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EDCF LA Tour 2023 Summary

LA Tour 2023

After a three-year break, the EDCF LA Tour resumed very successfully on 20-21 April 2023. 29 participants visited nine locations and companies in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Burbank, and Culver City.

Thanks to Thomas MacCalla and David Hancock all meetings were perfectly prepared. The overall organisation of the tight schedule and the bus transportation was managed by Juergen Burghardt, EDCF general secretary.

The meetings and presentations by high-level representatives of all companies and organisations were informative, intensive, and very well received by the participants.

During the two-day bus tour, the following companies were visited: Paramount, IMAX, Academy Museum, Amazon Studios, Dolby, Deluxe, TCL, ASC, Sony Pictures.

Although the details of the discussions and presentations cannot be published in this report, an overview of the meetings is given here.


Location: Lost Angeles

Not only technology issues were discussed on e.g. immersive sound, projection technology, 4k-8k etc. but also the challenges of how to get moviegoers back into theatres. Home Cinema, large displays at home, and streaming services are increasingly competing against the big screen in cinemas


Location: Lost Angeles

During the tour of the IMAX facilities, the group gained interesting insights into IMAX production workflows, distribution, and the marketing concept. Due to the pandemic, the IMAX program has included more local content than in previous years. Also, more work such as post-production was localized, especially in the Asian market and India.

Academy Museum

Location: Los Angeles

During the 90-minute guided tour, the group was able to get a brief impression of the very interesting exhibitions of the Academy Museum. The history of famous films, actors, film characters, costumes and special effects awakened the memories of many film fans. Most of the people commented:
“I have to come back for at least a whole day or more to explore the whole museum. Visiting the Academy Museum is a must for anyone interested in cinema and film”.

The tour of the Academic Museum ended with a group photo on the open roof of the very special cinema building with its 1000-seat cinema hall.

Amazon Studios

Location: Culver City

The very impressive tour of the Amazon facilities also included a visit to the projection room with all projection equipment from film to high-end projection.

The large theatre with its 300nit LED screen is one of the most impressive installations of its kind in the world.


Location: Burbank

Dolby gave an overview of the technology and services for cinemas. Dolby Atmos was released 13 years ago as one of the first object-based audio systems and is now in version 3.

Dolby Vison includes HDR with laser projection for high contrast and greater color volume.

Dolby Live supports events such as sports or concerts


Location: Los Angeles

The Glen Glen Theatre provided a perfect venue for presentations and screenings of the latest projection technology. Especially the Barco light steering technology that enables HDR projection for the cinema of the future. Many “one-to-one” comparisons of SDR and HDR footage were shown, convincing the group of the quality of HDR cinema. However, the debates about when HDR will become mainstream in the future and how much it will cost continued after the screening ended.


Location: Hollywood

TCL showed examples of its MX4D theatre marketing concept. The audience is attracted to an immersive experience with bright projection, moving chairs, and blowing wind.

Films are specially post-processed to add the rocking chair effect. Other applications also use the special effects, such as e-sports events, special advertising and increasingly accepted gamer sessions with live networked gaming experiences. Specifically for gaming, the MX4D theatre is equipped with all common gaming consoles and additional information screens to the left and right of the screen.


Location: Hollywood

After the TCL demo, a part of the group improvised a stop-over the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Clubhouse. This iconic building in Hollywood contains some iconic names from the history of cinema. The attendees were shown around the site to discover the activities and history of the ASC; a glimpse into the history of film-making and cameras was an interesting part of that. As a cherry on the cake, we each got our “Instagram moment” holding a real Oscar

Sony Pictures

Location: Culver City

An interesting discussion gave some insights into the focus of Sony Pictures. There is not yet a streaming service of its own. The main focus is still on films for cinema screenings and high-quality productions. These include animated films and also 3D.  The company has already returned to 100% after the pandemic and all employees have returned to work.

Future Technology topics were also discussed in some detail e.g. HDR and HFR.

The tour ended with a social gathering at the Bossa Nova Restaurant after two long days, with many interesting conversations with positive feedback from all group members, and looking forward to the EDCF LA Tour 2024.

Juergen Burghardt, EDCF general secretary, April 30th 2023

Photo credit: Jürgen Burghardt, Stéphane Salzinger, Patrick von Sychowski, and others.