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Visual Effects & Telecine Studio “The Syndicate” Opens for Business

The Syndicate, a new 18-person VFX and telecine studio specializingin all aspects of final picture delivery, compositing and CGI forcommercials and music videos, and hi-resolution color correction forfeature films, has opened in Santa Monica, Calif.

The new company combines ComputerCafe’s award-winning CGI and VFXstudio with The Syndicate’s three veteran partners: telecine artistBeau Leon, formerly of Riot, LA; executive producer Ken Solomon, afounding partner of Ring of Fire and former executive producer atWestern Images, SF; and director of new business Leslie Sorrentino,formerly of 525 Studios and Post Logic Studios; with the support ofNeil Feldman, owner of Video Post and transfer, Dallas. Additonaltelecine artists include Paul Lear (Digital Magic) and Arnold Ramm (525Post).

ComputerCafe, which shares its creative resources with TheSyndicate, has merged its Santa Monica facility with the company.Together they have added two Flame suites, a team of animators andSpirit and Millennium Telecine.

Even while organizing for business, The Syndicate has begun toattract interest in its advanced hi-res color-correction services,which run on the Millennium Telecine with a DaVinci 15fps 2k scanning,hi-def and standard film and video output solutions.

The firm’s first hi-res project, a theatrical trailer for theAcademy Awards, was wrapped last week under the supervision of coloristPaul Lear.

“With the Millennium, in three hours we turned around a project thattraditionally would have required several days’ work, taking Academyproduced pre-nomination film material, adding new nominee clips, colorcorrecting, and outputting several versions to 2k data files,” saidcolorist Paul Lear.

Since 1991 Computer Cafe, with facilities in Santa Maria and SantaMonica, has provided computer animation, visual effects and digitalcompositing services to the motion picture industry (“The PanicRoom,” “The One,” “Armageddon,”“Flubber”) and broadcast television(“Dateline,” HBO, “Entertainment Tonight”), andcommercial markets (AT&T, Pringles, Burger King).

“The foundation of The Syndicate is 10 years of ComputerCafe CGeffects experience combined with new managerial and creative talent toproduce one potent entity,” said Jeff Barnes, ComputerCafe co-founderand CEO. “The Syndicate will enable the Cafe to offer more services,including telecine, and real-time compositing to the local advertisingand music industries.”

Both facilities will be linked by a high-speed VPN (virtual privatenetwork) that will allow them to produce as one seamless entity.”Having this type of technology enables our teams to double theresources and to streamline the production process, which is ideal forlarger effects projects.”

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