RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video was an international joint venture between Columbia Pictures and RCA, who invented the SelectaVision format on June 30, 1981, to market titles internationally. It distributed the CED in the United Kingdom. It made joint ventures, first with Gaumont in 1982 to set up Gaumont Columbia RCA Video in France, and then with Hoyts in 1983 to set up RCA/Columbia Pictures/Hoyts Video Pty. Ltd. for the Australian market. The company expanded to reach North America in 1982 with a subsidiary RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video, which consolidated some operations of RCA's SelectaVision unit and Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment. The company, along with its counterparts were rebranded under the Columbia TriStar branding in 1991, with most operations being renamed to Columbia TriStar Home Video.

1st Logo (1982-1991?)

Visuals: On a different-colored background, the same box from the 1st RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video logo, but with "HOME VIDEO" replaced by "INTERNATIONAL VIDEO" and a thinner bottom border to accommodate it, fades in. Sometimes, the box has a black border, other times, it doesn't have one.


  • The color of the background differs from country to country. Here's all of the known examples so far.
    • On tapes in Germany and Spain, the background is sky blue.
    • On tapes in Italy, the background is dodger blue.
    • On some tapes in the UK, the background is crimson background, while others (including a tape of Jabberwocky) have this with a white background.
    • On tapes from Japan, the background is dark gray.
  • On earlier tapes, the box is drawn differently to appear more wider black boxes and a notable divider between them. The RCA and Columbia Pictures logo are larger while "Pictures" is smaller, and "INTERNATIONAL VIDEO" is in a Arial font rather than an ITC Avant Garde font. The logo is usually seen on a black background.
    • On the earliest tapes, the Columbia Pictures logo is colored in a red and black color scheme and is on a white background, though there is also a blue background version that was seen on some Australian VHS tapes, like The Deep.

Technique: A digital graphic, sometimes with cross-dissolve transitions.

Audio: None.


  • Despite it being used for nearly ten years, it is hard to come across in North America, and was seen mainly on such international releases as The Amazing Spider-Man, The Real Ghostbusters, and Annie.
  • However, if you have an NTSC tape from (at least) Mexico, Brazil, or Japan, or even a SECAM tape from France or Russia, you'll probably find this logo.
  • Also seen on UK rental releases of Macbeth and D.A.R.Y.L., in addition to Australian releases prior to RCA/Columbia's joint venture with Hoyts in 1983.
  • It also appears on the 1987 UK VHS release of Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation as well.
  • The white background variant of this logo also appears on the 1983 UK pre-cert VHS release of Annie (1982) as well.
  • Despite the next logo being introduced, it continues to be used on Argentina and Chile releases from the era.

2nd Logo (1988-1992)

Visuals: On a black background, a metallic silver fridge-like box rises up from the bottom of the screen at an angle, pinging as it reveals a small alcove with the RCA logo in it. The camera hangs on this for a bit as it rotates slightly straight towards the box, before moving down to a much larger alcove as the Columbia Pictures print logo in a sky blue door shape rises up, along with "Columbia Pictures" in metallic silver, and flies into the alcove before it reveals "INTERNATIONAL VIDEO" in a Avant Garde font at the bottom. The box then zooms out and tilts to the right, revolving around counterclockwise before it tilts straight up as it faces the screen.


  • On some tapes, the animation takes place on a light marble background. When the logo has finished animating, it "ripples" out and the whole thing transitions to the warning screen.
  • On releases from Contacto Video in Colombia, the RCA/Columbia Pictures International Video logo shrinks down to the lower right of the screen. Then, the Contacto Video logo animates, then it shrinks and moves to the upper-left of the screen.
  • On the 1990 PAL tape of Radio Days, at the end, it glows and turns into a holographic print logo, which shimmers throughout the rest of the logo.
  • On tapes from Germany, after the logo is finished animating, it goes straight to the warning screen (in German). During said warning screen, a still, filmed version of the logo can be seen.
  • The RCA/Columbia Pictures/Hoyts Video Pty, Ltd. logo is a variant of this logo.

Technique: CGI done by Ed Kramer at DESIGNefx in Atlanta, GA on an SGI 4D/70 computer running Wavefront software, and animated at 30p. The pings were added later using computer effects.

Audio: A dramatic synthesized fanfare, complete with a whoosh sound effect when the Columbia logo rises from the bottom and a reverse cymbal when the cube settles down.

Audio Variants:

  • Rarely, it is silent.
  • The German PAL version uses a completely different theme with a synth sounder similar to a North American police car or ambulance siren at the beginning.
  • Japanese tapes use a creepier-sounding whispering synth tune, with a bong, a whoosh for the Columbia Pictures logo swooping in, and a drumbeat.


  • It was only used on video releases outside the United States and Canada, and for the most part, appeared on Latin American and European releases of Columbia and TriStar movies on video from the late 80s/early 90s.
  • French SECAM tapes have the 1st or 2nd Gaumont Columbia RCA Video logo appear instead.
  • The normal variant appears on UK releases of Flatliners and the first two Ghostbusters films, while the marble background variant appears on Hope and Glory.
  • Australian tapes simply use the 2nd RCA/Columbia Pictures/Hoyts Video Pty. Ltd. logo (which is very similar and even uses the same music as this logo).
  • The standard variant was also spotted on UK VHS tapes from Watershed Pictures, which had a distribution deal with RCA/Columbia (and successor company Columbia TriStar) until 1994 when it switched distribution to PolyGram.

Legacy: By many, this logo is considered better than it's American counterpart.

Columbia Pictures Home Entertainment
Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
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