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Artisan Entertainment was initially established as "U.S.A. Home Video" in 1982 by Noel C. Bloom's Family Home Entertainment to produce and distribute all non-kids and family releases on video. The division was renamed as "International Video Entertainment (IVE)" (or "I'VE") in 1986, then as "Live Entertainment" (or "LIVE Entertainment") in 1990 as Family Home Entertainment became an imprint of the company. Live Entertainment, by then, had entered into the movie production and distribution business. In 1998, Live Entertainment was renamed as its-then new name, and it was acquired by Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation on December 15, 2003. Artisan was renamed to "Lions Gate Entertainment, Inc.". Throughout the years, they had other labels such as an adult label called Caballero Control Corporation Home Video (their former parent company, which was divested from the company in 1986 as Carolco Pictures purchased Caballero's remaining stocks in the company), Carolco Home Video (operated by Carolco Pictures), Monterey Home Video (a collaboration between founder Noel C. Bloom and Deadly Games director Scott Mansfield), ThrillerVideo (many releases which were hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark), Adventure Video (hosted by Sybil Danning), sports label U.S.A. Sports Video, budget label Avid Home Entertainment, nostalgia labels The Video Late Show and King Bee Video, and the music label RadioVision Video.
U.S.A. Home Video
Not to be confused with USA Home Entertainment.
(May 1983-May 1987)
Nicknames: "U.S.A.", "The Cheesy Laserwriter", "Cheesy Grid"
Logo: On a black background, white lines draw in all over the screen, creating a white grid that slowly tilts towards the screen. A blue laser suddenly appears from the right side of the screen and scans upwards, writing a blue "U." in a script font. A laser, this time from the top of the screen, then appears and scans to the right, writing an "S." in the same font. A final laser, now from the left, wipes upwards to reveal an "A.", forming "U.S.A." as the grid completes itself. As it finishes tilting, the text "HOME VIDEO" in white fades in below the text, and "EXCLUSIVELY DISTRIBUTED BY F.H.E." appears on the bottom of the screen, as all of the gridlines fade out barring the ones bordering "HOME VIDEO".
- The logo, if it appears without the warning screen, sometimes has the logo cut in as the "U." gets drawn.
- Another version has primitive-looking computerized red text: "ALSO FROM (U.S.A. logo) TO BE RE-RELEASED IN NOVEMBER AT A NEW LOW PRICE: $39.95". This variant was used on a VHS promo for a re-release of one of their earlier tapes to be discounted.
- Another version also exists where the logo is in yellow and on a blue background, under the stacked text "Also AVAILABLE from".
FX/SFX: The animation of the laser light, and appearance of "HOME VIDEO" and the FHE byline.
Music/Sounds: A blaring synthesized sound plays, which turns into a bass note as 3 synth tones play for the drawing of "U.S.A.", followed by an echoing synth flute repeating the previous melody, 2 lower-pitched synth stingers, and a long, fuzzy bass note that finishes the logo. Sometimes, the sound at the beginning will be cut out.
Availability: Rare, though much more common than its cousin; just find an oversized box (for 1983-1986 releases) or anything with the U.S.A. Home Video print logo on the front. From 1986-1987, this logo was used in tandem with IVE's 1st logo, appearing at the beginning of such tapes. Notable releases include the uncut release of Ms. 45, Silent Night, Deadly Night, Supergirl, and 1984. The last releases to use this logo include Eye of the Tiger, One Cooks, the Other Doesn't, In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro, and Carry Me Back. It's also surprisingly retained on the 1998 Artisan release of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, with the Artisan logo immediately following.
Editor's Note: A very primitive logo, but par for the course for 1980s computer animation.
International Video Entertainment
1st Logo (September 1986-September 15, 1988)
Nicknames: "IVE Grid", "Cheesy Grid II", "Clapping"
Logo: On a white background, black lines begin to draw a rectangle, and then crisscross to form a grid. Below the grid, the words "INTERNATIONAL VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT" in black are "typed" in, letter-by-letter. After the words make their appearance, "™" appears in the bottom right corner of the grid and the letters "IVE", in a tall, thin, italic font, zoom in from one of the lower-left squares of the grid, nearly covering it. The "I" is red, the "V" is green, and the "E" is blue.
FX/SFX: Computer animation, animation of the lines and seemingly "typing in" of the letters.
Music/Sounds: A synth theme with rhythmical clapping, a ticking sound as the text appears, a cash register/typewriter bell when "™" appears and a FHE 2-like whining sound when IVE appears.
