Head of 2D and senior Inferno artist Simon Huhtala is believed to be heading a six-man buyout of the Great Marlborough Street facility which has worked on Shamelessand Danny Boyle's feature film Millions.
The other members of staff joining Huhtala are head of 3D John Harvey, senior Inferno artist Derek Moore, senior producer Pierre Fletcher, senior Inferno artist Ben Murray and technical director Tom Davy. Negotiations are expected to be completed this week. Huhtala declined to comment.
Discussions began last Tuesday (5 July) after Caplan was forced to make 14 redundancies at the finishing facility, attributing the decision to a collapse of funding - which would have bought a top-of-the-range telecine suite and paid for the arrival of colourist Mick Vincent from VTR. He told Broadcastthat Clear was being forced to make the cuts in an attempt to save the company from what he called a "blip" in business ( Broadcast, 1.7.05). Clear has had a difficult 12 months with a dip in the commercials market resulting in the company going into administration last August.
Head of commercials Simon Gosling has decided not to be part of the buyout and has joined Cut and Run as its head of production. Gosling will take over many of the operational duties from owner Steve Gandolfi who wants to return to editing. Gosling will be charged with working across Cut and Run's London, New York and Los Angeles offices. Pierre Fletcher will be heading production until a replacement is found for Gosling.
A Clear spokeswoman said that although the commercials sector was Clear's main thrust "the broadcast and film sector is still very much ongoing here".