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Technicolor Closes Film and Immersive Sound Facilities

By Steve Harvey. Technicolor will shutter its film- and immersive audio facilities by year's end, refocusing on episodic and streaming sound services.

In response to changes in the marketplace driven by streaming media companies such as Netflix, Technicolor is shuttering its feature film sound and immersive sound facilities, focusing instead on episodic and streaming sound services and putting greater emphasis on its thriving VFX and color grading business.

“Based on the industry shift, we have made the hard decision to refocus our sound offering to our thriving episodic and streaming sound services,” stated Sherri Potter, president of worldwide post-production at Technicolor. “Change is never easy, but the market demands were not there for us to continue theatrical or immersive sound. We will support any committed projects through the end of the year. After which point we will optimize our Paramount facility to better reflect the needs of our clients, with environments that support picture as well as episodic and streaming sound.”

Technicolor Posts Soundbreaking

In the company’s first half 2018 financial results, issued July 24, Technicolor reported revenues of €1,769 million, or approximately $2,075 million, a drop of 9.3 percent year-on-year. The company noted that its production services recorded “a solid performance,” ticking up 4.6 percent, “driven by high capacity utilization and strong growth in film and TV VFX as well as advertising VFX.”

Potter expanded on her statement in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter’s (THR) Carolyn Giardina, who broke the story on July 25. She noted that Technicolor is “seeing fewer blockbuster releases and budgets are starting to shrink.”

Technicolor’s feature film sound services are concentrated at its Technicolor at Paramount complex, a 65,000-square-foot facility spread across three floors in a building on the Paramount lot that began to come online in late 2011. The building officially opened to much fanfare in March 2012 with an Oscar-winning talent roster that included the re-recording mixer teams of Scott Millan and Greg P. Russell, and Terry Porter and Anna Behlmer.

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According to the THR report, the two largest mix stages will be converted to color grading rooms. Potter commented that Technicolor is honoring current commitments and projects and will remain home to the mix teams “through the end of the year.” Technicolor will continue to provide sound services for episodic content at Paramount as well as its other sites on Seward Street in Hollywood, in Toronto and elsewhere.

In early 2017, Technicolor launched The Sound Lab at Technicolor at its headquarters in Burbank, led by Scott Gershin, the award-winning veteran supervising sound editor and designer. The immersive audio unit, which includes four Dolby Atmos stages and multiple 9.1 and 7.1 rooms, is also being shut down.

Technicolor •