- The Sybil Danning's Adventure Video series from U.S.A. Home Video uses the end music.
- At the end of When the Wind Blows, it's silent.
- Breaker Morant cuts off the jingle as the whine sounds.
Availability: Rare. Many IVE releases were B-movies, and a few higher-quality releases (mostly Carolco flicks) have been released under Live/Artisan or other labels. From 1986 to 1987, this logo was used in tandem with U.S.A.'s logo, appearing at the end of film releases such as on the Sybil Danning Adventure Video tapes with the U.S.A. logo at the beginning (don't expect this on TV releases by U.S.A. Home Video.; those will use the U.S.A. logo at the end). Notable releases with this logo include Angel Heart, Extreme Prejudice, When the Wind Blows, Maid to Order, Free Ride, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (as well as a reprint of the first film), The Outing, Nightflyers, and The Puppetoon Movie. This also appears on tapes from ThrillerVideo, mainly the ones hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and on music-related releases from their RadioVision Video label. Tapes with this logo tend to use white labels with the IVE logo in a corner and spaced out, though the logo has been seen on tapes with the next logo's associated label, including Trading Hearts, Pass the Ammo, Dudes, Rambo: First Blood Part II, and Breaker Morant. Also appears at the end of later U.S.A. Home Video tapes such as Red Skelton's Christmas Dinner and The Andersonville Trial. Oddly enough, it appears at the end of a re-release of FHE's The Great Bear Scare.
Editor's Note: This is a favorite of many thanks to its catchy music, despite the primitive animation.
2nd Logo (October 6, 1988-May 6, 1991)
Nicknames: "IVE Grid II", "IVE Box", "Star Tiles"
Logo: We fade in on a gray marble grid background with stars in the squares that scroll to the left. A denim-colored rectangle comes from the upper-right and positions itself in the center of the screen, whilst a sky blue "IVE", in the same font as before, comes from the upper-left. The whole thing shines.
- A shorter version appears on Rambo III.
- Another shorter version with the finished product shining exists.
FX/SFX: The animation, the grid background. All stock animation except for the "IVE".
- October 6, 1988-February 9, 1989: A six-note synthesized ditty, followed by two pairs of synthesized drumbeats and an orchestral hit. A warbling synth flourish plays behind the whole thing. On Rambo III, the music is shortened and can be heard at both the start of the tape and at the end.
- December 8, 1988-May 6, 1991: A stock fanfare from the Sound Ideas CD Mix I Broadcast Music Library called "Powerful Imposing Logo", which sounds more orchestral in nature and includes warbling toward the end. It is composed by Jerrold Lambert. Debuted at the start of Howling IV: The Original Nightmare and at the end of Iron Eagle II and The Year My Voice Broke.
- Sometimes there is no music in the logo at all.
Availability: Uncommon. A bit wider in distribution than the previous one. This sometimes turns up on older full-screen TV prints of films from Carolco or Vestron Pictures, such as Cat Chaser, Maid to Order, Iron Eagle II (the regular IVE logo makes a surprise appearance at the end on the 2002 Artisan DVD), and Howling IV: The Original Nightmare. Notable releases with this logo include Red Heat, Rambo III, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out, Pascali's Island, Breaker Morant, the uncut version of Prom Night III: The Last Kiss, DeepStar Six, Rooftops, Millennium, The Brain, Dudes, Rented Lips, Hostile Takeover, First Blood, Ground Zero, and Weekend at Bernie's, among others. Also appears on a 1989 reprint of Rambo: First Blood Part II. On the Artisan DVD of Johnny Handsome, the silent variant makes a surprise appearance at the end. The labels on tapes with this logo are similar to those used on the previous logo, except the IVE logo's smaller and spaced closer together. The last tape to use this logo was Martians Go Home, released on September 27, 1990. The original music can be heard on Rambo III, Howling IV: The Original Nightmare, Red Heat, The Brain, Pascali's Island, Cry from the Mountain, and Rented Lips, and was also used into the Live Home Video days on laserdisc on releases such as Jacob's Ladder, Total Recall and Narrow Margin. This logo made a surprise appearance (with the Carolco Home Video and still Live Home Video logos following) on the 2000 Canadian Alliance Atlantis VHS of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The silent variant was also spotted on some printings of Maniac Cop 2.
Editor's Note: None.
