First Independent Films

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

First Independent Films was a UK film distributor and video company. It was formed from the UK assets of the former Vestron Video International in 1991, and was owned by Welsh ITV company HTV. The company distributed titles from Spelling Films, Castle Rock Entertainment, Turner Pictures and Hanna-Barbera Cartoons along with a smattering of independent films made in the UK and abroad. From its inception until 1996, it shared a distribution contract for New Line Cinema with Entertainment Film Distributors. First Independent was acquired by United News and Media (publishers of the Daily Express) in 1996. The company was eventually completely undone by the box office failure of G.I. Jane in the UK and was subsequently sold to the Sony Corporation of Japan. The label later folded into Sony's main video arm, Columbia TriStar Home Video (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment), in 1999. However, Columbia TriStar continued using the label for some years later, mainly on DVDs of titles from their heyday.

Logo (April 1991-22 January 1999)


Visuals: On a shady green background, there is a selection of multicoloured shapes (including a star, a triangle and a beak) scattered around the screen. As soon as it opens in, the shapes start to move away, spinning round as they go. After a few turns, the shapes come more together and the logo starts to take shape, then there is the shapes turning one last time to form the completed logo, which is a white eagle with red eyes and a star on its right side flying in front of a now blue triangle (which is supposed to be a mountain). The words "FIRST INDEPENDENT" then quickly fade in below.

Variant: A filmed version exists.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: It begins with a synth sound, kind of like hearing water running below. It then leads out to a majestic rock guitar theme and two drumbeats. The water-like synth sound returns at the end with long synthesized notes.

Availability: Appears on a wide range of VHS releases that comprise most, but not all, of this company's products.

  • Your best bet would be to spot a box on the spine that features "VHS" at the top, "PAL FORMAT" in the middle and a stock number (VA 20XXX for rentals and VA 30XXX for retails) at the bottom (the spines of their early VHS releases carried over, from Vestron, a box which just had a the VHS logo and the catalogue number below it).
  • Among the many titles that this logo was spotted on were the UK rental releases of all of the post-Touchstone Ernest films, Dumb and Dumber, Misery, G.I. Jane, Sibling Rivalry, Naked, Now and Then, White Squall, Night Falls on Manhattan, Killer: A Journal of Murder and The Basketball Diaries.
  • At the time, it distributed a lot of Turner Pictures/Home Entertainment products in the UK, so it appears on Tom and Jerry: The Movie, The Wizard of Oz and Hanna-Barbera cartoons such as Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, Yogi Bear and Top Cat, the 1991 UK VHS releases of Tom And Jerry Kids Show: Volume 1: Batmouse and Tom And Jerry Kids Show: Volume 2: Outer Space Rover, the 1993 UK VHS release of Yo Yogi and the L.A.F. Squad, the 1994 UK VHS releases of Top Cat: The Golden Fleecing, Yakky Doodle: Out of Luck, Duck, A Flintstone Family Christmas (1993), Dastardly and Muttley: Home Sweet Homing Pigeon, and Peter Potamus and So-So: Hurricane Hippo, the 1995 UK VHS releases of Stone Protectors: Forged In Fire, The Flintstones: Dino's Two Tales, A Flintstones Christmas Carol and Yogi the Easter Bear (both 1994), and Richie Rich: Maltese Monkey, the 1996 UK VHS releases of Scooby-Doo: Bumper Edition, The Flintstones: Bumper Edition, Wacky Races: Bumper Edition, Hong Kong Phooey: Bumper Edition, and Hair Bear Bunch!: Bumper Edition, and the 1997 UK VHS releases of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: Bumper Edition, The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: Bumper Edition, Yogi Bear: Bumper Edition, Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels: Bumper Edition, Tom and Jerry Kids Show: Bumper Edition, Spice Toons, Hanna Barbera: Crazy Christmas: Bumper Edition, Wacky Races: Bumper Edition: Dash to Delaware, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest: The Darkest Fathoms, and Scooby-Doo: Bumper Edition: The Nutcracker Scoob, respectively, among others.
  • It also appears on any films distributed by them, but the only VHS release that preserves the filmed version is the Polish VHS release of Tom & Jerry: The Movie.
  • It also appears on the 1993 UK VHS retail release of Naked Lunch.
  • It also appears on rental and retail VHS releases of City Slickers, most Budgie the Little Helicopter VHS releases and The Famous Five (1996 series), among other releases.
  • This logo debuted on the 1991 UK rental VHS release of Masters of Menace and made its final appearance on the 1999 UK rental VHS release of Savior.
  • This logo does not appear on the very last First Independent tapes, which were copyrighted to Columbia TriStar Home Video, since they use CTHV's third logo instead.
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