National Telefilm Associates

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

National Telefilm Associates, Inc. (NTA) was a distribution company established by Ely A. Landau and Oliver A. Unger in 1954 as the successor of Ely Landau, Inc. It owned the libraries of U.M.&M. Television Corporation, Republic Pictures, and NBC Films, and distributed the library of 20th Century Fox on television. In 1956, NTA launched a syndication arm, NTA Film Network, to distribute film and live programs to television stations not affiliated with ABC, CBS, and NBC. WNET was a part of this network under the name WNTA. NTA Film Network closed in 1961.

In 1982, it formed a home video subsidiary, NTA Home Entertainment to distribute their library (including the original Republic Pictures films and Paramount cartoons) on home video. Two sub-labels were formed during its home video run, which include Spotlite Video, which released works that have fallen into public domain, and Inspiration Video, dedicated to religious material. The division released material from it's catalog and later released other material.

In 1984, with the success of NTA's syndication of the Republic film library, the company purchased the "Republic Pictures" trademark, and on December 28, NTA renamed themselves Republic Pictures Corporation.



1st Logo (1955-1957?)


Visuals: On a grey background with a rippled look, which makes it resemble a satin blanket, a black filmstrip, cut into 3 frames, is seen with the letters "NTA" individually placed inside the frames. Behind the frames is a reel of film, with a portion of the film out of the reel and curling down the screen, forming a long line that extends left. The words "NATIONAL TELEFILM ASSOCIATES, INC." are in all capital letters, with the "N", "T", and "A", in larger letters. The text "An" and "Release" (or "Presentation") are also seen above and below the logo respectively in a cursive font.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, the background would be replaced with a live action satin cloth. It slowly ripples throughout the logo.
  • An animated version of the logo exists, where the "NTA" appears one by one, and the rest of the text wipes in (the bottom ripple also shifts slightly, presumably a splice). The background is now a photo of a blue wrinkled cloth, the reel has the filmstrip repositioned and forms an underline from the left, the letters are in red and the text is in yellow and all in a serif font.
  • A color version of the logo exists, with a different wavy background colored red with white lines, the filmstrip tinted gold, the frames colored dark blue, and the text colored yellow. The "An" and "Release" also doesn't appear.
  • On film rereleases, the text below reads instead as "PICTURES, INC. presents" or "PICTURES, INC. presentation".
  • A version exists where it just says “An N T A Pictures Incorporated Release” on a more water-like background.

Technique: None mostly. Live-action for the live cloth variant, and camera-controlled animation for the animated variant.

Audio: A bombastic theme. Sometimes, the opening and closing themes of the show or movie play over the logo instead.

Availability:

  • Appeared on NTA's prints of pre-1948 20th Century-Fox films, on which the '30s-'50s Fox logo cross-faded into the NTA logo halfway through. When NTA's syndication rights to the library ended, the films returned to Fox, who either made new prints from the original materials or "reverse-plastered" the classic Fox logo over the Fox/NTA combo. (for example, the fade-out of the NTA logo is briefly glimpsed after the Fox logo on the current print of Laura.) The Fox/NTA combo has been sighted intact on the current print of Les Miserables (1935), FXM's print of The Gay Deception, and at the end of Phantom From 10,000 Leagues; it is currently unknown if it appears on any old Fox films released by Magnetic Video Corporation.
  • The color version appears on public domain prints of pre-1950 cartoon shorts from Paramount (excluding the orginal Popeye shorts, which were distributed by A.A.P.). It's a lot more common than the logo of U.M.&M. (which had distributed them since January 1956 before being bought out a year later), most likely due to the prints being easier to find. Many public domain DVDs and VHS's of old cartoons still contain this, usually due to them using older prints.

2nd Logo (1956-1966?)


Visuals: Superimposed in the credits is the text "NTA". Above is "An" and below it was the text "Release", both of these were in a serif font.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: The closing theme of the show.

Availability: Seen mainly on television programs that were aired over the syndicated NTA Film Network, which lasted from 1956-1961, such as How to Marry a Millionaire, Sheriff of Cochise/U.S. Marshal, and The Third Man.

3rd Logo (1957-195?)

Visuals: On a grey background, there is a film projector. Next to it, is a rectangle with the words "NTA" over the projector. Below it was the text "presents" in a serif font.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: None.

Availability: Seen on a rerelease of Wilbur the Lion.

4th Logo (1957-196?)

Visuals: On a black & white gradient background, there is a filmstrip. The filmstrip has the letters "NTA" vertically arranged on them. Next to the letters is that they stand for "National Telefilm Associates". Above this is the letter "A," and the word "RELEASE." All text is seen inside a white TV tube-like shape with a black border.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: The closing theme of the show.

Availability: Old prints of The Sheriff of Cochise are known to have this logo.

5th Logo (October 12, 1959?-1962?)

Visuals: Superimposed in the credits, there are three black diamonds. Inside it was the letters "NTA". Above it was "AN" and below it was the text "PRESENTATION". Copyright info appears below the logo.

Technique: None. [possible misuse]

Audio: A drumroll, followed by a bell church.

Availability: Seen on several Play of the Week episodes from the era.

6th Logo (1966?-1971?)


Visuals: On a black & white background with filmstrips, there are three ellipses appearing and moving to the center of the screen: the topmost ellipse moves in from the top of the screen, the middle ellipse moves from the left of the screen, and the bottom ellipse moves from the right of the screen. After the ellipses move, the vertically arranged text "An NTA RELEASE" appears one-by-one, with "NTA" arranged vertically on the ellipses.

Technique: Traditional animation.

Audio: An ominious orchestral beat. Sometimes, it uses the opening or closing theme of the show or movie.

Availability:

  • Seen on some public domain video releases of Gammera the Invincible, and surprisingly seen on TV prints of Lone Star movies, most notably Texas Terror, plastering their logo.
  • Appeared at the beginning of a RaiPlay print of The New Frontier (1939).

7th Logo (1971-1982?)


Visuals: It's almost the same as the Commonwealth United logo, except once the map is completed, the screen freezes, and the styled text "nta" zooms-out of the screen instead. Then "RELEASE" appears under the "NTA" lettering.

Variants:

  • There is a still variant.
  • A B&W variant exists.
  • A rare still variant has the logo in blue and the full name is shown below the logo. The background is also white.

Technique: Motion-controlled 2D animation, or none.

Audio: An abridged version of the Commonwealth United Entertainment jingle. In most cases (including on Paramount cartoon shorts), the opening and closing themes, a generic theme, or none.

Availability:

  • Most of their library is largely plastered with either the original company's logo or the new distributor's logo on later prints, though older prints (such as The Lone Star State, featured on The Nostalgia Merchant's Cartoon Parade Vol. 2) are more likely to have their logo.
  • It was spotted on a print of The Devil Bat's Daughter, an Amazon print of The Cowboy And The Senorita, along with a WPIX airing of Flame of Barbary Coast.
  • The print version appears on Search and Rescue: The Alpha Team.

8th Logo (1982-1985)

Visuals: It's basically the same as the NTA Home Entertainment logo, except when all zoom out, the logo freezes. Then the word "presents" flies from the bottom of the logo and sets place under the NTA letters.

Technique: Same as the NTA Home Entertainment logo.

Audio: None.

Availability: Shown on some movies and TV shows syndicated by NTA on the mid-'80s on TV.

National Telefilm Associates
Republic Entertainment
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