Palace Films

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Background

Palace Films started out as a VHS distributor that released videos from a wide range of genres which were handled (until recently) sent up as a join venture between Village Roadshow, Blake Films and private investor Antony Veccola. In 1985 Veccola bought out the other company's stock and it ventured out into the film distribution business and opened a small number of art-house cinemas around Australia's main cities and became an independent company. Its VHS releases were still handled by Village Roadshow until the late '90s.

1st Logo (1983-1986)

Logo: Against a zooming space background, the words "HOME", in a huge curvy white font, come into view via a "wavy" effect. The words "PALACE" (in between two lines) and "VIDEO" (slanted, with two "swooshes" around it) come up from the top and bottom of the screen respectively.

Variants: Very few films were released on the regular label, and instead were given custom labels according to their genre:

  • Palace Films (for drama, and general movies): "PALACE" appears in its usual place, but there's the word "FILMS" in a large purple arch-shaped font with a light blue "shadow" behind it. The top of the S shines with a 5-pointed star.
  • Palace Explosive (for horror, action, and exploitation films): "PALACE" and "VIDEO" appear in their usual places, and "EXPLOSIVE", in red, zooms in between. After a few moments, the letters in "EXPLOSIVE" fly away.
  • Palace Vibrant (for sexual, but not pornographic films): The logos appear in their usual places, and two halves of "VIBRANT", in orange, come up from the bottom corners of the screen in between the logos.
  • Palace Family (for family films): Against a black background, we see the logos in their usual places, but with "family", in a childish font, in between. Each letter gets filled in with the following colors: red, yellow, green, orange, fuchsia, and dark blue.
  • Palace Academy (for arthouse and foreign-language films): The usual logos come in from the top and bottom of the screen, while at the same time, two halves of "ACADEMY", in a pale gray color, come in from the left and right sides of the screen.
  • Palace X (for pornographic films, which were also occasionally released on the regular label): "VIDEO" fades in its usual place, while "PALACE·X" in a blue font zooms in from the screen with a cheap trailing effect.

Technique: The space background and animation of the text.

Music/Sounds: The regular version used a synth-pop tune similar to Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxygene, Part IV", with an announcer saying "Palace Home Video".

Music/Sounds Variants: See below. All of them end with a male announcer saying the label's name.

  • Palace Films: An upbeat horn fanfare with kettledrums.
  • Palace Explosive: A dark one-note theme (the same one used on the first Saturn Productions logo), with a laser zap and "jet engine" sounds as the letters fly away.
  • Palace Vibrant: A mellow soft rock tune.
  • Palace Family: A playful circus-like tune. The announcer is female in this variation.
  • Palace Academy: A faint warbling synth bass with an eerie sound of howling wind plays.
  • Palace X: A synth theme with drumbeats.

Availability: Rare. Seen on Australian tapes of the period. The X variant is only known to be seen on fifteen or so titles, such as the original uncut VHS releases of Pink Flamingos, Caligula, and Fantasyland. They are identifiable by a stone banner on the top reading "PALACE X VIDEO".

2nd Logo (1986-1995)

Logo: We see a silver filmstrip zooming out at an angle. Little cubes drop onto the edges of the strip, forming sprocket holes. We then cut to a closer view of the opposite side of the filmstrip that shows the cubes flying off, then we cut to the strip zooming toward us to the left, now with "PALACE" on it in rainbow colors. It then turns upward to face us, then "Entertainment" in yellow script moves up to the bottom right. "CORPORATION" in small white underlined text fades in below "Entertainment", and all the words shine.

Variants: Sometimes, "Previews" or "Presents" appear below in a thick orange-colored font.

Technique: The filmstrip, the space BG, the text, and the shining.

Music/Sounds: It starts off with a dramatic synth tune with a piano, which quickly changes into an uplifting fanfare.

Availability: Should be easier to find, seeing as it's more recent.

Legacy: This is the last logo, made before the company began expanding its activities to theaters.

3rd Logo (1995-1999)

Logo: We see a red background moving like sand in a windstorm. We also see a silhouette of a centurion slowly standing up. The flag fades out to reveal a stormy sky and the centurion in a pose where he is seen blowing a long horn. The word "PALACE" in a grey, stone font fades below.

Closing Variant: After the credits of the film, we see the silhouette of the centurion blowing his horn, with "PALACE" underneath. "Distributed in Australia and New Zealand" is atop the centurion.

Technique: The red background flying like sand, the action of the centurion and the stormy sky.

Music/Sounds: A low synth note followed by some whooshes and then a synth choir followed by a 5-note horn tune.

Availability: Ultra rare. The closing variant was spotted on Chopper, while the animated one is seen on Umbrella Entertainment DVD trailer of Head On (1998). Otherwise, it was only used for a short time before they broke away from Roadshow, but all releases from then use the logo below.

4th Logo (1999-2010)

Logo: We see the same red background as before again being blown about by a windstorm. The silhouette from the last logo appears again and moves in the same way. When the background changes, however, it is of a view just about the clouds with the centurion as before in his pose and the words "PALACE FILMS" appearing in the same font as before.

Technique: Same as the last logo, however there is a shining light from behind and we move forward through the clouds a little bit.

Music/Sounds: A string and electronic stinger followed a 7-note trumpet sounder.

Availability: No longer current. Most of Palace releases are few and far between, but you can find this on the Australian film Ten Canoes and other local releases. This is no longer seen on many Australian releases of foreign films, but was used as a small print logo on foreign films instead.

5th Logo (2010- )

Logo: We see a silhouette of the centurion blowing his horn, with the "PALACE FILMS" in the same font as previous two logos, now colored soild white, seen below.

Closing Variant: After the credits of the film, a revised version of the silhouette of the centurion blowing his horn is seen, with "PALACE FILMS" below, and "Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by" is stacked into 2 lines atop the centurion. Also, the website URL "PalaceFilms.com.au" fades in below the logo.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Current. Seen on some Australian releases of foreign films, examples are Beloved, Leviathan and For Your Love, and is intact on official trailers of the Australian releases on its YouTube channel.

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