Fotomat Video

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Logo description by mr3urious and PAV123
Editions by thehugetvfan
Logo capture and video courtesy of jsl151850b and CNNRotatingSquare

Background: Fotomat offered rentals of Paramount Pictures features beginning in December 1979. This was expanded to Walt Disney Productions features in March 1980. Customers could search from a catalog and call a 1-800 number and have the tape delivered by the next day to their nearest Fotomat store where they could pick up and keep the rental for five days at a cost of $12. It was later lowered to $9.95 for five days. Other rental outlets found a way to offer cheaper rentals without waiting and Fotomat ceased the service by 1982. Typical prints used on Fotomat releases had no mention of Paramount Home Video or Walt Disney Home Video. Instead Fotomat used their own intros, warning screen, and closings. Apart from Paramount and Disney, Fotomat also offered tapes from MCA Distributing Corporation, Warner Bros., EMI, Group 1 International Distribution Organization, and Gold Key Entertainment, among others.

(December 1979-1982)

Logo: Against a black background, three segments of an orange trapezoid appear (a reference to the multi-tiered yellow roofs used in Fotomat kiosk designs), followed by "FOTOMAT", in white with a trademark symbol appearing next to the trapezoid and a registered trademark symbol appearing next to the text. All of this is synced up to the music.

  • On Disney tapes, such as The Love Bug and North Avenue Irregulars, this was shown between Disney's warning screens and the Neon Mickey logo. On MCA tapes, such as Same Time Next Year and Smokey and the Bandit, MCA's Rainbow logo preceded this.
  • Many of their tapes had the very first appearances of the Bell & Howell test pattern (B&H duplicated all of Fotomat's releases, including tapes from Disney and Warner Bros., both of which would be duplicated by S/T Videocassette Duplicating Corp. when they struck out on their own), each preceded by about five seconds of black screen compared to the half-minute or so that would soon become the standard. On most tapes, the familiar white screen, with a 1200 Hz tone (only known to later appear on MCA's release of The Amazing Spider-Man), would be used; however, tapes with the extended version of this logo would instead end with a lime screen, with a 967 Hz tone (though the lime screen never put in an appearance outside of Fotomat tapes, the 967 Hz tone would later see use throughout much of 1983 by RCA/Columbia).

  • At the start of releases, a black screen with "PRESENTS" in white is shown after the logo.
  • A longer version exists on some releases. A few seconds after the logo is formed, it moves down to the bottom of the screen, and two spotlights shoot up above the words, in-between the trapezoid. The black screen with "PRESENTS" in white would then be shown.
  • At the end of releases, a copyright stamp (which, no matter when the tape was released, would always say © 1979 Fotomat Corp.) appears below the logo, near the bottom of the screen.

FX/SFX: Simple animation.

Music/Sounds: 3 acoustic guitar notes as the trapezoid segments appear, followed by a sustained synth chord when "FOTOMAT" appears.

Music/Sounds Variant: At the start of releases, a triumphant fanfare is heard. On the extended version, this can be heard when the spotlights appear; the regular variant has this play over the "PRESENTS" screen, which is silent on the extended version.

Availability: Extremely rare. Found on old Betamax tapes that were sold in Fotomat kiosks, such as the George Pal version of War of the Worlds and UFOs are Real. A majority of these tapes came from Paramount Home Video and later Walt Disney Home Video and MCA Videocassette, Inc. The longer version can be seen on the Fotomat releases of The Love Bug, Nashville, North Avenue Irregulars, Same Time Next Year, Smokey and the Bandit, and the Star Trek episodes The Trouble with Tribbles and Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Fotomat tapes appear on eBay and Etsy on rare occasions.

Editor's Note: A nicely-designed logo with a soothing theme to it. It'd be interesting to see what else Fotomat would have used during their rental service's lifespan, or how they'd update this logo.