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IMAGICA Wins Sci-Tech Academy Award(R) For its Printer


Written by: IMAGICA USA, INC.
Date: January 10, 2002


Category: Press Releases

IMAGICA USA INC. - The Magic Lab
5320 McConnell Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90066, USA

Multi-Format Optical Wetgate Printer Selected by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Printers Operate at IMAGICA USA INC. (Los Angeles) and IMAGICA CORP. (Tokyo)

Los Angeles, Calif., Jan. 10, 2002 -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has named IMAGICA CORP. to receive an Academy Plaque for a Scientific and Engineering Award on the strengths of its Multi-Format Optical Wetgate Printer.

On Jan. 4, AMPAS named Makoto Tsukada, Shoji Kaneko and the Technical Staff of IMAGICA CORP., along with Daijiro Fujie of Nikon Corp., for "engineering excellence and the impact on the motion picture industry of the IMAGICA 65/35 Multi-Format Optical Printer... This liquid-gate optical printer offers ease of set-up and change-over to various formats from 35mm to 65mm with both additive and subtractive lamp houses."

IMAGICA's first Multi-Format Wetgate Optical Printer was built at the IMAGICA CORP. Tokyo facility in the early 1980s. It was subsequently modified and enhanced, and a second version installed in 1992 at IMAGICA USA INC., Los Angeles. Establishing the second printer in Los Angeles, the center of the film industry, has helped bring new vitality to the "large format" or "giant screen" niche of the film business. By making it possible to create quality conversions of films in multiple 65mm formats, the printer has stimulated growth and diversity in this area, enlarging the potential distribution market for each film and supporting a wider variety of theater systems.

"Ten years ago, it was extremely difficult to obtain a large format print in anything except 15/70," explains Christopher Reyna, president of IMAGICA USA INC. " Theaters with 8/70 systems had an especially hard time getting launched, because they couldn't get films. The only quality format conversion services were at IMAGICA CORP. in Tokyo. It was hard for the industry to move ahead. Bringing the optical wetgate printer to Los Angeles changed all that. Today, most major large format films are released in 8/70 and 10/70 as well as 15/70."

Reyna adds, "This award-winning optical wetgate printer is the one Disney chose to create both the 8/70 and the 15/70-dome conversions of Beauty and The Beast, which opened in 100 large format theaters around the world Jan. 1. That's a fundamental change from what Disney did with the large format release of Fantasia/2000, two years earlier. Fantasia was released in 15/70 only. It showed in 75 theaters. In the time since then, 8/70 format has become much more popular, especially with commercial exhibitors. Producers and distributors realize they're leaving money on the table if they don't cross-platform their films. Considering that the number of large format theaters worldwide is about 300, an increase of 25 theaters is extremely significant."

Reyna first became involved with IMAGICA CORP. in 1986, when he worked with the company in Tokyo to convert the film Chronos. It was the first cross-printing of a large format film from 15/70 to 8/70.

Makoto Tsukada and Shoji Kaneko of IMAGICA CORP., Christopher Reyna of IMAGICA USA INC., and Daijiro Fujie of Nikon Corp. will be present to receive the award at a black-tie ceremony on Sat., March 2 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif..

The official AMPAS press release may be viewed at the following link:

IMAGICA CORP., Tokyo, is the largest, oldest, and most respected advanced film laboratory facility in Japan. From the early 1980s to the present, IMAGICA CORP. has pioneered large format post production services, in addition to operating in 16/35mm film, video and HDTV formats. The name IMAGICA has long stood for innovations in film and digital technology.

In 1992, Christopher Reyna started IMAGICA USA INC. in Los Angeles to service the specialty film industry in the Western hemisphere and other world markets. IMAGICA USA INC. was the first-ever, 65/35mm optical and digital effects facility, featuring the enhanced version of the Multi-Format Optical Wetgate Printer now recognized by AMPAS, as well as other innovative, proprietary equipment such as the 65/35mm Multi-Format BIGFOOT Film Scanner. To date, IMAGICA USA INC. has worked on more than 400 projects, including more than 50 format conversions.

For more information, contact:
Christopher Reyna, President, IMAGICA USA INC.

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