Pacific Title & Art Studio, whose history goes back to the silent era, has gone into receivership. And without the prospect of new financing, the 90-year old firm is likely to be liquidated, it was revealed in an email to employees from David McCarthy, the company’s chief executive.
The head of the postproduction and VFX house, which has been struggling financially and missed several payrolls recently, told employees: “You should immediately consider yourself to be laid off.”
The company said it would finish all projects on hand by the end of June. Founded in 1919, Pacific Title, as its name makes clear, was known primarily for the title sequences it provided for thousands of movies, from Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer to Terminator Salvation in 2009. In recent years it branched out into digital effects.
McCarthy said the company had suffered from the entertainment industry’s recent slowdown, due both to the economy and the pall over the industry from the prolonged Screen Actors Guild contract talks. Ironically, the demise of the storied company was making the rounds just as SAG members voted to accept a deal from the studios. He also cited tax incentives being offered by other states to lure business from Hollywood as another factor, which “with general economic conditions have all combined to create an excessively harsh industry situation that Pac Title could not escape.”
Cutbacks in Hollywood have put pressure on a number of postproduction facilities, resulting in layoffs. Earlier this year, The Orphanage, a highly regarded special effects company based in San Francisco went out of business.