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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » Film Trademarks (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Film Trademarks
Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8290
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-17-2007 05:09 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since the discussion with trademarks in the "Ratatouille" topic in the "Features info and trailer attachment" forum, I though we'd better take this topic over here to continue and to follow forum rules in that previous forum pertaining on chit-chatting to be continued to a new area.

One person mentions of the new Disney trademark (which I think is the best thing that has came out of the "House of Mouse" since they redid the "Buena Vista" trademark when Disney quit going through RKO for their features..(and the RKO trademark is shown in the comedy "Are We Done Yet") and began "BV" release with their first CinemaScope feature "20000 Leagues Under the Sea"

One person said about the Pixar trademark..and said that the Universal trademark was tops.

How many of us remember the numerous trademarks that UNI went through..with the airplane circling around the globe (the B/W days..), then the Universal International trademark, how the 'saturn' rings came into focus and surrounded the globe for the Universal trademark of the 60's and 70's, and the current one we have now (which was derived from the opening sequence of WaterWorld..*gasp*).

Now, we shift over to Columbia Pictures - the famous statue of Columbia and it's variations during the B/W era. Plus, Columbia had their sense of humor as well with the 1963 film of "A Man Called Flinstone" with a cartoon descript of the trademark with Wilma posing as Columbia..

Paramount had their mountain, but the two best trademarks from Paramount came from: when they would present "VistaVision" afterwards with the mountain in the background, and the highly detailed artwork of the mountain with red hues for the opening trademark of "the Ten Commandments" (and how many of us remember the little cross symbols that were flashed in the upper right hand corner after each changeover of those 12 reels of film to remind of us of how the widescreen image is supposed to be centered on the screen...) - from "A Paramount Picture" to "Gulf+Western", "Paramount Communications Company", then the present "A Viacom Company"

MGM had Leo .. what can we say. Just that Leo didn't move and roar on the front of "BEN-HUR" and he was completely left out at the beginning of "2001:a Space Odyssey" in choice of a simple drawn circular form in black with a blue background. MGM had their small changes as well with their merger with UA and the gold MGM banner was changed to add in the UA merger in that banner that surrounded LEO. Now, it's back to normal, but one can tell that the trademark is rather a tired one - one can see the graininess of using old negatives...

Warner Bros known for their shield. Yet, in 1966 they dropped the shield for the "W7" since of the merging with "Seven Arts". Then the short lived "A Kinney Company" soon afterwards. Later on in the mid 70's, they went artistic with the simple "W" being of a part of Warner Communications Company. Finally, the shield returns.

..but nothing compares to the superb classic FOX logo with Lionel Newman's "Fox Fanfare" composition hearlding which would begin before the fade-in of the trademark.

Then as the fanfare contiues after the opening segment, the second section of the fanfare would begin with the added script in gold letters on a dark blue sky background:

20th Century-Fox
presents
a
CinemaScope
Film

The fanfare wasn't included on the first two FOX CinemaScope films - being of "the Robe" and "Demetrius and the Gladiators", since Newman had to come up with the second movement of his fanfare to present CinemaScope with the trademark..

Then, a rare addition to the CinemaScope trademark was added for the 55mm process:

20th Century-Fox
presents
a
CinemaScope
Film
in
CinemaScope55

(for the King and I, and Carousel)

It was disappointing when FOX started to use Panavision lenses for their cameras that the "CinemaScope" section of the trademark was taken out.

Yet it was a massive improvement for FOX to switch over to those lenses from using those B&L's that they were using from the inception of anamorphic photography..being that "CinemaScope" is their trademark name.

-Monte

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12395
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-17-2007 07:58 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is nice to see Disney using a "flag" that befits their legacy. The old blue/white one was really cheap looking.

Remember how Paramount trailers used to open with the logo on screen, and a cool drum/hi hat riff?

PS: I would vote for putting this in the "Yak" forum.

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Gerard S. Cohen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 975
From: Forest Hills, NY, USA
Registered: Sep 2001


 - posted 06-17-2007 07:59 PM      Profile for Gerard S. Cohen   Email Gerard S. Cohen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Monte:

Your description of the trademark logos unreels like a compilation of them--I coukld almost see them again in my mind's eye. Have you--or anyone else--compiled them into a digital video that we can view or even download? [And don't forget those from the newsreels: the Pathe rooster crow, the "Eyes and Ears of the World" and the (RKO ?)radio tower broadcasting lightning, et al...]

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Ron Curran
Master Film Handler

Posts: 499
From: Springwood NSW Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 06-17-2007 10:00 PM      Profile for Ron Curran   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Curran   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We in the business practically had multiple orgasms when we showed Down With Love in 2003. An average movie but it revived the fifties Fox trademark with the original Cinemascope extension.