3rd Logo (June 21-August 30, 1990)
Logo: On a sepia background, the words "Exclusively Distributed By" are shown on the top. Below that is the IVE logo (which looks the same as in the previous logo, only without the rectangle) with the words next to it "INTERNATIONAL VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT, INC." Below that is the byline, "A LIVE Entertainment Company" with "LIVE" in its corporate font.
Variant: Music Box uses simpler detail and a black background at the end. It's also a bit bigger.
Availability: Ultra rare. This follows the Carolco Home Video logo on Music Box, Mountains of the Moon, and The Doors (including the 1998 Alliance Video/2000 Alliance Atlantis VHS of The Doors, which are sourced from the Carolco Home Video VHS).
Editor's Note: None.
1st Logo (August 16, 1990-December 21, 1994)
Nickname: "The L-Pyramid"
Logo: On a black background, a gray segmented triangle (almost like the "Cheesy V" Vestron logo) appears, with another triangle cut out of it so that it looks like a stylized "L". Below it, the word "LIVE" appears in blue, with "HOME VIDEO" under it.
Variant: On mainly Carolco Home Video releases, this logo appears with "Exclusively Distributed By" above it. "A Division of LIVE Entertainment" or "A LIVE Entertainment Company" (with "LIVE" in its usual font) can be seen below.
Availability: Uncommon. The "Exclusively Distributed By" variation can be seen on mainly Carolco releases such as Basic Instinct, Jacob's Ladder, L.A. Story, Total Recall, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (theatrical version) and Universal Solider. The normal version is on regular Live Home Video releases such as Howling VI: The Freaks, Glengarry Glen Ross, Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Drop Dead Fred and Reservoir Dogs. It makes surprise appearances at both the beginning and end of the Lionsgate DVD of Raise the Titanic (double feature with Man Friday), the 2001 Artisan DVD of Extreme Prejudice, Hulu prints of Frauds, a Showtime Extreme airing of the 1990 film Heaven and Earth (Ten to Chi), and on the promotional trailer for Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Special Edition, which in turn can be found on the Ultimate Edition DVD of T2. The "Exclusively Distributed By" variant, along with the Carolco Home Video logo makes a surprise appearance on The Terminator: A Retrospective which can be found on the MGM Blu-ray releases of The Terminator. This has been known to plaster the IVE logos on post-1990 prints of some tapes, including Rambo III and Drugstore Cowboy, though a 1991 printing of First Blood preserves the 2nd IVE logo. The logo debuted on the summer 1990 markdowns of DeepStar Six, The Iron Triangle, Lock-Up, Rooftops, Weekend at Bernie's, and Food of the Gods II; its first appearance on a new release was History of the PGA Tour (which retained it as late as 1999), and its first appearance on a new motion picture was Total Recall, followed by Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation and Short Time. Its last known appearance was on the Laserdisc release of Wagons East! (the VHS release uses the next logo), and the last videocassettes to use this logo include The Young Americans and At Home with the Webbers, both released on September 7, 1994, and Beyond the Law, released on September 21, 1994.
Editor's Note: None.
2nd Logo (October 19, 1994-April 14, 1998)
Nicknames: "The L-Pyramid II", "Rotating (CGI) L-Pyramid"
Logo: On a black background, several sets of triangles, laid at a 90-degree angle, come onto the screen from opposite directions. They then spin around a few times, as the camera pulls back, revealing more sets of triangles spinning, and the words "LIVE ENTERTAINMENT" at a 90-degree angle. The text then does a 90-degree turn to face us, while the triangles form the Live logo (segmented triangle with a smaller one cut out on the upper-right). All are light steel blue, until two searchlights crisscross the logo, making the triangle logo brighter, turning "LIVE" blue, and "ENTERTAINMENT" white. "LIVE" shines, and a white sparkle appears on the side of the "E".
- For the first few months of this logo's existence, the text HOME VIDEO was used; the L pyramid had a different shine effect, and the text does not sparkle at the end. This can be seen on Wagons East! and Pumpkinhead II.
- Earlier versions, including the "Home Video" version, have brighter triangles, almost looking like glass, a wiping shine effect making the text darker, and a different sparkle; the logo is filmed.
- In 1996, a registered trademark symbol "®" was added.
- Sometimes, "INTERNATIONAL" (in white) would appear below the "L" (which is also white). This is silent and uses the tail end of the normal logo (the "searchlights" part), though it also exists as a full logo.
