Cerulean Corp., arguably the busiest digital-colorization processor in the industry, is forming a joint venture with the Grinberg Film Libraries, the nation’s largest privately held film archive, to bring a vast store of archival and historical film footage into living color, Daily Variety has learned.
Cerulean CEO Michael Burns said the deal, signed earlier this week, includes Grinberg’s virtually complete catalog of Pathe and Paramount newsreels, which document a wide swath of American and European history of the 20th Century.
The modern technology of digitally colorizing black-and-white stock has brought the once-controversial process fully into the high-tech age, with film newly processed in this way virtually indistinguishable from film actually shot in process color. Furthermore, the colorization can be customized to suit the material, with grainy, sepia-tone or “dirty” looks instantly available to the colorist.
No dollar amount was attached to the Cerulean-Grinberg joint venture, but it’s estimated by the parties involved to be worth low six figures to both participants. Burns estimated the process will take several months to complete.