8:30am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Postproduction House Company 3 Restructures With More Independence From Parent Deluxe (Exclusive)
Deluxe Entertainment Services postproduction brand Company 3, led by leading colorist Stefan Sonnenfeld — whose long list of credits includes Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman — will now operate independently as a corporate entity of Deluxe, which is owned by Ron Perlman’s holding company, McAndrews & Forbes.
Finally confirmed to Deluxe staff via a company memo on Friday, the change comes after months of negotiations, which were one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood’s postproduction community and now marks a shift in the post landscape.
Sonnenfeld declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter.
According to Deluxe, colorist Sonnenfeld will continue to serve as president of Company 3, a company that he co-founded in 1997. He and its team will operate out of its existing space in Santa Monica (this space was shared with Deluxe’s VFX arm, Method Studios, which will seek new facilities on Los Angeles’ West Side) and retain its existing talent roster.
That means that the roster will continue to include the likes of Ridley Scott’s go-to colorist Stephen Nakamura, whose recent work includes Scott’s All the Money in the World, which he finished and then refinished with Christopher Plummer playing the role that was originally played by Kevin Spacey.
Company 3 will continue to maintain additional locations, including in New York. Deluxe also told THR that the agreement includes Company 3 keeping a separate sales force, not one that is shared with Deluxe’s other postproduction brand, EFILM, which also maintains a roster of veteran colorists with credits including La La Land and Blade Runner 2049.
According to the staff memo, Sonnenfeld, "who missed the hands-on nature of running his own creative business, will return to his roots as president of Company 3. Stefan will focus full-time on the day-to-day leadership of the business he founded, to deliver his vision for Company 3, which will remain a corporate entity, in a more entrepreneurial operating structure."
With this new direction, Sonnenfeld has also relinquished his additional role as chief creative officer of Deluxe Entertainment Services. Also according to Deluxe, under the new structure Sonnenfeld will not report to Deluxe Entertainment Services president and CEO John Wallace, but the company didn't elaborate on the details of the new structure.
Also Friday, Deluxe confirmed a series of leadership changes. William Sherak, currently president of Deluxe-owned 2D-to-3D conversion company StereoD, will become president of Deluxe Post Production, encompassing EFILM, Editpool, and Deluxe post operations in Toronto, Spain and London. William Sherak — son of the late AMPAS president Tom Sherak — succeeds John Paulson, who is leaving the company.
Lastly, Ed Ulbrich — who serves as president and general manager of Method and Deluxe Entertainment's VFX business — will now additionally oversee Deluxe’s advertising postproduction businesses, with offices in Atlanta, Austin, New York and San Francisco.
Company 3 started as an independent outfit focused mainly on commercials before it was acquired and made part of what became Ascent Media. In 2010, Deluxe Entertainment Services Group acquired Ascent Media’s Creative Services and Media Services businesses in a deal valued at $68 million in cash plus the assumption of an unspecified amount of debt. In 2016, Sonnenfeld was given the additional role of chief creative officer at Deluxe Entertainment Services.