Tuesday, September 30, 2008

As Seen Online: HBO on-air graphics

As a young buck who spent a lot of time watching television in the early 1980s, I was always fascinated with the HBO intro... you know... the camera flying over the city and the giant chrome letters rising up and then turning into a neon space station. I found a bunch of earlier renditions of HBO's station identification animations which are also worth checking out, so here they are:

1978, quick animation. very hot rainbow stripe logo:

Late 1980, total Great Space Coaster style:

Late 1981, art deco disco laser style:

The main attraction:

Can't forget the April Fool's edition:

and now, one of the freshest things I've ever seen on Youtube, a stunning behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the infamous 1983 HBO "city" intro. Hold onto your hats...


Bryan™ said...

OH MAN. Seriously!?!? Brilliant documentation.

I wont go into the psychological tattooing that sequence has done to my brain, but I finally feel gratified to see its origin.

I feel like I've just stared into the sun with out it hurting my eyes.

Sam's Myth said...

This kind of behind-the-scenes video only confirms by belief that special effects are dead today. Back then, FX work was achieved through creativity. Today, FX artists use computers as a crutch. I was a few years too late for this sequence to have been seen by a young Sammy, but the fly-through opening logo for Tim Burton's BATMAN pretty much singlehandedly sparked my love for movie magic. There are only a few people left in Hollywood with this kind of creativity; even Tim Burton, former master of the miniature, is going the 3D / motion-capture route with his forthcoming Alice in Wonderland.

Sorry to rant... I take this shit personally!

DJ Perry Levy said...

Yo, That one used to trip me out too... the music is soo bugged...i felt like the world was gonna come to an end and the apocalypse was upon us...

Mike Davis said...

To echo what Sam said, the making of the HBO thing is the picture perfect definition of MOVIE MAGIC. The hyper-detailed plants, the mist, the bums on the corner... all on screen for like .25 seconds each? Incredible. This more than anything makes me want to work on films and photoshoots.

I'll probably be starting a model train collection before I'm 50.

Oscar B said...

This may a super-dumb question, but you have seen the DVNO video, right? It references this and dozens of other retro motion graphics:


Mike Davis said...

Oh yeah. Love it. I'm pretty sure they based it on this compilation of 70s / 80s motion graphics assembled by the folks at MK12 in Kansas City:


a-ron said...

Talk about epic. I was one of those unfortunates who didn't have HBO as a kid, so this is all new to me. After all that buildup, I was half-expecting Christ to come swooping down from the heavens rather than the HBO logo.

The documentary totally blew me away. Who could have guessed they used some kind of crazy fiber optics rig? Wow.

I'll be on the lookout for a copy of that hot track by Jonathan L. Segal.

Sam's Myth said...

Not enough pileup.