Geffen Pictures

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Geffen Pictures (also known as The Geffen Film Company or The Geffen Company) was the film production arm of American record label Geffen Records, founded in 1982 by that label's founder, business magnate and future DreamWorks co-founder David Geffen; Geffen recruited Eric Eisner as president[1]. Geffen's first film was Personal Best, released that February. The studio's output was released by Warner Bros. (with the exception of 1996's Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, which was released by Paramount Pictures), whom Geffen Pictures distributed its films through,[2] and includes such films as Risky Business, Little Shop of Horrors, and Beetlejuice, among others. Geffen Pictures was operated as a division of Warner Bros.

Although Geffen sold his record company to MCA in 1990, he still retained ownership of Geffen Pictures. In 1993, Geffen struck a two-picture deal with MTV Productions;[3] Joe's Apartment and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America were produced through the deal. In 1994, Geffen Pictures was reorganized as part of the formation of DreamWorks and adopted the DreamWorks name, through Geffen continued to use the Geffen Pictures brand for films that he produced until 1998, when it was folded under the DreamWorks Pictures brand.

Geffen Pictures' film library, with the exception of the aforementioned Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (owned by Paramount), is currently owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment. Geffen Records, meanwhile, remains an active music imprint under the aegis of Interscope Records and its Interscope Geffen A&M faction of the Universal Music Group.

Logo (February 5, 1982-July 13, 1997)

Visuals: On a black background, a light blue (or silver) sphere appears and slowly moves forward. At the same time, the sphere slowly turns clockwise, revealing a thin, inscribed "G". When the "G" is fully revealed, the sphere stops, and "A GEFFEN COMPANY RELEASE", "GEFFEN PICTURES" or "A GEFFEN PICTURES RELEASE" (in ITC Eras Bold), appears under it. A few seconds later, smaller text appears near the bottom of the screen, which says "DISTRIBUTED BY WARNER BROS." on the left side of the WB bug (either the 1973 "big W" or the 1985 WB shield) and next to the bug is the Warner byline.

Trivia: This is based on the original logo of Geffen Records, which was designed by artist Mamoru Shimokochi for Bass/Yager & Associates.

Bylines (next to the WB bug):

  • February 5, 1982-February 2, 1990: "A WARNER COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY" (the version with the "big W" uses a squished font for the distribution notice and the byline ("WARNER BROS." is in the customized font from the 1973 WB logo), while the version with the shield uses a serif font for the distribution notice and byline, as do all subsequent bylines)
  • March 22-December 13, 1991: "A TIME WARNER COMPANY"
  • October 1, 1993-July 13, 1997: "A TIME WARNER ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY"
  • Sometimes, the logo appears bylineless.


  • On Personal Best and Risky Business, "A GEFFEN COMPANY RELEASE" is in the L&C Hairline font.
  • A still version of this logo, where the sphere "G" is completely enlarged, exists on the trailer for Personal Best, the first Geffen movie release, and it's also seen at the end of most Geffen movie releases.
  • On Little Shop of Horrors, the logo is on a starry background.
  • On Beetlejuice, the logo is accompanied by a ghoulish rendition of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat", sung by Danny Elfman.
  • A version has been spotted in which the finished logo is shown. The company's name and the WB bug fade out after a few seconds. The sphere then zooms backwards and disappears into the background. This was known to be seen at the end of Little Shop of Horrors.
  • A later variant of this logo has the animation of the sphere revealing the "G" halt rather than slowing down, leaving a small gap on the right side of the sphere (if someone looks carefully at it). This was seen at the beginning of later Geffen-produced films.
  • Some films have the "G" sphere white or blue.
  • On Beavis and Butt-Head Do America, the Warner Bros. byline is absent.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A series of lullaby-like synth notes, accompanied by a deep synth fargo note, which then leads to a 5-note synthesizer tune. Sometimes, the opening and closing themes of the movie, or none.

Availability: It appears at the beginning of Geffen-produced films, such as Risky Business, After Hours, Little Shop of Horrors, Beetlejuice, The Last Boy Scout, Interview with the Vampire, and Joe's Apartment. The last movie produced by Geffen was the 1997 movie The Butcher Boy, released in the U.S. on April 3, 1998.


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