News: C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures in receivership

As mentioned at Canadian Animation Resources, computer animation studio C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures has gone into receivership.  The studio was created by Bob Munroe, John Mariella, Kyle Menzies and William Shatner in 1994.

In its sixteen-year history, C.O.R.E. has rendered various special effects on films like Splice (2009), SUCK (2009), Silent Hill (2006), Cube (1997), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004) and X-Men (2000.)  Television shows like Wonderfalls (2004) and The Tudors (2007- ) have also been touched by C.O.R.E.

C.O.R.E. has tried its hand at film and television production.  Among C.O.R.E.’s film production credits are Santitos (1999), The Wild (2006) and Firehouse Dog (2007.)  Television credits include Angela Anaconda (1999-2002), Iggy Arbuckle (2007) and CTV miniseries Would Be Kings (2008.)

As this story is only a few hours old by the time I post this, there’s no official word on why C.O.R.E. Digital has gone into receivership.  The current rumour is that financing from Royal Bank of Canada fell through, breaking C.O.R.E.’s poorly-managed back.  Employees were called into a meeting around 3:00 PM ET today, told to take their personal items and leave the C.O.R.E. building.

It boggles my mind how C.O.R.E.’s in such terrible financial shape.  Vincenzo Natali’s Splice will be given a summer 2010 release by Warner Bros.  SUCK debuted at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.  C.O.R.E. Toons’ Planet Sheen has yet to debut on Nickelodeon.  It’s not like the company’s irrelevant.

I hope C.O.R.E.’s receiver can keep the company afloat.  Not everything C.O.R.E. touches is great (Planet Sketch and Iggy Arbuckle? come on), but it’s a decent special effects house.  C.O.R.E. has come a long way from TekWar.

Addendum (March 17, 2010) | Not much in the way of new information, other than Canadian Animation Resources’ update on C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures’ financial problems.  As much as $2 million in debt?  How much was C.O.R.E. making/losing a year that $2 million was an insurmountable hurdle?

The Ontario Liberal government was going to help relieve C.O.R.E.’s debt load, but balked after due diligence.  I don’t normally post hearsay on URBMN, but something smells about this story.

C.O.R.E. shouldn’t have relied on government tax breaks to stay aloft, if that is how they remained in business.  I don’t see why the company couldn’t have merged with DHX Media, E1 Entertainment or Shaftesbury Films, unless its size (around 150 employees) was a deal-breaker.

DHX Media makes the most sense, aside from DHX Media having about 68 employees total.  There’s a history between DECODE Entertainment and C.O.R.E.  I don’t know.  It’s all speculation until a business move is made.

C. Archer
Le Social