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Studio Logos


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#1 of 61 Guest__*

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Posted June 05 2011 - 01:54 PM

I really wish studios were better at preserving the original logos for films, as much as possible. I understand that films can sometimes change distributors (i.e. The Shawshank Redemption going from Columbia Pictures to Warner Bros. and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory going from Paramount to Warner Bros.) but I don't know why most vintage logos aren't kept. The Ultimate Edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has even been altered (making me feel older than I should!) It used to have the WB shield logo with the AOL/Time Warner byline. It has been changed to the new WB shield logo with TimeWarner in a new font. Why can't they put the newer logo first, followed by the vintage one? Disney was getting better about this, then took a step back by not reinstating Bambi's original RKO logo (which was seen in the 1990s on the restored vhs an ld.) I consider Blu Ray to be an archival format from a fan's standpoint. And I want to have definitive copies (as much as possible.) This history changing puts a bad taste in my mouth, and while it doesn't completely destroy the experience, it does cause me to cringe slightly.


#2 of 61 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted June 05 2011 - 02:14 PM

I agree that I love to see the original logos.  The first thing that comes to mind is the entire early Paramount library that's been distributed by Universal for years, the early Marx Brothers movies, W.C. Fields, and so many others (not to mention some of the Hitchcock films like Vertigo, Rope, Psycho and Rear Window).  I love that Universal is willing to keep the Paramount logo intact, and just throws their logo on beforehand - I think that's the way to go.  Whether it's a film that's changed hands and has a different studio distributing it now, or a film where the studio has just changed their logos over the years, I love seeing the film open with whichever logo was originally there.  (When I was a kid, I remember loving the Universal logo because they had that version in the early 90s that had little samples of the different versions through the ages, culminating in the most recent version - I loved the history there.)


When it's something simple like having Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (or Philosopher's Stone for you U.K. HTF members), having it changed from "AOL Time Warner" to "Time Warner" doesn't bug me as much because the basic logo design is still the same, but it is nice to have the historical context built in.  How about the Warner releases of the early 70s when it "Warner Bros - A Kinney Company" (for those that don't know, Kinney was a company that owned and operated parking garages in NYC) - that's always interesting to see.  Paramount's gone, in recent years, from being a Gulf & Western (or Engulf & Devour) Company to a Paramount Communications Company to a Viacom Company.


I agree completely that I love seeing that stuff there.  It really brings you back to a certain time and place.  With "Clockwork Orange" for instance, that was made when Warner was a Kinney company, and on some level, with Clockwork already being a really f'ed up movie (in the best way, of course), seeing that it was released by a company that owned parking garages somehow contributed to that dystopic feeling of the movie from the beginning.  For something like "Citizen Kane", it was an RKO Picture and I'm glad Warners kept it on their DVD - it wasn't an accident that Orson Welles made his movie there and it's worth preserving that.  There are countless examples but I love seeing the original logos.  By all means, slap on your new logo before the film starts, but keep the original stuff there.  I do understand that there may be times where specific legal rights and clearances might not allow an older logo design to be used without paying a ridiculously expensive royalty or something like that, and that all companies want their most current incarnation to shine the brightest, but all things being equal, I like to see the original logo there whenever possible.  It won't drive me insane if it's missing, but for instance, I saw the restored "Godfather" and "Godfather Part II" theatrical earlier this year, and it was weird to see the new Paramount logo there (albeit with a golden-hued tone), digital animation and all, instead of the older Gulf & Western that would have been on the original film.


I completely understand the reasoning behind these changes, but there's a big difference between understanding a change and agreeing with it!



#3 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 05 2011 - 02:31 PM

I know I'm in the minority here, but aside from the love of them from a historical perspective, I can't really say I care about the logos.  I never viewed them as part of the film, except in the rare case where they're customized for a particular piece, such as Cat Ballou.  To me, the owner can put whatever they like on there; I'm more interested in the film. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having them, but I don't care if they're not included.  Anymore than if I buy a book, do I care if the original publisher's info and logo is included.  Does it really change "To Kill A Mockingbird" if the publisher is now HarperCollins instead of J.B. Lippincott & Co.?



#4 of 61 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted June 05 2011 - 03:14 PM



Originally Posted by JohnMor 

I know I'm in the minority here, but aside from the love of them from a historical perspective, I can't really say I care about the logos.


I didn't mention above, but it's worth saying that I forget about the logo about five seconds after it flashes offscreen.  Academically it's something I'm very happy to debate and defend, but when it comes to actually watching the movie, I agree that it's usually the least of my concerns.



#5 of 61 OFFLINE   Brisby

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Posted June 05 2011 - 03:14 PM

One thing about the recent Blu-Ray release of Blow Out I greatly appreciated was seeing the early 80's Filmways logo restored to the film, which I have never seen before.


