Cinemax Feature Presentation

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum

General Bumpers

1st Bumper (August 1, 1980-March 1985)

Visuals: On a dark blue background with a black CGI floor, the camera turns counter-clockwise to show some rainbow "fireworks" exploding. The fireworks eventually form the then-current CINEMAX logo, which has the words "CINEMAX" in light blue, enclosed inside a blue oval. As the background turns to black, it zooms away and more fireworks begin to form "Feature PRESENTATION". "Feature" is pink and is slanted upward and "PRESENTATION" is in a rounded blue font. It begins to zoom away and gets dissolved by more "fireworks".


  • There were several variants for specific blocks and programming, and in these cases the "fireworks" would be modified to create "Special Presentation" (in the style of the normal FP version), "Action-Adventure Theater", "Movie Greats", etc.
  • There was a extended version of the open that showcased clips from films, before panning out to reveal a camera, which in turn reveal the words "Feature Presentation" (or any other text) at the end.

Featured Clips:

  • First Variant:
    • Patrick
    • Battle Beyond the Stars
    • Flash Gordon
  • Second Variant:
    • Force Five
  • Movie Classic Variant: Unknown
  • Morning Movie Variant:
    • Madame Rosa
    • Patrick

Technique: Analog computer animation.

Audio: A dramatic orchestral fanfare.

Audio Variants:

  • The "Action-Adventure Theater" variant changes into a different orchestral fanfare once the logo disappears.
  • The "Morning Movie" variant changes into a slower orchestral fanfare.
  • The extended version has a synth drone when the camera moves, leading into a shortened and rearranged version of the fanfare.

2nd Bumper (February 1985-December 1987)

Visuals: The screen pans across a wall where a movie poster unfurls in a frame. The logo zooms into it and then an asteroid fires in outer space where the word "THRILLS" in blue/white zooms out and turns to face the camera. It then "unfurls" to a person's arms struggling to hold to a rope that's about to break and eventually falls. The orange word "SPILLS" wipes onto the screen. Then it unfurls to see a monster's hand rise up from a graveyard, where the green word "CHILLS" appears in a monster-like font. And finally, another unfurling, to a man and a woman laying down and beginning to make love where the word "Romance" in a pink, cursive font draws itself onto the screen. Then it unfurls again, then zoom-out on a black background where the Cinemax logo is seen in a shade of blue and pink plastered on a series of orange lights. The red/orange word "Movie" zooms-out in a stylized font and appears below.

Variant: In the early days of this intro, an additional section was present: Instead of the "Romance" section revealing the end result, it would instead peel to reveal live action footage of a man in a barbershop, having his hair blow-dried, until it blows away as it's a toupee; the multicolored words "COMEDY" emerge from the drier and plaster themselves to the bottom of the screen. Another unfurling would then reveal the end screen. According to some YouTube comments, this was only used from the intro's first usage in February of 1985 (where it alternated with the first intro), until (from video evidence) April of 1985.

Technique: Live-action, combined with computer animation.

Audio: A synthesized, heroic-like fanfare. The earlier version had a vaguely similar tune.

3rd Bumper (December 1987-1994)

Visuals: The sequence begins in a black CGI environment with different colored circles. There is a slate. It claps and zooms-out onto a gray bar that moves onto the screen from the left. Another gray bar moves from the right, and the bars form a piece of film with a typical film countdown leader going inside it (3, 2, 1...). The logo zooms around the film past some abstract shapes of various colors. Some abstract cut letters spelling out the words "CINEMAX MOVIE" float past the screen. The sequence begins to rotate and zoom in on the abstract "E" in "MOVIE" (which is a red square with two yellow triangles) which splits apart into a purple marble square on the bottom, a wooden square in the middle, the red square and yellow triangles on the top which float off the screen. The screen pans along the wooden square which turns out to be a wooden palette with color test patterns where the paint would be. Zooming out is parallelograms with the letters "c i n e m a x", which are italicized as well (ala the old BBC logo), zoom in onto the palette from the right. The abstract cut letters for the word "MOVIE" (except for the "O" which is the finger hole in the palette) come down from the top of the screen and plaster themselves onto the palette. Now is the entire palette. An invisible light shines back and forth on the Cinemax logo, and the letters in "M VIE" begin to sway back and forth. Small multicolored particles move from the left of the screen and travel behind the palette.

Technique: CGI from Pacific Data Images.

Audio: Originally, a "new age" score was used. On April 1, 1988, an 80's synth/electric guitar score was introduced, and alternated with the "new age" score.

4th Bumper (1994-1997)

Visuals: There is an old-style movie countdown, which starts at 7. The film it's printed on flies down to a giant bucket of popcorn with popcorn flying out of it, and forms a staircase. Dot-like candy hops down the stairs. The screen pans over to see various golden ushers. One of them walks out onto a film canister, holding its flashlight. The screen fades to the usher and film canister levitating in a dark vertical tunnel. It points its flashlight to the right, which is an area full of filmstrips. The screen rapidly zooms past the strips, until the Cinemax logo is seen, in purple and reversed, split into pieces. They slide into place as multicolored light refracted from the filmstrips rushes towards them. The camera turns around, to reveal the logo in red, in its normal state, and in the theater environment, with the yellow words "THE" and "MOVIE" above and below it, respectively (The closest typeface to them is probably Neutraface Condensed, though that would not exist for ten years). There are spotlights shining on the finished product, and purple filmstrips behind it.

