(Redirected from Granada Ventures)
ITV Ventures Limited (formerly Granada Ventures Limited) is a British licensing company that functions as the consumer products division for ITV. The company also operates a home media subsidiary, which has gone over a lot of history.
Pickwick International Inc. was originally established as a music/record company in 1961 that released products at low prices. The company opened up a UK office in 1982, which was purchased in a management buyout in 1983.
A year prior in 1982, the company established a home video division known as Pickwick Video Ltd. that released VHS tapes under various labels. These included Pickwick Video, Screen Legends, Ladybird Video, Longman Video, Fairtrade Video, Children's Choice, Mr Pickwick, Hallmark and the Rank Classic Collection.
In 1986, the company was purchased in an investment buyout, and was renamed as Pickwick Group PLC in 1987. The company continued to release content at that time.
1st Logo (1989-Early 1992)
Logo: A series of gray and white vertical lines are formed on the screen. Then they flip around a few times to show brief clips of some films from Pickwick's library (including a yacht race, boxing match, Worzel Gummidge, and even Thomas the Tank Engine). After that, the text "PICKWICK" appears sliding in letter-by-letter from the right and the word "Video" appears written underneath, underlined in red. The text then shines.
Trivia: The clip of Thomas the Tank Engine is taken from the episode "Thomas Comes to Breakfast".
- Originally, Australian releases only featured the ending animation starting from when the text appears on-screen and freezing for 30 seconds with the full music underneath it.
- On later Australian releases, the music starts five seconds into the warning screen, and the logo is a short version with the opening similar to the second logo.
Technique: 2D animation over mostly live-action, sometimes animated clips.
Music/Sounds: A synthesised rock tune entitled "Superman 3" done by Anthony & Gaynor Sadler (who would later do the music for many of BBC Two's 1991-2001 idents), which was also heard on Earthvue on the then-Prevue Guide (now Pop) around that time. Extra drumbeats not present in the original version are also heard near the end.
Availability: Seen on Pickwick videos from the UK and Australia around the time period.
- Such releases include the 1989 UK VHS reissues of the Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends season 2 VHS releases Thomas, Percy and the Coal and Other Stories, Percy and Harold and Other Stories, and The Deputation and Other Stories respectively, plastering the 1986 Screen Legends logo, and the 1991 UK VHS release of The Best of Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, among others.
- In Australia, the logo appears on several Abbey Home Entertainment releases.
- It also appears on a 1989 UK VHS release of Angela Lansbury's Positive Moves as well.
2nd Logo (Early-Late 1992)
Logo: A series of the same gray and white vertical lines are formed on the same screen. Then they flip only once and the word "PICKWICK" from the first logo appears in the same font, but now letter-by-letter from the left. Then the text "Video" in the same script font, now underlined in blue, ripples down and places itself underneath "PICKWICK".
Technique: 2D animation. It's basically a very cheap recreation of the first logo.
Music/Sounds: A synth hum (which sounds similar to the one used on the Roadshow Home Video logo in Australia), followed by five drumbeats and a different synth warbling sound.
3rd Logo (Late 1992-1995)
Logo: The camera travels through a curvy blue maze and drops down a keyhole, revealing several blue and purple copies of the maze. It then pans through the bottom-most area of the maze and reaches a yellow light coming out from another hole, then it begins to travel upward through the hole and spins around a bit, which eventually reveals the word "PICKWICK" in the same font as before against a black background. The logo then shines.
Variant: A rare prototype short version exists. It starts with two copies of the word "PICKWICK", one on top of the other being viewed from the left side before the camera goes through the first letter "C" and travels quickly between the two copies until coming out again through the second letter "C". The ending is largely the same as the main logo, except it shines differently.
Technique: Great CGI animation for its time and it has way better animation than the previous logo.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic tune sounded like something off an action film. The short version has a heavenly chorus.
Availability: Seen on Pickwick videos from the UK and Australia around the time period.
Legacy: One of the more memorable United Kingdom of the VHS era. Some aspects of it are quite ahead of its time.
