Pinewood to Close Sound Department

Pinewood Studios

The iconic U.K. studio says it is shuttering its sound department following a review, with 18 jobs affected.

Pinewood, the iconic U.K. studio behind numerous major studio titles, is set to close its sound department.

"Following a review of our Creative Audio business, we are proposing to close the Creative Audio department. We have started a consultation process with colleagues who are affected” a Pinewood representative told The Hollywood Reporter.

About 18 jobs are believed to be affected by the move, most in the main Pinewood Studio based outside of London but some also at its Shepperton Studios facility.

The department — which had been headed up by Glen Gathard — provides such services as sound mixing, re-recording and editing, creative audio and sound design, ADR, voice casting and field recording. Pinewood's localization services haven't been included in the closure. 

Pinewood provided no explanation for the decision to shutter the department, which last year earned a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for its sound editing work on Netflix's Watership Down animated series. However, it did say that the facilities would remain open and postproduction sound services would now be offered on a dry hire basis, allowing productions to use their own personnel. 

Known as the home of the James Bond films plus, more recently, Star Wars and a number of Marvel titles, Pinewood has been in a major state of change in recent years. The studio has been expanding heavily to cope with the growth in demand for production space, opening five new soundstages in 2016 at its main base — with plans for six more to be added this year — and having been granted permission to add 16 extra soundstages to its operations at Shepperton. 

Last year, Pinewood signed a deal with Netflix that would see the streamer open up a major hub at Shepperton for its growing  number of U.K. productions, just months before signing a similar long-term arrangement with Disney that will see the studio take nearly all its stages, backlots and other production accommodation at its central facility.

However, the company has also been scaling back elsewhere, last year pulling out of both Wales, where it had a space for five years, and Malaysia, where the Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios had opened in 2014.