According to Variety.com, NIGHTWISH's much-anticipated musical "Imaginarium" is one of the projects which have 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.
If all goes well, NIGHTWISH's "Imaginarium" album 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.
In a May 2011 posting on NIGHTWISH's official web site, it was revealed that "location scouting" for the "Imaginarium" movie was already underway. In addition, the production crew was "strengthened by people who have extensive knowledge of post-production technology." This was considered to be crucial, because the shoot and post-production are expected to be extremely complex and technically challenging. One of the characters in the movie which "will surely be remembered by many a NIGHTWISH fan," according to a posting on the band's web site will also need special attention from the animation department.
On the topic of the movie score, it was revealed that NIGHTWISH keyboardist/main songwriter Tuomas 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.