View Askew Productions

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum




Background

View Askew Productions is the independent production company of Kevin Smith founded in 1994. He is well-known for his cult classics - such as Clerks - which often found success on home media. All View Askew films are distributed by Miramax Films, the only exceptions being Cop Out (distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures), and the 2022 film Clerks III, which was distributed by Lionsgate Films.



1st Logo (October 19, 1994)


Visuals: On a grayish-white background, there is a crudely drawn, overweight clown with a 5 o' clock shadow, who is named Vulgar the Clown, walk across the screen in a cheap manner (complete with foot slippage, and he briefly gives the middle finger a couple times during his walk cycle). He encounters a small, chubby boy sitting on the ground and mindlessly playing with a ball throughout the animation, pats him on his head, and then enters a changing booth. After a few seconds in there, as the music builds up, he steps out with his back turned, clad in only stockings, platform shoes, and a black thong, as well as clothespins on his nipples and the clown hat and makeup from earlier. His body, of course, is not a pleasant sight to behold. Holding a clapperboard in one hand and his crotch in the other, he stands next to the boy, perhaps a little too close, looking down at him with a smug, perverted grin. The changing booth abruptly falls downward to reveal "View Askew Productions" in the Ad Lib font, arranged quite weirdly on a filmstrip, like this:

View
Askew
Pro•
duc•
tions

The boy continues to play with the ball in the exact same way throughout the logo, completely unaware of Vulgar's presence.

Trivia:

  • Vulgar the Clown was used as a trademark for Kevin Smith's business at viewaskew.com for several years. He even had his own movie in 2000, simply titled Vulgar.
  • Vulgar was created by Walt Flanagan.

Technique: Limited traditional animation.

Audio: Low-budget synthesizer music that sounds like a weird happy-go-lucky calliope when the clown is walking to the weird looking boy. Then, a few pizzicato bass violin notes (while the clown's still behind the changing booth) and a vaguely sexy Dixieland-style brass plays (when we see the thong-clad clown), ending with a rather weird 5-note brass fanfare with a timpani roll and a cymbal clash at the end (which may remind you of "Moog Statement 14" by Andy Clarke (the Worldvision fanfare, without the "whoosh")).

Audio Variant: On the original first cut of Clerks, the logo is silent.

Availability: Only seen on Clerks. Later films up to 2004 favor an in-credit "A View Askew Production". Despite its subject matter, it was still kept (surprisingly) on FX's print of Clerks, after the 1987 Miramax Films logo.

Legacy: This logo gained a cult following for its subject matter and crude animation, to the point where it was loosely remade for the company's 25th anniversary. See the 3rd logo for details.

2nd Logo (March 26, 2004-)


Visuals: On a light gray background, a hole made of filmstrip is shown with the words "VIEW ASKEW PRODUCTIONS" arranged to fit the circle. All of a sudden, a CGI version of Silent Bob smoking a cigarette appears from the bottom of the circle with an old handheld camera, while Jay jumps out from the left, with a beret on his head and holding a clapperboard with the camera scope hanging from it. Both are in their forms from the short-lived Clerks: The Animated Series. Silent Bob leans over and looks into the scope on the camera, while Jay prepares to clap the clapperboard and yells "Snooch to the nooch!". Unfortunately, Jay winds up accidentally catching Silent Bob's necklace in the clapperboard, and after he claps the clapperboard, he pulls it back, flashing the "devil horns" sign with his hand. Since the necklace is caught on the clapperboard, he accidentally strangles Silent Bob, causing him to fall out of the circle, either dead or unconscious, and hit the floor. Jay looks down, sees what's happened, and steps out of the circle, a camera scope slips out and falls off the clapperboard as he does so. He then starts to walk away, whistling nonchalantly, but then zooms off-screen cartoon-style, leaving the clapperboard, which falls to the ground as the screen fades out.

Variants:

  • On Jersey Girl, the text "TEN YEARS OF MAKE BELIEVE 1994-2004" appears below and the background is bluish gray.
  • The closing variant has an illustration of the logo, depicting Jay and Silent Bob in their Clerks: The Animated Series designs. The letters are red here. This was designed by Stephen Silver. You can see it here.

Technique: CGI made using WaveFront Maya.

Audio: Music consisting of two stings for when Bob and Jay show up, along with a funky little tune as the rest of the logo goes on. This was composed by frequent Kevin Smith collaborator James Venable. In addition, all of the expected sound effects are there. And yes, Jason Mewes does Jay's voice. The closing logo has Jay saying "Nooch", then chuckling.

Availability: The opening version is only seen on Jersey Girl and Clerks II. The closing version appears on every film since 2004.

3rd Logo (October 15, 2019)


Visuals: Over a grayish-white background, the logo starts with the black-and-white Vulgar the Clown from the first logo, already wearing his obscene outfit (with stockings, thong, platform shoes and clothespins) and holding a clapperboard, but now designed in a noticeably more cartoonish manner. He walks towards a changing booth ala the first logo (complete with cheap foot-slippage walk cycle), but just as he approaches it, the changing booth falls over and a colored animated Jay (in his Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! design) comes out, running over Vulgar. Following him is Silent Bob (also in his Jay & Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie! design), along with characters from many other View Askew movies (including a couple other incarnations of Jay and Silent Bob, such as their superhero alter egos Bluntman and Chronic from Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and their original black-and-white versions from the first Clerks film). After the last of the crowd of characters trample Vulgar, he gets up on his knees as the screen zooms up to a medium shot of him. He gives a stereotypical cartoonish "dazed" expression with his tongue hanging out, to which a red circle with black outlines containing the words "VIEW ASKEW" fade in around Vulgar's head (ala the 2000 View Askew Television logo) as the red color fades in to his nose. Then Vulgar smiles in awe with a wide-eyed look, as the text "25 Years of Cinematic Silliness" fades in below, with "25" in the Arial Black font and the rest of the text arced in a black cursive script.

Technique: Flash animation.

Audio: It starts out with a rearrangement of the weird calliope theme from the first logo, but then it segues into a brassy rock tune when Jay appears to trample Vulgar, and plays throughout the rest of the logo.

Availability: Only seen on Jay & Silent Bob Reboot.

4th Logo (September 4, 2022-)


Visuals: On a white background, the head of Vulgar the Clown, now in a 1930s-like animation style, is inside a gray ring containing the words "VIEW" and "ASKEW" on both sides (ala the previous logo). The logo is seen bulging and gradually ripping as a colorized, 3D version of the logo bursts out, zooming in and then out. Then, "VIEW ASKEW PRODUCTIONS" and "ESTABLISHED 1992" appear on the top and bottom halves of the screen with each letter popping in. Lastly, Vulgar winks at us.

Technique: CGI by Matte CG.

Audio: Before the logo bursts out, a fast paced, repetitive calliope track alongside a dramatic horn buildup is heard. Then, a descending set of flute notes with a four-note electric guitar tune play before an orchestral hit is heard when Vulgar winks. This score was once again composed by James Venable.

Availability: It debuted on Clerks III and can be also seen on Matte CG's YouTube channel.
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