Background: Filmways Pictures was a film company which was a division of Filmways Television that was founded in 1980 from the acquisition of American International Pictures in 1979, and was folded into Orion Pictures in 1982. Filmways had been producing films, prior to their acquisition of American International, since 1967. Filmways, Inc. was later reincorporated as "Orion Pictures Corporation" in June of that same year. Currently most of the Filmways movie library is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures with Orion Pictures retaining the copyright. The rights to films that Filmways produced prior to the American International acquisition are owned by the original distributors.
1st Logo (1980-1981)
Logo: Set against a starry space background, we see a bright star emit a beam of light to wipe in the words "FILMWAYS PICTURES, INC." in a curvy orange Denmark font. The star disappears, and after a while, the words zoom-up and slide away.
Variant: There's a variant in which the text is white and outlined in red (presumably due to film quality).
FX/SFX: The space background and the star wiping in the company name
Cheesy Factor: They both look fairly cheesy.
Music/Sounds: Usually silent. Some films, such as Dressed to Kill, have a laser sound followed by a UFO sound effect.
Availability: Very rare. Can be found on some films such as Dressed to Kill, How to Beat the High Cost of Living, Pray TV, and the 1985 VHS release of The Wild Angels (originally released by American International Pictures). It is also seen on the 1984 Warner Home Video VHS release, the 1993 Image Entertainment Laserdisc release and the 2002 Japanese MGM DVD Special Edition release of the former.
Scare Factor: Low.
2nd Logo (1981-1983)
Nickname: "Abstract F"
Logo: On a black background, a round orange glow of light appears, which morphs into a bright light blue light. As stars and rays of light shoot by, we seethe logo itself (two abstract 3-D "F" shapes, interlocking back-to-front into a medallion, with a metallic effect applied) appear in the blue light, and zoom towards the screen with a bright light in front of it that later flashes. Underneath, the words "FILMWAYS PICTURES" (in the same font as the 1981 Filmways Television logo) fly back with a whitish blue light trail effect. Both the logo and the words turn solid as the lights fade, with the logo turning blue and the wordswhite.
FX/SFX: The logo forming amid the light effects, and the flying of the company name. This was all top-of-the-line motion-control work back in 1981, and it holds up pretty well.
Music/Sounds: Silent or the opening theme of any given film. On Comin' At Ya!, it used a triumphant fanfare.
Availability: Extremely rare. It can be seen on the Warner Home Video VHS of Death Wish II. It was also seen on the MGM/UA Home Video VHS and recent TMC prints of Full Moon High, and the 3-D movie Comin' At Ya! from Rhino Home Video, where the logo is unfortunately only in 2-D. This logo can also be found on VHS/Laserdisc prints and the Criterion DVD/Blu-ray of Blow Out. It can also be seen on the 1982 Embassy Home Entertainment VHS release ofSummer Lovers.
Scare Factor: None.