Magnetic Video Corporation

From CLG Wiki

Credits
Logo descriptions by
Matt Williams, VPJHuk and James Stanley Barr


Logo captures by
Thatvhstapeguy and VPJHuk


Editions by
V of Doom, LJK193, Vahan Nisanian and indycar


Video captures courtesy of
VectraQS, Jordan Rios and - VPJLogo -.

[edit credits]


Background

Magnetic Video Corporation, a home media and audio duplication service established in 1968 by Andre Blay and based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, was the first company to release theatrical films to home media for consumers in 1976, making exclusive deals with United Artists, Avco Embassy, ITC, ABC Video Enterprises, Viacom (now "ViacomCBS"), RBC Films (then an exclusive licensee of several of Charles Chaplin's films), New Line Cinema, Brut Pictures, Bill Burrud Productions, American Film Theatre and 20th Century-Fox. In 1979, the latter purchased Magnetic Video from Blay, reincorporating it as "20th Century-Fox Video" in 1981. It is currently known as "20th Century Fox Home Entertainment". Ironically, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment used to own home media rights to most United Artists and Avco Embassy films due to their distribution of MGM releases, prior to 2020.

1st Logo (November 1977-September 1982)


Nicknames: "The M-Circle," "Mirrored M-Circle"

Logo: Two semicircles with lines protruding down their midsections, the top a very-light grey shade and the bottom a beige color, are drawn into view, resembling "M"s. Then a bunch of circle M's appear in back of it, one gray and the other green, sort of like a continuous mirrored effect or video feedback. The text "MAGNETIC VIDEO CORPORATION" in a yellow computer-generated font begins to scroll upward while repeats appear under it, and like the M, have copies appearing behind the logo. All the copies behind it also appear to have a blue filter layered over them.

Variants:

  • There is a black and white variant for releases in said colors.
  • Some releases have the logo partially play on a grey screen, before it quickly fades to black.

FX/SFX: The circle M being drawn in and the scrolling words repeating.

Music/Sounds/Voice-overs: A mellow piece of music; not very easy to hear due to the studio spiel, but has a bossa-nova/mex influenced, easy listening melody, also known as elevator music (with five known lengths and four known tempos), accompanied by one of four male voiceovers (herein referred to as Voiceover A, Voiceover B, Voiceover C and Voiceover D) indicating the studio:

  • On most pre-1981 20th Century-Fox releases, Voiceover A (a deep baritone announcer) said "By special arrangement with 20th Century-Fox, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following major motion picture on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 108.7 BPM (beats per minute) with 26 beats.
  • On most early Viacom releases, as well as all their Terrytoon compilations, Voiceover A said "By special arrangement with Viacom International, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following motion picture entertainment on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 113.3 BPM with 26 beats.
  • On the releases of the films of Charles Chaplin, Voiceover B (an announcer with a bass voice deeper than Voiceover A) said "By special arrangement with the estate of Charles Chaplin, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following classic motion picture on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 28 beats. All cassettes with this voiceover are in black and white.
  • On releases of the Greatest Sports Legends series, Voiceover A said "By special arrangement with Viacom International, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the Greatest Sports Legends on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 26 beats.
  • On other early Betamax and VHS releases (including later prints of Viacom theatrical films), Voiceover C (a more normal-sounding announcer) said "By special arrangement with [Viacom International/Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation/Brut (pronounced "brute") Productions/ABC Video Enterprises], Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following major motion picture on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 111.4 BPM with 28 beats on most such releases and approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats on ABC releases. Strangely enough, the original video releases of The Paper Chase and Conversation Piece use the Avco Embassy Pictures variant (despite being licensed from Fox and Viacom, respectively), most likely as a result of a video processing error.
  • On Bill Burrud's wildlife documentaries, Voiceover C said "By special arrangement with Bill Burrud Productions, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following wildlife program on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 111.4 BPM with 28 beats.
  • On Milestones of the Century and Men of Destiny, Voiceover C said "By special arrangement with Pathé News, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following documentary on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 29 beats.
  • On the first releases from ITC Entertainment Group by Magnetic Video, Voiceover C said "By special arrangement with ITC Entertainment, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following motion picture on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • Starting in late 1980 or early 1981, especially on early Laserdisc releases, Voiceover D (an announcer who sounds similar to Voiceover C, only a bit deeper and more authoritative) said "By special arrangement with [20th Century-Fox/Viacom Enterprises/Avco Embassy Pictures Corporation/ITC Entertainment/ABC Video Enterprises/United Artists Corporation], Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following special video presentation". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats; Laserdiscs use an extended version of the music with 60 beats. Oddly, the 30 beats variation with the 20th Century-Fox voiceover appeared on a Japanese Laserdisc of the Avco Embassy film The Lion in Winter.
  • Videocassette reprints of The African Queen and Blue Hawaii had Voiceover D's announcement worded as "By special arrangement with Viacom, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following special video presentation." The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • On The Miracle of Lake Placid, Voiceover D's announcement is worded as "Magnetic Video, in cooperation with ABC Video Enterprises, is proud to offer the following feature on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • On Jack Nicklaus: Sports Clinic, Voiceover D said "By special arrangement with Sports Concepts, Incorporated, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following special program on videocassette". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • On some later sports-related video releases, Voiceover D said "Magnetic Video Sports is proud to offer the following special video presentation". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats; again, LaserDisc releases use an extension of the music with 60 beats.
  • On Odyssey, Black Emmanuelle, Dot and the Kangaroo, and the laserdisc release of SP/FX: The Empire Strikes Back, Voiceover D said "Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following special video presentation". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • Sometimes, there's no voiceover. This variant can be seen on the films of Otto Preminger, The Sensuous Nurse, Avco Embassy's Promise at Dawn, and ITC's Autumn Sonata (the laserdisc of that one has the normal laserdisc ITC variant). The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 30 beats.
  • An additional Laserdisc-only voiceover was used on The Moon Is Blue, spoken by Voiceover D: "By special arrangement with Otto Preminger and Carlyle Productions, Magnetic Video Corporation is proud to offer the following special video presentation". The music's tempo is approximately 116.3 BPM with 60 beats.

