UGC

From Audiovisual Identity Database

Credits
Descriptions by
mr3urious and MegaAveron25

Captures by
Eric S. and EnormousRat

Background

UGC is the largest cinema operator in Europe with, as of August 2005, 49 sites and 553 screens across four countries (France, Belgium, Italy, and Spain). UGC was originally an exclusively French operator, created in 1971 from a merger of several regional cinema companies. The name originally stood for "Union Générale Cinématographique", but today only the initials are used. The company is focused on the business side of the film industry, showing little interest in the screening of artistic cinema, unlike companies such as MK2. Currently, StudioCanal is the distributor and sub-licensor of UGC's library outside of its operating territories such as in U.K. and the U.S.

1st Logo (1982-1988)

Logo: We travel through what appears to be a tunnel formed of gray rings against a dark blue background, winding through the uneven path. As we reach the end, the last ring breaks off, changes to white, and then splits into three rings. They turn around and form "UGC", in circular blue letters made of concentric lines. Then, "ugc DISTRIBUTION" in blue quickly appears below, with "ugc" in a serif font and "DISTRIBUTION" in a blocky font, and just as quickly disappears and the camera zooms toward the "C". It cuts to a black background where the word "PRESENTE" in the same blocky blue zooming in from the bottom of the screen with a trailing effect. "FILMS MICHEL FRANCOIS" also appears in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Trivia: The logo was made by Thomson-CPF, or at least the Europe1/UGC variant, which was shown off at SIGGRAPH back in 1981.

Variants:

  • Originally, the "PRESENTE" part was in a different font and had a solid teal trail instead.
  • On international prints of SAS San Salvador, the "ugc DISTRIBUTION" text doesn't appear and it goes straight to the "C". When it gets to the black background, the "PRESENTE" text is replaced with the UGC logo at the time (a conglomerate of the 3 letters) and "ugc" below it, "WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION" below that, and "presents" on the bottom, all of it in solid white. The animation is the same as the end, but it comes from the top of the screen instead.
    • A version with "DROITS AUTOVISUELS présente" replacing "WORLDWIDE DISTRIBUTION presents" exists.
  • On co-productions with Europe 1, after the camera zooms into the "C", it instead cuts to a half-and-half shot with the top being a lipstick red color, and the bottom being a striped grey floor with a light going down the middle. A blue ring spins around the right side, carrying a blue bar that flies out and rest at middle left. Everything then unfolds to form the Europe1 logo at the time (the text "EUROPE1 " in a City Bold font with a larger E and 1 than the rest of the text), the UGC logo part by part, and "ugc" in the corporate font unfolding from the top. As everything settles, "FILMS MICHEL FRANCOIS" appears in very small black print in the bottom right corner.

Technique: The tunnel, letters, and trailing; all top '80s CGI.

Music/Sounds: A synth fanfare, composed by Alain Guelis, consisting of a synth bass and three sets of eight synth notes with a synth flourish in between. The Europe1/UGC variant has this extended. Later on, the music was remixed with different beats, around the same time as changing the "PRESENTE" section.

Music/Sounds Variant: On the current StudioCanal French DVD of Le Prix du Danger, it uses the jingle from the next logo below due to a sloppy reverse plaster.

Availability: Quite rare, as its usually replaced on current prints by the distributor's logo on export releases or with the next logo below. Can be seen intact on the French DVDs of Class of 1984, Le Prix du Danger, and Le Passage.

2nd Logo (1988-2001)

Logo: On a black background, a golden line can be seen below a series of golden glass curves, swirling around each other. As they slowly zoom in, they slowly turn solid silver and line up in the middle. They spread out to reveal the shapes form "UGC" and everything turns a shiny blue color.

Variants:

  • There exists a version with "D.A. INTERNATIONAL" appearing underneath. This is seen on 1990s prints of the 1960 film Breathless (A Bout de Souffle), among others.
  • For UGC Ph, the logo plays as usual, but at the end, it has the initials "Ph" in white script fly in from the left onto the bottom right of the logo. Two dots are added at the ends.
  • A French variant exists with "DROITS AUDIOVISUELS" fading in below the logo.

Technique: The swirling letters, in CGI that's extremely advanced for the time.

Music/Sounds: A gentle piano sounder with wind blowing and birds chirping, composed by Eric "Elvis" Simonet. This YouTube upload shows an image of its sheet music.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • The "P.h." variant has wind and chimes as the dots are added to "Ph".
  • Early on, the logo had wind blowing at the beginning, with synth drones being heard as well. When the shapes form into the logo, a 7-note chime tune can be heard.
  • On current French prints of 12 Monkeys, the "P.h." variant is silent.

Availability: Common in France, rare elsewhere. It can be seen on all of their films distributed by them in France. Internationally, the regular variant can be seen on Amélie (original title, Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain). It also made a surprise appearance on an Australian airing of The Ghost of St Michael's. As for the early theme, it's extremely rare and was so far only spotted on a 1991 Film Office Distribution VHS of Monsieur Hire.

3rd Logo (2001-2011)

GW300H22.jpg

Logo: On a black BG, we see a revolving series of blue glass objects appearing and zooming out. All three zoom out, revealing them to be the letters in the UGC logo. A blue line forms below, and a ring is drawn around the letters.

Variant: On Lucky Luke, the logo is gold-tinted.

Technique: The letters revolving, the line forming, and the ring forming.

Music/Sounds: A more majestic rearrangement of the UGC theme from the previous logo with pianos and strings.

Music/Sounds Variant: On this showreel from Eric "Elvis" Simonet, an alternate version of the theme composed by him can be heard.

Availability: Uncommon. It can be seen on UGC films from the time-frame, and may, in some cases, plaster older UGC logos.

4th Logo (2011-2018?)

UGC (2012-18).png

Logo: A similar concept to the previous logo, except the revolving letters aren't as close-up. When the letters come together to form the logo, the circle is drawn with two lines instead of one, and the line below the letters is also drawn in instead of rotating around in the previous. The end result is exactly like the previous logo.

Variant: Sometimes, the words "PLUS DE PASSION, PLUS D'EMOTIONS" appear and flip in underneath the logo.

Technique: The letters revolving and the line and circle being drawn in.

Music/Sounds: Another majestic and more string-oriented re-orchestration of the 1990 music. This was also composed by Eric "Elvis" Simonet.

Music/Sounds Variants:

  • On the variant, it has an extended ending.
  • On other occasions, it uses the music from the 2nd UGC Ciné Cité logo.

Availability: Common. Can be seen at UGC theaters and movies of the time-frame.

5th Logo (2018- )

GW336H190.jpg

Logo: Similar to the previous 2 logos, but the background now has a rippling blue light over it and the shapes are far more simplistic, made in blue glass. The animation is also more similar to the 3rd logo, with the closer shapes. When the shapes come together, they form the current UGC logo, which now has the text has "conjoined" shapes rather then outlines. 2 crescents then draw around the letters as "PLUS DE PASSION. PLUS D'EMOTIONS." flips in below letter-by-letter.

Technique: The revolving shapes and the line being drawn.

Music/Sounds: A rearranged version of the theme used in previous logos.

Availability: Currently in use on UGC movies.

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