IMAX and Pathé Live in partnership with Mercury Studios and Queen Films have digitally remastered a film of Queen performing in Montreal in 1981 exclusively for IMAX distribution. “Queen Rock Montreal” is being shown in 400 IMAX theatres across the world over a four-day period from January 18th – 21st

The producers say, “this exhilarating live concert from 1981 is a window into Queen in their most unalloyed form, giving audiences a larger-than-life, front-row immersive experience.” The film was digitally re-mastered for the first time into the image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience®.

OnSight provided full picture post on the film including grading, restoration and remastering for the giant screen.

Initially OnSight provided Mercury Studios and Head of Post Production Rosie Holley, with some remastering tests of the film back at the beginning of 2019.

On the back of these tests, Simon Craddock, OnSight’s MD, introduced Mercury Studio’s to the IMAX team later that year.

Most of the restoration and remastering work was completed by OnSight during the Covid-19 lockdown back in 2020 but it still took some time to make it to IMAX. Silver Salt assisted with preliminary film fixes and an open gate 4K scan of the 35mm film print was used to create the full height IMAX version of this historic Queen performance. Revealing new parts of the original frame, extensive restoration was required before finishing and enhancement work could begin. Following grain reduction and image processing a fresh colour grade was applied by Senior colourist Andy Lee, thereby digitally re-mastering the look of the film to fulfil the IMAX Experience® technical requirements. Working directly with IMAX, OnSight optimized for the IMAX format and delivered the film for additional adjustments using proprietary IMAX tools for further image enhancement including the IMAX DMR® (Digital Media Remastering) process.

“Working on this special project has been a labour of love and technical first for Mercury Studios. We were in safe hands with OnSight with their vast experience working with IMAX on big screen presentations, they were able to support the collaboration with IMAX on a technical level with the patience and expertise a project and artist of this calibre deserve, it’s been an absolute pleasure.” – Rosie Holley, Head of Post Production, Mercury Studios.


Jon Creamer

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