Availability: Ultra rare.

  • Magnetic Video's releases have been out of print since the mid-1980s. However, if you're lucky, you can find them at used video stores, pawn shops, flea markets, thrift stores and/or eBay listings.
  • Titles with this logo include M*A*S*H, The Longest Day, Last Tango in Paris, Escape to Athena, The Magnificent Seven, The Muppet Movie, Kotch, Patton, Let It Be, All Quiet on the Western Front (1979 television version), The Making of Star Wars, The Cassandra Crossing, The Seduction of Mimi, Conversation Piece, All Screwed Up, Sympathy for the Devil, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, They Call Me Trinity, King Creole, Last Train from Gun Hill, Carnal Knowledge, Deadly Hero, The Graduate, the Greatest Sports Legends series, City Lights, The Great Dictator, The Gold Rush, A Woman of Paris, Dot and the Kangaroo, Mad Monster Party, A Touch of Class, The Jazz Singer, Casablanca, The Boston Strangler, Hello Dolly!, Alien, and At Long Last Love. The variant without the voiceover can be seen on The Sensuous Nurse, The Man with the Golden Arm, and The Moon Is Blue, and debuted on Promise at Dawn.
  • The last tapes to use this logo were the earliest 20th Century-Fox Video releases, including Bedazzled, Caveman, Chu Chu and the Philly Flash, Dr. No, Eyewitness, A Fistful of Dollars, The Great Muppet Caper, History of the World Part I, Sergeant York and Stardust Memories. This logo continued to be used on laser videodiscs, mainly using old masters prepared around the previous November, until September 1982.
  • In order to fit the whole feature on a single tape, this does not appear on their release of Monsieur Verdoux (a portion of the opening credits is also missing on the same release).
  • Some later prints of releases with the Magnetic Video logo, such as Von Ryan's Express, Notorious, Young Frankenstein and High Anxiety, may have CBS/Fox Video labels, but those are usually in the original Magnetic Video packaging, with a video release year of 1980 on the slipcover.
  • Occasionally, as seen on a 1985 pressing of Von Ryan's Express and a 1984 pressing of Take the Money and Run, an earlier Magnetic Video voiceover may be plastered with its post-1980 ("...special video presentation") counterpart on later prints; also, most films featuring Elvis Presley were reprinted starting in early 1979 with the old Viacom voiceover plastered with the "...major motion picture on videocassette" variant thereof, which would make its first new-release appearance a few months later on The African Queen.

Editor's Note: This is the very first home video logo. While the animation is primitive, the music is relaxing.

2nd Logo (1981)

Nicknames: "The Zoomer", "Ominous Magnetic"

Logo: There is an opening and a closing version.

  • OPENING: In a black background, we see the text "MAGNETIC VIDEO" zoom in. Eventually, the text stops and the byline "A TWENTIETH-CENTURY FOX COMPANY" appears. The logo then fades out, and "PRESENT" fades in.
  • CLOSING: In a black background, we see a trailing red triangle zooming out, until a very tiny portion of it is left. The triangle fills up completely, and the Magnetic Video print logo appears, as well as the "MAGNETIC VIDEO" text and byline.

FX/SFX: The logo zooming in and out, as well as the fading and trailing of the triangle.

Music/Sounds: An eerie-sounding synth with whooshing whenever the logo is zooming.

Availability: Near extinction. It was only known to be seen once in a trailer tape.

Editor's Note: This logo is an interesting find. The animation is pretty simple but okay for the time, but due to the dark nature and the zooms, this may freak out people, hence the nickname "Ominous Magnetic".

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