Hemdale Film Corporation

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Hemdale Film Corporation (also known as "Hemdale Releasing Corporation", "Hemdale Pictures Corporation" and "Hemdale Communications") was an independent film production and later distribution company founded in London in 1967 by actor David Hemmings and John Daly originally as a talent agency, but after Hemmings left the company in 1971, Daly purchased the rest of the company to refocus it as a film studio. Derek Gibson later joined the company. Orion Pictures would begin to release many of Hemdale's films during the 1980s after Hemdale had went through various studios for distribution in the past. However, in 1995, Hemdale shut down after declaring bankruptcy due to box office failures. The majority of the library was purchased by Consortium de Realisation, which incorporated it into Epic's Lambda library; it, along with the other Epic Alphabet Libraries, was purchased by PolyGram Filmed Entertainment. In January 1999, MGM purchased the pre-March 31, 1996 PolyGram library (including PolyGram's back library) and would merge it with the Orion Pictures (whom MGM purchased in 1997) library.

1st Logo (November 17, 1972-1987)

Visuals: On a black background, a white (or sepia) line beings to draw itself into a cursive "H". Another line draws itself on the opposite side of the "H", forming a lowercase "e" and works its way right, writing out "Hemdale" in a stylized, cursive font, while a third line surrounds the top and right-hand sides of the wordmark with an ornamental curve. During the logo, "a Film from" fades in.

Variant: In 1986, the logo was resurrected. The logo's text is now orange, and after it is done drawing, the text "RELEASING CORPORATION PRESENTS" wipes in below it.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A baroque-sounding synthesized harpsichord piece in C-minor. Sometimes, it is silent.

Availability: It was seen on films of the time frame such as the 1970s Carry On films among others, but has fallen to plastering to other studios' logos due to ownership changes. It was recently spotted intact on the Amazon Video viewing of The Amazing Mr. Blunden. It was thought to be intact on the UK home media releases of Tommy (1975), but the 2001 UK DVD has the 1998 Universal logo, while the 2007 SE DVD and 2014 Blu-Ray have the 1976 Columbia Pictures logo as per the U.S. releases. The 1986 variant appeared on films of the time period but has fallen to plastering with the 2001 MGM logo or the 1982 Orion Pictures logo. The only places where that version is seen fully intact are on the trailers for The Belly of an Architect and High Season.

2nd Logo (June 1984-December 19, 1986)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a pink line drawing in at the bottom. The line flips up to reveal the outlined text "HEMDALE" The arms of the "H" are extended to form a rounded rectangle around the text. Below it is the word "presents".

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on Howling II: ... Your Sister is a Werewolf, which is preserved on the 2005 MGM DVD release and the 2015 Shout! Factory DVD and Blu-Ray releases. Also seen on trailers for Hemdale films of the time frame, such as Salvador and A Breed Apart. It is rumored that this logo appeared in place of the 1982 Orion Pictures logo on international theatrical prints of At Close Range.

3rd Logo (May 8, 1987-December 3, 1993)

Visuals: On a black background, an orange "H" spins first, then comes a blue "E" spinning, a yellow "M" spinning, a green "D" spinning, a pinkish purple "A" spinning, a red "L" spinning and a blue "E" comes spinning last and they all turn white. After they turn white, the letters spread out that reveals "HEMDALE" and then a rainbow line appears between and "FILM CORPORATION" below the line. On some films, the word, "PICTURES" would be in place in the word "FILM".

Variant: A trailer for Vampire's Kiss features the words "A FILM FROM" above the logo.

Trivia: This logo is the work of Dan Perri, the designer of many film titles such as the ones for Star Wars and The Exorcist, as well as the logo for The Samuel Goldwyn Company.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation.

Audio: A seven-note synthesized brass piece when the letters spin: C (H), G (E), High C (M), F (D), B flat (A), High F (L) and High G (E), composed by Joel Goldsmith (son of Jerry Goldsmith). It also has a synthesizer going off like an alarm in the background. Then follows by a nature-oriented synthesized note with a synthesized magic-like shining sound when the letters spread, followed by a majestic horn fanfare with bells mixed in it which becomes synthesized, ending with 3 orchestra hits. Sometimes, the logo is silent.

Audio Variant: On Shag, a different bell tone along with the 3 orchestra hits omitted from the original fanfare was heard.

Availability: Retained on notable films such Hidden Agenda, Shag, the GoodTimes DVD release of Wrangler (also known as Outback and originally known as Minnamurra), and on the 1993 Hemdale Home Video VHS release of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland; it's unknown if this appears on the Discotek Blu-Ray's U.S. opening credits bonus feature. On a few MGM DVD releases of their output, such as Miracle Mile, it is plastered with the 2001 MGM logo, though it is present on the recent Kino Lorber DVD and Blu-Ray releases. This appears on the 2000 MGM DVD release of At Close Range, plastering the 1982 Orion Pictures logo, as well as on the TGG Direct DVD release and the Twilight Time Blu-ray after the MGM and Orion Pictures logos. This also plasters the Orion Pictures logo on all 1991-2001 home video releases of The Terminator (the Orion logo would be reinstated when the rights reverted to MGM). The silent variant can be seen on Vincent and Theo (though on a 2011 This TV airing, the jingle was present), and Bright Angel. It was also spotted on a Hemdale Home Video reprint of Soultaker. It also appeared on the original theatrical release of Cohen and Tate, but the Nelson Entertainment video release omits it while the MGM DVD-R and Shout! Factory Blu-Ray release have the Nelson Entertainment logo in its place (though it is intact on the theatrical trailer on the DVD-R, the Blu-Ray's trailer has the Nelson logo with its jingle). It is unknown if the logo was spotted on the theatrical release of The Last Emperor; the logo is not seen on the Nelson Entertainment VHS release of the said film. Additionally, this logo is also not seen on TV spots of said film as well, as they feature the 1981 Columbia Pictures logo instead.

4th Logo (September 10, 1993-May 20, 1995)

Visuals: On a black background, there is the golden text:


with the "H" and "E" larger than the other letters. The logo shines.

Trivia: This particular logo had been used since at least 1988 as a print logo (without the word "COMMUNICATIONS").

Technique: CGI.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the film/trailer.

Availability: It can be seen on the 1994 Hemdale Home Video VHS release of Savage Land. This was also on the theatrical prints of The Princess & the Goblin but home video releases remove this.

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