Imaginaerum News
All about the Imaginaerum movie
Imaginaerum to launch in German cinemas
Imaginaerum will be shown all across Germany in event-screenings starting on March 18th. Tickets are already available from the movie theater chains listed below. More participating theaters will be added in the days to come!

Our international fans should note that unless stated otherwise, assume that the movie will be shown in german language!

» CinemaxX
» UCI Kinowelt
» CineStar
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Imaginaerum premiere in Germany [update]
The long-awaited Nightwish movie “Imaginaerum” will have its German premiere at the “Kino in der KulturBrauerei” in Berlin, on February 11, 2013. Marco and Tuomas will be present for the premiere.

Screening in German cinemas will start on march, 18th.

More details about the German premiere:

Monday, February 11th, 2013
Kino in der KulturBrauerei, Berlin
19:30 CET doors open, 20:00 CET start
Tickets are available at the movie theater

Update: Tickets are now also available online through the link below. Also, please note that the language of the movie is English!

» Buy tickets online
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Imaginaerum update
Dear friends of Imaginaerum.

This will be the last update for the production of the movie. As the premiere has already seen the daylight in Finland and the film is still to be opened in many other countries, hopefully near you, it goes without saying that the dream has finally been fulfilled. It has been an empty moment releasing this baby called Imaginaerum for all, myself, the production companies and for Nightwish. We made a fantastic roller coaster ride in both, real life and on screen.

Every step of this movie is in fact a miracle. From the day Tuomas and I had a meeting about thirteen music videos to seeking funding, traveling around the globe to seek possible partners, ending up in Canada where the production was close to be dropped, shooting, editing in Finland, going back to Montreal for visual effects, Helsinki for music, working throughout the spring and getting a first version out in may 2012, Nightwish investing more to finish the visuals properly, more editing, to the point where we were working day and night throughout the last summer to get this baby finished in coloring and sound mix. In all the stages of the film more and more sacrifices were made. However, like Tuomas once nicely stated "Everything will come together one day". And it did.

Imaginaerum is not a just a fanfilm, quite frankly it's far from it and it does raise emotions. Either you love it or you hate it. However, that single idea alone is the base for modern filmmaking and even music. You choose what it is that makes you tick. Imaginaerum is definitely not a film for the critics as it does not have a traditional storyline. But it indeed has a prominent story and will take you deeper, if you're willing to wait for the ravelling of the story and the safe opening. The film holds a universal theme of what is most important in life and it does not look for how you are being categorized, how known you are or what do you do for living. This could very well be anyone's story.

The story holds something very important within that we have to remember in our everyday life. We know what our most important things are, but we start ignoring them as we see these things every day. It also creates subconscious fear of losing the these things and we never realize they're gone until they really are. The power of memories and imagination are the things that keep us going until the very end. They are things we base our lives on and eventually they define us.

This movie is important, not just because making it was fun or painstaking at times and we felt the triumph of it all at the end, or because we gained many life lasting friends while doing it, but because we have something dear to us hidden within. Our concept for the power of imagination, memories and unconditional love. The fact that Nightwish as a band has poured every single bit of them into this movie, and trusted me and the crew to hide these details as well as we can, the ride reaches much deeper than most of us can imagine. When you're out there look for these details because they are there, and will be whenever you watch the film.

Standing in the in the highest tower of Imaginaerum looking back at the crossroads with the sign and saying to myself "Wow... what a ride that was!".
See you at the cinemas.

Stobe Harju, The director.
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Here it is, the official "Imaginaerum by Nightwish" theatrical trailer!
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Imaginaerum poster revealed
Without further ado, we present to you the official poster for the upcoming Imaginaerum movie!
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Imaginaerum by Nightwish: The Score, now on presale!
The soundtrack for the movie will be released in 9th November 2012.

CLICK HERE and listen to the samples on youtube! If you like what you're hearing, you can pre-order the score from the official Nightwish Shop (worldwide shipping!):
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Press Release August 23, 2012

The long-awaited Nightwish movie Imaginaerum will have its “flying” premiere at Hartwall Arena, Helsinki, Finland, on November 10, 2012, as the audience will be treated to both a full-scale Nightwish concert and the world premiere of the movie.

Eagerly anticipated around the world, Imaginaerum creates a musical fantasy world in the vein of David Lynch, Neil Gaiman, and Cirque du Soleil. The movie is an innovative mixture of story-telling and music, an extraordinary tale of the power of imagination… and what’s ultimately important in life.

Shot and post-produced in Canada, the movie was directed by Stobe Harju and produced by Solar Films, and features appearances by all Nightwish members. The screenplay is based on a wild vision that Tuomas Holopainen, the mastermind of the band, devised after the album Dark Passion Play came out in 2007.

“I though of how we could take our expression that had already became pretty ambitious and grandiose to the next level, and that’s when I knew I wanted to tell a story, and to tell it with love and piety.”

According to Holopainen, finishing the movie has been an eventful and challenging journey that has sometimes demanded superhuman dedication from the production crew.

