Technicolor Expands VFX Business in Culver City

Technicolor Creative Studios is establishing a new campus in Culver City, spurred by the return of production and demand from streamers for its visual effects services.

The office, which is expected to open in July, includes a four-story 60,000 square foot main building and a virtual 4,750 square foot production space located on Washington Boulevard, the company said.

The campus will be a central home for the various divisions of Technicolor Creative Studios which have been split into different locations across LA County. It is a unit of the French media and technology conglomerate Technicolor.

Currently, the company’s Moving Picture Company, which focuses on visual effects for shows and movies, and its advertising division, The Mill, have separate offices in Culver City. Staff members involved in games and animation work out of a building in Los Angeles.

“It’s really the first time in the United States that we’ve been able to bring everyone together, and it’s really a sign of the future for our business, which is about how all of our businesses are working together, collaborating closely to share the expertise we have,” said Christian Roberton, president of Technicolor Creative Studios, in an interview.

Interior renderings of Technicolor’s new office in Culver City.

(Bruce Bolander)

Technicolor is expanding to meet growing demand from streaming services that compete fiercely for subscribers. Services like Netflix, Apple TV+ and Disney+ are expected to spend billions of dollars on shows and movies this year. Netflix alone is expected to spend $19 billion on content this year and in November announced plans to buy Vancouver-based visual effects studio Scanline VFX.

Technicolor Creative Studios worked on CG animation shots featured in Disney+’s space western series, “The Mandalorian.” Other projects include Season 2 of Netflix’s fantasy series ‘The Witcher’, Amazon Prime Video’s ‘The Wheel of Time’, Apple TV+ drama ‘Pachinko’ and films such as Disney’s live-action version. from “Lady and the Tramp”.

The company also worked on 34 Super Bowl commercials this year and was involved in animated films such as “Paw Patrol: The Movie.” Meanwhile, Technicolor Games has contributed titles such as “FIFA 22” and “NHL 22” sports video games.

Technicolor Creative Studios expects its business to grow by 60% over three years.

“Technicolor has an incredibly long history in this area,” Roberton said. “All of our most important clients are in LA or represented in LA, and our connection with our clients is the most important thing to us.”

The unit already employs nearly 380 people in Culver City and LA

Rendering of the new Technicolor Creative Studios office in Culver City.

Rendering of the new Technicolor Creative Studios office in Culver City.

(Abramson Architects)

Culver City was an ideal location for its new campus as many Technicolor customers are already based there, including Apple, Sony, HBO and Amazon.

The city has attracted several media and technology companies in recent years, benefiting from its proximity to Hollywood and nearby Silicon Beach. TikTok has expanded its US operations with a new five-story, 120,000 square foot office in Culver City in 2020, while Apple announced last year that it plans to double its presence in the region.

Technicolor Creative Studios signed an 11-year lease, investing at least $16 million in the project. The exterior of the main building was designed by Los Angeles-based Abramson Architects, and Malibu-based Bruce Bolander_Architect is designing the interior spaces.

“It’s a significant investment for us, and signing a lease of this length is really a long-term commitment for us,” Roberton said. “It’s the heart of the business, and we intend to have a presence in Culver City, Los Angeles, for a very long time.”

Like other Hollywood businesses, VFX stores were hit hard in 2020 as productions were canceled or suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as filming resumed, the demand for post-production work also increased.

“We have pent-up demand for projects put on ice during the most severe shutdowns coupled with the proliferation of streaming channels that need to be fed with a continuous stream of content,” wrote Fiona Orford-Williams, a London-based director. . investment research and advisory firm Edison Group, in an email. “The technical capabilities of VFX have taken leaps and bounds in recent years and the limits are constantly being pushed. It’s no longer just tentpole movies that get the full VFX treatment.

Interior renderings of Technicolor's new office in Culver City.

Interior renderings of Technicolor’s new office in Culver City.

(Bruce Bolander)

Last year, Technicolor Creative Studios reported revenue of 629 million euros ($696 million), up about 23% from the previous year.

“We’re definitely looking to get back to where we were before the pandemic in this year for sure,” Roberton said. “We see a very big future for us.”

The Paris-based parent company of Technicolor Creative Studios plans to spin off the visual arts business in the third quarter, in order to increase its value.

Technicolor plans to retain a 35% stake in the Creative Studios unit and oversee the company’s DVD services and connected home product businesses.

Technicolor emerged from bankruptcy proceedings in 2020. Since then, it has sold part of its business, including its Technicolor Post post-production business last year for nearly $36.5 million.