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HBO in Space

The logo would become widely recognized through a program opening sequence, often nicknamed "HBO in Space," produced in late 1981 by New York City-based production firm Liberty Studios and used in some capacity from September 20, 1982, to October 31, 1997. (It replaced a series of six film-based animated "HBO Feature Movie" intros used since April 1979, which Canadian pay service First Choice Superchannel later reused for its 1984–87 movie intros.)[431] The original 70-second version begins inside an apartment, where a man tunes a television set's converter box and sits down with his wife to watch HBO. (A variant that begins with a dark cloudscape fading into the city sequence replaced the early version in December 1983.) As the camera pans out of the apartment window, a continuous stop motion flight (filmed on a computer-controlled camera) occurs over a custom-built model cityscape and countryside set against a painted twilight cyclorama. After the camera pans skyward at flight's end, a bursting "stargate" effect (made using two die-cut film slides) occurs, unveiling a chrome-plated, brass HBO logo that flies through a starfield. As the HBO "space station" rotates toward the "O", rainbow-hued light rays (created using a fiber optic lighting rig) encircle that letter's top side—sparkling to reveal its interior wall and a center axis in the bullseye mark area—and streak counter-clockwise inside the "O"'s inner wall, fading in a slide displaying the program presentation type in three-dimensional, partially underlined block text—usually the "HBO Feature Presentation" card for theatrical movies, though varied title cards set mainly to custom end signatures of the accompanying theme music (including, among others, "Standing Room Only", "HBO Premiere Presentation", "HBO Special", "On Location" and "HBO Family Showcase") were used for original programs and weekend prime time films—before more light streaks sweep and shine across the text and create a sparkling fadeout. (An abbreviated version—shown during most non-prime-time programming until October 31, 1986, and thereafter for early-prime-time movie telecasts, aside from premieres and most weekend presentations—commenced from the starburst and the flight of the HBO "space station".)

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