Creator of Special Effects for Movie 'Titanic' Files for Bankruptcy
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Creator of Special Effects for Movie Titanic Files for Bankruptcy

September 26, 2012


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Digital Domain Media Group, which owns one of the film industry's most successful visual effects companies, announced this week that it is filing for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Florida-based company has already reached an agreement with an investment firm to sell Digital Domain Productions, which is the arm of the company that produces special effects for films, television shows, and advertisements.

Digital Domain Productions was founded in 1993 by film director James Cameron, and has created effects for more than 90 major films. Most notably, Digital Domain Productions created the special effects for Cameron's "Titanic," which at the time was one of the most expensive and visually ambitious films ever produced.

In addition to "Titanic," Digital Domain has created special effects for films such as "Tron: Legacy," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End," and the "Transformers" series of films.

The sale, which will pawn off the special effects company for $15 million, must still be approved by the bankruptcy court, but Digital Domain executives are confident that any sale of its assets will help "ensure the long-term future of its core business."

And company officials have a right to be optimistic about their future because Digital Domain’s senior creditors have all reportedly agreed to extend $20 million in financing to allow the company to continue operating during the bankruptcy process, sources say.

Sources indicate that the company’s bankruptcy filing comes just one week after Digital Domain defaulted on a loan worth $35 million. In addition, the company reportedly fired most of its 320 employees and abruptly closed its animation studio in south Florida.

These moves involved a great deal of turmoil, and one of the casualties was Chief Executive John Textor, who swiftly resigned after the company defaulted on its loan. Still, company officials reportedly remain optimistic, even though the firm is more than $200 million in debt.

According to the new chief executive, Ed Ulbrich, the sale of the special effects subsidiary to a private investor will allow Digital Domain to "continue to bring our expertise to feature films, advertising, games and other media experiences, with a focus on what we do best: creating amazing digital productions."

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