Frank von Zerneck Films

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
Wellmart3, Logohub, Channeleven and Henrynguye5

Compiled by
RSX-798, Eric S., Camenati, EnormousRat and Gilblitz112

Editions by
Henrynguye5

Video captures courtesy of
Jonty's Logo Archive, Broken Saw and LogicSmash

Background

This is Frank von Zerenck's company. It was originally formed in 1974 as Moonlight Productions with Robert Greenwald. It was later bought out by Filmways in the late 1970s, producing a great deal of TV movies. When Filmways became Orion Pictures in 1982, it has been split off, and Robert Greenwald exited to form his solo company. In 1985, it became Frank von Zerneck Films. As TV movies grow, Stu Samuels, after leaving ABC joined his company in 1987 to form Von Zerneck-Samuels Productions. Samuels would later leave to form his own solo company in 1988, and Robert M. Sertner, who was formerly employer of the company was promoted to partner and became Von Zerneck-Sertner Films. As being one of the largest producers of television movies, the company was one of the partners that formed ACI in 1989, and distributed television movies from the company and its past iterations. Sertner would later leave in 2010 to form his solo company and reverted back to being Frank von Zerneck Films again.

Moonlight Productions

(November 8, 1982-February 14, 1985)

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Logo: On a black background, we see a dark red square with a neon sun and palm tree, with the neon sign-like words "MOONLIGHT PRODUCTIONS". Suddenly, the words flash. After the flash, the word "MOONLIGHT" sparkles.

Technique: Cel animation.

Music/Sounds: A calm synth note that leads into a synth chord when the words flash. A 4-note synth chime is heard while the chord keeps playing.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On The First Time, the logo theme trails off to the Orion Television logo.
  • On Obsessive Love, a short 5-note synthesized jingle was heard.
  • On Challenges of a Lifetime, a synth drone with three synth notes were heard.

Availability: Extremely rare. The company has produced mostly TV movies, such as Obsessive Love (although a 90s syndicated print has it plastered by the 2nd PolyGram Television logo), Challenge of a Lifetime, I Married a Centerfold, and The First Time, among others. Those are hardly reran on television nowadays, but they can be usually found on streaming services such as Tubi or Amazon Prime.

Frank von Zerneck Films

(March 4, 1985-January 10, 1988, May 9, 2011-March 20, 2017)

Logo: On a dark blue background, we see a blue filmstrip positioning down as the words "Frank von Zerneck" appear in a serif font and "F I L M S", in a different, spaced-out ease in. The logo shines.

Variants:

  • On Romance on the Orient Express, the text "Made in association with" appears above the name. Plus, the logo is stil.
  • On some TV movies, the logo is warp speed.
  • When the logo was revived in 2011, the text was in a different font, and the background is black. Plus, the logo is still.

Technique: Cel animation.

Music/Sounds: A synth chime theme, with some electronic synth sounds. Usually, the end theme plays over it.

Availability: The original 1985 version was seen on Combat High, Final Jeopardy, Dress Gray, Man Against the Mob, Hostage Flight, Celebration Family and Romance on the Orient Express. The 2011 version was seen on TV movies like Cleveland Abduction, Justice for Natalee Holloway, Innocent and 12 Dates of Christmas.

Von Zerneck-Samuels Productions

(October 1, 1987-December 5, 1988)

Logo: On a purple night sky, we see a city skyline zooming out, with two gray mountains, and a gray wireframe grid below the skyline, which also zooms out. Then we see a sky-blue marquee zoom back, leaving behind a shadow trail (think the first Telepictures logo for a comparison). The marque settles on the top of the screen. On it we see "von ZeRneck • SamueLs" above an upside down elongated trapezoid broken down into three segments, with "PRODUCTIONS" in the middle. Two spotlights activate and move around.

Variants:

  • Early on, the entire logo was set in chrome and the background was entirely black. A spark gleams on the "m" in "SamueLs"
  • A shortened version exists on the unsold pilot Sniff.

Technique: Computer animation.

Music/Sounds: The closing theme of the movie.

Availability: Appeared on the television films Proud Men, To Heal a Nation, Lady Mobster, Maybe Baby and the unsold pilot Sniff. The miniseries Queenie and the unsold pilot The Spirit favored in-credit mentions. Current prints black out the logo in favor of the Multicom Entertainment Group logo.

Von Zerneck-Sertner Films

(February 5, 1989-July 18, 2010)

Logo: On a green marble background, we see the gold letters "V", "Z" and S" zooming out one by one from different positions, and adapting a position on the screen. Under it, "the phrase "VON ZERNECK · SERTNER" in a big font, and "F I L M S", which was in spaced-out letters, fades in, and the text shines.

Variants:

  • A widescreen version of the logo exists (it's basically the 4:3 version, but stretched). On the Disney+ print of Three Days, this version is cropped back to 4:3, cutting off some of the logo, namely the 'R' in 'Sertner', part of the 'V' in 'Von', and most of the 'F' and 'S' in 'FILMS'.
  • A true 16:9 version exists.
  • Starting around 1992, a darker marble was used with darker letters.
  • There is a short version.
  • Starting in the early 2000s, the logo was redone digitally. It exists in both 16:9 and 4:3.

Technique: Computer animation.

Music/Sounds: A horn driven jingle accompanied by mallet instruments, which was composed by Artie Kane. Starting around 1994, the fanfare was remixed by Patrick Williams. Sometimes, the end title theme of the TV movie plays over. CBS and NBC airings starting in 1994, and ABC airings, starting in 1998 used a generic theme. On early TV movies, like Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, a chime-driven tune is heard.

Availability: Can be seen on Von Zerneck-Sertner TV movies, most notably Natalee Holloway, Man Against the Mob: The Chinatown Murders, the TV movies of Robin Cook, The Court: Martial of Jackie Robinson, Gore Vidal's Billy the Kid, Inside the Osmonds and For One Night, among others. In most cases, a Fremantle-connected company (ACI, Pearson, or FremantleMedia), a Hallmark connected company (Hallmark Films, RHI, or Sonar Entertainment), and in rare cases a Warner Bros. Television logo may follow. First seen on Full Exposure: The Sex Tapes Scandal and last seen on Revenge of the Bridesmaids.

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