Associated Film Distribution
Associated Film Distribution (officially known as Associated Film Distribution, Inc.) was founded in 1978 by British film producers (and siblings) Lew Grade from ITC Entertainment and Bernard Delfont from EMI Films, to release films produced by both studios in the United States and Canada. Prior to the formation of AFD, ITC-produced films were released by United Artists Pictures, Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation in the United States and Canada. ITC also had their own international film distribution unit, ITC Film Distributors Ltd., to release their films internationally. EMI-produced films were released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Columbia, Universal Studios, 20th Century-Fox and United Artists in the United States and Canada prior to the formation of AFD. EMI was also a partner in the international film distribution company, Columbia-EMI-Warner Bros. Distributors, with Columbia and Warner Bros., to distribute their films internationally. In 1980, AFD suffered financial losses from the films Can't Stop the Music, Raise the Titanic and Saturn 3. Universal would purchase the distribution rights to all AFD films that were still in production at the time, while films that had their production complete would be released by AFD. Currently, most ITC-produced films are owned by ITV, with home media rights licensed to Shout! Factory, while most EMI-produced films are owned by StudioCanal, with home media rights licensed to Lionsgate Home Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment. Walt Disney Pictures owns the rights to The Muppet Movie (an ITC-produced film) due to their purchase of The Muppets franchise from The Jim Henson Company. Universal continues to own the theatrical rights to film produced by both studios that were released by the company.
(December 21, 1978-December 1983)
Nicknames: "The Flashing AFD", "Big AFD", "Cheesy AFD", "Gold AFD"
Logo: On a black background, we see two rays of orange light etch itself into an abstract bubble letter AFD. Before the F is finished etching, the light zooms back into a solid line AFD. The logo flashes gold and turns golden metallic. A light blue ray of light places itself under the AFD, and the light zooms back to a solid blue, "Associated Film Distribution". Each letter sparkles and the whole logo shines afterwards.
Variant: On the 1980 Magnetic Video Corporation VHS release of The Muppet Movie, there is a film-countdown reel leader burned into the logo.
FX/SFX: The computer-animation, which is possibly Scanimate.
- A twangy six-note synth going lower, and then progressively higher each time, then a droning synth that turns into some weird alien like warbling.
- Sometimes, a synthesized disco theme is used.
- Otherwise, it is silent or has the opening theme of the film.
Availability: Rare. Appears on The Jazz Singer (1980 version), Can't Stop the Music, Borderline, Saturn 3 and the United Kingdom widescreen DVD release of Raise the Titanic. It also appeared on the original American release, 1980 Magnetic Video VHS, Betamax and Laserdisc releases, 1981 RCA SelectaVision CED release and 1984 CBS/Fox Video VHS release of The Muppet Movie, while current prints have the Muppet Studios and the Jim Henson Pictures logos plastered over this logo. On Blu-ray, this has been seen on the Severin Films release of The Changeling.
Editor's Note: None.