MUMBAI: Motion picture laboratory Filmlab has entered into a marketing and technical alliance with global entertainment services provider Deluxe Entertainment Services Group.
Deluxe operates in three business segments: film processing laboratories, creative services and film distribution. The company operates contracts with a number of Hollywood studios like Sony Pictures, Universal, Fox, Paramount and Walt Disney.
Speaking exclusively to Businessofcinema.com on the reasons behind this alliance, Filmlab managing director Sanjay Patel says, "Though India has several film processing laboratories, we felt that technically we were not at par with the quality available in Hollywood. Therefore we entered into this alliance to upgrade our quality to match the international standards. With this alliance we have access to procure state-of-the-art film processing and printing technology from Deluxe."
According to Patel, after having surveyed various international laboratories, Deluxe Laboratories had the most innovative facility in North America. An alliance was then formed between the two companies in order to enable Filmlab to upgrade their lab. A team of three engineers were sent from Filmlab to Deluxe for training and to understand the process.
Patel says, "Our alliance with Deluxe will help us to use Deluxe’s ties with the studios enabling us to make prints for the Hollywood studios in India."
Changes had to be made at Filmlab right from the printing, film processing, quality control and delivery departments. The standards of the printing machines were upgraded by using specialized calibration tools for both stability and evenness. The DCR (Deluxe Cleaning Rollers) were installed to make upto 800 dust free prints without having to remove the negative for cleaning. Besides that the Forensic Coding Technology (FCT) system was also installed, which allows one to print codes into both the image and the sound of the prints made on the system.
In the processing section, the processing formula has been changed to that of Deluxe Laboratories.
The company has also invested in three high speed film projectors to project and check the quality of the prints at up to four times the normal viewing speed. Patel says, "We have put in a system, which allows us to physically and optically check one in 10 rolls that leave our facility and we ensure that no piracy takes places en-route during the delivery of their prints. We have also installed a shrink wrap machine that allows the product to reach theaters un-tampered."
According to Patel, it took them about six months to implement these changes at an investment of approximately $200,000.