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Opening credits and title sequence

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The opening credits were created by Kyle Cooper and his company Prologue, who also created the opening scenes for Seven and The Walking Dead.

Ryan Murphy said about the opening credits "The title sequence is almost like a mystery. By the time you see the ninth episode of this season, every image in that title sequence will be explained. So for example, What are the jars in the basement? What is the mystery of the floating white Christening dress? Why is somebody holding hedge clippers that are bloody? Each time you watch it and you watch the week's episode you'll be able to say, 'Oh that's why that's in there!'"[1]


American-Horror-Story-logo-wide-560x282
The font used for the AHS logo is called "Rennie Mackintosh", after the Scottish Art Nouveau artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Ryan Murphy had wanted "Frank Lloyd Wright" font, after the American architect famous for his use of stained glass. Since Frank Lloyd Wright was influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the Prologue company suggested the Mackintosh font.

Kyle Cooper shot the basement scenes in the sub-basement of Mack Sennett Studios in Silverlake, California, a soundstage originally built in 1916. He decided to shoot the entire opening credits in the basement to provide the view of the infantata, who lives in the basement. The old pictures of children were included to show past owners who watched everything with innocent eyes.[2]

The song in the background was created by Cesar Davila-Irizarry, who is a friend of "Prologue" editor Gabriel Diaz, and musician Charlie Clouser, formerly of Nine Inch Nails and is called "American Horror Story". The song also gives clues to the show, for example the ambient noises and the sound of dripping water (Maria).

Murder House

Opening Credits for Season 101:08

Opening Credits for Season 1

Murder House - Main Titles

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Ahs101 0381
P0000000557

Imagery featured in the Opening Credits are:

  • The basement
  • A hole in the floor (Infantata's hiding place)
  • Bloody medical equipment (Dr Montgomery)
  • A man with plastic wrap around his head (Joe Escandarian)
  • Flames (Larry , Lorraine & their daughters)
  • Old pictures of toddlers (from approximately 1890- 1930), some of them burning (some of these pictures are post-mortem pictures)
  • Jars with both human and pig fetuses (Dr Montgomery)
  • A bride's photo (possibly the dead bride from You're Going to Die in There)
  • Chains (possibly Beau)
  • A dead man under plastic (Joe Eskandarian)
  • Another presumably dead man sitting on an office chair under plastic (Joe Eskandarian)
  • A man with bloody hedge clippers (possibly Black Dahlia)
  • A baptism gown (Infantata)
  • Three skeletons (The Harmon family all dead)


Asylum

American Horror Story Asylum - Opening01:04

American Horror Story Asylum - Opening

Asylum - Main Titles

  • Body in death chute with dark figure in background (Grace Bertrand's post-mortem abduction)
  • Bandaged person crying black tears (Posessed Jed Potter and Mary Eunice)
  • Man (possibly Oliver Thredson) behind crucifix (Bloody Face)
  • Man in wheelchair (Kit's final abduction)
  • Bloody gloves, possibly made of skin, picking  organs (Bloody Face, also Jed Potter's eating of the disembowelled cow)
  • Operation with Sister Mary Eunice standing over 
  • Nun climbing ontop of bound patient (Mary Eunice's rape of the Monsignor) 
  • Doctor suffocating patient (Dr. Arden killing then reviving patient to attrract aliens)
  • Girl walking backwards on hands up the stairs
  • Girl upside down with free-flowing hair (Jenny Reynolds from The Origins of Monstrosity)
  • Man under bright lights (Alien Abduction)
  • Statue of Virgin Mary's face contorting into evil smile (Mary Eunice's possession)
  • Insane people (scattered throughout sequence)


Coven

AHS COVEN MAIN TITLE01:04

AHS COVEN MAIN TITLE

Coven - Main Titles

  • Shadowed figure walking in long gown, metallic mask and spiked footwear 
  • Stitched mouth (Delphine LaLaurie's torture chamber)
  • Voodoo priestess sewing, stabbing and burning a voodoo doll (Marie Laveau torturing Hank)
  • Demonic figure with skeletal wings
  • Man with horse head (Bastien's existance as a minotaur)
  • Symbols drawn on floor, alongside candles and bones (Marie Laveau's rituals)
  • Members of coven attacking each other 
  • Blonde girl flanked by floating witches (Zoe Benson when she arrived at Miss Robichaux's Academy)
  • African shaman with blue eyes (possibly Papa Legba)
  • Baphomet-horned goat (the blood on the Axeman was goat's blood, not Fiona Goode 's)
  • Witch burnt at stake while white-clad witches dance (Myrtle Snow's burning)
  • Coven members clan in capirotes walking in a woodland
  • Imagery from Santa Muerte and Satanic works (Santa Muerte, also known as the Lady of the Seven Powers, was behind Sarah Paulson's name card in the opening sequence, showing that Cordelia was the next supreme)
  • Lily Rabe's name disintegrates as it transitions into the next shot, foreshadowing the final death of her character Misty Day.


Freak Show

American Horror Story Freak Show - Main Titles01:12

American Horror Story Freak Show - Main Titles

Freak Show - Main Titles

  • Skeleton chimera of a human shaped like an elephant being riding a bike
  • A clown hiding behind freakshow trailer (probably Twisty The Clown)
  • Man with short legs limping, supported by his hands
  • Clown whose face is smiling, contorting into an evil laughing expression (Also probably Twisty The Clown)
  • Handicapped boy with deformed legs
  • Conjoined twins stuck onto dart board whilst darts are being thrown at them
  • Man probably meditating
  • Clowns scattered throughout sequence
  • Demonic cymbal-banging monkey toy
  • A voodoo-like masked person wandering around
  • Man with nails fixiated into his head using hammer to fix a signboard
  • A skeleton (behind Emma Robert's title card)
  • Woman swallowing probably a dagger or sword
  • Nude woman with a leg sticking out of her vagina
  • Balloon twister popping balloons
  • Person swapping heads with one of an conjoined twin (probably depicting the final death of Bette and Dott)
  • Clown in sweatervest missing the top of his head (possibly Dandy Mott)
  • Man whose eye pupils roll inside his head when his tops was zipped down
  • Girl with a big circus hat (Elsa Mars)
  • Conjoined twins kissing each other


References

  1. Clues in American Horror Story Haunting Opening Credits, The Ossuary, Best-Horror-Movies.com, 28-9-2011, http://ossuary.best-horror-movies.com/m/news/view/89162/-Video-Clues-in-American-Horror-Story-Haunting-Opening-Credits
  2. "Main Title design: American Horror Story", Brief. The International Journal of Media Marketing, Promotion and Design, Fall 2011, p. 64, 28-9-2011, http://www.scribd.com/doc/69750568/Top-Chef-Just-Desserts

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