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One year after being forced to close its doors and cede to rival Avid Technology, Lightworks said it will make a second pass at the film-editing system market through a venture that aims to provide support of existing equipment and develop hardware.

Lightworks Editing Systems, which was acquired by Avid supporter Tektronix in 1995, stopped developing nonlinear film-editing systems in 1998, marking the death of a brand name that once was synonymous with digital film editing in Hollywood.

But through a deal with Tektronix, the Lightworks name has been resurrected. A new 40-person team will provide support for all installed Lightworks nonlinear editing systems, including those sold before and during Tektronix’ ownership of the product family.

R&D resurrection

Its previous research and development team will develop next-generation 24-frame systems, built around the Microsoft Windows NT platform, using the same research and development team that worked at the former Lightworks.

“Given the products’ reputation, it was natural that the Lightworks name should continue, evolve and develop,” said new operation prexy Mark Pounds, who founded O.L.E. Canada, the exclusive distributor of Lightworks editing systems in Canada.

The new operation will be based in Montreal, but also have offices in London and Hollywood.

“It is clear there continues to be a need in the marketplace for the Lightworks product line, not only for existing Lightworks Heavyworks and VIP systems but for a new generation of nonlinear editing products as well,” Pounds said. “The company will be rededicated to its customers and to developing the best editing tools for today’s workplace.”

Lightworks, however, faces an uphill struggle as it re-enters the market.. Critics said its system was more complicated to use than that of industry powerhouse Avid, which has dominated Hollywood’s post-production arena with its brand name and partnerships.

The most recent pic to be edited on a Lightworks system was “Shakespeare in Love.”