WA man shocked by Emmy nomination

From the streets of Fremantle to the red carpet of the Emmy awards - self-described "scruffy Australian" Raoul Marks has come a long way.

Unlike the acting pathway used by most West Australians to make their mark on Tinseltown, Marks has made it through design.

The 31-year-old was part of a duo that created the eerie opening sequence for the hit HBO TV series True Detective, staring Hollywood actors Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

The sequence has made such an impact that it has been nominated for an Emmy in the main title design category.

Speaking to AAA from LA where he is preparing his tuxedo for the creative Emmy awards this weekend - and the main ceremony the following weekend - Marks said the whole experience had been surreal.

"I'm beyond amazed," Marks said. "Tuxedo shopping in Beverly Hills seems a very long way from beers and loud music at Mojos."

The title sequence, which uses a ghostly montage of characters from the series laid over powerful images of the Louisiana landscape, has been praised by the design community - and Hollywood - as an adept entree to the show and is the hot tip to take out the Emmy.

The sequence was Marks' and director Patrick Clair's first pitch to Hollywood, with the inexperienced duo, who designed the sequence out of their small Sydney studio where Marks has been based for the past three years, beating four experienced US-based firms.

"Just getting the chance to pitch was an honour," Marks said. "When we found out we'd won the contract, Pat and I danced around the office tossing expletives at one another.

Marks said it had been a "very strange experience" to work on something that had become part of popular culture.

"I'll be out to dinner and people are talking about the show, I've even had friends get in touch and tell me about these great new titles they'd seen for a show called True Detective, unaware of my involvement," he said.

"And the biggest compliment for me is being told 'We didn't skip the titles' . . . I think what the writers want is for you to help them tell their story - to help them carry the load, to enrich it."

The Emmy nomination has led to a heap of work for the now LA-based designer. He was involved in an Adidas advertisement for the World Cup final which was watched 16 million times in two days and designed the titles for AMC's new show Halt and Catch Fire.

But can he win?

"I just hope they let me in," he said. "I'm not sure what they'll think of a scruffy Australian with an unremovable grin on his face . . . hopefully a tuxedo and some time in the Californian sun will allow me to slip past unnoticed."

The West Australian

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