The 35th edition of The Reel Thing technical symposium will return to Los Angeles on Aug. 20-22, with two full days of sessions that include discussions about preservation of media assets and in-depth, case studies of recent restoration projects. Three premiere screenings of recent 4K restorations will also be presented, including John Huston’s Fat City, Otto Preminger’s Where The Sidewalk Ends and Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar. The Reel Thing is a venue for networking, information exchange and exploration of the latest technologies and methods for audio-visual restoration and preservation. The event takes place at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood.
The symposium will explore emerging developments, including the history of color technology in motion pictures as it relates to restoration and the long-term conservation of cinema color.
Highlighting the conference this year is a look at the origins of Technicolor, presented by David Pierce of the Media History Digital Library and James Layton of the Museum of Modern Art. The Technicolor process was at the heart of countless Hollywood motion pictures, especially its early musicals. The presentation will be illustrated by many clips of two-color Technicolor sequences from the era, and will culminate with a presentation of the pioneering two-color restoration work by YCM Labs. Barbara Fleuckiger from the University of Zurich, whose project is the recipient of a new grant, will discuss the next generation of research into the history of color and its restoration.
Another centerpiece of the conference is a celebration of Super 8’s 50th birthday, which will examine the role of this small gauge format in cinema history, and display some of the new developments in this analog medium’s future.
The Reel Thing will also pay tribute to The Film Foundation with a special panel discussion. Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, The Film Foundation is an independent initiative on the part of filmmakers to recognize the importance of cinema as an art through advocacy and sponsorship.
Rounding out the program is a look at the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) and Entertainment Identifier Registry (EIDR). As new digital archive models emerge, new practices and tools are needed to manage massive amounts of audio-visual data. Whether trying to achieve consistent color for all time or find one particular object in 10 billion, chances are ACES and EIDR are at the epicenter of the process. Leading experts on the systems behind these acronyms will detail how these tools accomplish traditional archival objectives in the “big data” context of the digital archive. Since process metadata is important to continuing to preserve legacy films, a presentation will examine the use of digital tools to capture the history of the restoration process.
Additionally, several case studies will look at the challenges in restoring the works of Andrzej Wajda, Marcel Ophuls, and the multimedia extravaganza surrounding the inauguration of Disneyland.
For more information, visit www.the-reel-thing.com.