Filmways Pictures was a film studio that was a division of Filmways Television that was founded in 1980 from the acquisition of American International Pictures in 1979 and was folded into Orion Pictures in 1982. Filmways had been producing films, prior to their acquisition of AIP, since 1967 and also owned film distributor Sigma III Corporation. Filmways, Inc. was later reincorporated as "Orion Pictures Corporation" in June of that same year. Currently most of the Filmways film library is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer with Orion retaining the copyright. The rights to films that Filmways produced prior to the AIP acquisition are owned by the original distributors.
1st Logo (1980-1981)
Nicknames: "Constellation", "Pre-Orion Constellation"
Logo: Set against a starry space background, we see a bright star emit a beam of light to wipe in the words "FILMWAYS PICTURES, INC." in a curvy orange Denmark font. The star disappears, and after a while, the words zoom-up and slide away.
- There's a variant in which the text is white and outlined in red (presumably due to film quality).
- A widescreen version has the text and star field stretched out.
FX/SFX: The space background and the star wiping in the company name.
Music/Sounds: Usually silent. Some films, such as Dressed to Kill, have a laser sound followed by a UFO sound effect.
Availability: Very rare. Can be found on some films such as Dressed to Kill, How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, Pray TV and the 1985 Embassy Home Entertainment VHS release of The Wild Angels (originally released by American International Pictures). It is also seen on the 1984 Warner Home Video VHS release, the 1993 Image Entertainment Laserdisc release (where the widescreen version can be found), and the 2016 Criterion release of the former.
Editor's Note: The logo features some fairly basic animation for the '80s. Also, it's strange that it doesn't use the Bauhaus 93 font like on Filmways logos of the time period.
2nd Logo (1981-July 16, 1982)
Nickname: "Abstract F"
Logo: On a black background, a round orange glow of light appears, which morphs into a bright light blue light. As stars and rays of light shoot by, we see the logo itself (two abstract 3-D "F" shapes, interlocking back-to-front into a medallion, with a metallic effect applied) appear in the blue light and zoom towards the screen with a bright light in front of it that later flashes. Underneath, the words "FILMWAYS PICTURES" (in the same font as the 1981 Filmways Television logo) fly back with a whitish blue light trail effect. Both the logo and the words turn solid as the lights fade, with the logo turning blue and the words white.
FX/SFX: The logo forming amid the light effects and the flying of the company name.
Music/Sounds: Silent or the opening theme of the film. On Comin' At Ya!, it used a triumphant fanfare. On the American release of Gamera: Super Monster, the Daiei Film fanfare is used.
Availability: Extremely rare. It can be seen on the 1982 Warner Home Video VHS release of Death Wish II. It was also seen on the MGM/UA Home Video VHS, TMC prints, and the Scream Factory Blu-ray of Full Moon High, as well as the 1999 Rhino Home Video DVD release of the 3D film Comin' At Ya!, where the logo is unfortunately only in 2D. This logo can also be found on the MGM/UA Home Video VHS and Laserdisc releases and the 2011 The Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray release of Blow Out (although some prints plaster this logo with the 3rd Orion Pictures logo). It can also be seen on the 1982 Embassy Home Entertainment VHS release of Summer Lovers.
Editor's Note: This was all top-of-the-line motion-control work back in 1981, and it holds up pretty well.