Panavision consolidates

Move not related to WGA strike

Panavision is consolidating its Los Angeles rental operations by moving the Burbank base of its digital camera rental business, Plus 8 Digital, to Panavision Hollywood. Both company names will remain in place.

CEO Bob Beitcher said the move is not related to the writers strike. "It's been in the planning for a while," he said.

However, in a strike-related measure, Panavision is reducing its staff globally to a skeleton crew for the final two weeks of the year.

"A substantial part of our revenue in the U.S. come from TV series," Beitcher said. "By mid-December, essentially 100% of these will have shut down."

He emphasized that the company would be prepared to support customers during that time. "We're just not going to have as many people as we normally do (during the holidays). … We are asking all employees that won't be part of that (reduced) staffing to take accrued vacation. Those who don't have accrued vacation and who we can't fit into the skeletal staffing will take time off without pay."

The measure represents 10 work days.

Camera systems manufacturer Panavision acquired Plus 8 about a year ago. More recently, Panavision Hollywood managing director Linda Harp also had been managing Plus 8.

Fourteen layoffs will result because of the consolidation.