Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by

UPDATED: Sep 11, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

One of the film industry’s premiere visual effects firms, Digital Domain Media Group, announced that it has voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Most famous for providing the stunning visuals of 1997‘s award-winning film, Titanic, the company co-founded by James Cameron is now struggling financially, listing a total of $214 million in debt and $205 million in assets. The Company is also responsible for digital visuals in Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, and Tron: Legacy.

In Chapter 11 business filings, day-to-day operations continue as usual while the restructuring plan is being worked out. In the case of Digital Domain, high-level creditors to the firm have agreed to finance $20 million to pay employee wages and other expenses to keep the company going.

A bankruptcy auction will take place on September 21, 2012, to allow others to place bids on the Company’s operating arms in the U.S. and Canada. Digital Domain has come to a bankruptcy sale agreement with private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners to the tune of $15 million; bidders at the upcoming auction will have to beat this price. All sales are subject to approval of the bankruptcy court.

“We are excited to begin this new chapter in our history and look forward to partnering with Searchlight,” said chief executive of Digital Domain Productions, Ed Ulbrich, according to the Los Angeles Times. “The capital commitment of Searchlight will enable us 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.”

Digital Domain’s bankruptcy comes with a recent string of Chapter 11 filings among other production and news media companies such as Inferno International LLC and Journal Register Company, a subsidiary of Digital First Media. With a decline in print media and more competition among digital enterprises, many of these companies turn to Chapter 11 to restructure debts, avoid having to liquidate all assets, and continue to operate in hopes of coming out of bankruptcy in better shape.