The Great Gatsby Premiere
Producing the Premiere Party for The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby accurately captures the spirit of the Roaring Twenties through the telling of the story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who is known for his over-the-top parties—and Baz
Luhrmann’s film adaptation does a masterful job of bringing that vivacity to life on the big screen.
Our job was to channel all of that energy and extravagance into a premiere party worthy of carrying Gatsby’s name, so we began by transforming The Plaza Hotel into none other than his own mansion.
Recreating Jay Gatsby’s World
Guests were first invited to stroll through a ballroom that had taken on
new life as Gatsby’s garden, complete with topiaries, cobblestone effects, and the sounds of crackling gravel and chirping birds. They then walked through custom designed doors inspired by the title treatment of the movie poster, leading into Gatsby’s mansion. As guests entered the party they were greeted with an eight-tiered Champagne tower covered in coupe glasses full of Moët & Chandon, complete with a character right from the film on top holding a magnum bottle of Champagne. Walking into a transformed ballroom, guests looked around to see thousands of butterflies suspended from the ceiling. At the center of the ballroom was a gorgeous ten-foot diameter chandelier created with oversized feather plumes, cascading white orchids and crystal accents. An eight-piece band brought everything to life with its upbeat 1920’s music. Custom Art Deco furniture by designer8* Event Furniture Rental really tied the room together, and guests had a chance to dine on a meal taken straight from a 1920s Plaza Hotel cookbook. Between the roaring band and the brilliant dancers, who were wearing the official costumes from the set of the movie, the premiere party was truly outrageous. We can only hope that Jay Gatsby would have been proud.
Reliving the ‘20s
But what really sent the party over the top was its late-night transformation into a sexy 1920s speakeasy. Our team had just a few minutes to transform the elegant ballroom into a dark seedy speakeasy. As the stage curtains closed, the Moet Parade began as each of the dancers and members from the band walked through the room, each carrying an oversized champagne bottle lit up with sparklers. Linens were pulled off the high standing cocktail tables to reveal vintage bourbon barrels. The stage curtains parted to reveal an aged brick wall with DJ Cassidy at center stage. As the lights faded to a deep red, everyone was transported into an underground speakeasy without ever having to leave the ballroom.
The entire evening, from the moment the movie started until the last light flickered out at the
Plaza, was designed as a tribute to The Great Gatsby and a celebration of the Roaring Twenties, and every element came together to make it just that.