Par, Technicolor make noise with deal

Partnership expands the studio's postproduction sound facility

Paramount said Tuesday that it is partnering with Technicolor on an ambitious expansion of the studio's sound postproduction operations.

A newly expanded and refurbished sound facility will become the centerpiece of what Paramount has dubbed its Post Production Village on the studio's Hollywood lot. The facility will be managed by Technicolor in collaboration with Paramount and provide a range of post services for film, TV and commercial producers.

A unit of France's Thomson tech conglomerate, Technicolor has operations in Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood and North Hollywood, with a new facility under construction at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood. Technicolor also manages a range of post services on the Sony lot in Culver City.

At Paramount, the new Technicolor facility will feature two new mixing stages as well as ADR, television mixing and audio editorial rooms.

"This sound facility is a significant opportunity to grow our business and an important step in Paramount's efforts to provide filmmakers, as well as television and commercial producers, with a wide range of services in a convenient studio environment," Paramount COO Frederick Huntsberry said.

Thomson CEO Frederic Rose said the new unit will offer "marquee services to both Hollywood and the global entertainment community."

Paramount aims to have the new Technicolor-managed unit in place by 2010. There have been rumblings of a big new push to upgrade the studio's sound facilities since the fall, with word of Technicolor's involvement first circulating in November.

Separately on Tuesday, Technicolor announced an expansion of its DVD-replication and -distribution agreement with Disney.

Technicolor will newly provide freight-management service to Disney throughout North America, as well as continue to provide Disney with mastering, replication, packaging, distribution and returns-processing services.

"This contract is a clear sign of Thomson's strength and market-leading position," Rose said.