Post-Production Chaos In France Spurs Damage Control To Stem Losses

With a large portion of Paris’ post-production facilities facing liquidation, French film body the CNC today expanded a task force to help stem potential losses. The difficulties at Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Industries, which notably includes lab LTC and visual effects specialist Duran Duboi, have led some producers and distributors to fear for projects they have underway at the companies. I reported last week that copies of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo had recently been held hostage at LTC when workers protested the liquidation. This week, technical industry lobby group FICAM laid out a list of 36 films whose future it said was endangered by the financial turmoil. The org feared creditors would seize servers at Quinta’s labs, resulting in the loss of film sequences and millions of euros worth of work. FICAM’s report included Fidélité’s big budget Asterix And Obelix 3D: God Save Britannia whose effects were being handled by Duran Duboi. But ahead of the crisis meeting, producer Marc Missonnier told me the film was not at risk. “We have a copy of all of the rushes,” he said adding that the extra costs incurred will be “absorbable.” Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval, who is handling sales on Asterix, played down the issue when I spoke with him. The flurry of French press and TV reports claiming the film could be in trouble “gave me like 700,000 euros worth of free publicity,” he said. Maraval also confirmed The Artist star Jean Dujardin’s next film, The Players, isn’t at risk either. The biggest danger seems to be for smaller companies on lower-budgeted pics with shorter lead times before they’re due in cinemas – and of course the labs’ employees. But the CNC has vowed to work with producers and distributors to help recover their films and said it will establish conditions to secure the digital information for films currently in post.

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