Carlton Visual Entertainment
In 1992, Pickwick Group PLC was purchased by Carlton Communications for £65 million. In 1995, the company was restructured under the Carlton name and renamed as Carlton Home Entertainment. The home video division was renamed as Carlton Video, while the company's other divisions became Carlton Records, Carlton Classics and Carlton Publishing. Pickwick's own label was transitioned to Carlton Classics and rebranded under the Hallmark name, while the brand was retained for children's releases under Carlton Records.
In 1998, Carlton sold off their music division to The Point Group, while keeping the video division. After various administrations, this division later reverted under the Pickwick name and continues to operate to this day.
In 2002, Carlton Home Entertainment was renamed as Carlton Visual Entertainment, with all releases being branded under this name.
1st Logo (1995-1997)
The video of this logo may be too loud or severely distorted.
Logo: The camera passes by giant zoomed-in letters of the name "CARLTON" on a red background. Once we see the "N" zoom in, it dissolves into the full logo. "Video" fades in as well under the name.
Technique: 2D computer animation.
Music/Sounds: A droning synth chord with whooshes. The first whoosh is very long, sudden and loud.
Availability: Very rare.
- Appears at the beginning and end of Carlton Video VHS releases, most notably The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies, Bananas In Pyjamas, Tots TV, and Starla & the Jewel Riders, among others.
- Later releases still had this logo on the box cover, but used the Carlton Home Entertainment logo that was only seen at the end of the tape.
Legacy: Along with the related Carlton Screen Advertising logo, this has been known to scare viewers who weren't expecting it with its dramatic appearance.
2nd Logo (1997-1999)
Logo: Just the 1995 Carlton Television logo without any video indicator whatsoever.
Technique: Same as the Carlton Television logo.
Availability: Very rare. Appears on certain Carlton Video VHS releases.
3rd Logo (1998-1999)
Logo: It's the "24 Hours" variant of the 1996 Carlton Television ident, also without any video indicator. Here, it starts at the point where "CARLTON" appears.
- There is also a longer variant, where the "O" descends slower and uses the full "24 Hours" ident music.
- A variant for promos has the Carlton logo at the top of the screen.
- On DVD promos, the "O" shines to reveal a DVD disc, and it transitions in the promo.
Technique: 2D animation.
Music/Sounds: An abridged version of the "24 Hours" ident music.
Music/Sounds Variant: On DVD releases, an announcer says "DVD from Carlton Video".
Availability: Same as the previous logo.
- It was used in tandem with the previous one.
- It also appears on very early Carlton DVD releases as well. [Examples?]
4th Logo (September 1999-2004)
Logo: The finished product of the 1999 Carlton ident, without the 1998 ITV logo (similar to the version used on TV productions).
- The background may be still. This mainly appeared on pre-2000 VHS and DVD releases. It was also seen on some VHS releases after 2000.
- "VIDEO" is seen below the logo in some occasions.
- The URL may also appear below.
- A 16:9 widescreen version exists.
Technique: Same as the 1999 Carlton Television logo.
Availability: Very rare.
- Appeared on Carlton Video VHS and DVD releases from the time period.
- Also seen on VHS and DVD releases of shows that were produced by ITC Entertainment.
- Some reissues of Carlton DVD releases in the ITV plc era will either keep this intact or mainly plaster this with the ITV DVD logo.
In February 2004, Carlton and Granada merged into ITV plc, bringing the two ITV franchisees together, including Carlton Visual Entertainment. Granada on the other hand did not have a home video unit, instead distributing its shows through Video Collection International, with the latter's logo followed by the Granada logo. The merger meant the deal could be revoked and that Granada programs were able to be released through Carlton's unit, which in July 2004 was renamed as Granada Ventures Limited, therefore allowing all ITV-produced shows on DVD to be branded under one name.
1st Logo (2004-2005)
Logo: On a purple background, the 2004 Granada logo with "Ventures" below is shown.
Availability: Extremely rare.
- This was a placeholder logo used on very early releases after the rebranding.
- It also appears on the 2005 DVD Game adaptations of Bullseye and Catchphrase, from Upstarts.
2nd Logo (2005-2013)
Logo: Same as the 2004 Granada production logo, but the word "Ventures" in a white font fades in on the bottom of the screen.
