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Sony Pictures Entertainment Opens New DI Facility

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Colorworks’ new digital intermediate suite.
Colorworks’ new digital intermediate suite.

Sony Pictures Entertainment recently opened Colorworks—a  full-service DI facility on its  Culver City lot. The 14,000  square-foot facility housed in  the studio’s Stage 6, (formerly a Technicolor facility), offers realtime, 4K and stereoscopic 3D processing, catering to feature film and TV episodic work.

For scanning, the company has acquired Digital Film Technologies’ Scanity film scanners as well as seven new FilmLight Baselight color grading systems. The package includes three Baselight EIGHT systems that have been installed in the main 4K DI grading theatres (designed for both standard and 3D stereoscopic feature film work), as well as two Baselight FOURs for use in suites designed for television projects. In addition, two Baselight Assists are available for pre-grading and other prep work.

The color grading systems are linked together using a combination of FilmLight’s high speed cloud network and Sony’s proprietary digital production and distribution infrastructure— the Sony “Digital Backbone,” (which also connects other Sony facilities like Sony Imageworks).

All of it is built around a massive 3.5-petabyte storage array. “Sony has built a post-production facility that will set the standard for the industry for years to come,” said FilmLight founder Wolfgang Lempp. “Baselight provides Sony Pictures with a grading platform that allows it to work in 4K effortlessly. And, because it is a software-based tool and employs commodity hardware, Baselight will continue to evolve as Sony’s needs grow and technology improves.”

The company has hired world-renowned colorists John Persichetti, Steve Bowen and Trent Johnson, as lead colorists at the facility. Their combined film credits total in the hundreds of features from all of the major studios. Colorworks adds to an array of Sony Pictures Studios postproduction services and facilities, including sound, editorial, stock footage and visual effects.

“Sony Pictures is uniquely positioned at the intersection of entertainment and technology,” said Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies. “Colorworks represents an important blending of the highest level of talent and the most powerful tools in our industry.”

Initial projects completed at the facility include the studio’s own Michael Jackson’s This is It, Zombieland and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs in 3D.

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