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Lord of the Wingding: The Rings DVD Party

August 6, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Creative Coalition benefit and Lord of the Rings DVD release party The Boathouse in Central Park Monday, 08.05.02, 6:30 PM onward
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The scene looked straight out of a movie: An armada of 20 rowboats crossed Central Park Lake at dusk, with dark-hooded inhabitants making their way through a veil of fog by the light of lanterns as music swelled in the background. Actually, it was supposed to be reminiscent of a movie—The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, to be exact. At the Boathouse in Central Park, the scene was part of an event that served as both a benefit for the Creative Coalition and a launch party for the movie's DVD.

Inside, the d?cor was simple: White cloths covered the tables, and white votive candles and videocassette boxes of the movie served as cheapie centerpieces. Movie posters were propped up on easels, and in one corner a huge movie screen bore the film's logo. (Later in the evening it was used to show a 10-minute clip of behind-the-scenes footage of the film trilogy's next installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.)

But it was the transformation of the lake into the atmosphere reminiscent of “Middle-earth,” the setting of the famous Tolkien books, that was the evening's big production. (It was also the hardest part to photograph—unfortunately, nothing we shot quite captured it. Sorry.) Five Star Theatrical Services arranged for the armada of boats, filled with actors from Goldstar Management dressed as Middle-earth residents who delivered the DVDs right to the event. Fog machines blew fog onto the lake (actually, the fog blew off of the lake, thanks to an uncooperative breeze), while a laser light show took place and Howard Shore's movie score played, adding to the dramatic effect. The actors then roamed throughout the Boathouse, much to the delight of the kids on hand.

Waiters passed hors d'oeuvres of spinach pie, potato crisps with caviar and cr?me fraiche, and marinated chicken skewers to the 300 guests, including New Line Cinema founder Bob Shaye, New Line Home Entertainment president Stephen Einhorn and Creative Coalition president William Baldwin. A buffet dinner featured roast turkey with cranberry sauce and various pastas.

Erika Rasmusson

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