Narduzzo, who is reputed to have been offered a 'telephone number' salary to join the company, was also tempted by the promise of serious investment by parent company Liberty Livewire. 4MC is said to be looking to pump millions of pounds into a new high definition (HD) and standard definition telecine set-up.
'Liberty Livewire's investment is giving me the scope to develop a state-of-the-art TK department incorporating everything I could wish for,' explained Narduzzo. 'As part of a worldwide group of companies, 4MC also gives me access to international projects not normally available to me in the UK.'
Pepper managing director Patrick Holzen, who admitted 'surprise' at Narduzzo's decision, was confident that Pepper will continue to thrive without Narduzzo. 'One man doesn't make a team,' he told Broadcast. 'Just look at Ireland's World Cup campaign. They did fine without Roy Keane. We'll cope without Vince.' Holzen also conceded that the company wouldn't match the huge wages that 4MC were reputedly prepared to pay. 'Pepper won't pay telephone number wages,' he said. 'If we did, it would be our clients that would suffer.'
4MC's commitment to HD was a big factor in Narduzzo's decision. Acknowledging this, Liberty Livewire vice-president of entertainment television Bruce Everett said: 'Vince joins us at stage one of our reinvention as London's high definition centre of excellence for both television and film drama. He will be a key influence on the building of our new HD and SD telecine department. Over the coming years, he will be building a team of top colourists instrumental in pushing forward Liberty Livewire's convergence of the film and television post-production technologies in the UK.'
Pepper is also expected to move further down the HD telecine route within months. The company will use IBC to make final decisions on kit and purchases.
Before co-founding Pepper Film & Television Post Production with the backing of Andrew Christie's Big Finish in 1999, Narduzzo worked at Universal Film Laboratories, Filmatic Labs, The Machine Room and Tele-Cine. He joins 4MC this week.