Medusa Film was founded in 1964 by Felice Colaiacomo and Franco Poccioni under the name of Medusa Distribuzione. It was purchased by Silvio Berlusconi's Fininvest in 1988 and was replaced with Penta Film, a collaboration venture with Cecchi Gori Group. In 1994, Fininvest resurrected Medusa Film, endowing it with the production and publishing arms of Penta Film, which closed its doors the year before. In 2007, Medusa was transferred from Fininvest to Mediaset. Up to this time, they have released 249 films.
1st (known) Logo (1973-1988)
Logo: On a cyan background, a silhouette of a head is shown to the left. A light is then turned on over it, revealing that it is a gold sculpture of the head of Medusa. Then, "MEDUSA DISTRIBUZIONE" flips in to the right of the screen in a decorative bronze stone font, and more light is shown on the head and text.
- Another variant shows a modified version of the sculpture, alongside the text now in gold and the background in denim blue.
- A scope variant exists, where the text is white and is smaller.
Technique: Live-action for the statue lighting up and 2D animation for the text.
Music/Sounds: A quaint string theme, followed by an orchestral fanfare.
Availability: Rare. It can be found on some old Italian films, such as Il tifoso, l'arbitro e il calciatore and Pierino contro tutti. You might also find this on original Italian prints of non-Italian films they distributed, such as First Blood (known simply as Rambo in Italy).
2nd Logo (1994-1998)
Logo: On a black/blue gradient background, the golden words "MEDUSA FILM" slide up in the middle. Below it is a mirrored shadow reflecting the text.
Technique: Simple animation, but effective for the time.
Availability: Rare, but can be found on Simpatici & antipatici, The Garden of Eden and Phantom of the Opera (1998).
3rd Logo (1996-1997)
Logo: We see a still picture of a logo similar to the 1997 logo. There is a yellow box with a stylized version of Medusa's head inside in blue, with her hair made of several semicircles (representing filmstrips), and her features represented by ovals. The word "MEDUSA" is below, also in yellow. All of this occurs on a shady glaucous blue background.
Availability: Beyond rare. So far it only appeared on 1996's Bambola.
4th Logo (late 1998-2008, 2009)
Logo: On a starry background, a gold filmstrip runs across the screen. Then, more gold filmstrips run across the screen, in which they twist and turn in many directions. They eventually form the hair of the Medusa face, and 4 stars flash in to form Medusa's facial features. The Medusa face zooms out and shines, and the gold letters "MEDUSA" fall inside the logo one by one. The words "M O T I O N P I C T U R E" then zoom up from the bottom and hit the bottom of the Medusa logo. The comet flies in from the top of the screen, and to the left of the caption, turning into the letter "E", to form "E M O T I O N P I C T U R E". The logo then flashes and shines. The logo looks similar to before, but the entire logo is in gold, the text being surrounded in gold lines, and the Mediaset logo can be seen on the bottom line.
Variant: During the logo's early years, the product looks exactly like the previous logo. "EMOTION PICTURE" had a different zooming animation; and the logo brightens.
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: An uplifting and majestic orchestral fanfare with a few laser zaps. Sometimes silent.
Availability: Rare in the U.S., but common in Italy and the UK, where it can be found on DVDs. This can be also seen on the original Italian release of Titanic: The Legend Goes On.
5th Logo (2008-2017)
Logo: We see a body of water. Then we move up and see two more realistic-looking gold filmstrips moving and flying about on a seascape. The filmstrips stop moving, and we suddenly head up toward the clouds. Then, a faster and enhanced version of the animation in the fourth logo appears, with several differences: the animation is all at once, there is no box, the Medusa looks more stylized (having only its eyes on the logo), the word "MEDUSA" moves up toward the logo, all of it flashes red, and the Mediaset Group logo appears. After this, a halo flashes around the logo, which makes the logo's background black instead of starry, and a evening sky fades in behind it. The logo shines once.
