LaserPacific expands with master facility


Eastman Kodak's wholly owned post subsidiary, LaserPacific Media, is extending its digital services.

The entity is forming a digital-mastering services business unit that will handle new titles as well as the remastering of film elements from studio libraries to create digital elements for new distribution formats as well as preservation requirements.

To lead the business, LaserPacific has brought on a pair of respected industry veterans: Ron Burdett, who will serve as GM, and supervising mastering colorist Lou Levinson.

"There is a need for extremely high-quality masters now that there are new display technologies in the home and delivery formats like Blu-ray," LaserPacific president Leon Silverman said. "As a result, the studios are going back into their libraries and remastering titles that have already been mastered. Because we are moving from a videotape to file-based world … it makes sense to have the file-based, not tape-based, master elements of the highest possible quality."

Added LaserPacific CEO Brian Burr, "As a Kodak company, it is essential for us to play a leadership role in preserving our film heritage for the future."

To support the initiative, LaserPacific has expanded its team and plans to continue to build infrastructure.

Burdett has been a leader in the Hollywood post community for more than 25 years. The founder of Sunset Digital, his innovations include the construction of one of the industry's earliest digital-cinema mastering environments.

Levinson, who arrives from Post Logic, also chairs the digital intermediate subcommittee of the American Society of Cinematographers Technology Committee. His credits include digital masters for "Apocalypse Now," "Forrest Gump," "Schindler's List" and "Jurassic Park."

Members to the new unit include mastering colorist Tom Forletta, whose 13 years of experience include work at the Sony High Definition Center and the Post Group. LaserPacific's senior digital intermediate colorists, Dave Cole and Mike Sowa, also will participate in the mastering operation.

The new team also will include quality assurance veteran Fred Johannsen and 20 year post industry veteran David Houck, who will head mastering client services. (partialdiff)