Indian post house announces N. America services

Indian post conglom Prime Focus has been quiet until now about its worldwide acquisitions, but that is about to change.

With galas tonight in London and Thursday in Hollywood, Prime Focus begins full-on tubthumping, making its North American rebranding official, announcing the expansion of its Vancouver vfx hub and introducing a pair of new technical services aimed at luring high-profile productions.

Overseen by new CEO Rob Hummel, the rebranded Prime Focus Post Production, North America, includes the former Post Logic Studios and Frantic Films, which has been remonickered Prime Focus VFX. They have already been integrated with Prime Focus’s worldwide offices.

“We tried to make sure we have facilities that lock into each other,” Prime Focus founder Namit Malhotra told Daily Variety. Prime Focus has facilities in Hollywood, Vancouver and London plus Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad in India.

Prime Focus VFX’s new Vancouver HQ will become the company’s visual effects hub for North America. The new facility is four times the size of its predecessor, with room for up to 200 artists and staff. It boasts a 50-seat screening room with stereoscopic 3D capability.

Prime Focus VFX will retain its Hollywood branch.

The first new product is a 2D-to-3D conversion service dubbed View-D, which the company says will offer high-quality stereo conversions cheaper and “exponentially faster” than alternatives already on the market.

Prime Focus is previewing View-D for potential clients and plans to show samples of the process at the galas.

The second new tech service is a digital content-management system, Clear, that handles filmed content from production through distribution. Clear is already being used to connect Prime Focus’ 15 offices around the world.

Unlike some other post announcements involving India, this isn’t an American or European company outsourcing work to low-cost technicians on the subcontinent. Instead, this is a case of an established Indian company moving into the Hollywood market.

“Prime Focus is the leading camera rental and post provider in India,” Hummel said. “They’ve done over 300 DIs (digital intermediates), and they’re very strong technologically.”

Hollywood vets now in the employ of Prime Focus include Hummel, who joined the company in August; former Post Logic CEO Larry Birstock, who is working on global integration of Prime Focus facilities; and Oscar winner Mike Fink, who joined Frantic Films in July of last year and oversees Prime Focus’ vfx operations.

The London gala kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Odeon Cinema, West End.

The Hollywood event, which includes several Indian dance performances, starts 6:30 Thursday night at the Music Box at the Fonda Theater.

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