Victor Duncan Inc. (VDI), the leading film camera and lighting rental house in the central United States, has been bought by and absorbed into Panavision Inc. The former owner, Visual Action Holdings of London, sold the 37-year-old company's film, lighting, and sales services to Panavision on June 5, along with other international film services holdings. VDI's former video services were split off, and are still owned by Visual Action Holdings, under the new incorporated name of Advanced Broadcast Services.
"Visual Action decided to get out of the film services business," explains VDI president Frank Marasco. "Prior to the purchase, we had been for many years a Panavision agent in Texas, Illinois, Michigan, and Georgia. When the opportunity came up to purchase not only Victor Duncan Inc., but also the total worldwide film group services that our parent had, it became a natural for Panavision." Headquartered in Woodland Hills, CA, Panavision is one of the world's leading manufacturers of film cameras and accessories.
The branch offices of VDI have been renamed Panavision Atlanta, Panavision Chicago, and Panavision Dallas. Marasco, who is headquartered in Dallas, has been appointed managing director of those offices as well as Panavision offices in Florida and Wilmington. "In terms of film camera and lighting rentals, we will still have the same products and provide the same services," says Marasco. "In addition, a larger supply of Panavision equipment will be available. As an agent, we were limited to what we could get; now, Panavision's total inventory will be available to us."
Victor Duncan, Inc. was opened by brothers Victor and Lee Duncan in 1959 in Detroit, gradually branching out across the central United States. Marasco has been with the company since 1963: "I was their first employee," he says. The Duncans sold VDI to Visual Action Holdings in 1987. Marasco says that under Panavision, the company's operating methods and spirit will remain intact.