“I want to already thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. Together we’ve managed to create something innovative, strange, and timeless”, Holopainen states.

Imaginaerum will be screened at the Hartwall Arena on November 10, preceded by a show by Nightwish themselves, their last concert in Finland this year. The Finnish theatrical premiere of the movie is scheduled for November 23.

The official soundtrack of the movie, Imaginaerum by Nightwish - The Score will be released on the day before the premiere, Friday, November 9. The album features 13 grandiose, unreleased re-interpretations of Imaginaerum tracks by Petri Alanko.

Nightwish have sold over seven million albums internationally and received over 60 Gold and Platinum awards, making them the most successful Finnish Rock band of all time.

Director Stobe Harju tells about the movie in English:

Event production: Solar Films Inc. and Eastway Sound & Lighting.

Hartwall Areena, Helsinki (Areenankuja 1)
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Doors: 6 PM, Showtime: 8 PM, Movie: 10.15 PM.
Tickets: 59 € + costs

Tickets available on Monday, September 10, 9 AM Finnish time (CET+2) from:
Presale until September 6, 15 PM Finnish time (CET+2):

VIP package sales and inquiries:


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Imaginaerum update
Dear friends of Imaginaerum movie.
A massive amount of things have happened since the last update. Actually, more than ever.
I'm writing this from a hotel room in Los Angeles as I am doing casting for my next project really starting right after Imaginaerum is finished and in the bag to reach all you fantastic people.
This spring, we were in a hurry to finish the film already in May. It turned out that we still had a lot to give for this movie and so we brought in an extra pair of hands to finish some of the visual effects we were missing. Alchemy 24 joined in to help us with our goal of making this movie to look even better and to help our vfx supervisor to create something very special. I also stepped back into the editing booth with Mathieu and we solved some loose ends in the story and trimmed a couple of scenes closer to what was originally intended. Petri has modified the soundtrack a little to fit the cut. We put the final coloring and the sound mix on hold waiting for August.
Here we are now. As I fly back to Montreal this wednesday, I will face an impossible emotional situation where I have to finally finalize the film, grab it and fly back to Finland with it. This will be happening by the end of August as it still takes couple of weeks to do.
We are really onto something here. As you all have been so patient with the movie so far, and you have understood what it really means to finish something as well as you can once you already have been working on it for 4,5 years and sometimes you really feel like letting go. With Nightwish and Tuomas we have been on this road for too long not to finish the journey like we planned in the beginning. We would not be who we are today, if we would give up on a dream like this.
I feel I am almost forced to give you as many tweet on the final days as possible so that you will know, how the story ends. There will be a lot of blood, shedding tears, but above all, joy. We have finally passed the sign in the cross roads and are approaching the finishing line that says Welcome to Imaginaerum. What happened on that road, will be a story that will be shared with you.
Stobe Harju
The Director
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Imaginaerum Teaser Trailer
The first teaser trailer for Nightwish's "Imaginaerum" movie is out now! Turn up the volume, set your player to full-screen and enjoy!

Additionally, the movie's official website has been launched at

» Watch the teaser trailer
» Visit the official website
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Imaginaerum Update
Hi everyone, it's Petri Alanko here. Since July 2011 I've been working on Imaginaerum The Movie soundtrack based on the album multitrack sessions and the original songs by Tuomas (and one by Marco). I'm afraid some of my text will be more or less technical mumbo-jumbo, but I'll try and keep it as readable as it's humanly possible for yours truly.

A brief history: I met Stobe Harju whilst working with Remedy Entertainment's "Alan Wake" XBOX game for which I composed the soundtrack. I worked briefly, yet closely with Stobe during the game's cinematic cue production phase. To be honest, he must have enjoyed to make me cry, really. Every visual thing he ever showed me brought me to tears. Obviously he didn't hate me much, as I'm here again - and it's been a damn funky ride! Better than any theme park ride, this; at times you feel the wind on your face and things just couldn't come any better, no matter what you do. Then there's that one occasional moment of "how the eff do I turn this 16 bar riff into a 9 minute monster?", a thought repeatedly waking me up at nights for what seemed like a week. Oh, the agony - and how simple and elegant the solution eventually was! A lot of things have just clicked, which makes this one of my most enjoyable jobs ever and definitely the most original one. What I do is a passion, not a profession. I do make a living out of it, but without the spark that ignites me the living would suck.

Indeed, the sparks were many in this project. Let me elaborate a bit.

The process of turning an album track full of orchestra, keyboards, bass, guitars, Uilleann pipes, percussion and vocals into a mayhem of grief, misery, joy, yearning or wonder is not an easy one. It's a method of analysis combined with the gut feeling, at its best. I think I utilized some serious "blinking" (quick decisioning, a term borrowed from Malcolm Gladwell) during the pre-production phase: I had to listen to and through every single track of every song on Nightwish's Imaginaerum ProTools multitrack sessions - and cut out and paint green every "ok" snippet. If a certain thing sounded like it would benefit from further processing, I'd paint it orange or yellow, depending on my mindset (or a process anticipated for that particular cutout). Yellow meant simply "retune", orange "beat the shit out of it no matter what". Retuning usually meant throwing pitches around until the original sample was no longer recognizable… The decisions had to be made presto prestissimo, as I rapidly understood the more I thought of something, the more the original idea dissolved.

