Guild Home Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Guild Home Video was one of the earliest and most successful independent video companies in the United Kingdom, formed in 1979 by Esselte. In its early years, Guild was known for the high quality of their releases and having a large catalogue compared to other companies of the time, and being a distributor for other companies' titles helped them survive the 1984 Video Recordings Act, which caused many other video companies at the time to go out of business.

In 1987, the company founded a theatrical division - Guild Film Distribution.

In 1989, Guild's parent company Guild Entertainment was purchased out from Esselte by Wembley PLC, and eventually by Chargeurs in 1992, becoming the de-facto distributor for Pathé's films. Guild changed their distributor from PolyGram Video to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment in 1995.

In 1996, when Chargeurs split their entertainment division under the Pathé brand, Pathé began the process of retiring the Guild brand. The theatrical division was renamed as Guild Pathé Cinema and eventually as Pathé Distribution in June 1997. The Guild brand was retired on home video in 1997 in favour of the Pathé brand.



1st Logo (November 1980-1983)


Visuals: On a dark blue background, a gold-yellow, hexagon-formed "G" with a square underneath it zooms in downward (a la the 1983 RKO Pictures logo), leaving behind a residue trail. When it gets to the centre, the "G" and the square turn from solid to segmented, and a line draws what looks like a TV tube, surrounding it. Both parts of the logo zoom in, and we quickly fade to the same logo, only smaller, and with "GUILD HOME VIDEO presents" in Helvetica underneath.

Variant: A rare still variant with "video is alive - live with it" shown below exists, which appears at the end of Guild VHS releases.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A descending synth-electric piano scale at the beginning, followed by a synth-xylophone/flute/clarinet tune, which sounds similar to the beginning of the song "Tubular Bells" by Mike Oldfield (most famously used in The Exorcist).

Audio Variant: On the "video is alive - live with it" variant, the logo is silent.

Availability: Seen on UK VHS releases of Guild releases from that era, including Baron Blood and Scanners.

2nd Logo (1981-1986)


Visuals: In the top-left corner of a black background, there is a bright light flashing before our eyes. The light reveals the same "G Over Square" logo, but coloured cerulean, and solid rather than segmented. Again, the TV tube is drawn around the logo, but underneath a light draws a teal/dark pink line that starts downward, then upward, and then straight (like the 1970 and 1978 LWT logos). When the line is finished, another flash of light reveals the words "Guild Home Video" above the line, and below it another reveals "Quality Video Entertainment". The logo then sparkles a bit.

Variant: A variant which appears at the end of UK pre-cert VHS and Betamax releases starts with the name flashing in.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A synth tune in the beginning, then a synth-orchestra tune at the end.

Audio Variant: Sometimes, this is accompanied by an announcer saying, "Before you enjoy our main feature, here's a trailer from another major release from Guild, which is available at your local stockist now.". The announcer has an American accent, despite Guild being a British distributor (the same announcer is also heard in Guild's trailers as well).

Availability:

  • Check old VHS or Betamax PAL tapes for this logo.
  • An example is the UK pre-cert release of Cujo.
  • It is also seen on the 1981 UK pre-cert VHS release of Mattie the Gooseboy, the 1982 UK pre-cert VHS releases of Atom Ant: Cassette 1, The Sub-Mariner: Cassette 1 and Dot & Santa Claus, the 1983 UK pre-cert VHS releases of Henry's Cat and Friends: Cassette 1, SuperTed: Cassette 1, and Batfink: The Mark of Zero, the 1984 UK pre-cert VHS releases of Pinocchio in Outer Space and Dot and the Bunny, and the 1985 UK pre-cert VHS releases of Batfink: Cassette 4 and SuperTed: Cassette 4, respectively.
  • It is also seen on the 1985 UK pre-cert VHS and Betamax releases of both Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends and Further Adventures of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, respectively.

3rd Logo (1986-1990?)


