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Technicolor to close North Hollywood film printing plant

In another blow to L.A.'s entertainment economy, Technicolor Inc. plans to shut down its film release printing plant in North Hollywood next year, the company told employees this week.

The film-processing giant said it would shutter the plant because of the rapid acceleration of digital cinema, which has lessened demand for film prints. Operations will be transferred to a Technicolor facility in Mirabel, Canada, outside of Montreal, although Technicolor will still provide some "front-end" services in Los Angeles, such as processing dailies.  

Technicolor said it was unclear how many jobs would be affected, saying that depended on the outcome of negotiations with local unions, but the move is expect to result in 100 or more job losses. Between 300 and 400 people work at the plant.

"We could not afford to maintain two facilities given the decline in film and growth of digital," a Technicolor spokesman said Friday. The Hollywood-based company recently lost a print release contract with Universal to its competitor, Deluxe.

Although it remains one of the largest processors of film in the world, the company has been repositioning itself in recent years to become more of a digital production services business, investing more than $200 million in digital postproduction and visual-effects facilities, including in Bangalore, India, London and the company's new Hollywood headquarters.

Technicolor's announcement, first reported by Variety, was the latest hit to L.A.'s postproduction industry. This week, Venice-based visual-effects company Digital Domain announced it was buying Westlake Village-based 3-D conversion company In-Three Inc. and that it plans to move most of that company's 70 jobs to Florida, where costs are lower.

-- Richard Verrier




Comments () | Archives (6)

>>"and that it plans to move most of that company's 70 jobs to Florida, where costs are lower.<<

When are you Hollywood types gonna learn? You get what you vote for. Look for more of these types of scenarios with tree-hugger Jerry Brown in charge.
The Left's assault on business continues in California...

This is sooo sad; but so typical of what's happening in America today. I wonder if The Wizar of Oz were made today, would it be shot in Vancouver? Or would they just fly the white actors directly to India to shoot, to be closer to Technicolor? Hmm... which one? Although run-away jobs are nothing new in the production world, now post is finally getting it's turn. It is truly frightening; in five years will everything, including prime time and soaps, be shot overseas, in the same of profitability? Selfish and greedy corporate America doesn't get it-- saving money now ensures that nobody will have a job to have the money to go out and see a movie. How will we ever stop this?

Dailies flown to and from Canada is a joke. The whole purpose of dailies is to make sure what you have what you hope you have on film. That answer needs to be ready the morning after a shoot.

Three-strip Technicolor was a master achievement of the studio era. And nothing can dim the beauty of the process. But since the days of single strip color, Technicolor has been something of a misnomer. Still, when such one time giant retreats to the hinterlands, memories of a golden age also dim a bit.

Those ruby slippers, slip slip away...

The Conservative attack on American jobs continues. This is no surprise in that Conservatives have been actively undermining unions and the US economy since the Reagan Revolution began its relentless pursuit of unfettered wealth for themselves.

To be fair, Conservatives aren't fully to blame. Technology "advances"/changes are forcing many adjustments for almost everyone in the industry. Even the guys who made 8-track players had to adapt at some point.

But, if we got back to some sensible pre-Reagan trade policies, then maybe Americans would have jobs again and we wouldn't be in the financial mess that is taking this nation down.

Posted by: Arye (Leslie) Michael Bender | November 21, 2010 at 10:40 AM

i feel obliged to respond to your comment as its somewhat confusing. we live in the digital age, you want dailies the morning after the shoot, then you can. whether you are in say thailand or hollywood, and shooting in vancouver.

dailies are processed digitally and can therefore be posted digitally. thats why we're so busy down here in vancouver.



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