I too dislike seeing a shiny, slick current version of a studio's logo replacing the old one on films which are thirty or more years old. It's the same to me as digitally erasing wires and removing walkie-talkies.



#6 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted June 05 2011 - 09:06 PM

One of the worst offenders is MGM who invariably replace the original logos from their films and replace them with Leo the Lion. The current MGM is really little more than what was United Artists yet, for corporate reasons - the MGM label having a better image than UA - they have totally removed the old United Artists logo from history, which I find really sad. Another point is that studio logos often include music as part of the original score for that particular film so it is especially annoying in those cases where cutting the logo also cuts part of the opening music.



#7 of 61 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted June 05 2011 - 09:18 PM



Originally Posted by JohnMor 

I know I'm in the minority here, but aside from the love of them from a historical perspective, I can't really say I care about the logos.  I never viewed them as part of the film, except in the rare case where they're customized for a particular piece, such as Cat Ballou.  To me, the owner can put whatever they like on there; I'm more interested in the film. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for having them, but I don't care if they're not included.  Anymore than if I buy a book, do I care if the original publisher's info and logo is included.  Does it really change "To Kill A Mockingbird" if the publisher is now HarperCollins instead of J.B. Lippincott & Co.?


I agree with you, the logo isn't of much concern of mine, unless it becomes more part of the film like the example you mentioned.



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#8 of 61 OFFLINE   Charles Smith

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Posted June 06 2011 - 02:01 AM

My first awareness of this issue was the 1984 Universal re-release of the Paramount Hitchcock films in which the beginnings were botched, both in appearance and in the music.  I was THRILLED with the handling of it in the "Vertigo" restoration.


My vote:  100% in favor of retaining original logos.

Display whatever shiny new contemporary logos you want, a moment of black, THEN start the movie as originally released.


Pros:  Retains the original flavor of the film and documents its history.  Appreciated by all who are interested.

Cons:  NONE.  Those who have no interest in this kind of thing won't notice -- or spend one second wondering what's going on if they do.




#9 of 61 OFFLINE   cineMANIAC

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Posted June 06 2011 - 03:42 AM

The best way to deal with logos is to show a montage of them from the earliest versions through all the reinventions and reimaginings to the current one. Universal has done this on a handful of movies (Land of the Dead comes to mind). It always brings a smile to my face whenever I see it.


 

 


#10 of 61 OFFLINE   Cinescott

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Posted June 06 2011 - 03:50 AM

Logos are important. The one that comes to mind for me is the original, plain Lucasfilm Limited logo at the beginning of Star Wars. The new one just changed the tone at the beginning.


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#11 of 61 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted June 06 2011 - 09:24 AM

I'm waiting for the day they re-do "2001: a space odyssey" and they replace this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


with this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/



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Posted June 06 2011 - 10:27 AM

...or when they replace Leo with a WB Shield for The Wizard of Oz.



#13 of 61 OFFLINE   JohnMor

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Posted June 06 2011 - 10:35 AM

I really wonder how Kubrick and Hitchcock and others would feel to know all their hard work and artistry on their films is completely dependent on a 10-second bit of celluloid that they had nothing to do with, attached to their work by a studio.  The "whole mood" of the piece they worked so hard on is altered by that little logo? And if people are seeing these films for the first time today, are they really seeing a different film because the logo is not what Warner Bros. or MGM happened to use when the film first came out?  As I said, I'm all for including them, but this whole thing about the mood being different or the viewing experience changed because of the logos strikes me as more about the mood of expectation we all felt when we first saw the films and our trying to recapture that, than about the work the filmmakers did on the actual films.



#14 of 61 OFFLINE   Jeff Adkins

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Posted June 06 2011 - 02:05 PM



Originally Posted by JohnMor 

I really wonder how Kubrick and Hitchcock and others would feel to know all their hard work and artistry on their films is completely dependent on a 10-second bit of celluloid that they had nothing to do with, attached to their work by a studio.  The "whole mood" of the piece they worked so hard on is altered by that little logo? And if people are seeing these films for the first time today, are they really seeing a different film because the logo is not what Warner Bros. or MGM happened to use when the film first came out?  As I said, I'm all for including them, but this whole thing about the mood being different or the viewing experience changed because of the logos strikes me as more about the mood of expectation we all felt when we first saw the films and our trying to recapture that, than about the work the filmmakers did on the actual films.


Of course it's not "completely dependent" on the logo.  But it certainly plays into the mood.  Can you imagine "A Clockwork Orange" without the "Kinney Company" intro card?  I would argue that Kubrick synced the original Saul Bass titles to "Barry Lyndon" to flow with the music (link below).




When I watched the "Barry Lyndon" Blu-Ray last night, it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the film but it was definitely jarring at first to not have the Saul Bass logo.  .







