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EVENT REPORT

New Chrysler Sponsorship Dictates Look for NBC Universal/Focus Features Golden Globes Party

Photo: Dale Wilcox

The NBC Universal and Focus Features Golden Globes party returned to its usual real estate atop the Beverly Hilton's garage on Sunday night—but this time with a new sponsor. Taking over for Cartier was Chrysler, whose addition to the invitation necessitated a change in the design concept to suit the brand and show off its new Chrysler 300 crossover vehicle. NBC's Francine Spray, Universal's Hollace Davids, and Focus Features' Jade Alex oversaw the event, tapping Angel City Designs again to produce and design it.

“When Chrysler came aboard, they were very specific in terms of what they wanted the event to look like, since they're underwriting it,” said Angel City Designs' Mark Yumkas, whose company had originally created designs with a New England look back in October, with no sponsor in mind. “So we went from the Cape Cod look with everything in sharp angles, to black and white with a little bit of steel blue and everything round, because of the model of the car.” The design changed in November when the sponsorship agreement was finalized.

Light fixtures (which Angel City Designed dubbed “reverse chandeliers”) had a light-box-like look, with an etched, filigree design lit from within. The main bar was round, with a circular tiered back. Raised furniture pods in the corners were also curvilinear, and Barcelona-style black and white furniture filled the space. ”It's a lot darker, a little more formal,” said Yumkas, as compared with the original plans.

Three Chryslers, including the new crossover, were on display—two black and one white, two in the carpet and one in an outdoor lounge. One served as a signing board for stars to autograph, and will later go to charity. Because the party space is actually a parking garage, the cars could be driven (rather than craned) up to the rooftop, with the vehicle in the lounge brought in days ahead to beat the tent installation. Most of the rest of the production elements were driven up to the space in a brigade of trucks with low trailers. As for the budget, it was the same as last year's event, “to the penny,” said Yumkas. “The challenge was that we now had to include in that budget the lighting and platforming of three cars as if you were at the L.A. car show, lit showroom quality.”

The event brought about 300 guests to watch the ceremony, and an additional 400 or so for the party afterward. The fire marshal monitored the capacity in the packed hotel property throughout the evening, though it was Yumkas's opinion that the new tented party for Fox atop the adjacent Robinsons-May Building—the seventh major party in the immediate area—helped ease and disperse the traffic.

Annette Bening, Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, Blake Underwood, the casts of The Office and Outsourced, Alec Baldwin, and Tina Fey were among the guests.


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