DVD Drought About to Dry Out Hollywood?

For me, the word Technicolor immediately brings to mind images of Robin Hood’s tights or Becky Sharp singing for her supper, but there’s more to that Trademark than just the three strip process.  Indeed, Technicolor have been behind film presentation technology for a lot longer than you might think – with two strip colour being developed in the 19teens – and still are, in their capacity as one of the busiest manufacturers of DVDs.

So, imagine what would happen if a company on a truly massive scale and responsible for the mass production of many, many products for the film industry were to suddenly get sucked down by the recession. What would that mean? Would we see the shelves stripped bare of new discs? Unfortunately, we may not have to only imagine this for too much longer. We may soon be living it.

Stock market reports from this morning indicate that Thomson SA, the parent company of the Technicolor brand, are failing to find the financial assistance they need to keep floating. It appears that they’ve been looking for a buyer, or a credit solution, and neither has been forthcoming.

If nobody purchases Technicolor, or at least takes on their processing capabilities and eventually contracts, then it’s entirely likely we’ll see a serious shortage of shiny silver platters hitting market in the coming months. Inventory numbers for even the most anticipated titles could be very low – unless their releases aren’t postponed or cancelled entirely.

Incidentally, I don’t BluRay as duplication will be affected – I don’t find any evidence that Technicolor manufacture them. In one odd scenario, it could prove far, far easier to find the hot films in hi-def than on standard disc, thereby giving Blu a boost.

Nikki Finke is reporting that the French government may leap in and give Thomson, the corporate owners of Technicolor, a cash injection and thereby keep them afloat, but Thomson are yet to even request this measure. Fingers crossed.

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