I remember one day particularly well, in the very beginning. I had been working on a single track for the whole day, drinking about 7-8 espresso shots, and finally the last track was cut into grays (no-go), greens, yellows and oranges. The arrange page seemed a bit crowded, so I decided to select only the colored sections… and I think I crapped my pants a bit then: there were - I just checked this - 1073 tiny sections separated from their original tracks, in one song alone. Multiply that number by the amount of songs on the album, and you come across with a number such as about 12773, which my "Imaginaerum raw material" folder tells me whenever I hit cmd-I. (The size of the folder is 7.94 GB, by the way. That's a lot of raw material, in other words.) After a weekend off, I did a second run for the material, and to my surprise, I didn't have to do much additions or corrections.

Some of those snippets were then turned into keymaps, them into instruments, instruments were combined to form multi-instruments - and little by little I had managed to develop myself a virtual Nightwish! Well, not really, as they were only single sounds, not pieces of performances as such. However, I did create some tempo-lockable guitar/bass instruments, shredding Nightwish riffs from one key only - and I could switch the key while they played - but these instruments were often used underneath the orchestral sections, to provide some extra "oomph", and you can _not_ hear them playing solo anywhere on the soundtrack. What's loud and sounds like a guitar or bass, it's Emppu or Marco. Period. I did similar stuff for Jukka's drums (again tempolockable) but this time I ran a lot of his stuff through different resonators and filters. Often I took the tom tracks only, picked up a rhythm from his playing and used that rhythm to control the pitches I was putting into a resonator by a keyboard. The result sounds like a percussive huge bass instrument and must be heard to believe… also, some of the vocals were turned into choirs or manic chanting. Marco's demonic "down down, deeper down" in Ghostriver redefined word "scary" after a treatment. You wouldn't want to hear that at night, I promise. At least my neighbour didn't - and he lived 20 meters away. Lived. Moved. Marco's chanting is used on a dark gray field, by the way... I did use "commercial libraries" as well, but wanted to rely on what I had on the Imaginaerum hard drive.

(A side note: I was constantly amazed throughout the process due to the fact every song still sounds like a proper Nightwish track, thanks to the strong personalities behind the performances. You can't fade or mutilate true passion. Period.)

It's probably pointless to say the number of tracks per song/cue turned into nightmarish amounts pretty soon after I had started. I've never been a fan of "let's just put that trendy Casio shit on and sing on top of it" method, and Nightwish are even less so. These two combined = oh holy crap and a thousand portaloos… "Last Ride Of The Day" alone had 327 tracks altogether when it went to mix, of which about 100 from the band itself, and the rest was put in to emphasize the action of the scene in which it was needed. In some cases I had to keep two spare computers running Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 (a virtual instrument networking application, not an orchestra plugin), slaved to my master computer. Yes, master had two slaves - hmm... I wish I had some assistants, too.

I know some of you keep on repeating "Why all this hassle? Why must that nasty bloke destroy everything we love?", I'm sure. Movie scores are a different beast. It's not about egotripping or hating original music (I _love_ it, by the way, I, too, am a fan. "Hello, my name is Petri and I'm a Nightwish fan."), it's about emphasizing the picture and the storyline. Grabbing the essence and rebuilding emotions selectively onto that. Some wiser man (must have been my piano teacher) said movie scores build tools for "dissecting the dreams we see and turn them into consolations or encouragement". There are two (well, three to be honest) tracks that were left as is: Slow, Love, Slow and Scaretale. The third is I Want My Tears Back, sort of.

One by one the songs of Imaginaerum The Album have reformed - transformed - into a soundtrack. It hasn't been easy - and hey, it shouldn't have been; in creative field, comfort zones are for suckers and nine-to-five people. One has to trust the "gut feeling", though. No use to choose the hard way just because it's there. Some things have transformed themselves almost by accident, whereas some have taken a slightly longer time. It's been a damn good ride, and there are still a few good curves ahead - but I can already see the final straight of this rollercoaster, and all you people waiting for your turn on the platform, soon joining the ride. I'm thrilled to be a tiny part of your experience.

There have been a few times when I've wished there was a shotgun in my studio, but only a few. Much more often it was the wind machine that was missed. Or a wedge monitor on the floor onto which to rest my leg. Or a fog machine. A multi-kilowatt PA. A crowd of >20000 people... Heh, the amount of air guitar played in this room has months ago gone through the roof. The end result is going to sound magical, and fear not: I cannot spoil any of it, the original songs and themes are that strong. I'm mixing/cutting the fourth reel (of five) and I can't wait to see this on the big screen.

To be a part of this realising dream is a privilege, and I cannot express my gratitude and pride in an appropriate way; sometimes words just _aren't_ enough. I hope the soundtrack recites wiser words than what I just did.

"My god, it's full of sparks!"

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