Variants: There are five shorter versions:

  • The logo begins with the staircase forming, and fades to the finished logo at the bottom of the staircase.
  • The logo begins with the candy hopping down the stairs, and fades to the finished logo after the usher walks out.
  • The logo begins with the hallway of ushers, and fades to the finished logo as the usher shines its flashlight toward the screen.
  • The logo begins with the usher in the dark environment, and fades to the finished logo after the last filmstrip.
  • The logo begins with the usher pointing its flashlight, and the rest of the animation is played normally.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A majestic fanfare with some strings, orchestra hits and piano (which is actually the first instrument heard in the long version).

5th Bumper (1997-2000)

Visuals: Against a blue-white background are the letters "C", "I", "N", and "E" float across the screen in varying directions. A black circle slides in from the left wiping in the same letters before placing itself to the right, during which the text changes from white to black. The lowercase text "max" drops out to fill the circle and the whole logo flashes once. The completed logo zooms in to center itself, and then fades out.

Variant: Against a blue background, the Cinemax logo (both in white with blue "max" text and in an outline form) jumps randomly across the screen until "cine" (in black) and a black "max" circle (still with blue text) appear. The logo disappears immediately, then reappears as the background splits into four squares (red ripples, solid blue, solid purple, and blue ripples) and the "max" circle appears by itself. The circle jumps out to fill the screen and then jumps back in as the text changes from blue to white. The "cine" text slides back in, pulling the "max" circle with it once the text and circle reconnect. Once the logo fully disappears, the background squares briefly hold before fading out. The rating/content screens then follow.

Technique: 2D Computer Animation.

Audio: Two distinct smooth jazz themes, saxophone-heavy for the first version and percussion-heavy for the second.

6th Bumper (2001-2003)

Visuals: Against a black background, the Cinemax logo (now white with black "max" text) floats around the screen in no particular pattern, creating a gray-tint effect and wiping in and out as it does so. After a few seconds, the full logo appears with a rippling effect before wiping out just as quickly. Following this, it wipes to a black screen, leading into the rating and content information.

Technique: 2D Computer Animation.

Audio: An ambient percussion backbeat, along with an announcer stating "When it comes to top movies, no one tops us."

7th Bumper (2003-2008)

Visuals: Against a blue background, a series of four "max" circles appear and zoom out, the last of which slides to the right revealing the Cinemax logo (now light blue with a silver tint) A white light is seen shining across the top of the "max" circle. The entire image continues sliding until the logo is squarely in the center of the screen, then the ident fades out.

Variants: The same animation in different colors plays for each of Cinemax's multiplex channels.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: An ambient piano fanfare.

Audio Variants: A different fanfare is used for each multiplex channel, with music matching each channel's theme.

Final Note

After this bumper was retired, Cinemax stopped using "Feature Presentation" logos and began opening movies using a "Next on Cinemax" bumper instead.

Specialized Bumpers

1st Bumper (1985-1994)

Visuals: The screen fades in and pan down an Art Deco-style building, with searchlights waving all over the place. At the bottom of the tower, various Art Deco-style people are present, and as the camera zooms in, some of the people move and a car rolls up. It cross-fades to an entryway presumably in the building, and the screen zooms in through that to reveal silhouetted female dancers dancing inside a strange rounded structure (a reference to The Gold Diggers of 1933). The logo zooms into the center as sideways images of two of the dancers wipe across the screen, and a large yellow and white theater marquee with the words "CINEMAX CLASSIC COLLECTION" inside and a circular backing with multiple points behind it zooms down. The tower from the beginning rises up behind it and searchlights wave behind and around the end product.

Technique: CGI, with some 2D elements.

Audio: A piece incorporating jazz and piano.

2nd Bumper (1986-1994)

Visuals: On a black background with multiple colorful abstract shapes, there are four palm trees with triangular bases. The camera moves down and the palm tress bend to the right. A segment of filmstrip with a drawn red star raises up behind them and the camera zooms past it. The abstract shapes at the bottom of the screen then rise up and space out. The camera zooms back through a orange cylindrical object, revealed to be a megaphone, on a blue platform next to a director's chair. The platform spins around to reveal the Cinemax logo at the top (with purple and blue vertical stripes behind it) and "DIRECTOR'S CHAIR" in yellow, with the words in different fonts and a blue line separating them, beneath that. The whole thing resembles a film clapperboard, and it shines.

Technique: CGI by Pacific Data Images.

Audio: A rock music score.

3rd Bumper (1988-1994)

Visuals: There is an animated man, with a larger-than normal, constantly grinning head, driving his red Studebaker in a suburban neighborhood. As he drives, he passes a billboard with a skinny man and fat woman with the word "BEFORE" next to them and "CINEMANIA" atop it. After passing it, the people spin around cartoonishly, the woman becoming skinny and the man hunky, with the word "AFTER". They look out in surprise at the driver. The screen cuts to a billboard reading "ALWAYS USE CINEMANIA", pointing to a large spray bottle marked with the name "CINEMANIA" that looks strangely like a 1950s biker, mixed with a spray bottle and a 1950s taxi. He attempts to spray the driver, but instead sprays a nearby house with an angry face. The spray takes effect and the house begins to look "happy" as plants and flowers spring up all around it. There is the driver in a relaxed pose passing by trees. He comes to a halt next a billboard reading "Watch" with a fedora-clad man and an old movie projector. The projector activates and begins showing old black and white movie clips on a large movie screen supported by two female statues as searchlights wave behind it. The driver then busts through the screen (much to the surprise of the statues). He lands the car on a giant letter "C", which is floating in the sky next to the words "INE" and "MANIA". The driver moves to the bottom of the "C" and waves at us.

Technique: Cel animation, likely with motion-control effects as well.

Audio: A catchy boogie song with chorus scatting.

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