Tartan Video

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Tartan Films was a British-based film distributor, established in 1984 by Hamish McAlpine. It also had its' subsidiaries, which were Tartan USA, Tartan Video, and its' East Asian counterpart, Tartan Asia Extreme. Between 1992 and 2003, Tartan Films operated under the name Metro-Tartan Distribution before reverting back. In June 2008, Tartan went into administration and laid off its employees, following the collapse of its' US subsidiary. The library of films was sold to the Palisades Media Group. Finally, on September 28, 2008, the newly named Palisades Tartan released its' first British DVD release, the horror-thriller film, P2.

1st (known) Logo (1993-2003)

Visuals: On a white background which quickly changes to yellow, it quickly zooms off to the side and a black bar pireces through it before revolving back around onto the top of the bar. Trailing behind it are different VHS button symbols that move into the left side of the screen in different arrangements. The white background shrinks a bit as the play symbol is absorbed into the record buttton, forming a pulse, and the rewind symbol flies offscreen. The fast forward symbol flies across the bottom, bringing the stop and pause symbols into multiple bars as the record button shrinks and leaves a brief cross pattern behind. 2 bars that change colors intersect on the left side and form a rectangle, briefly yellow before becoming black and gaining a yellow bar across the top. A section then gets cut to to shoot off a red/white square off-screen, and a black bar sprouts up and shifts the yellow bar a bit, forming the base of the logo. The bar then sprouts a "T" and it slides into the yellow bar to become white. The rest of the letters pop and slide in to form "TARTAN" across the bar as a bunch of lines breifly form a tartan pattern on the yellow box and all side away, with some appearing out of the box. "VIDEO" then stretches into the bar next to it, and the background fills back up, as a dot drops down to finish the logo off.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: Some filming machinery powering including a synth "rewind" sound, followed by a choir/wind tune.

Availability: Seen on most Tartan VHS tapes and DVDs since the beginning of the company up until 2003, including Hard Boiled, Battle Royale, Audition, Ring, Tetsuo: The Iron Man, Man Bites Dog, and Funny Games.

2nd Logo (2003-2008)

Visuals: On a black background, several white and yellow light streaks fly out across the screen, forming the Tartan Video logo from before but streamlined, right as it rotates towards the screen. As the final white streak fills in "TARTAN" and reveals "VIDEO", the rotating stops and the logo flashes, having the finished product fade in. Compared to the previous logo, the logo is wider as well as the spaced text, there's no black bar on the left side of the logo, and no dot.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Hollow background ambience with the whirring sounds of the lines drawing, followed by screeching.

Availability: Seen on DVDs of Accattone and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance released in the UK, among others.

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