Updated 3:35 p.m.
Sony has sold its digital intermediate, mastering and restoration facility, Colorworks, to Deluxe, and the two companies have struck a semi-exclusive deal for post services, the two companies announced Monday.
Under the agreement, Deluxe will perform DI, mastering and other services for Sony, with some exceptions that are specified in the contract.
Sony will retain the Colorworks name. The current Colorworks facility on the Culver City lot will be rebranded as Deluxe. It will be integrated into the worldwide Deluxe network of post facilities.
The move is not related to the recent Sony hack, a Sony spokesperson said.
Employees at Colorworks were notified this morning of the deal, which officially closed Feb. 1. Some 69 Sony employees are affected. According to Sony, during the next 60 days, Deluxe will assess its needs at the facility and discuss what employment is available. Which employees will be retained, if any, and what their new salaries might be will be determined during the transition period.
Sony’s official statement reads: “Sony Pictures has made the business decision to close its Colorworks facility. We are pleased to enter into a services agreement with Deluxe to offer state-of-the-art color grading, mastering, restoration and related services for film and TV projects by studios, networks, independent producers and filmmakers at Sony Pictures.”
The pact is not legally a straight acquisition, and Colorworks may be technically “closing” under this asset sale and services agreement, but Deluxe has already taken over management of the facility, which will remain open during the transition. Under the pact Deluxe is acquiring Colorworks’ 14,000-square-foot facility in Stage 6 on the Sony lot in Culver City. Colorworks has pioneered digital 4K workflows for both film and television.
Deluxe operates facilities at Fox and Univeral and its rival Technicolor operates a facility on the Paramount lot. Many filmmakers prefer to work at color grading facilities in close proximity to sound mixing stages, and the new Deluxe Sony facility will have ready access to Sony’s sound operation.