- On Live DVD releases, the normal Live Entertainment logo would play, then a purple spark flashes, "ENTERTAINMENT" disappears, the logo would zoom in as the spark moves through it, then the spark is in the middle, flashing, then we see the L spin, and the sides show "LIVE" on two sides and "DVD" on the others.
- Beginning in late 1995/early 1996, the tail end would be used as a closing variant.
FX/SFX: Excellent CGI. IVE/Live/Artisan alternated between good logos and bad ones. This one is a great effort. The next one (for Artisan)... well...
Music/Sounds: A semi-ominous synth theme that turns more triumphant at the end, with slow-to-fast ascending sounds. This was replaced by the summer of 1997 by a more uplifting orchestral fanfare, the tail end of which can be heard at the end of the tape.
- The early variants of this logo, as well as some videos with the "ENTERTAINMENT" version (including Baywatch the Movie: Forbidden Paradise, Killing Zoe, Forbidden Choices, Night Train to Venice, and Stargate), were silent. The first fanfare didn't debut until the summer of 1995.
- The DVD variant begins with descending whooshing sounds and rumbles, a shining sound, then a cling when the spark appears, another descending whoosh when we zoom through the Live logo, and finally when the Live DVD logo appears, a quiet orchestral rendition of the 1994 fanfare.
Availability: Uncommon. It was on all Live releases from 1994 to 1998, when the company became Artisan. However, like Live before it, Artisan pulled a Columbia TriStar, re-releasing Live/F.H.E. videos in their original packaging, but plastering all evidence of Live and F.H.E. logos with Artisan logos in their place! Also seen on films from 1994-1998 ending with Wishmaster. DVDs from Live, even with Artisan's logo on the cover, should have this logo. It's preserved on the DVD release of South Beach Academy, released as a double feature with Rock 'N' Roll High School Forever. Can also be found on Hulu prints of Only You (1992) and Night Train to Venice, and VUDU prints of Extreme Prejudice. Re-releases of The Young Americans, Chicago Joe and the Showgirl, Bad Lieutenant, and others issued as part of later Super-7 promotional markdown releases also have this, as do the company's first releases in its regular lineup of letterboxed cassettes. Most DVD releases had both the DVD variant before the menu and the regular 1997 music variant when the feature is played (the DVD of Terminator 2: Judgment Day only has the closing variant for the latter, though). It is unknown if this appeared on The Invader, one of the last releases to be branded as Live Entertainment on the packaging. It first appeared on Army of One, Temptation, Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings, and a double-feature screener for Killing Zoe and ...And God Spoke. The identification as "Live Entertainment" first appeared on the retail versions of Killing Zoe and ...And God Spoke. The first fanfare debuted on a demo tape of Top Dog. The final release of this logo was on the 1998 AC-3 LaserDisc of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, released shortly before or immediately after the company rebranded themselves as Artisan.
Editor's Note: This is a nice logo, and a favorite of many.
1st Logo (July 10, 1998-April 30, 2005)
Nicknames: "The Box", "The Zooming Box", "The Artisan Box", "Artisan of Boredom", "Artisan Box of Boredom", "Hallmark Ripoff"
Logo: On a black background, the word "ARTISAN", in a rectangular box with the leg of the "R" extended, fades in while it is zooming towards the screen. It stops at a distance and the word "ENTERTAINMENT" all in Trajan Pro appears underneath.
- In Artisan's very early days, a simpler version of this logo was used: just the word "ARTISAN" in a box with a very small "ENTERTAINMENT" underneath, zooming up quickly without a fancy "R". This also animates quicker.
- On Artisan prints of Suicide Kings, the early version is gold.
- A still version with the logo done in a "chrome" effect exists. This was only known to be used on the trailer for The Blair Witch Project, and to date has not been spotted on Artisan films.
- Trailers later used a shorter version of the standard Artisan logo.
- For home entertainment releases from 1999, the logo was shown before Artisan's trailers with a "www.artisanent.com" web address underneath.
- For the later version, the web address appeared underneath the logo occasionally.
- In 1999, the word "HOME ENTERTAINMENT" replaces "ENTERTAINMENT". Prior to 2000, this variant only appeared on Artisan's trailers.
- Films that plastered other companies' logos over with this logo would either slow down the logo's animation, or loop it at its still place, to match the length of the original logos' duration.
FX/SFX: The zooming up of the box, and the fading in of "ENTERTAINMENT".
Music/Sounds: Usually silent. Some films use their respective opening theme.
