India is coming to Hollywood, and planning to stay.
The India-based Reliance MediaWorks -- a division of the media giant Reliance Group that has funded DreamWorks -- is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles and looking to expand within the industry in production services.
“The objective is not to be small, but to be a big, industrial-sized player,” said Reliance MediaWorks CEO Anil Arjun, in an interview with TheWrap. ‘We don’t want to position ourselves as a company driven out of India. We want to be based out of L.A. We’re a large, global entity.”
Having surged to $200 million in revenue in the past several years, the company is focused on growth and on getting attention in the United States. Arjun believes that MediaWorks could double its revenue again in the next two years.
It’s an ambitous goal, but MediaWorks is kind of on a roll.
Reliance MediaWorks already operates the largest theater chain in India, with 550 screens across the region, and runs the largest digital restoration and film processing facility in India, employing 1,500 people.
But Arjun believes there is room for more expansion in Hollywood, despite the movie industry’s many structural challenges in the digital age.
He will focus on providing visual effects -- computer graphics, animation and digital mastering -- and media services, which essentially means coding content for a variety of platforms in the digital age, such as mobile phones and tablets.
In 2007 Reliance MediaWorks acquired Lowry Digital, a film restoration company based in Burbank that also provides digital post-production services and has worked on movies from “Avatar” to “The Social Network.” (Lowry is up for an Oscar for scientific achievement for the development of a noise-reduction system for images.)
Arjun hopes to own the post-production market. “We look at Hollywood as the front-end of our business,” said Arjun.
The company started in India as a film processing service, with about $20 million per year of business. After Reliance bought a controlling interest in the core Adlabs company in 2006, the company grew its revenue tenfold, and began to focus on horizontal expansion, dominating the film printing business.
It’s no secret that the parent company, Reliance Global, is focused on creating a long-term presence in Hollywood. The company threw millions of dollars into development deals with A-list talent -- from Tom Hanks ond own -- and has put several hundred million dollars into DreamWorks.
According to the company, Reliance MediaWorks Burbank has developed sophisticated proprietary software that delivers high-tech results for restoration, remastering, SD to HD upconversions, large format films, new production emergency work, 3D correction and 2D to 3D conversion.
The company’s body of work includes film restoration for classics like "Citizen Kane," "Singin’ In The Rain," "Casablanca," "Sunset Boulevard," the Indiana Jones trilogy, the early "Star Wars" films, twenty James Bond films, and numerous classic Disney animated films.