Panavision Plans Layoffs Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Panavision 8K DXL camera -H 2016
Courtesy of Panavision

"The decisions we are making are global and have impacted our offices around the world in differing degrees," the postproduction powerhouse says.

Panavision, a major provider of production and postproduction services to Hollywood movies and TV series, has begun what's understood to be layoffs of its staff in North America amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the industry, and production has come to a halt. Panavision has taken necessary measures to secure the future of our businesses, and unfortunately we had to make the challenging decision to furlough some of our workforce," a spokesperson for Panavision at its Woodland Hills, California, headquarters said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. 

"We’re doing everything we can during these difficult times to be ready to support the industry as soon as production crews are able to return to work. As for the level of impact on our workforce, the decisions we are making are global and have impacted our offices around the world in differing degrees. We are constantly monitoring and reviewing the situation in accordance with local governments to assess when the industry will be able to safely resume normal operations,"  the statement added.

The news comes as entertainment companies have been looking to preserve cash and reduce expenses, in some cases also via layoffs, to manage the uncertain fallout from the virus crisis.

The furloughs follow Hollywood and local production in Canada and elsewhere globally virtually shutting down as a safety precaution during the coronavirus outbreak. In turn, the major Hollywood studios have made sweeping changes to their 2020 and 2021 release calendars for tentpoles.

Saban Capital Acquisition last year dropped plans to merge with Panavision and Canadian production house Sim Video International in a deal valued at about $622 million.