Technicolor to Close Two Media Services Facilities

Updated 6:42 p.m. PDT: Post-production services specialist Technicolor is closing two of its media services facilities — one in Burbank and another in the U.K.

In a statement, Technicolor cited the need to close what it called “commoditized” business to focus on digital services. It did not disclose if any employees would be let go.

“At Technicolor we have committed ourselves to deliver on services that are driven by creative talent and technology that contribute to creating next generation – immersive, connected and interactive experiences,” the company said.

“To do this, it is essential for the company to shed commoditized businesses. For this reason we are planning to make the difficult, but necessary, decision to transform our Media Services department by closing our stand-alone physical Media Services facilities in the U.S. and the U.K. and prioritize our nascent digital servicing platform. We will continue to focus our resources on services and creative talent that build and enable the immersive media experiences our customers expect.”

Technicolor issued layoff notices in September to several dozen employees in the Los Angeles area, Variety has learned.

Technicolor announced in late 2013 that it was closing its Glendale film lab, which employed 39 people, due to the decline in the demand for film. That facility was devoted to processing 65mm negatives and striking 70mm prints for Imax and other large-format theaters.

A Technicolor exec said at that point that company employed about 1,750 people in the Los Angeles area.

Technicolor announced only last June that it was planning to consolidate media services, which includes encoding, transcoding, subtitling/closed-captioning, digital distribution, tape-to-file conversion, editing, audio and quality control, metadata transformation, DVD and Blu-ray disc compression and authoring, into the Burbank facility. The move to close that facility shows how quickly the business landscape is shifting for the lab giants, Technicolor and Deluxe, which once had a lucrative duopoly in Hollywood: Media Services, always unglamorous but once essential, have been “commoditized.”

Technicolor’s CEO, Frederic Rose, has been unsentimental about cutting and shedding such legacy businesses as the company emerges from a financial crises.

The news was first reported by Deadline.

David S. Cohen contributed to this report

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