Variant: A shorter variant exists.
Technique: Same as the full version of the 2004 Granada logo.
Music/Sounds: Same as the full version of the 2004 Granada logo or none.
- Appears on UK DVD releases from this time period, such as Pocoyo & Friends: Volume 1, Tots TV: The Adventures of Tilly, Tom and Tiny, Tots TV: Snowy Adventure, Grizzly Tales: Monty's Python And Other Tales, among others.
- The shorter variant appears on ITV releases that were licensed to independent distributor Network Distributing.
- It also makes a surprise appearance on the Talking Pictures TV airing of The Arsenal Stadium Mystery (1939).
In 2006, Granada Ventures began using the ITV DVD brand as the trading name for the home media division, with the Granada Ventures brand reduced to releases under licence from Network Distributing.
Logo: We move in through square pieces over a background of blue and red lights. The square pieces then form the ITV logo of the era, and the lights turn purple. Then it flashes and the word "DVD" appears on the right of the ITV logo.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: A series of drum beats and ascending sounds followed by a chime and a synth theme.
- Appears on ITV DVD releases from this time period, such as the first two volumes of Harry Hill's TV Burp Gold.
- It also appears on several direct-to-video specials of ITV material, including the Coronation Street specials Out of Africa and Romanian Holiday, the Loose Women specials Let Loose: The Very Best of Loose Women and Late Night with the Loose Women, The Jeremy Kyle Show: Access All Areas and Tiswas Revisited, respectively.
- It also appears on several children's programmes, including the second volume of Pocoyo & Friends, and certain Numberjacks DVDs.
- It also appears on releases from the company's "Classic Kids Collection", such as Tots TV: The Naughty Puppies.
- It has also shown up on DVDs of Rank movies, normally re-releases.
- This was also used to plaster over the 1999 Carlton Video logo on reauthored re-releases of Carlton Video DVD releases.
- Oddly enough, it doesn't appear on the 2004 re-release of Thunderbirds: The Complete Series, as the main contents seem to be a complete rerelease of all the 2000/2004 UK DVD releases by Carlton Video.
- It has also shown up on several DVD games, including Classic Bullseye, All-New Bullseye, Countdown, Antony Cotton's Rovers Return Pub Quiz and Catchphrase: The DVD Game.
- Despite plastering the 1999 Carlton Video logo on the mid-2000s re-release on disc 1 of Joe 90: The Complete Series, it does not appear for the remaining discs as they retain the 1999 Carlton Video logo, and as such, only appears as an in-print logo.
Legacy: What is weird is that despite the name, this logo appears on Blu-rays as well.
ITV Studios Home Entertainment
In 2009, the trading name was changed again, this time to ITV Studios Home Entertainment.
Logo: Same as the 2009 ITV Studios logo, but with the words "Home Entertainment" below the words "itv STUDIOS".
Technique: Same as the ITV Studios logo.
Music/Sounds: A very weird synth score with underwater sounds.
Availability: Uncommon. It was used on DVDs of ITV shows from this period.
- It appears on many direct-to-video specials of existing ITV shows, including Harry Hill's TV Burp Gold Volume 3, Coronation Street: A Knight's Tale, the Emmerdale specials The Dingles: For Richer, For Poorer and Paddy and Marlon's Big Night In, Come Dine with Me: Extra Spicy (albeit being a Channel 4 series) and the Loose Women specials Loose Women in New York and Christmas with the Loose Women.
- On shows, you can find this on releases such as Coronation Street Golden Anniversary Edition.
- Also appears on several acquired shows, such as Iron Man: Armored Adventures - Volume 2, in addition to movies like A Dog Named Christmas.
- It also appears on releases of ITV material that were released under license by Revelation Films, such as all four seasons of The Raggy Dolls and Tickle on the Tum: The Complete Series One.
- It also appears on the remastered version of Jeeves and Wooster: The Complete Collection.
In January 2013, with the wake of ITV's rebranding, the division was renamed as ITV Ventures Limited, and the Granada Ventures and ITV Studios Home Entertainment brandings were retired. All of ITV's home media releases from then on were released under the ITV Studios Global Entertainment name, and later simply ITV Studios.