Castle Home Video

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
gshowguy and billywws

Captures by
graaaaagh (Rexeljet), Eric S., MegaAveron25 and TR3X

Video captures courtesy of
dylan fagan and Owen Eisensmith

Background

Castle Vision (later Castle Home Video) was the video imprint of British independent record label Castle Communications, which went defunct in 2007 when its then-parent company, Sanctuary Records Group was sold to Universal Music Group (now owned by BMG Rights Management since 2013).



1st Logo (1987-1993)

Logo: Against a live-action sky background, a white grid can be seen with its tiles advancing forward. This scene then zooms out to reveal that it takes place on a rich lilac-colored background. Once it's zoomed out all the way, the words "CASTLE" and "VISION" on black squares can be seen above and below the sky/grid scene respectively. The sky/grid scene then splits in two and a flash of bright light appears in the middle of the screen, causing the logo to disappear and leaving just the background when it dies down.

Variants:

  • On a promo variant, the logo is shortened to when the grid splits in 2 and is silent, all before fading to the beginning of the promo. At the end, some of the titles are then shown on a still of the grid scene, all before finishing off with a slightly faster version of the logo.
  • Sometimes, the logo would be extended for roughly another 10 seconds.

Technique: The keyed-in sky (similar to the Warner Home Video logo), the Scanimated grid and the zooming.

Music/Sounds: A synth-timpani plays throughout. When the sky/grid scene begins to zoom out, a harsh distorted guitar drone begins playing. When the flash of light appears, both the timpani and the guitar stop and a loud, dramatic orchestral sting plays.

Music/Sounds Trivia: The guitar drone was also used in the 1991-1993 opening of the Russian news program Vesti, so the music was probably made from several stock sources.

Availability: Should be available on all tapes with the Castle Vision label from 1987 to 1989, including videos of TUGS, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Raggy Dolls. Also appeared on some later releases, including You've Been Framed! from 1991.

Legacy: The dated effects and the rapidly moving clouds look really cheap for 1987, but the music is a different problem; there is very little rhyme or reason to the composition, and the droning and instrument choices sound ominous and foreboding.

2nd Logo (1988-1998?)



Logo: On a white cloudy background, three blue down arrows fly to the middle of the screen. A blue shaded square appears on the arrows, shading them and forming an even more abstract portcullis design, while the background fades to white. Then, a chrome ribbon circles around the portcullis, and a thin red line draws in from the left below the square. The text "CASTLE HOME VIDEO" appears under the line, then flashes.

Variants:

  • Sometimes, "HOME VIDEO" would be replaced with "PICTURES".
  • An alternate version of the above variant exists, where the logo is placed a bit higher; a filmstrip instead of the chrome ribbon covers half of the portcullis design, and two red lines are being drawn in from the left. "CASTLE" in Garamond, and "Pictures" in Laser Std Chrome, both in chrome, are enclosed between the lines and flash. The logo then cuts to black.
  • The logo may cut off or fade out.

Technique: The arrows moving, the ribbon/filmstrip drawing and the text flashing.

Music/Sounds: A dramatic synth note, which is a stock sound effect used in some horror films, coupled with three whooshes, a phaser-like sound and a reversed cymbal crash.

Availability: Appeared on the company's titles from the era such as Through The Fire and Vampire Knights. The variant with "Castle Pictures" is seen on extremely rare UK prints of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Legacy: The animation is an massive improvement from the previous logo, but the music is still bound to unnerve some. At least it doesn't sound like a rush job.

3rd Logo (1989-1999)

Logo: On a black background, a teal square with a blue, stylized, slightly slanted portcullis (the print logo for Castle Communications) appears. Below the square are the words "CASTLE vision".

Variant: A white version exists.

Technique: None, except the fading in and out.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Should be available on most Castle Vision releases from the late 1980s and across the 1990s.


4th Logo (1990-1992)

Logo: Against a white/blue gradient sky with a reddish-white horizon and a midnight blue ground, a scarlet, an amber and a celadon green arrow, all with elongated tails and a black drop shadow fly down to the middle one-by-one and the tails shorten. Then two parallelograms with "CASTLE" and "VIDEO" in a modified Microgramma font slide in from the left and from the right respectively, forming the portcullis design, and the company name flashes.

Technique: Simple animation.

Music/Sounds: Three whooshes as the arrows fly down and a slamming sound when the company name flashes.

Availability: Extremely rare, as it was short lived. It can be seen on a few releases, like Izzy & Moe: Bootleg Busters.


5th Logo (1999-2007)

Logo: On a space background with the Earth and the Sun in the distance, we pan over the lowercase letters "castle", as if we are standing on the letters, from left to right. Around the letter "t", the camera pans down and sharply turns in the opposite direction, then zooms out to reveal the text is rotating around the Earth (a la the Universal logo). As this happens, a series of rainbow light trails (a la Star Trek) cover the space background, and after a couple seconds, the screen flashes white to reveal nothing but the words "castle" and "HOME VIDEO" on a rainbow-colored ellipse on a space background.

Technique: The camera panning, the light trails appearing, the flash and the final product appearing. Decent CGI for 1999.

Music/Sounds: A trance theme that ends with a guitar chord.

Availability: Seen on releases from the company during this time.

Legacy: This is a decent logo, and a nice change of pace from the previous logos.

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