LOS ANGELES If Angelina Jolie's persona is larger than life, so is her Jason Bourne-type character in the new movie Salt. Appropriately, the summer blockbuster debuted with a premiere that played up the feelings of hugeness and slickness shown in the spy action film from Columbia Pictures. Senior vice president Alison Bossert oversaw the event, tapping 15/40 Productions to lead the dramatic arrivals portion and Benarroch Productions for a glowing red premiere party. “This is a big summer movie and we wanted to throw a dynamic Hollywood party that looked extravagant and felt glamorous and sexy, but in a clever and economical way,” Bossert said.
On the carpet in front of Grauman's Chinese, 15/40 set up 12-foot-tall letters to spell out the film's title for a clearly branded photo backdrop. The black arrivals carpet itself, a whopping 260 feet long, was inset with white lettering that read, “Who Is Salt.”
After the screening for 1,100, where Jolie and Brad Pitt drew considerable in-theater rubbernecking, about 800 guests moved upstairs to the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center for the Benarroch-produced party. The event seemed to evoke the pre-recession age of premiere party grandeur, with red lighting from ELS filling the space, a curving champagne bar from sponsor Vertuze at the entrance, and luxe linens from Wildflower Linens. Wolfgang Puck catered a Russian menu, in keeping with the movie's plot, and screens in a sleek lounge area showed surveillance footage from the film
“We were going for an upscale Russian nightclub feel, with red velvet curtains, ultra-modern furniture groupings, florals with mirrored and crystal vases, a white dance floor, caviar, vodka ice bars, and some Russian themed foods,” Bossert said. “It was also a challenge to create a completely new environment in the frequently used ballroom, to come up with something completely different so people would feel as though they were in an exciting new venue. By utilizing the existing air walls and chandeliers to create rooms within the room we were able to change the look and feel of the architecture of the space before we even brought in decor elements. It was something that has never been done before in quite this way, and the impact was huge.”
Outside the main party space, an Ultimat-sponsored photo station from HD Photobooth snapped guests' mugs with props like wigs, handcuffs, and guns.