Trivia: This was designed by Frame by Frame.
Technique: Photorealistic CGI animation, taking elements from the previous logo.
Music/Sounds: A very majestic/uplifting orchestral fanfare that has some elements of the 4th logo's fanfare.
Availability: Common in Italy; seen on all of Medusa's new releases, both production and distribution. In the USA, it's extremely rare, but it does appear on To Rome with Love.
6th Logo (2017-)
Logo: An enhanced version of the 5th logo. Flying over a body of water, a golden ribbon flies in producing sparkles. While the camera flies upwards, another ribbon comes in and intertwines with the other ribbon (a small light can be seen in the distance). When the ribbon flies upwards into the clouds, the camera goes with it and sparkles follow along. Many more ribbons then appear in the mass and start to form the Medusa hair from the previous few logos, while the letters in "MEDUSA" fade and rotate in one by one. The eyes then flash in with the halo and the byline "MEDIASET GROUP". As it zooms out a bit, the space inside the halo fades to black and the entire logo shines, and the end result is similar to the 5th logo, except that the background is still a cluster of stars.
Technique: Same as the 5th logo.
Music/Sounds: A more soothing piano and string arrangement of the 5th logo's fanfare, with sparkly hissing sounds for the ribbons.
Unused Logo 1 (2013)
Logo: We start in a beautiful landscape of a sea at sunrise as the water moves peacefully. A yellow shiny ribbon then comes from the top-left corner of the screen, followed by another one at the right side and one in the bottom left. They move around each other, with two of them passing close by the camera until they, along with the camera, start ascending towards the sky. We pass through the clouds until we reach a point where the clouds are not visible anymore, and the three ribbons, along with two others that come from the left and right of the screen, start twisting and turning to form the hair in the famous symbol. Once the symbol is finished, they fly in different directions until they shorten and disappear. The yellow "MEDUSA" text, in the same font at the 5th logo, appears zooming in from the bottom. After it slightly ascends and descends, it zooms towards us and reaches pretty close to the camera, causing it to turn dark yellow, until it zooms back and turns yellow again. After it zooms out to reach a comfortable spot below the symbol, both the symbol and text distance themselves from us and shine in a reddish-brown color, and the light rays pass from right to left. A shiny circle outline then starts to draw itself with two lines, starting in the top-left corner of the symbol and ending in the bottom-right of the text. After all of that happens, the sky turns into a bright morning sky and the circle, symbol and text turn 2D. The inside circle then turns black, and the Mediaset Group byline from the 5th logo wipes in below the text from right to left. The logo then shines and stays for a few seconds and fades to black.
Technique: This is pretty much a recreation of the 5th logo, just with cheaper and slower animation. Created by Digilie Studio.
Availability: Since this is an unused logo, it was never seen on any movie. It was only seen online in 2013.
Unused Logo 2 (2016)
Logo: On a black background, lights shine and reveal a circular, horizon-like surface with a briefly-seen marble texture as they go from left to right, before they dim. The angle then changes to a wavy surface, also with that marble texture. Another angle is shown, where two curves twist towards each other, with a solid one being seen at the top, all organized in a familiar fashion. The angle finally changes to one showing the curves forming the hair in the Medusa symbol, complete with the eyes already formed underneath, all still in the marble texture. The curves all twist themselves to rest in their position, before the lights dim and a fully-formed Medusa logo (in a similar fashion to the 5th logo, albeit with darker texture and further away from the camera) is revealed from the darkness. The logo slightly shines all around.
Technique: Effects which evoke a sense of intrigue and mystery, all done in amazing CGI animation by Italian graphic design studio Ditroit, commissioned by Medusa themselves.
Music/Sounds: A mysterious, but beautiful rendition of the 5th logo's music, piano and string instruments being mainly heard, alongside clean shimmers as the lights shine, all done by Smider.
Availability: As an unused pitch logo, it was replaced by the 2017 logo. It can still be seen on Ditroit's Vimeo page.