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A First in Japan! Color Grading for Dolby Cinema IMAGICA Lab. Tokyo Imaging Center Screening Room 2

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IMAGICA Lab.Inc.
Wataru MATSUMOTO/Manager / Senior Technical Director
Shuichi TAKAHASHI/Screen Room Engineer

IMAGICA Lab. upgraded Screening Room 2’s facilities in the Tokyo Imaging Center, located in Gotanda, Tokyo, making it Japan’s first to offer equipment supporting Dolby Cinema.
Color grading, DCP (Digital Cinema Package) Mastering, and screening services are offered.
Their first project was Japan’s first “Dolby Cinema” color grading of “Fukushima 50” (director: Setsuro WAKAMATSU; starring: Koichi SATO, Ken WATANABE), a film dramatization of the events surrounding the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station during the Great East Japan Earthquake, which opens on March 6, 2020.
Note: “Leaving the Scene” (dir: Yutaka MIZUTANI), for which Dolby Cinema mastering was completed at Vine Theater in Hollywood, appeared in issue #11 last year.

Implementation

MATSUMOTO: We started getting inquiries about using Dolby Cinema about three years ago.
Before then, we’d acquired Dolby’s Certified Facility License and we had Dolby Vision displayed on our monitors, which led us to wonder whether we could do screen work in Japan.
Of course we didn’t have any Dolby Cinema projectors in Japan, but we had the combined research and verification of the color management staff and an experienced colorist.
We began working on several ideas while conducting monitor-based screen emulation.
Our Screening Room 2 supports Dolby Cinema, where we’d been previewing film projection, DCP screening, and data stream, and we incorporated Dolby Cinema screening and grading facilities too.
We also added screens that support Dolby Vision/Projectors and speakers that support ATMOS playback.

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What are some major differences between existing movies and Dolby Cinema?

MATSUMOTO: It was a great experience for us to be able to perform color correction while being able to ensure that the jet-black color corresponded to the dynamic range within the screen standards.
“Fukushima 50” is the first Dolby Cinema production for our company.
It was our first time seeing it on a 4K laser projector in Dolby Cinema, and it was so different.
Not many people have seen it yet, and we’d love for it to reach a wider audience.
Our facilities are such that you don’t have to go to the theater to confirm the completed DCP image.
In terms of testing our upcoming production projects, since we actually have Dolby Cinema projection, we will offer active support to any inquiries. In addition, we can also support Dolby Cinema DCP mastering, and we will offer consistent service for domestic production.

What is the difference in operation procedures?

TAKAHASHI: It isn’t so different to past projectors or DCP playback servers.
The ATMOS speaker placement information for theaters is contained in the DCP, and you can make adjustments based on theater size from the cinema processor side.

Current Schedule

MATSUMOTO: We can perform 4K screen grading in Hokusai, our main grading room, and in Screening Room 2.
Screening Room 2 serves as both a screening room and for Dolby Cinema color grading, so at times there may be scheduling conflicts, but we do our best to accommodate when it happens.

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New System Content

TAKAHASHI: We implemented DaVinci Resolve in our Screening Room 2.
Dolby Cinema projector facility installation took about a week, and Dolby ATMOS speaker installation was split in two stages.
We had to install Subwoofer for the surround sound, so we took 4 days installing 6 in the ceiling, and a week installing one on either side of the screen.
We don’t have a dubbing studio suitable for Dolby ATMOS, but it’s possible to screen ATMOS productions.

Are all Dolby Cinemas 4K HDR?

MATSUMOTO: No, that’s not the case.
There are 2K productions in theaters now, too. 2K DCP is converted to 4K with the projector and is screened with 4K pixelation, so it’s affected by the available contrast, but when you see it coming from a laser light source and a 4K device, the color separation is amazing and the sharpness is remarkable.
Many of our colorists also agree upon seeing it.
I hope that more existing products are converted to Dolby Cinema, and while the condition of the material is important, there’s no need to be locked in to 4K.

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©️2020『Fukushima 50』Production Committee

Fukushima 50

March 3, 2011 2:46PM
Great East Japan Earthquake occurs.
Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant affected, the largest crisis in history.
The foreign media referred to the 50 people fighting the disaster from within the “Fukushima 50.”

Cast: Koichi Sato, Ken Watanabe, Riho Yoshioka, Narumi Yasuda, and others
Director: Setsuro Wakamatsu
Book: Ryusho Kadota
Screenplay: Yoichi Maegawa
Cinematography: Shoji Ehara
Sound: Taro Iwashiro
Distribution: Matsutake, KADOKAWA