Exec to head new Digital Production division

Technicolor has created a new Technicolor Digital Prods. division and tapped former Sony Pictures Imageworks topper Tim Sarnoff as president.

Sarnoff will be tasked with building up Technicolor’s visual effects and animation businesses and expanding the company’s work in games.

The announcement, coupled with Technicolor’s recent pact with Paramount to open its first-ever feature film audio post facility, signals that the post giant is aggressively pursuing new business, even in the face of shrinking studio slates and the global recession.

Sarnoff and the new division will be headquartered in Hollywood, probably at the company’s Sunset Gower offices.

Ahmad Ouri, Technicolor president of strategy, technology and marketing, said, “The lines are blurring between content creation/production and post-production. That’s the reason Technicolor is investing and focusing on the digital production side of our business.”

Sarnoff, who will report directly to Technicolor chief Lanny Raimondo, told Daily Variety that Technicolor execs recognize “the convergence of movies and games and visual effects. They are absolutely serious about creating a world-class end-to-end strategy in this area.”

Technicolor’s vfx business includes Moving Picture Co., which has branches in London, Vancouver and Santa Monica, and a facility in Beijing.

Company’s animation facility is in Bangalore, India.

Sarnoff said that taken together, those facilities have more manpower than Imageworks, which is considered one of the larger vfx companies in the world.

Sarnoff led Imageworks’ expansion over 12 years at Sony. Previously, he worked at Warner Digital Studios and Warner Bros. Animation, where he oversaw production on hundreds of episodes of “Animanics,” “Batman,” “Pinky and the Brain” and “Superman.”

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