The new studio Overture Films went for positive thinking for the theme of its first picture, Mad Money, which stars Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, and Queen Latifah, and premiered at Mann's Village Theatre in Westwood on Wednesday night. Overture's Tonya Toone oversaw the event, with production by Wendy Creed.
The cash theme revealed itself early: When guests picked up their tickets from Will Call, they found Mad Money-themed California Lottery tickets in their envelopes. Following the screening of the film—about a crew of working-class ladies who steal from the feds—guests packed onto shuttles for a short trip over to Royce Hall on the UCLA campus for the premiere party.
Guests entered the building through faux metal detectors and found flat-screen monitors throughout the space showing black-and-white footage of the party—gags intended to mimic the security measures at the federal bank depicted in the movie.
A handful of distinct areas at Royce Hall made up the party space, including the foyer (where guests sampled food from the money carts central to the film's theft plot) and a tented terrace area, all dressed in black and white, with a fireplace created for the occasion. Even the venue's stage, which Creed refashioned into a dimly lit nightclub-like area, was available for party guests to explore.
Images of money appeared on most available surfaces: covering serving trays, within frames on the walls, and used as wallpaper. Real shredded bills—supplied to Overture and in turn to Creed by the Federal Reserve—filled vases and served as decor, as did stacks of cash. Faux pearls spilled from bowls on tabletops.
To mimic the movie's theme of three women working together, chefs Nancy Silverton (from Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza), Suzanne Tracht (from Jar), and Carolynn Spence (from Chateau Marmont) joined forces themselves to create an uncommonly high-end food spread for a premiere party.
Jar's buffets included lemongrass chicken, duck fried rice, and roasted asparagus; Chateau Marmont offered a chopped winter salad, seafood paella, orecchiette with fennel pork sausage, and broccoli rabe; and Pizzeria/Osteria Mozza's station featured caprese salad, Brussels sprouts with prosciutto breadcrumbs, beets with horseradish, and baby peppers stuffed with tuna. Meanwhile, a desert table sat relatively untouched alongside a bulk candy buffet (now one of Creed's signature tricks), which was swarmed with guests scooping the stuff into clear bags as snacks or takeaways.