The current Columbia and Warners openers are cool.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 06-18-2007 12:05 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Agreed there.

The only one that's really dull right now is New Line.

Paramount's flying stars are cool, and Universal's is nice. Fox is the all time classic, I hope they never substantially change it.

I was very glad to see Columbia go back to the pure "lady" after their brief foray in the '70s into that dumb half-circle starburst thing.

Mention should also go to Pixar with their Luxo Jr. logo. Very cool especially the faint "click" sound at the end of the movie when he turns his light off.

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Anslem Rayburn
Master Film Handler

Posts: 476
From: Yuma, AZ, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 06-18-2007 12:31 AM      Profile for Anslem Rayburn   Email Anslem Rayburn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Gerard S. Cohen
Have you--or anyone else--compiled them into a digital video that we can view or even download?
While not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, here's a clip of some changes :

Link

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Ron Curran
Master Film Handler

Posts: 499
From: Springwood NSW Australia
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted 06-18-2007 03:09 AM      Profile for Ron Curran   Author's Homepage   Email Ron Curran   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks Anslem.

Hey Mike and Monte, do you remember the beaut Columbia gun-totin' lady on the front of Cat Ballou?

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Christian Appelt
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 502
From: Frankfurt, Germany
Registered: Dec 2001


 - posted 06-18-2007 08:39 AM      Profile for Christian Appelt   Email Christian Appelt   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Monte L Fullmer
MGM had Leo .. what can we say. Just that Leo didn't move and roar on the front of "BEN-HUR" and he was completely left out at the beginning of "2001:a Space Odyssey" in choice of a simple drawn circular form in black with a blue background.
There was another non-standard Leo in front of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, IIRC it was redesigned to fit the Saul Bass main title design.

I recall two versions of a "MGM cartoon" logo, one with Leo dissolving to Tom the Cat meowing and one without the original lion. Still got a laugh when I saw MGMG cartoon in a theatre two years ago!

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Richard P. May
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 243
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jan 2006


 - posted 06-18-2007 11:29 AM      Profile for Richard P. May   Email Richard P. May   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Monte,
A nice reminicence of the various logos. In your summary of the Universal series, you left out the mirrored globe with the plexiglass UNIVERSAL rotating around it. This was between the period of the airplane and Universal-International.

RPM

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Monte L Fullmer
Film God

Posts: 8290
From: Nampa, Idaho, USA
Registered: Nov 2004


 - posted 06-18-2007 12:50 PM      Profile for Monte L Fullmer   Email Monte L Fullmer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
yea, whoops forgot about that earlier UNI "plexiglass" trademark. thx for the update on that one.

Yes, and did forget about the "Cat Ballou trademark , and that horrible mid 70's "sunburst" trademark for Columbia that was mentioned.

Yes, the Chuck Jones MGM trademark for "Tom and Jerry" ..

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 06-18-2007 01:39 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I guess I should have a little more enthusiasm than I do for the motion graphics "logos" major movie studios have on the front of their features these days. Many of the new branding schemes look great. But then I have a sort of "so what" feeling about them at the same time.

The problem is the technical challenges on creating those motion graphics designs are relatively minor. Sure, some are still costly to make, requiring hundreds or even thousands of man hours to model and animate. The best ones take some beefy render farms to produce. But there's hardly any visual idea that is just plain impossible to produce like it might have been a couple decades ago.

Many of these new motion graphics intros are produced using off the shelf software like Autodesk Maya, Studio 3D Max and Adobe After Effects. Some may use more expensive solutions like Autodesk's suite of high end systems it acquired from Discreet (Flame, Flint, Inferno, etc.). The process is simple enough that even some smaller indie companies and other production companies are developing impressive looking motion graphics branding of their own.

In decades past it was a pretty big challenge to come up with a film distributor brand motion graphic that looked visually impressive and tasteful at the same time. In the 1980's and into the early 1990's we would see a lot of smaller studios lay on the cheesy disco starburst effects and other laughable crap like that.

The late 1960's and 1970's had a decent amount of experimentation with minimalistic graphics. The un-animated MGM lion graphic from 2001: A Space Odyssey was visually stark, but functioned more like a pure logo. Many people use the word "logo" far too loosely, applying it to complex (and often cluttered) graphic designs and even illustrations. Studios like Paramount, Warner Bros and others did similar experiments. Mere remnants of those experiments only survive now on movie poster one sheets where the studios still try to have their brands live up to the true definition of a logo.

