Commonwealth United Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Commonwealth United Entertainment was a film production and distribution company. It was formerly known as "Commonwealth United Corporation" (also known as "Television Enterprises Corporation"). It was purchased by National Telefilm Associates, Inc. (later known as "Republic Pictures Television", then "Spelling Television" and now "CBS Studios") in 1971. Paramount Pictures currently owns the studio's output via Republic Pictures and is copyrighted to Melange Pictures LLC (a holding company created by Paramount to hold the copyright to the Republic library).

Alongside Cinerama Releasing Corporation and National General Corporation, Commonwealth United was considered one of Hollywood's "instant major" studios.

1st Logo (March 5, 1969-1970?)


Visuals: On a black background, there is a series of rings (in red, green, and blue) zoom in with trails, first from the center, then the top left, then the bottom right. A white ring then zooms in from the center, ending up notably thicker then the rest, and the right side opens and reveals "UC" folding out, while still in the original "C". Underneath, "COMMONWEALTH UNITED CORPORATION" comes out from the center and the text forms on either side after moving from the center. The logo looks similar to the 1968 Cinerama Releasing Corporation logo.

Variant: Depending on the film quality, the red ring would appear reddish-orange, the green ring yellow, and the blue ring green.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A dreamy orchestral fanfare that starts off with a string section, before finishing with a proud flourish. This is actually the stock music piece "Climb to Altitude" by Trevor Duncan.

Availability: Can likely be seen on any of the studio's output from this time frame. Some films that contain this logo are It Takes All Kinds and A Black Veil for Lisa. May get preserved on home media releases by NTA Home Entertainment/Republic Pictures Home Video, Artisan Entertainment/Lionsgate Home Entertainment, and/or Olive Films.

2nd Logo (September 9, 1970-1971)


Visuals: Over a black background, the logo starts with white spots (as if it were a football display screen) appearing on determined places on the screen, then silhouettes of all the continents in the world appear, also made of colored spots (the white dots now represent major cities), and finally, a blue background (made of spots) wipes from the left. Once completed, the entire screen turns blue, and the letters "COMMONWEALTH UNITED" (in brown, and also made with spots) appears. After a few seconds, the lettering turns light pink, and the background turns darker. Then, the background turns black, and the letters change to yellow, and at the end, to white.

Trivia: This logo was later reused as the 1970s National Telefilm Associates logo (only with "NTA RELEASE" appearing instead and it appears over the continents to hide this studio's name).

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: Several "ding"-like sounds when the white spots appear, then a funky brass melody is heard, accompanied with bass, piano, and drums.

Availability: Can be seen on some of their output released by NTA Home Entertainment and Republic Pictures Home Video. Most recently seen on the 2005 Blue Underground DVD release of Venus in Furs and the Lionsgate Home Entertainment DVD release of Julius Caesar (1970 version). May get preserved on other home media releases by Artisan Entertainment/Lionsgate Home Entertainment, and/or Olive Films.

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