Constantin Film

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Constantin Film is a German film production & distribution company founded on 1 April 1950 by Waldfried Barthel & Preben Philipsen in Frankfurt, Germany, and later moved to Munich. In 1977, Constantin went bankrupt, and its property was acquired by Bernd Eichinger, who launched Neue Constantin Film in 1979. The company expanded to film production in 1983 and it was renamed back to Constantin Film AG in 1999. The company is best known for producing Der Untergang (Downfall), the Resident Evil film series, and the Fantastic Four movies. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Highlight Communications AG since 2009.



1st Logo (July 31, 1962-1982, 2011, 2015)


Visuals: There's an animated cerulean and grey sunburst background (a la Toho), with one set rotating clockwise and the other rotating counterclockwise. After a few seconds, the syllables "Сon", "stan", and "tin" zoom up rapidly in sync with the fanfare. "FILM" and "bringt" fade in below after that.

Variants:

  • On an early B&W variant, "Constantin" is written in a more graffiti-like form of cursive, and "bringt" is in cursive, as well. The animation is also much rougher, with the sunbursts being barely distinguishable from each other, and the syllables are actually inverted at the beginning, but switch colors near the end.
  • In another B&W variant, the "Constantin" seems more shinier than usual.
  • Sometimes, the background is shown in a darker tint, though this might be due to film deterioration.
  • For later (post 1979) releases of Constantin Film, "neue" is shown above "Constantin".
  • Later Variant: The bluish-white flare of light appears in the black background before the grey, black and white sunburst background fading in. The logo is redone in HD. "bringt" is removed, "FILM" is now in a similar style as "Constantin", and "3D" is seen growing quickly underneath "Constantin FILM". When the logo fades out, "3D" stays visible for a half second before fading out.
  • Another version of the “3D” variant has “PRÄSENTIERT” at the bottom instead of “bringt” or “3D”.

Technique: Traditional animation. CGI for the 3D variant.

Audio: A long drumroll (changing the pitch higher) followed by a bombastic fanfare in the key of B-flat (which has a couple different variants), or silence. The later variant has a calmer fanfare.

Availability: Seen on distributed or produced films of the time, and usually retained on newer releases, among them the Blu-ray of Winnetou’s film debut, The Treasure of Silver Lake. As for the later variant, it was only seen on the German 3D theatrical print and 3D Blu-Ray of Resident Evil: Retribution.

2nd Logo (1984?-1996?)

Visuals: Over a black background, there is the text "NUE CONSTANTIN FILM".

Technique: A still graphic.

Audio: Silent.

Availability: It was seen on German prints of films produced or distributed by Constantin Film, such as The Neverending Story, and In the Name of the Rose. Currently seen on the German Blu-Ray of the former.

3rd Logo (1980s-1996?)

Visuals: Over a black background, the large white words "NEUE CONSTANTIN FILM" fade in, each word for a line.

Technique: Fading effects.

Audio: None.

Availability: Sometimes plastered over with the next logo, but saved on German prints of films produced or distributed by Constantin Film, such as Die Katze, Feuer, Eis & Dynamit, Der Bewegte Mann and The House of the Spirits.

4th Logo (1996-)

Visuals: On a black background, a bar of white light brings forth a blue film roll expanding outwards, with extra bars rising up as they both rotate in opposite directions. Upon reaching real close to the film roll, there's the white text "Constantin Film" in a cursive underlined font, basically being in the same font as the 1st logo, projected onto the inside of the reel. A light flashes, teleporting us into the centre, and the roll of film turns upward and "Constantin Film" then disappears from the side, and now appears inside the reel, albeit in a blood red colour. The logo blinks as the reel keeps spinning, but that slows down along with the blinking. As the film reel zooms in, the "Constantin Film" text fades in, zooming in slightly as it does.

Variants:

  • Starting in (probably) 1999, the logo is completely white. Sometimes, the URL "www.constantinfilm.de" is added below.
  • Starting in September 2011, the logo has been remade with more realistic lighting and effects, like the "Constantin Film" projection given a glow effect and now having the proper proportions, and the actual logo is given a 3D effect with a broad border on the words. There also appears to be the same film reel rotating in the background when the logo is seen.
  • There's an in-credit closing variant and a print version.

Technique: CGI. Sometimes, it's still.

Audio: A string-driven, triumphant orchestral piece. NTSC prints rarely had the fanfare low pitched (due to PAL to NTSC conversion). Sometimes, it is silent, or the opening theme of the movie.

Availability:

  • Early Variant: Seen on German prints of films produced or distributed by Constantin Film.
  • Later Variant: It is the easiest logo to find from this company, since they released and co-produced more popular films such as the Resident Evil franchise and released foreign films released in the U.S. through Sony Pictures Classics. Also used as a home video banner in Germany. The version with the URL is seen mostly on older German releases and prints.
  • The 1999 version (albeit silent) makes a surprise appearance at the start of The NeverEnding Story on the Australian DVD release (and subsequent reprints) of said film, even though it's the English version of the film.

5th Logo (2004-)

Visuals: On a starfield background, a blue light goes through "Constantin Film", showing silhouettes. Once it goes off-screen moving from the right, the logo wipes in.

Variant: Sometimes, a black background is used. In this variant, the logo's width is very thin and the logo is white.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A five-note horn theme, sounding very similar to the end of the 1993 Columbia Pictures logo, or the opening theme.

Availability: Seen on almost all of the Resident Evil movies in North America, which it has first appeared on. Currently used on more recent productions made outside of Germany, while the previous logo is used for their German productions.