Peter Jackson has reportedly closed a post production lab he owns in New Zealand.
The shift to digital has taken its toll on the post production lab. The Lord of the Rings director has decided to shutter this arm of the company as a result. However, Park Road will keep its sound, picture, VFX, and the digital lab divisions open for business.
General manager Cameron Harland said in a recent note to clients:
“We have always been incredibly proud of the quality of the Lab and said we would be the last Lab standing. That has been true in New Zealand for the last 12 months or so, but unfortunately the shift in digital acquisition and exhibition, has meant that this part of our business has now become commercially unsustainable.”
Harland also urged anyone who is still shooting on 35mm film to get material to them as quickly as possible.
Park Road first started processing film back in 1941. It was the first lab of its kind to set up shop in New Zealand. The company has worked on such notable motion pictures as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, District 9, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Peter Jackson and partner Fran Walsh purchased Park Road back in 1999.
The shuttering of the post production lab means that Deluxe is currently the only company that provides such services in New Zealand. Managing director Alaric McAusland told if.com.au that Park Road is just another casualty in the shift to digital. Even Deluxe continues to evaluate this division.
“We are one of the longest running labs in Australia. It is an important part of what we do. It is something we evaluate on a regular basis,” McAusland said.
Since shooting on digital is much cheaper than using film, many studios have pushed for filmmakers to make the change. The Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan told a handful of top Hollywood filmmakers in 2011 that he will continue to shoot on 35mm until the option is no longer available.
“The danger comes from filmmakers not asserting their right to choose that format.If they stop exercising that choice, it will go away. I tell people, ‘Look, digital isn’t going away,’” Nolan explained last year.
Peter Jackson will shut down the Park Road post production lab this June.