Thorn-EMI/HBO/Cannon Video

Compiled by James Fabiano and Matt Williams

Thorn-EMI Video
(Late 1970s-1983)

Nicknames: "The Thorn," "Three-Pointed Star"

Logo: A
blue circle of light spins around and turns rainbow, then splits into two light circles which spin and shrink into a shape that looks like an upside down "T" with pointed ends, probably representing a thorn. A white box with a blue aura is drawn around the shape, and it backs away. As this happens, a white box with the words "THORN EMI" appears under that box (which has since turned blue), and when that backs away a white box surrounds that, the bottom of which contains the word "VIDEO."

SFX: The circles of light spinning and splitting, then turning into the logo. Also, "drawing" effects and boxes being added on.

Cheesy Factor: '80s animation effects.

Music: A light, synthesized tune that ends in the beating of a drum.

Availability: Appears on "Ready, Steady, Go!--Volume One", the first few collections of "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids" and "Danger Mouse". Thorn EMI also distributed titles from Thames Video and Orion.

Scare Factor: Low. There's nothing overly obnoxious or frightening.

Thorn-EMI/HBO Video

Logo: Against two "walls" of purple lights, the words "THORN" and "EMI" fly from the top and bottom of the screen towards the top. A purple "HBO" logo appears, and we see it "O" first (through the hole). It joins a white rectangle that has appeared in the middle of the logo. The word "VIDEO" drops from the bottom of the rectangle, the "O" in the "HBO" logo gets the circle in its hole, and two white "comets" streak past the top and bottom of the logo, leaving two white lines. The background then turns purple.

SFX: "Flying" words.

Cheesy Factor: Assorted '80s animation effects.

Music: Same as Thorn-EMI #1

Availability: Appears on later collections of "Ready, Steady, Go", the first release of "First Blood Part II", and the last few editions of the cartoon series mentioned above. Also distributed HBO's original product, as well as Thames, Orion, and the first movies produced by Carolco.

Scare Factor: Low

HBO/Cannon Video

Logo: Similar to the Thorn-EMI HBO Logo(wall of lights, comets, blue background, the logo itself is similar), but there's a lot more action. A wall of blue lights opens, much like in the above Thorn EMI HBO logo. Against these walls, a chromey-looking HBO logo slides down one, and the word "CANNON" likewise chromey, slides down the other. When they meet in the center, a glowing white star takes them in, and the walls rotate to face us as the camera pans in. When we pan in, two comets streak on two of the lights making up the wall, and when they pass, we see a white HBO logo and a white box containing the word "CANNON" rotating from the bottom to face us. The logos zoom back, with HBO zooming back to become smaller than the white box containing "CANNON", as "VIDEO" zooms out with "Telepictures"-like shadows. Two comets streak above and below the logo to form lines, like in the Thorn-EMI logo.

SFX: Too many to mention, but the main effects are the chromey-looking logos in the beginning...

Cheesy Factor: ...and the cheap chyron animations used in the end portion of the logo.

Music: Again, the very comforting Thorn EMI music.

Availability: Pat yourself on the back if you find this. By far the rarest of all HBO-related video logos, this can be a tough find. Distributed HBO, Hemdale, Orion, and the first films by Carolco.

Scare Factor: It's cheap, but the music's comforting, so it's not scary.

HBO Video
1st Logo

Logo: On a blue bg, we see the HBO logo, and the word "VIDEO", in thin lettering, below. Two lines are seen above and below the logo.

SFX: Absolutely no animation whatsoever.

Music: Same with the music.

Availability: This was a "placeholder" logo, used when the "master" logo is not in use, but again, distributed Thames, Hemdale, and Orion as well as HBO product, although Orion would shortly launch its own video label.

Scare Factor: None.

2nd Logo

Nickname: "The Spheres"

Logo: On a black bg, we see tons of red spheres, packed tightly together. As we zoom out, the spheres fade into a red HBO logo, with a blue "VIDEO"(in that same font described above, below. When they move into place, purple bars move to their positions above and below the logo. When the logo is formed, a spotlight is shown below the logo.

SFX: The CGI used to compose most of the animation in the logo

Cheesy Factor: Rather primitive, but still cool.

Music: Neat, but a bit warbly, which makes it cheesy. Very neat though.

Availability: Distributed Thames, Hemdale, and Weintraub Entertainment material, but towards the end of its run, began to concentrate mainly on HBO-produced materials.

Scare Factor: Low