Music/Sounds Variants: Sometimes, the outcome of Artisan's plastering attempts would leave the original distributors' logo themes intact. Examples are the DVD releases of Cadence (with the Movie Group fanfare), Bad Lieutenant (with the Live Entertainment theme), and Stargate (with the 1994 or 1995 MGM roar).
Availability: Common. Seen on all Artisan releases of the era. The earlier variant appears on titles from 1998-2000, including The Way Of The Gun and the beginning of the 1999 DVD of Narrow Margin. The normal version also appears on some theatrical releases such as The Blair Witch Project, and the beginning of the 2001 DVD of The Way of the Gun, Wishmaster II, and the U.S English-dubbed version of Black Mask. The logo also makes an appearance on some later FHE and FHE Kids videos such as Baby Einstein tapes released between 2000-2001 (shown at the end, after the FHE Kids logo), as well as the 1999 reprint of The Littlest Angel, and The Littlest Angel's Easter (which used the early version). On most Artisan VHS and DVD releases, the original distributor's logos and credit mentions were left intact, sometimes having Artisan's logo precede them. Some releases of films from lesser known companies (The Movie Group and Kings Road)--and former productions released by Live Entertainment, Warner Bros., MGM, TriStar Pictures, Carolco, Vestron Pictures, and others — were either plastered over or removed and replaced with Artisan. The 2003 DVD of Stargate has this logo, but doesn't plaster the MGM logo (which might've been updated on that release). This made a strange appearance on the 2015 DVD of Terminator 2: Judgement Day due to being a reprint of the 2003 DVD. This precedes the 1987 New Line Cinema logo on the 2003 DVD of Drop Dead Fred and the 1987 Hemdale logo on the 1998 VHS of The Terminator. Among the first releases to use this logo were reissues of Dirty Dancing, "Limited Editions" of the first two Terminator films and the Rambo trilogy (in pan-and-scan and widescreen versions). This is also seen on theatrical prints of the film Eulogy, but the home video release plasters it with the 2004 Lions Gate Films logo. This makes a surprise appearance on some screener DVDs from 2004-05 released by Lions Gate Home Entertainment under the Artisan label, such as the promotional screener DVD of Danny Deckchair. Don't expect to see this on the 2004 version of The Punisher; as although Artisan produced the film and the logo appeared on both a poster and teaser trailer for the film, Lionsgate Films acquired the company shortly before release and removed any mention of them. It also makes a strange appearance on the Platinum Disc/Echo Bridge DVD releases of Howling IV: The Original Nightmare.
Editor's Note: This logo is infamous among some for how simple (and somewhat cheap) it is compared to the previous logos, especially the early version, which was probably made in 5 minutes.
2nd Logo (2003)
Logo: On a black background. a blue DVD spins in out of nowhere. A series of seven red lasers then strike the disc as it spins, before coming back with bigger blasts. As they do so, the letters of "ARTISAN", in the same font as before but in a bluish-chrome color, appear one-by-one at an angle. Then, the text rotates to the front, and the disc transforms into a chrome oval which then straightens itself into a rectangle over the text (with a cut at the bottom to fit the "R"). A shape spins underneath between the "R" and the "T", and after the rectangle appears, it spreads out to reveal "HOME ENTERTAINMENT", in an abstract font.
Variants: After the logo completes, an animation occurs depending on the DVD it appears on.
- On the 2003 "Extreme" edition DVD of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, after the logo completes, grey goo (representing T-100's liquid form) drops down from the lower-right of the box, which transforms into "T2" (reflecting the Terminator inside it), with the text "EXTREME DVD" ("X" is bigger than the rest of the text) underneath it. The camera does a big zoom-in on the text after it forms.
- On the 2003 DVD of Step Into Liquid, the logo starts when the Artisan text fully appears. After the logo finishes, a tidal wave appears in the background, with Kelly Slater surfing on it.
FX/SFX: Incredible CGI. Much, much better than its parent logo.
Music/Sounds: A series of laser sounds and metallic bangs. The T2 variant has some liquid sloshing followed by a bang when the logo zooms in, while the Step Into Liquid variant has various synthesized sounds as well as the splashing of the tidal waves.
Availability: Seen only on the DVDs listed above. It may appear as well on some other Artisan DVDs.
Editor's Note: To say the least, this is much, much better than the previous logo. A fitting swan song to a company filled with many memorable logos; it should've been used on more titles.