The 35th edition of The Reel Thing technical symposium returns to Los Angeles on August 20-22, with two full days of top-tier sessions that include discussions about preservation of media assets and in-depth, visually documented 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 an established 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 community of archivists, technologists and preservationists who come together at The Reel Thing explore emerging developments critical to their work, 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. This presentation is lavishly 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 an important 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 exciting 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 by contributing advocacy and sponsorship to its survival.

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 technical and philological challenges in restoring the works of Andrzej Wajda, Marcel Ophuls, and the multimedia extravaganza surrounding the inauguration of Disneyland. There will also be examples of restoration and re-animation of more informal films – personal stories and road trips – that demonstrate the different approach that this tradition evokes.

Speakers are expected to include Alex Forsythe from the AMPAS Science & Technology Council; Michael Pogorzelski and Heather Linville from the AMPAS Film Archive; Margaret Bodde and Jennifer Ahn of The Film Foundation; Richard W. Kroon of the Entertainment Identifier Registry Association; Mike Inchalik, CEO of PurePix Images; Alexander Petukhov from the University of Georgia; Inna Kozlov of Algosoft Tech USA; Pawel Smietanka at Filmoteka Narodowa; Franz Hoeller from HS-ART Digital; Wojtek Janio of Fixafilm; Taylor Whitney of Preserving the Past, LLC; Rhonda Vigeant of Pro8mm; John Polito from Audio Mechanics; Richard Dayton and Eric Aijala of YCM Labs; Jayson Wall of WDC; and Laurence Cook of Metacirque, among others.

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About The Reel Thing
Curated by Grover Crisp and Michael Friend, The Reel Thing addresses current thinking and the most advanced practical examples of progress in the field of preservation, restoration and media conservation, creating a common ground for discussion and evaluation of methodologies so that informed decisions can be made about when and how to deploy both traditional and emerging technologies. The Reel Thing has been presented all across the United States, as well as Europe and South America, since its inception in 1994. For more information, visit

About AMIA
AMIA is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the preservation and use of moving image media. As the world’s largest association of professional media archivists, AMIA brings together a broad range of experts and institutions in a single forum to address the best ways to preserve our media heritage. For more information, visit