Changing Location from Osaka to Tokyo ~High demand for film restoration and archive services
As the name implies, this workshop serves the purpose for film restoration and archive. The workshop has been held every summer for curators from museums and galleries, librarians, archivists, researchers, companies and organizations handling old and new media, students and press interested in restoration and archiving film, and all those who not only love film but moving images altogether, as a place for discussing the purpose and latest trends in restoration and archive for moving images, clarifying future tasks, and creating a stronger network among those who joined the workshop.
The very first workshop was held at IMAGICA West, located in Osaka, back in 2006 with lectures from guests in the archiving field and included actual practices as an activity. For the 11th workshop, this year, we moved the workshop to Tokyo due to rising interest in archiving and hoping more people will join to share their knowledge; where in the past, we’ve held the event mainly in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe of the Kansai region. We were honored to host this event along with the committee who has been involved for a long time in this first workshop in Tokyo.
The curriculum for the workshop was similar to the past where students observed and took part in the practical lessons along with lectures on past experiences and new methods. August 26th, Day 1, consisted of observing the facilities and participated in the restoration at Sagamihara branch of National Film Center, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, along with TOKYO KO-ON, Inc., Tokyo Laboratory Ltd., Kyoshin Warehouse Co., Ltd., Takatsu Eigasousyoku Co., Ltd., KADOKAWA DAIEI STUDIO CO., LTD. and IMAGICA Corp.; the following days consisted of lectures and talk sessions at Screening room #1 at IMAGICA’s Tokyo Imaging Center.
Report from Day 3 ~Imaging archive in multiple fields The session “Image archiving for multiple fields ~Broadcast, Animation and experimental films was moderated by Satoko Sekiguchi of IMAGICA on the 28th, the third day of the workshop. For this day’s session, those who has experience in archiving outside of cinema, namely from broadcast, animation, and experimental film, shared their insights with the audience.
Previews for many classic films took place at Screening room #1 at IMAGICA (cap. 143) and it was again filled with students; despite the inclement weather from the approaching typhoon; showing a high interest in the subject. The session was introduced by the moderator, Sekiguchi, “I believe we have a common knowledge within the workshop now that many are working hard under systematic and financial restrictions, as well as the lack of personnel with knowledge and experience in the field. It is important to widen our view on this subject and study how archivists in other media formats have approached these problems. I would like to host this session for that purpose and to study for myself as well.
I hope having so many people from different background joining together will provide you with new discoveries, which is the purpose of this workshop.”
First to present was Ms. Maki Shibata from the Japan Broadcasting Corporation Rights & Archives Management Center Archives Division. The title was “The History of NHK Archives and its Evolution” which presented NHK’s attempt in making the transition to a file-based system on all their assets; in an effort to archive images and programs as a cultural heritage by strengthening their database which began operating in 1985. Following Shibata was Mr. Fumio Shimoyama, chief director of the Japan Broadcasting Corporation Rights & Archives Management Center Archives Division, who gave a presentation “The Relationship Between Film and Imaging Restoration at NHK Archives.” Since NHK’s first broadcast in live feed and film in 1953, they’ve made the transition to VTR in 1958 and in 1999, started restorations of past footages. Actual examples of the image were used to show what was done in restoration and how assets can be revived.
The second theme of the talk was from Mr. Rikio Yoshida, special advisor at TMS ENTERTAINMENT CO., LTD.; an animation production company, presenting the “Process of restoration for Case Closed (Detective Conan) as 4K and its hurdles of data backups.” Case Closed started its TV animation broadcast in 1996 and is one the company’s most popular series matching that of Lupin the Third and Anpanman. Theatrical releases of the series have continued every spring since 1997 and the most recent and 20th film of the installment, Case Closed: The Darkest Nightmare, released this year had the highest box office sales of the series with 6.3 billion yen. The series has been produced on film up until The Phantom of Baker Street, the sixth film released in 2002, and digital production began with Crossroad in the Ancient Capital, the seventh film released in 2003; however, despite the digital production, the master original have been archived on film for the purpose of passing on to the next generation. Advantages of film have been explored in the presentation as well. They have also digitally remastered and broadcasted their first film, The Time Bombed Skyscraper, in 4K; a film originally released in 1997. It was a lecture made to understand the current state of animation with the latest and the finest information.
Mr. Yoshida, who is also the vice chairman of The Association of Japanese Animations, and initiated the “Japanese Animation 100th Anniversary Project,” which will start taking place next year, shared his thoughts on how he plans to work harder in archiving Japanese animation; rich in history.
Experimental film was the final theme of the session. Mr. Go Hirasawa, a researcher from Meiji Gakuin University’s Institute for Language and Culture, was the speaker; who has been studying Japanese underground / independent films from the 60’s. He introduced the students in how he became involved with restoration and archiving films from the 60’s as a researcher and event programmer, as well as how he plans to stay involved. The talk was based on his experience of being a freelance curator and programmer working abroad and provided unique insights of how he is involved with archiving films that rarely can be seen; where he performs co-research with various institutions and finds the budget for restoring and archiving films for screenings, installation and collection and discussed the role underground / independent [including experimental] films plays in the industry.
The “Image archiving for multiple fields ~Broadcast, Animation and experimental film” session was filled with invaluable information which had the students wanting more from the speakers until the last minute of the Q&A session. The programs that followed in the afternoon were titled “Cinema archive with creators in the field” and “How The Seven Samurai was revived,” followed by closing words, reports from the workshop and a film screening to close the three-day program.
IMAGICA hopes to continue to be involved in not only film but other imaging fields by becoming the ambassador to demonstrate the importance of restoration and archiving; as we continue our work in the field. We hope to respond to the increasing demand not only domestically but globally as well.