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

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From: prospect ky usa
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 - posted 06-19-2007 12:45 PM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have a pristine 70mm Fox open; Judging by the size of the fingerprints in the flocking, I would estimate the "painting" to be about 24 x 36". The "animated" searchlights were painted on celluloid or plexi and moved; you can see the edges. Louis

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Michael Coate
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1866
From: Los Angeles, California
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 - posted 06-22-2007 05:04 AM      Profile for Michael Coate   Email Michael Coate   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The 20th Century Fox logos (clips, snipes, whatever you wish to call them) have always been my favorite, especially those featuring the “CinemaScope Extension.” One exception: I dislike the use of the full fanfare when used on contemporary non-scope films, where I find its use inappropriate and running counter to the original concept of the “Extension” music.

I especially enjoy seeing some type of gag or stylization incorporated into a studio logo. (For humorous examples, see Fox’s “The Cannonball Run” or MGM’s “Strange Brew.” Or for visually interesting examples, see Paramount’s “Indiana Jones” movies where the animated logo mountain dissolves into a photographed opening-shot mountain or Universal’s “E.T.” where the logo was played in reverse.)

This month, by the way, marks the 40th anniversary of the retirement of the “Fox Fanfare with CinemaScope Extension” with the release, in the United States at least, of the final official CinemaScope production: “Caprice”*.

Fox would bring the full fanfare out of retirement in 1994, although it did occasionally make an appearance inbetween ’67 and ’94, most notably on “Star Wars” and “Die Hard.”

[*Sources vary on whether the final official CinemaScope film was “Caprice” or if it was “In Like Flint.” I’ve seen references to “Flint” being the last, but I think there may be some question over which one commenced principal photography first vs. the one that was last to be released.]

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
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 - posted 06-22-2007 10:49 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Currently just about any 20th Century Fox release that uses the Fox Fanfare music uses the full "CinemaScope Extension" segment as well, regardless of aspect ratio used.

This situation has been in place due to the design of Fox' current motion graphic branding scheme. The extra music is needed for the time it takes for the animation to fly from the top of the 20th Century Fox logo and sweep around the front of it until stopping in the familiar camera angle. That "logo" has been in place since 1994, first introduced with True Lies. Speed was the last movie to use the older logo that had been in use for quite a long time.

The "CinemaScope Extension" of the Fox Fanfare is even played on most Fox Searchlight releases.

Since the current Fox motion graphic is CGI-based, it's been relatively simple to customize it. X-Men altered it. The Star Wars special editions and prequels had stationary versions of it, ahead of the Lucasfilm Ltd. brand mark shown during the "CinemaScope Extension" music. Moulin Rouge framed the logo animation with curtains and the silhouette of an orchestra conductor (which stayed in the frame for the opening titles).

In the 1980s, the Fox logo was altered in weird ways on some 70mm prints. The 70mm print I saw of The Abyss had the Fox logo badly cropped. You could see the "20th" part of it, but much of the lower part of it was clipped. The 70mm print I saw of Die Hard featured a Fox logo horizontally stretched. It was as if they placed a 1.33:1 Fox logo on the front of the anamorphic shot material before printing it to 70mm.

These days it seems like studio logos are altered and stylized in various ways more often than they have been in the past. CGI makes the process much easier. An effects studio can use the original 3D modeling and animation files and do a lot of different things with them.

Warner Bros' logo has been altered somewhat frequently over the last decade. The Matrix is probably one of the best known alterations (turning the WB and Village Roadshow logos green and lacing them with video scan lines). Constantine had the WB logo crumbling away in hellish wind. Didn't the WB logo on Twister emerge out of some story clouds? Million Dollar Baby had a stationary WB logo over a black background.

Some movies have done simple tricks to alter studio logos. Gladiator simply desaturated and tinted the Universal Studios and Dreamworks SKG motion graphics.

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David Stambaugh
Film God

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From: Eugene, Oregon
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 - posted 06-22-2007 11:39 AM      Profile for David Stambaugh   Author's Homepage   Email David Stambaugh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One of the coolest things about seeing Star Wars in 70mm was that awesome Fox Fanfare with the Cinemascope Extension for LucasFilm. With the silence during "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." followed by the John Williams' opening music and the Star Wars title & prologue sequence, it all fit perfectly and added to the feeling that the movie was something special. [thumbsup]

I always wondered what the deal was with the Fox logo in front of "Die Hard". Didn't that flat-logo-projected-in-scope error even carry over to home video releases? Anyway "Die Hard" is another contemporary example where the Fox Fanfare fit the movie perfectly.

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