Media Home Entertainment

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Media Home Entertainment, Inc. was an independent video distributor established in 1978 by filmmaker Charles Band. In 1984, the company was purchased by Heron Communications Inc., a subsidiary of Gerald Ronson's Heron International. By that point, Band had resigned from the company, due to internal conflicts, to start Wizard Video. Image Entertainment provided exclusive Laserdisc distribution of Media's output. In 1990, Media sold its properties to Video Treasures for budget distribution. In 1993, the company ceased operations and its last titles went through Fox Video (and before that, CBS/Fox Video) on VHS (while Image Entertainment continued to distribute their output on Laserdiscs).



1st Logo (1978-1981)


Visuals: On a twinkling space background, the navy blue word "MEDA" set in ITC Tiffany Heavy lights up ala a shocking pink outline. The logo sparkles three times in sync with the fanfare. Then, a four-pointed star appears below the logo and flies across the screen from left to right, wiping in the words "Media Home Entertainment Inc." in similar font and coloring. The logo sparkles some more and briefly glows pink.

Trivia: "MEDA" is not a misspelling. Meda was the name of founder Charles Band's then-wife, Meda Band, and it also serves as a play on words, since "MEDA" can also be phonetically interpreted as "ME-D-A" (i.e., "Media"). It's also the shorthand form for its full name at inception, Media-Home Entertainment and Distribution Association.

Variant: On B/W movies, the logo is shown in black and white.

Technique: Cel animation.

Audio: A dramatic orchestral fanfare. On some releases, it sounds distorted, due to film deterioration.

Availability:

  • This was used on the very first Media Home Entertainment tapes starting in 1978, including Animal Farm, What's Up, Tiger Lily?, Night of the Living Dead, and Halloween, but quickly replaced with the 2nd logo beginning in 1981.
  • It also appears on banned Beatles tapes released by the company, including John Lennon Live, Magical Mystery Tour, and The Beatles: Live at Shea Stadium and also on the banned Rolling Stones tape, The Rolling Stones in Concert.

2nd Logo (1981-1988; 1989; 1990s-1999)


Visuals: The sequence begins with a space background, followed by an animated cluster of yellow laser beams. While this is happening, 2 light blue outlines of the word "MEDIA" begin to move towards each other from opposite sides of the screen (one on top and one on bottom), in a very odd futuristic font, which is styled so that it looks somewhat like this:

_MEDIA_

The first line connects to the "M", and the second connects to the "A". The two words continue their merge into each other, and then a stream of orange laser beams pass through the merged outlines. Then the top of the logo leans backward at an angle, and a stream of pink laser beams cause the outline to flash, resulting in the complete logo which is a silver chrome with a light blue glow. The bottom text "MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT, INC." (in black but also glowing light blue) zooms in from the center of the screen.

Trivia: According to an uploading of the logo's slate by YouTuber LogicSmash, the logo was animated by Lumeni Productions of Glendale, California, with an Oxberry camera being used to photograph the animation. The slate is dated December 14, 1980.

Bylines: In 1984, when Heron Communications bought Media, these would appear, inside a blue rectangle:

  • 1984-1986: "A HERON COMMUNICATIONS CO."
  • 1986-1988: "A HERON COMMUNICATIONS INC. CO.", chyroned over the previous byline.

Variants:

  • A B&W variant exists.
  • There is a still variant.
  • On VCL releases distributed by the company, the stacked yellow words "EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED BY" fly down and reside at the center on the same space background, just before this logo begins.

Technique: Computer effects and motion-controlled animation.

Audio: Same fanfare as the last logo, but other releases have no music.

Availability:

  • Tapes that have used this logo include Night of the Living Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part II, the first three Nightmare on Elm Street films, Day of the Dead, and Halloween.
  • Outside of the United States and Canada, the logo can be found (PAL-tweaked) on VPD releases in the United Kingdom and Video Classics releases in Australia.
  • The last video to use this logo was The Hidden, although it did make one more appearance on the original VHS of Troma's War.
  • On the Full Moon/Cult Video VHS release of Laserblast from the late 1990s, this makes a surprise appearance along with the original FBI Warning screen as well, with the Samuel Goldwyn logo following the MHE logo.
  • Surprisingly, this logo also appeared on A Family Circus Easter when it aired on Disney Channel in the United States on Easter Sunday of 1999.
  • On an Amazon Prime print of P.O.W. the Escape (a.k.a. Behind Enemy Lines), this is surprisingly retained as well, followed by the Cannon logo.
  • Also appears on their print of Sexette before the Crown International Pictures logo.

3rd Logo (1988-September 22, 1993)


Visuals: On a black background, several sets of bar segments move up from the bottom of the screen at an angle. As we rotate towards the front is that the bars are forming the Media logo, similar to the one in the previous logo. After the logo is fully formed, it shines, and one of three bylines fades in. The end result is exactly like the print logo used on their box packaging since 1981.

Bylines:

  • 1988-1990: "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC. A Heron Communications, Inc. Company"
  • 1990-1991: "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC."
  • 1991-1992/1993: "A Heron Communications, Inc. Company" (with "DISTRIBUTED BY MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT INC." blacked out)

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A 15-note low-key synth orchestral rising scale melody, ending with a bell and gong accompaniment, followed by 9 bass-drum hits and a hi-hat, finishing off with a drum flourish and 3 more orchestral notes.

Audio Variants:

  • Some releases feature a shorter version of the fanfare.
  • Some of the early releases to feature this logo still use the fanfare from the last two logos.
  • Due to declining business, the company's very last VHS releases went through CBS/Fox Video and eventually Fox Video. The above logo plays as normal, but there would be an announcer saying "(Available on video) From Media Home Entertainment." When the music ends, the announcer says, "Distributed by (CBS/)Fox Video." When the announcer gets to the (CBS/)Fox Video part of that, the 1st Fox Video logo (or the 3rd CBS/FOX Video logo) plays.
    • On the 1991 release of Scanners II: The New Order, there is no announcer spiel; the VHS just uses the full Media logo preceding the 1st Fox Video logo with "DISTRIBUTED BY" in yellow above it.

Availability: Seen on all Media tapes from the era.

  • Some of these include Payoff, Down Twisted, Beverly Hills Brats, High Spirits, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, the uncut version of A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child, Teen Witch, Ambition, Scanners II: The New Order, Speed Zone, Full Moon in Blue Water, Haunted Summer, Rabid Grannies, Ministry of Vengeance, Think Big!, Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters, American Boyfriends, Class of Nuke 'em High Part 2: Subhumanoid Meltdown, The Invisible Kid, Two Evil Eyes, World Gone Wild, Alien from L.A., I Come in Peace, Wild at Heart, The Applegates, The Pope Must Diet, Closet Land, Prospero's Books, Black Rainbow, Scorchers, Taking the Heat, Scam, I, Madman, Lurkers, Nails, Dead Ringers, Sonny Boy, Spontaneous Combustion, Primary Motive, Deadlock, and Keeper of the City, among others.
  • Also appeared on some early '90s Video Treasures reprints after its logo appeared before the Media logo, including The Check Is in the Mail..., I Come in Peace and Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, among others.
  • Some of these same latter-day releases were also distributed in Canada by HGV Video Productions, even some using the same U.S. packaging.
  • It makes a surprise appearance at the start of a recent Movies! broadcast of Hell's Angels '69 and also appears on the Tubi, Epix.com and Shout! Factory TV prints (and possibly the Amazon Prime version as well).
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