Digital Domain pacts with Reliance

Post partners clock in with global plan

Post-production and vfx studio Digital Domain has partnered with Reliance MediaWorks in a deal that will set up visual effects and stereo 3D production services studios in Mumbai and London and make it possible to work on film projects round-the-clock.

The partnership will give Digital Domain, a major U.S. player in post and visual effects, a presence in India and the U.K.

Reliance, one of India’s fastest-growing entertainment companies, has become an increasingly significant player on the global media scene, pacting for funding and production with companies including DreamWorks, Imagine and Plan B.

The facilities will do work for films, TV and commercials as well as 3D conversion. Reliance will open a new studio in the planned city of Navi Mumbai with a team of up to 650 artists that will be available for Digital Domain projects. Digital Domain will also place a visual effects team within Reliance’s U.K. facility. Work in both facilities is expected to begin in August.

In addition, the studios in London and Mumbai will connect to Digital Domain’s Los Angeles-based offices through Reliance’s fiber optic network.

Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun explained the workspace will begin recruiting and training artists late this summer and aims to have its full crew onboard by February or March of 2012.

“Very often you see a production hire 15-20 small post-production houses to do its work, but with this partnership our strategy is to be able to offer an end-to-end production solutions,” Arjun said. “We think this is an advantage for the client in terms of managing their workflow.”

The partnership will create the possibility of a 24-hour work cycle in which teams in Los Angeles, Mumbai and London would take advantage of time zone differences and be able take over the work on a film as the workday ends in one country and begins in another. It also positions the newly partnered companies to compete with other global post houses such as India-based Prime Focus.

While the two companies have partnered to share facilities, Digital Domain will still maintain control over and manage its own projects, as it always has.

“Logistically, Reliance MediaWorks owns these studios, but Digital Domain will manage them,” said Cliff Plumer, CEO of Digital Domain.

“It will be our technology and people running the pipelines and projects. We’re treating them as an extension of our California studio. Artists working on Digital Domain projects will be focused exclusively on those projects.”

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