Searchlight Pictures

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum



Background

Fox Searchlight Pictures was formed in 1994 under News Corporation (now owned by The Walt Disney Company) as a division of 20th Century Fox (now 20th Century Studios) mainly to release independent, arthouse, horror, and foreign films, as well as some comedy, action, romance, and family films.

On January 17, 2020, parent company Disney announced that it would remove "Fox" from the company's name, presumably to avoid confusion with Fox Corporation, renaming it Searchlight Pictures.


Fox Searchlight Pictures

1st Logo (placeholder logo) (1995-1996)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a vertical white line on the middle left which protrudes to the bottom of the middle. On the right of the line is the company name, aligned to the left and set in a font called Bodega Serif Black.

Technique: A still image.

Audio: Just the soundtrack from the trailer.

Availability:

  • Only appears after the 1994 20th Century Fox logo on the trailer for The Brothers McMullen.
  • This was a custom variation made for the trailer, as FSP did not have a standalone logo yet.
  • However, the film itself uses the third logo instead.

2nd Logo (prototype logo) (March 22-November 8, 1996)

Visuals: Same as the 1994 20th Century Fox logo, but it is a still picture, and the text "20th CENTURY FOX" is replaced with "FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES", with "SEARCHLIGHT" in the middle larger, and with "FOX" above and "PICTURES" below, respectively. The News Corporation byline is intact, but the registered symbol is removed.

Trivia: This logo is based on the 1992 20th Television logo, but with the sky background from the Foxstar Productions logo. This was designed by Studio Productions (now known as "Flip Your Lid Animation") in collaboration with Topix.

Technique: A still image.

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

Availability:

  • This was a prototype for the next logo.
  • It only appears on four films which are Girl 6, She's the One, Looking for Richard, and The Secret Agent.
  • Current prints of the latter two films have the next logo or the 1994 20th Century Fox logo plastering it, though it survives on the first title with the 1994 logo preceding it, and also remains on the second title without any changes whatsoever.
  • It also appears on trailers for very early releases from the company.

3rd Logo (September 19, 1996-February 11, 2011)

Visuals: The sequence starts out looking at a city skyline (most likely that of Los Angeles, California). The camera begins to move right, past a searchlight. The searchlight turns on, followed by two more in the background turning on. We then reach the middle of the stack to see the text from before, as the camera pulls back. After the logo is finished zooming out, the byline "A NEWS CORPORATION COMPANY" fades in, then the rightmost searchlight moves towards the camera, filling the screen with light, then the screen fades out.

Trivia: There is a brief animation rendering error about seven seconds into the logo, as the camera pans past the front-right searchlight (before approaching the main structure). When it reaches the left side of the screen, the lighting and shading on the searchlight base suddenly shifts and changes positions.

Variants:

  • On some films, the News Corporation byline is slightly smaller. This is primarily used for films with a wider aspect ratio, but on some movies, such as Slums of Beverly Hills and Boys Don't Cry, it is used on the regular 16:9 version of the logo, while some wider films, such as Titus and Slumdog Millionaire, use the regular byline instead.
    • There is also a looser cropped version.
  • An official bylineless version exists, but it was used solely for corporate purposes, and as such did not appear on any film.

Technique: CGI animation.

Audio: A few seconds of silence, as the searchlight turns on, the 1994 20th Century Fox fanfare, composed by Bruce Broughton, plays.

Audio Variants:

  • Starting in 1999, the 1997 Fox fanfare, composed by David Newman, was used.
  • On some films like 28 Days Later and Day Watch, there is a low-pitched version of the fanfare.
  • On I Heart Huckabees and The Ringer, after the light covers the screen, the opening voiceover begins.

Availability: It appears on all Fox Searchlight films from this era, beginning with Blood and Wine, and it made its final appearance on Cedar Rapids (trailers for said film use the next logo).

4th Logo (March 18, 2011-December 16, 2019)

Visuals: This is a redone and more realistic version of the previous Fox Searchlight Pictures logo, based on the structure of the 2009-2020 20th Century Fox logo. This time, it is in a dark/orange evening environment. Palm trees can be seen at the bottom at the start (as well as the addition of the Hollywood sign on the hills), three searchlights are deleted, and the right searchlight is pointing at us when it fills the screen with light. An "®" symbol is also now added to the logo.

