Video: Music Video Pays Homage to Futuristic '80s Television Bumpers

This video for "DVNO" by French electro group Justice gives a nod to those fancy 3D animations that would precede or follow television programs in the '70s and '80s. About half of them looked familiar to my midwestern American eyes, including the epic HBO Feature Presentation bumper with the city fly through. Waxy called these CG (and the new versions certain are) but I was under the impression that most of these animations were actually done using traditional animation back in the day.
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9 Responses to Video: Music Video Pays Homage to Futuristic '80s Television Bumpers

  1. devophill says:

    georgelazenby, you magnificent bastard. I can finally see The Story Of English. I read the accompanying book more than once as a youngster, but
    I never saw the show. Three cheers for georgelazenby! Three cheers for the internet!

  2. georgelazenby says:

    At 35:10 of this video you will see a segment on the people who designed these things:

    I saw this documentary seven years ago and had no idea what it was called or which episode this tiny segment was in. I love the internet.

  3. Dillenger69 says:

    I really liked that song, the video was even cooler.

    I now have a DVNO channel on Pandora.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Some of these animations were done by manual (i.e. knob-twiddling) or computer-controlled manipulation of ANALOG video signals. If you grew up watching The Electric Company on PBS, you saw lots of Scanimate stuff.

    Look up the Scanimate system for how they did some of this stuff:

    Example video:

  5. Reed Savory says:

    I too remember the HBO intro as being an actual model filmed using a camera on a boom system, and after some quick Google searching, it appears my memory was correct:

  6. Reed Savory says:

    Whoops, wrong link. That’s just the video itself, this one explains how they did it:

  7. Jake von Slatt says:

    That was awesome. Totally.

  8. BdgBill says:

    I still think about this clip every time I hear the HBO music.

    Thanks to Reed Savory for the link to the “Behind the Scenes” clip. I remember being fascinated by it when I was a kid. In these days of computer graphics, it’s amazing to think they actually built a stainless steel HBO sign. Even the multicolored streaks that appear when you “fly into” the “O” were done manually with little lights.

    The city model has not stood the test of time very well. It looks about as real as Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

    Does anyone remember the “Short & Specials” HBO used to play between movies? I used to love these.

    How about “Not Neccesarily the News”?.

  9. License Farm says:

    A goodly number of those I recognized. I wonder how many are riffed off of local stations’ callsigns. I’ve long thought that if a modern version of Heavy Metal was to be made it would look a lot like that. There was something about ’80’s graphic design, with all the neon and reflections, that screamed futuristic; it still has that visceral reaction for me. Like a Trapper Keeper come to life, but not in a South Park way.

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