#15 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 06 2011 - 04:10 PM

I wonder if any of it has anything to do with rights issues of a trademark image such as Leo the Lion or the Warner Shield? Obviously it doesn't for a studio replacing their own older logo...but for instance I wonder if Warner has to pay a licensing fee to MGM, every time they release one of their old films? After all the MGM lion and logo are a registered trade mark. Doug
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#16 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas Monce

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Posted June 06 2011 - 04:12 PM



Of course it's not "completely dependent" on the logo.  But it certainly plays into the mood.  Can you imagine "A Clockwork Orange" without the "Kinney Company" intro card?  I would argue that Kubrick synced the original Saul Bass titles to "Barry Lyndon" to flow with the music (link below).  

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8D4c0hLkZk

 

When I watched the "Barry Lyndon" Blu-Ray last night, it didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the film but it was definitely jarring at first to not have the Saul Bass logo.  .  

 

 

 

 

 

As much of a fan of Saul Bass as I am, I must admit to never having liked the 70's Warner logo he designed. I much prefer the classic Warner Shield. Doug
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#17 of 61 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted June 06 2011 - 04:49 PM



Originally Posted by Jeff Adkins 

I'm waiting for the day they re-do "2001: a space odyssey" and they replace this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


with this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


Of course it will not happen as 2001 is owned by Warner Bros. now. The thing is the first logo above that opens 2001 is not even owned by MGM studios anymore. That logo is owned by

the MGM hotel chain and is used exclusively at the MGM Grand Hotel. I would guess there must have been some type of agreement when the movie studio and the hotel chain became separate companies that allowed MGM to keep the logo on 2001.


As far as MGM replacing the UA logo, there wasn't a UA logo until about 1967 when Transamerica bought UA. Films such as "Inherit The Wind " had no studio logo when first released. Later UA puts it logo on its older films. When Transamerica sold UA , the original UA A Transamerica logo was removed. That may have been at Transamerica's request. Over the years when UA changed their logo they also changed the logo on earlier films much like Warner Bros. does now.


Also remember sometimes it is the studio that sold the films that wants its logo removed. This happened with RKO when it sold its films to TV and Paramount had its logo removed from all the cartoons it sold to other companies like Popeye and Betty Boop.


I would like the original logos restored just because I would like to see what they looked like. However I remember hating when Warner Bros stopped using the shield in late sixties in favor of the ugly W. A Warner Communications Company.  It was exciting when ' Whats Up Doc", "Blazing Saddles", and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" used the Warner shield at a time when it was only used on Warner Bros. Records.



#18 of 61 OFFLINE   Garysb

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Posted June 06 2011 - 04:53 PM



Originally Posted by Jeff Adkins 

I'm waiting for the day they re-do "2001: a space odyssey" and they replace this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


with this:


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


Of course it will not happen as 2001 is owned by Warner Bros. now. The thing is the first logo above that opens 2001 is not even owned by MGM studios anymore. That logo is owned by

the MGM hotel chain and is used exclusively at the MGM Grand Hotel. I would guess there must have been some type of agreement when the movie studio and the hotel chain became separate companies that allowed MGM to keep the logo on 2001.


As far as MGM replacing the UA logo, there wasn't a UA logo until about 1967 when Transamerica bought UA. Films such as "Inherit The Wind " and "West Side Story" had no studio logo when first released. Later UA puts its logo on its older films. When Transamerica sold UA , the original UA A Transamerica logo was removed. That may have been at Transamerica's request. Over the years when UA changed their logo they also changed the logo on earlier films much like Warner Bros. does now.


Also remember sometimes it is the studio that sold the films that wants its logo removed. This happened with RKO when it sold its films to TV and Paramount had its logo removed from all the cartoons it sold to other companies like Popeye and Betty Boop.


I would like the original logos restored just because I would like to see what they looked like. However I remember hating when Warner Bros stopped using the shield in late sixties in favor of the ugly W. A Warner Communications Company.  It was exciting when ' Whats Up Doc", "Blazing Saddles", and "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" used the Warner shield at a time when it was only used on Warner Bros. Records.


Is  there any trade mark infringement to use a logo you don't own? Do MGM and Paramount need to give permission to Warner Bros and Universal to use their logos? Is there a charge?




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Posted June 06 2011 - 05:11 PM

Does anyone like the new, silver WB Shield on The Exorcist or did you like the original Saul Bass logo on that film better? Which sets the mood better?



#20 of 61 OFFLINE   Douglas R

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Posted June 06 2011 - 05:39 PM



Originally Posted by Garysb 





As far as MGM replacing the UA logo, there wasn't a UA logo until about 1967 when Transamerica bought UA.



That's not correct. United Artists were using this logo from the '30s. The logo was not used on every film and sometimes the logo was only used at the end of the film but I saw many films theatrically in the '50s and '60s which had the UA logo and which MGM have now removed.


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/