Visuals: On a blue background, orange bar segments fly in from the left and right of the screen, syncing with the music, while they sparkle and zoom out. Eventually, the bars start forming the Guild logo (segmented again, but without the TV tube and the square on the bottom). When the logo is fully formed, "GUILD Home Video" in white and in the Belwe Bold BT font fades in below the logo.

Technique: 2D computer animation.

Audio: A synth note is held throughout, with a synth bass line (composed on a Yamaha DX7 synthesizer) that speeds up slightly near the end, followed by a synth fanfare in E♭ minor. A female chorus hums during this section, ending in them shouting "Go Guild!".

Availability: Seen on releases such as Roses are For the Rich and Action Jackson.

4th Logo (1987-1994)


Visuals: Set on a white background, many of the (cel-shaded) rectangular parts of the Guild "G" fly in all directions. When two parts of the G meet in the middle later on, it zooms out, and extra rectangles that make the stem of the "G" fly in. "GUILD Home Video" fades in below, and the logo shines with a "wipe" effect.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A twelve-note synthesiser tune, with a synthesised "whoosh" as the "G" forms and a synth choir for the remainder of the logo when the parts of the "G" stem fly in.

Audio Variant: Rental copies of The Wizard have a tiny portion of the logo music play before the logo actually appears, due to an error.

Availability:

  • More recent and easier to find than the previous logos, but still rare.
  • Seen on the 4Front Video re-release of First Blood, and the original rental releases of The Wizard and Total Recall, respectively.
  • It is also seen on the 1989 UK VHS release of Mac and Me (1988), and the 1990 UK VHS releases of Michael Jackson: Moonwalker and Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw (both 1988), among many others.
  • It is also seen on the UK Laserdisc release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).

5th Logo (1988-1994)


Visuals:

  • Before Trailers: On a black background, there is a glowing outline of a movie theatre with little flashing lights inside. Two sets of red and yellow light streaks slide up, the last set flashing and bringing forth a white Guild Home Video logo. The streaks zoom out to outline the theatre in blue with a ticket box in the front, little light blue "chaser" light windows on the sides, yellow "<<<>>>" lights on the marquee sides, pinkish lights surrounding the centre of the marquee, and more yellow lights on the top.
  • After Trailers: Same as above, but "SOLID GUILD" zooms out like a roller coaster out of the door. All, except the text in gold, fades into blue.

Variant: In 1990, a tenth anniversary variant was used, which has the theatre fade out and the Guild logo zoom forth and turn gold. A number "10" at the top surrounded by a round banner with stars and the years "1980" and "1990" on the sides fade in. "TEN YEARS OF" and "independence" are shown below. The logo shines with a few pings.

Technique: Cel animation by Cascom.

Audio: "Breaking Glass (One)" by James Kaleth and Richard Thomas with whooshes from the lasers, along with an overly excited announcer saying "Introducing future releases from Guild Home Video!" or "Look out for these and other great new releases from Guild at your local video library!". The first variant uses the beginning, while the other two use the end of the track. Like the 2nd logo, the announcer has a North American accent.

Availability:

  • Used concurrently with the 4th logo to introduce movie trailers, and used quite frequently as a result.
  • It is seen on the original UK VHS rental release of The Wizard.

6th Logo (1993-1997)


Visuals: Against a black background, there is a director's chair in a blue spotlight. The camera pans around the chair, and both parts of the Guild logo slide from both sides of the screen in a tilted position, then "GUILD" appears underneath when the screen zooms into the chair.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A mystical pan-flute tune, complete with a synth whoosh and an orchestra at the end.

Audio Trivia: The music was composed using the Korg M1 workstation, which was released in 1988.

Availability:

  • Seen on VHS releases of later films that Guild released until their merger with Pathé in 1997, such as the re-release of Universal Soldier, Night Trap, James and the Giant Peach, Stargate, Army Of Darkness, Matinee, and Serial Mom.
  • This logo also appeared theatrically with Guild Film Distribution releases from 1993 until the Pathé merger, with films including James and the Giant Peach.
  • It is also seen on the 1997 UK VHS release of The Wind in the Willows (1996).