Film Lab New York, the last motion picture film processing laboratory in New York City, will cease operations as of Dec. 19. The company, launched in 2011 as a joint venture between Technicolor-PostWorks New York and Deluxe New York, provided laboratory services to motion picture, television and commercial productions operating on the East Coast and around the world.
The near-universal adoption of digital cinematography has led to declining demand for film laboratory services. HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, among the last major television productions to shoot on film, completed production a few months ago. Its last episode aired this week.
“Technicolor-PostWorks has a strong and unwavering commitment to the New York film and television community, a community that passionately championed film as an acquisition format,” said Technicolor-PostWorks New York COO Rob DeMartin. “Working with Deluxe NY, we continued to provide laboratory services to our clients long after laboratories in most other regions had closed. We are sad to say that the demand for that service is no longer sufficient to sustain the lab and still maintain a world-class standard for quality.”
This closure relates only to film processing and printing. Technicolor—PostWorks New York and Deluxe NY will continue to operate all other services as usual.
Film Lab New York provided services to many of the world’s top cinematographers and directors, including Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Spike Lee. The lab provided film processing services for such recent films as Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, Steven Spielberg’s St. James Place, and Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s Mississippi Grind.
Thomas Edison built the world’s first film production studio, Black Maria, in West Orange New Jersey in 1893. During the early Silent Era, New York was home to several large production studios, each with its own processing facilities. DuArt opened an independent laboratory in 1922. Even after the major studios migrated to Hollywood, New York remained a vibrant hub for independent film production, news, television and advertising. Buoyed by New York State’s generous tax credits, film and television production in the city and its environs remains strong, but today very little of that production is captured on film.
“The Film Lab NY was built on the hard work and long hours of dedicated technicians who are true artists in their field. Our team, under the leadership of long-time lab veteran Tony Landano, devoted their careers to providing exemplary service to the film community,” said DeMartin. “We are extremely proud of these individuals and of all their accomplishments.”