctly sums up its central narrative: “Do you believe there is a demimonde? A half world between what we know and what we fear…a place in the shadows rarely seen but deeply felt…where some unfortunate souls are cursed to live always.”
"Penny Dreadful" weaves together several classical titles–Shelley's "Frankenstein", Stoker's "Dracula", and Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray"–into a ensemble drama about tortured characters with striking dualities working together to achieve a common goal. The titles depict the show's Victorian archetypes as figures frozen in time, set adrift in the dark limbo environment of their psyche where they are tortured from within. They are losing the battle against their inner demons, which are manifested as black insects and snakes made of obsidian stone, breaking out of the beautifully formed prison bodies of our protagonists.
The poses in the piece reference the naturalism of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite art that was contemporaneous to the time period of the show. The scenes are then imbued with allegorical themes from neo-classical art. Echoes of Bernini, Carpeaux, and Michelangelo can be felt, as well as Gericault's "Raft of the Medusa" in the final composition which depicts the futile attempt of escape by those "unfortunate souls" from their fate.
DARK RITUAL, another direction of mine was ultimately chosen, although I didn't participate in its execution. The open used for the show blended elements of "Dark Ritual" with the initial tease "Do You Believe in Monsters." The narrative for "Dark Ritual" centered around a woman performing an arcane act, summoning creatures from the dark. The narrative elements were left out of the final version.