Trivia:

  • This logo is based on the 2009-2020 20th Century Fox logo.
  • If one looks closely at the cityscape during the beginning of the logo, the same Ice Age billboard from the 2009-2020 TCF logo can be seen.

Bylines:

  • March 18, 2011-July 5, 2013: "A NEWS CORPORATION COMPANY"
  • September 18, 2013-December 16, 2019: Bylineless

Variants:

  • There are variants where the structure is seen in an extreme close-up (ala cropped from scope into 1.78:1) or shown at a far distance in the entire 16:9 frame.
  • A 4:3 variant exists, which appears on some TV spots as well as fullscreen prints of many films from 2012 onward, starting with Sound of My Voice.
  • Starting with the release of Enough Said on September 18, 2013, the News Corporation byline is excluded and the logo is bylineless for the first time since the 1995 logo. This is mainly due to the split of News Corporation on June 28, 2013.
  • On April 29, 2014, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary, where "20TH ANNIVERSARY" is engraved under "PICTURES". There is also no full version of this variant, nor did it appear on any films.
  • On April 29, 2019, the company celebrated its 25th anniversary. The screen is filled with light earlier than usual, and it fades to a dark grey background with a silver rectangle. The object has a large "25" on the left with "YEARS" inside the 5 in the first quarter on the left, and in the other three quarters is the print logo, minus the searchlights. Although this appeared on trailers for Antlers, the next logo appeared on the film itself.

Technique: CGI animation, designed and animated by the now-defunct Blue Sky Studios. Like the 2009-2020 logo, this was made using Autodesk Maya.

Audio: Same as the 1999 variant of the last logo.

Audio Variant: On the 25 Years variant, when the searchlight flashes, a slightly reorchestrated last note can be heard (if you listen closely), along with the 1997 fanfare's own last note.

Availability:

  • First appeared on the trailers for The Tree of Life on December 16, 2010, Cedar Rapids just two months later (the film itself used the previous logo), and on later trailers for Win Win, which was also the first film with this logo.
  • The last film to use this logo with the News Corporation byline was The Way Way Back.
  • The last feature film to use this logo with the "Fox Searchlight Pictures" name was A Hidden Life, and the last short film released under the name was Sew Torn.
  • The 20th Anniversary variant is unused and was only seen on a video to promote said anniversary.

Searchlight Pictures

Logo (February 14, 2020-)


Visuals: Basically an enhanced version of the last logo. It's nearly the same as before, except "FOX" has been removed from the top of the structure, and the words are slightly taller and larger to accommodate for it, a la the final Fox Interactive logo. The Los Angeles cityscape and the mountains in the background are larger and more detailed with greater depth, the skyline is different, the ® symbol has been removed, the searchlights (aside from their light beams) are a lot darker in color (compared to the 20th Century Studios logo which has the same colors for the searchlights but sleeker and shinier), and the Hollywood sign is pushed up to resemble the one in real life. After the searchlight fills the screen with light, it cuts to black instead of fading to black.

Variant: On Downhill (the logo's debut) and Nomadland, the screen fades to black at the end (like the previous logos) instead of cutting to black.

Technique: CGI animation, designed and animated by MOCEAN, based on Blue Sky's design. This was animated with Cinema 4D and rendered with Arnold Renderer. An example of how this logo was made can be seen here.

Audio: Same as the previous logo.

Audio Variant: Otherwise, none or the opening theme of the film.

Availability:

  • First appeared on "For Your Consideration" spots for Jojo Rabbit (the film itself has the previous logo), released on January 29, 2020.
  • It then made its official theatrical debut on Downhill, released on February 14, 2020 and then appears on every film following it.
  • It also appears as a de-facto home video logo on current Searchlight Pictures home media releases, after the final TCFHE logo retired, and is the first logo here to do so.

Copyright stamps

  • 1994-2020: Copyright © [YEAR] Fox Searchlight Pictures, Inc.
  • 2020-: Copyright © [YEAR] Searchlight Pictures, Inc.
Touchstone Pictures
Hollywood Pictures
Searchlight Pictures
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