LOS ANGELES Paramount's new picture Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is 147 minutes of intense, nonstop visual and aural stimulation. So naturally, the studio's event team would arrange a premiere along those same lines. The event on Monday night was part of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
“We wanted to capture what [director] Michael Bay captures in his films: visually appealing, stunty, and impressive,” said director of special events Elizabeth Tramontozzi, who worked with manager Amy Baker, coordinator Samantha Kolker, and assistant Jacob Marez. “We wanted to take those elements and have them be what the premiere felt like.”
For simultaneous screenings at Mann's Village and Bruin theaters in Westwood, the arrivals took over Broxton Avenue with a spectacle that drew fans, U.C.L.A. students, and passersby to crowd all surrounding sidewalks. Tramontozzi tapped 15/40 Productions to design a 200-foot-long machinery-inspired arrivals area in a double-sided horseshoe design to accommodate a throng of press. A pair of the robot-vehicles from the movie flanked a double-sided 125-foot-long metal step-and-repeat wall. Fans were penned on both sides of the carpet, and occupied bleachers at the top.
After the screenings began shortly after 7 p.m., and guests nibbled on popcorn from giant tubs emblazoned with the Transformers-logo, a team of 40 from 15/40 dismantled the arrivals setup and—if you will—transformed it into a red carpet entrance for the party for 1,300 guests.
After the screenings ended, guests filtered out of the theaters for a short walk up the block to the Le Conte parking lot, where the eye-popping party was set. At one end, 15/40 set up a 40-foot-tall illuminated truss pyramid—a nod to the movie's Egyptian setting. The truss stood over a circle bar and lounge seating area. At the other end, the 14-foot-tall Bumble Bee Transformer character stood surrounded by an illuminated metal architectural sculpture wall. DJ Bizzy spun, and sponsor LG provided plasma screens. Sponsors Ultimat Vodka, Heineken, and Monster Energy Drink poured their beverages at the bars.
To further evoke the Middle East theme from the movie, Wolfgang Puck catered Mediterranean-style buffets with hummus, falafel, kebabs, couscous, and pita. Puck's dessert buffets sat alongside Peet's coffee and tea.
“One thing that was very special about this movie was that is was shot in Egypt, so we wanted to draw from that. We also wanted it to be sleek and sexy and cool," Tramontozzi said.
Shortly after the party began, around 10 p.m., Linkin Park (who has a song on the Transformers soundtrack) took the stage for a high-energy, booming performance that reverberated through the streets of Westwood. About 3,000 fans (ticketed through an underground promotion) gathered to watch and listen to the five-song show.
“The challenge with the event was that there were so many people involved on the studio side, vendor side, Linkin Park, their management and label, the L.A. Film Festival, [performance producer] Live Nation. Internally, everybody at the studio was involved with this event,” said Tramontozzi, explaining that it was Paramount's biggest premiere of the summer in terms of scale and budget. Now that it's over, she said Tuesday morning, ”Everybody is over-the-roof thrilled.”