The Matrix Resurrections global movie premiere, orchestrated by Warner Brothers Canada (WB), was a groundbreaking event that took center stage in downtown Toronto’s Scotiabank complex. With over 1,500 attendees placed into fourteen individual theatres, this event marked a pivotal moment in cinematic history. It was the first time the venue had granted a full takeover for a movie premiere and the first event to feature advanced screenings of a film on all fourteen screens simultaneously. The occasion was all the more special as it had been over two years since such a grand event had been seen in Canada, owing to the pandemic. Nonetheless, eager guests lined the streets, eagerly awaiting entry into what would become one of the most remarkable and transformative events of recent years.
Rooftop agency, a long-time client of Event Imaging, worked directly with WB and sought an increased role and investment from Event Imaging and SAVI to integrate their creativity and expertise into the overall plan and execution of the global movie premiere. Given the magnitude of the event, with Keanu Reeves attending in person, perfection was the only option. The mandate was clear: “Over the top.” With Scotiabank Theatre as the canvas, the team got to work.
To immerse guests fully in the event and create an unforgettable experience, the team chose to highlight the iconic green rain, symbolic of The Matrix franchise. WB approved a budget of nearly $300,000 to create a projection mapping project that had never been seen before in Toronto. Both inside and outside the theatre, the movie venue was transformed into The Matrix. The result was awe-inspiring, with guests and passersby gawking at the incredible projection mapping and specialty lighting that enveloped the theatre. It was a visual spectacle that left an indelible mark on Toronto’s landscape.
Setting up an event of this magnitude typically takes four to five days. However, the team had only a day and a half due to the theatre being open to the public. Forty staff members were brought in to facilitate the setup, including placing eight heavy-duty scissor lifts on Richmond Street West, each equipped with two HD 4k projectors. These projectors produced a dazzling display of cascading green Matrix code, comprising over thirty-one million pixels across a 40-foot by 300-foot surface area.
Inside the theatre, additional projectors and green lighting were used to bring the green code to life as guests ascended the five-story escalator to their seats. The complex projection mapping utilized over fourteen video outputs and nearly twenty-seven million pixels of video content. Two hundred LED fixtures bathed the interior in green light, all controlled wirelessly.
The event garnered significant media attention, with newspapers and blogs reporting on the spectacular transformation. Blog TO described the event as a visual spectacle achieved through high-definition projection mapping, likening the experience to stepping into a digital world defined by cascading lines of code.
Overcoming numerous challenges, including tight timelines, city permit delays, and unpredictable weather conditions, the team successfully delivered an event that exceeded all expectations. With less than half the time usually required and strict pandemic safety measures in place, they created one of the most brilliant displays of projection mapping and lighting ever seen.
The key objective of the event was to create an immersive visual and physical experience for over 1,500 guests, and this was achieved with flying colours. Keanu Reeves’ presence added to the event’s allure, and over a dozen media outlets covered the premiere. The exterior projection mapping, interior lighting, and staggering visuals ensured that the event lived up to WB’s high standards.
In conclusion, the global movie premiere of The Matrix Resurrections was a testament to creativity, innovation, and meticulous planning. It transformed a movie theatre into a real-life Matrix experience, captivating both attendees and onlookers. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and logistical hurdles, the event’s success demonstrated the power of collaborative teamwork and a shared vision. It will be remembered as one of the most outstanding events of 2021, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in event production.
Jody Litvack – The Making of the Event Vlog