Event Imaging Creates Green Rain for Global Movie Premiere

Warner Brothers challenged Rooftop Creative to produce an over-the-top visual experience for the MATRIX movie premiere, and the result was spectacular

Inspired by the Matrix code, known in production circles as green rain, the concept for this event was to light up the front-facing facade of the Scotiabank Theatre, mapping high-quality green rain visuals against the building while lighting the interior entranceway and the four-story escalators to make it look as if guests were entering the Matrix. 

“The concept was to light up the front-facing façade of the Scotiabank theatre with the well-known green coding, or green rain as we called it.” 

Joel Nadel, Event Imaging

The folks at Rooftop reached out to their trusted partners at Event Imaging and SAVI Spotlight Audio Visual Services to bring their vision to life. The idea was ambitious, especially in the middle of covid, and because it meant shutting down the North Bound lane of Richmond (and the beloved bike lane) at one of Toronto’s busiest intersections.

Logistical challenges and creative solutions are everyday hurdles for most event professionals, but City Hall runs at its own pace, which turned out to be the biggest obstacle the producers faced. The city took weeks to respond to traffic management plans only to come back with several issues. That turned into a near-constant back and forth with government officials until, with just 48 hours to go, the plan was approved, and the show was on… but with a few edits.

The city would only allow the team to close the bike lane. That meant less space than they had planned for, so producers adjusted yet again to accommodate the regulation. Having thought they had a solid and approved plan in place, they quickly moved forward; then the winds picked up.

80 km/hr played havoc with electrical tents, equipment, and projectors sitting atop heavy-duty 30-foot scissor lifts, and so for the safety of everyone, the team had to bring everything down, forcing them to adjust the event plan once again and recalibrate the graphic projection just an hour before the doors opened.

It took 15 x 32,000 Lumen 4K HD projectors creating a total brightness of 480,000 Lumens projecting over 31 Million pixels across a 40’H x 300’W surface area complimented by 50 led fixtures and 16 moving lights to bring the matrix to life, making it rain green for more than 1500 people who attended in person. The event also attracted national media attention and generated millions of impressions online while creating jobs for the crew, company, and vendors, injecting 100s of thousands of dollars into the local event economy that needed it just before Christmas.

Congrats to the incredible team at Rooftop Creative and Event Imaging and SIVA Spotlight Audio Visual for producing an outstanding event

“The event took us out of our comfort zone, with all the complexities that came with the job. Thanks to the incredible direction put forth by the team leads, we ended up going beyond our expectations and pulled off what was an incredibly successful production.”

Avi Yurman Managing Director, Spotlight Audio Visual Industries Inc

The Challenges

  • An extreme window for setup due to the venue being open to the public. 
  • The team pulled off a five-day install in one and a half days, working overnight with a team of 40. 
  • A request to shut down the northbound lane of Richmond Street took weeks for a response, then requested revisions until two days before the event. 
  • Permits allowed for the absolute minimum throw distance for projection, requiring a redesign of the plans with 48 hours to spare. 
  • 80 km winds threatened to shut down the event and required the team to recalibrate the graphic projection an hour before the show.