Image Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Image Entertainment Inc. was founded in 1981 as a LaserDisc distributor and became a major player in the format, distributing for many major studios' LaserDisc output (including Buena Vista and Universal). Once DVDs dominated the home media market and soon rivaled VHS in the late 1990s, Image re-focused its output distribution to DVDs (and later, Blu-rays alongside DVDs), although they did release a few VHS tapes as well. They have also released a wide variety of entertainment as a production company, including feature films, TV series, and music programs. In 2012, Image was acquired by RLJ Acquisition, Inc. and was merged with another purchase, Acorn Media; the Image name stopped being used on-screen in 2015. After that, it was an in-name only subsidiary of RLJ Entertainment until 2018. The RLJE Films name has been used since 2017. AMC Networks purchased RLJ Acquisition on November 1, 2018.



1st Logo (1983-1989)


Visuals: On a sunset background of a city, flying discs zoom in and spin around, with the company's logo doing the same thing at the same time. The logo rests in place and the background fades to black, leaving the logo in place. The logo reads "image ENTERTAINMENT INC" ("image" is in a sunset-colored gradient font and has the g's tail stretched to the left).

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A short synthesized melody that loops seven times.

Availability: Seen on releases of the time, mainly adult titles. It can be found on many legitimate films on laserdisc. [Examples?]

2nd Logo (1989-November 17, 1998)


Visuals: On an indigo background, there is the reflective polycarbonate layer of an optical disc. A white laser suddenly hits the grooves of the disc, causing a rainbow of light to start flying up to the top of the screen. The disc begins to spin with the laser following the grooves, the rainbow still being casted, and the camera moves out from the center of the disc. The adhesive and top polycarbonate layer of the disc fall into place, completing its structure (the 'Image' logo can be seen branded into the inner hub of the disc). As the camera continues to move away from the disc, the logo flies up from behind and rests in the center of the screen as the disc and laser continue to fall out of view. Finally, the words "ENTERTAINMENT INCTM" and the byline "The Finest in Laser Videodiscs" fade in.

Variants:

  • On some releases, the logo fades to a black screen. Depending on the release, "A FEATURE PRESENTATION", "A CHILDREN'S PROGRAM" or "THE MUSIC DISC" would appear.
  • In 1997, when Image began expanding to DVD, the byline was changed to read "The Finest in Home Entertainment". This appears on both DVDs and some late-life LaserDiscs from 1997-1998 as Image Entertainment began to phase out LaserDiscs to focus more on DVD distribution.
  • On some releases, there is no byline.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A low drone with a metallic scraping noise for the laser, followed by a dramatic whole-tone ascent featuring orchestral patches resolving into a major chord with a choir. A few seconds after the resolve, a soft twinkling melody can be heard using the Fantasia patch and strings before another low note is played solo.

Availability: Seen on LaserDiscs and DVD releases of the time, mainly direct-to-DVD and low-budget movies produced by various small studios and sometimes by Image, though it occasionally appears on major studio releases after the relevant home video logo that film belonged to. Also appears on many Orion Home Video LaserDisc and DVD releases from the mid-90s such as the first two Robocop movies. Some of the last releases with this logo include the 1998 THX-certified DVD releases of Bull Durham and Dances with Wolves (though it is currently unknown if it appears on the DTS release of the latter).

Legacy: This logo has gained a lot of recognition for its synth orchestra and CGI.

3rd Logo (1998-July 21, 2009)


Visuals: On a black background, a light red gradient ring zooms out, while the word "image" (in a blue gradient, different from the previous logos) appears turning counterclockwise one letter at a time. The word "ENTERTAINMENT" fades in zooming out. The company's web address, www.image-entertainment.com, fades in. The logo then fades out and the ring zooms out to the upper-right corner, disappearing in the background and leaving only the web address remaining.

Variants:

  • There is a trailer version coming up in gray color with no ring.
  • Another colored version without the ring appears on the trailer for My Name is Bruce.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A soft piece accompanied by a flute and a horn. On most releases, the logo is silent.

Availability: Seen on their DVD releases of the time as well as the final LaserDiscs they released in 1999. It also appeared on a few VHS releases released by Image, like Bobby Vinton Live. This does not appear on DVDs of The Twilight Zone (the 1960s TV series) as they only use the 1992 CBS Video logo. The silent version has so far been spotted on the 2001 The Mach II Special Edition DVD release of the 1997 IMAX documentary Super Speedway.

4th Logo (August 2009-September 29, 2015)


Visuals: A spectrum of small cubes suddenly zooms in quickly. A ball of cubes breaks up and a trial of small cubes travels around in a neutron-like way. The words "IMAGE E N T E R T A I N M E N T" (in a different, all-uppercase font than before) appear and turn counterclockwise. The last trail of cubes turns red and rests on the "I" in "IMAGE" with a cine of light, leaving one red cube above the "I".

Variant: On later releases, namely after the company was acquired by RLJ Entertainment, an abridged version is used.

Technique: CGI by PIC Collective.

Audio: The cubes whooshing accompanied by a peaceful string melody, which is a remix of the previous logo's music. A small note is played when the cube rests. Sometimes, the logo is silent.

Availability: Besides DVD and Blu-ray releases, it is also seen on 2009-2015/2018 theatrical releases and TV series (since Image has grown into a film production company along with distributing other companies' titles). This can be seen on Tubi's print of Transylvania 6-5000 before the 1984 New World Pictures logo.

Image Entertainment
RLJE Films