On Wednesday of this week Technicolor announced that would sell its New York postproduction assets to PostWorks under an “exclusive” franchise licensing agreement, the first such arrangement the multinational has embarked on.
As part of the deal, Technicolor will keep its hand in by also selling and providing PostWorks access to its “proprietary color science and postproduction workflows.”
The deal reflects the dramatic changes now going on in the once exclusively film-based market as digital technology moves into domination from production through to final presentation. In a related example, earlier this year we wrote about the merger of Technicolor and PostWork’s film labs, with each company closing parts of their wet chemistry lines and joining 50/50 in the new entity New York Film Lab.
Telecorps Holdings Inc. owns PostWorks; sister companies Hula Post, Orbit Digital, Wexler Video and Coffey Sound aren’t affected by the partnership agreement.
Nor will Technicolor’s visual effects services company MPC see any changes; the London-headquartered company delivers digital production to support film, advertising, and television content. MPC (The Moving Picture Company) has actually been on a roll, recently opening a new 13,000 square foot studio in a turn-of-the-prior-century “renovated shoe factory” in New York’s Soho district. MPC Creative, currently based in London, will expand to offer Production Services through the New York studio where Executive Producer Justin Brukman heads up operations.
In a separate announcement this week, Technicolor adds on to its digital post capabilities with the announcement that it would buy well-regarded Los Angeles post house Laser Pacific, which offers feature, television, restoration and visual effects services. With more than 25 years in business, that facility had gone from private to public, been bought by Kodak, and was then sold in April 2010 to HIG Capital, the holding company behind Telecorps.
Over the past year, Paris-based Technicolor has worked to consolidate much of its far-flung film processing operations, closing plants and merging staff as necessary. In a move that would once have startled many that watched their rivalry over the past century, Technicolor is working with Deluxe to trade off territories and streamline lab work, mainly to rationalize the expenses of 35mm release printing.
For example, Deluxe has taken over all 35mm release printing for the major studios in the U.S. and Canada, with Technicolor exiting the 35mm print business in these territories. Meanwhile, Deluxe will exit the business of actually delivering those film prints to theaters in the U.S., contracting that work out to Technicolor facilities. In its most recent quarterly report, Technicolor cited the rapid move to digital projection in 2010 as a prime cause for the changes. According to this report, the company expects to focus on its “digital services where it already benefits from market leading positions, while continuing to serve its customers through the tail of film processing.”