By Scott Lehane
Mark and Aron Jaszberenyi, the Hungarian brothers behind the development of Autodesk’s Lustre color-grading system, have revived the old company name Colorfront for a new, multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art DI and VFX postproduction facility in Budapest.
The Jaszberenyi brothers founded Colorfront as a software development company in 2000 and their Stand-Alone Color Corrector system was used by Peter Jackson’s to color grade The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Shortly after, EFILM in Los Angeles became Colorfront’s first customer, with the first end-to-end DI on We Were Soldiers.
“Now, we are actually a service provider for people trying to use this technology in Hungary,” said Mark Jaszberenyi, director of development. “It’s a $4 million to $5 million investment to create this facility and the primary focus is feature film postproduction, as well as some episodic television postproduction using the same technology.”
The 2,000-square-meter facility will offer a comprehensive range of HD, 2K and 4K postproduction services to international filmmakers, including film scanning and recording, DI grading, conforming, digital dailies, online and offline editing, VFX, cinema sound mixing, mastering and deliverables. Its initial technology line-up features Arri scanning and laser recording; 43Tb SAN disk storage; Autodesk Lustre, Flame and Smoke; Avid Adrenaline HD editing; 2K cinema-quality and 35mm film projection, in a theater equipped with THX cinema sound; comprehensive sound mixing and post; and a wide range of HD tape and DVD deliverables.
“We are perfectly equipped to support the everyday requirements of productions shooting here in Hungary, with a digital dailies service and a digital projection theater,” said Mark Jaszberenyi. “But we have a lot more firepower than that and will offer our services globally. Colorfront is optimized for fast and efficient high-resolution post on a par with any other facility around the world, and we are more than capable of handling the biggest DI and VFX projects and all of the deliverables.”
The company is launching at a time when Hungary is becoming increasingly popular as a destination for prestigious motion picture and broadcast production, and will provide services these productions as well as offering its facilities to the global market.
“What we saw was that it would be nice for people who shoot in Hungary, to stay here for some of the really advanced postproduction services that we have been pioneering in other markets like L.A. and London,” said Mark Jaszberenyi. “So not only can you shoot in Hungary, put the film in the can and leave the country, but we’re also trying to deliver finished productions.”
With low production costs, highly trained specialists, good infrastructure and attractive locations, Hungary is becoming a popular shooting location. The $127-million Korda Studio in Etyek outside of Budapest is Europe’s newest and most modern film production facility. A new corporate-tax-based incentive program offers financial reimbursement of 20 percent of production costs, including postproduction.
The Colorfront team also advised many of the world’s leading facilities about DI workflow including EFILM/Deluxe, Technicolor, LaserPacific/Kodak and PacTitle in LA, Ãƒâ€°clair in Paris, PrimeFocus in London and India, ARRI in Munich and Weta Digital in Wellington.
Autodesk acquired Colorfront’s intellectual properties in 2005 for $15 million, and Lustre development continued in Budapest with Mark Jaszberenyi as director of development. Mark left Autodesk in August 2007 to launch the new facility.
Written by Scott Lehane