MPC expanding to California

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Technicolor's London-based visual effects and post facility Moving Picture Co. is expanding to Los Angeles.

One of the U.K.'s largest visual effects facilities, MPC ("Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," "Sunshine") has found a location in Santa Monica and hired a managing director, Mark Tobin, who was managing director of Santa Monica-based visual effects house A52.

The facility is ex¬pected to open this year.

"This fits well within our global strategy to continue ex¬panding our digital content production services worldwide as we've done recently in both animation and games production services," said Ahmad Ouri, president of Technicolor Content Services.

MPC services features, TV and commercial work. Plans are to open in Los Angeles with an initial focus on commercials while moving into servicing feature work from the base.

"We used other (Technicolor) bases in Los Angeles historically to interface with MPC London; this would be a direct contact," Ouri said.

Technically, the company is expected to offer applications similar to those used in London like finishing systems from Autodesk.

Ouri said that the strong MPC brand name is planned to be used for Technicolor's visual effects services globally, whether that be extensions to existing facilities or expansion with new locations.

"The brand is so strong for both feature films and commercials, we will try to leverage the brand," he said.

Technicolor's parent company Thomson acquired MPC from British broadcaster ITV in December 2004 for $76 million. Ouri said that price included a premium for the brand name.

"(MPC London) managing director Mark Benson's team has done a great job managing and growing the MPC business in London and we feel very fortunate to have attracted Mark Tobin to run MPC L.A.," Ouri said.

MPC's recent projects include "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and "Fred Claus" as well as TV and commercial productions.
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