Finnish/Swedish symphonic metallers NIGHTWISH recently spent time not only putting finishing touches to their new album, "Imaginarium", but also planning a movie of the same name. If all goes well, the CD will be released in early 2012, to be followed by the movie at some
point further down the line. The first single off the album as well as the trailer for the film should arrive well before the end of 2011.
"Imaginarium" is one of the projects which recently received grants from the Finnish government institution called the Finnish Film Foundation. The movie, directed by Stobe Harju, about an old man on his deathbed who glimpses a childhood dream in which he refuses to grow old, and fights aging with his imagination, will get $575,000 toward its $3.7 million budget.
The Finnish Film Foundation grants support for professional Finnish film production. The Foundation's goal is to promote high-quality, versatile and unique Finnish film. The support can be granted for feature-length, short and episodic fiction, documentary, animation and children's films.
The production support is granted for the writing of a film script, development of a film project, the actual production of a film and for the marketing and distribution of the film in Finland. The Foundation also grants post-release support on the basis of a film's total attendance.
In a brand new update on the band's official web site, NIGHTWISH states, "Secretly we all hoped that at some point we would be able to say this aloud: The dream is about to become reality! It's been a hard battle beyond all measures, as it is in all projects this size, but
finally creativity and heart took over the evil called money.
"'Imaginarium' will be shot in September in a location we still need to keep as a secret but it will be quite far from our homely Finland and Sweden.
"The casting of the characters is now done. The cast is chosen not only because of their talent but because of the personal passion of everyone involved.
"The actors and their representatives have been overly enthusiastic about the auditions after reading the script. We believe many of you will be very surprised once you see the final result and the story behind it.
"This long journey began more than three years ago, and neither NIGHTWISH or Stobe had a clear idea of where the path would lead. The script is now fantastic. It's about life, and the little spark of light you see during the darkest and most hopeless times. The same spark we've had to find over and over again during the process of making this film happen.
"The production crew is a group of professionals with one aim only: To realize the original vision of 'Imaginarium' that Tuomas [Holopainen, NIGHTWISH keyboardist/main songwriter] and Stobe had. All the pieces of the puzzle are now on the tables, and the building of the props, costume design, schedule planning, special FX production, dialogue and band performance rehearsals, etc. has begun.
"It's easy to shed some tears while writing this, since we now know the story will have an ending after all.
"'She spins around elegantly, softly. The chords are now found and something that was broken never needed to be fixed.'"
On the topic of the movie score, it was previously revealed that Holopainen was working on variations with Petri Alanko, renowned for his prize-winning music for the "Alan Wake" video game. The score will be based on the songs on the album and their main themes in a way that — like many other things with the "Imaginarium" movie — is a first in the history of motion pictures.
NIGHTWISH will kick off the "Imaginarium" world tour in Los Angeles. The very first show of the trek will take place at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, California on
Saturday, January 21. This will be the biggest NIGHTWISH show production ever on North American soil and strictly a one-off — there will be no U.S. tour until later in 2012.