Go back to Oscar Party Archives

March 19, 2003 - March 06, 2004

News & Updates 3/06/04
Step 3: Recuperation
3/06/04, 11:52 pm EST -

TORN LA Gathering 2004 Part III

I write this almost a full week after the events of the Oscar Party and Post-Oscar party have taken place. Most of the TORN staff have returned home and are exhausted, we worked our tails off making sure this party would go off without a hitch. And for the most part it did. Even though we spent most of our time in LA doing backbreaking jobs or working late into the night, we are all incredibly in a post-Oscar depression, the entire staff wants to go back!

Back to my story, I ended off with the whirlwind of events leading up to PJ and the entire LOTR crew leaving our party. They spent more than an hour on stage greeting the fans and taking photos. The entire Legion Hall was in a buzz, everyone was so excited! The VIP room was playing some great tunes as round after round of alcohol was served up. Soon desserts and coffee were making their way onto the buffet table and people began lining up for some. Kathy and I sat with Tinuviel and her husband for a while, the evening was getting on, and we were starting to feel it.

We moved over near the exclusive VIP tent (where no one was allowed in except special guests) and parked ourselves down onto some very comfortable sofas nearby. We tried to peak through the curtains and get Elijah Wood's attention so he could let us in, no go, we were destined to be outsiders.

Just before 2AM the VIP tent and the Legion Hall was beginning to thin out. We noticed some commotion in the press tent area, Lawrence Makoare, Bruce Hopkins and Sala Baker were only just arriving! Apparently the New Line party was extremely dull, the party coordinator was begging people to stay because 'Peter Jackson will be arriving soon' (he was at our party most of the night). Sala, Lawrence and Bruce, not wanting to miss the chance to party with them, ditched the New Line party and got to ours as fast as they could. Unfortunately all of the Oscar winners had long gone, except Elijah and Dominic who partied well into the night with us.

Before security could rush them out of the room they launched up on stage and performed a kiwi ceremonial 'Haka' dance. The crowd loved it!

By this time Kathy and I had become zombies and we slowly made our way back to our hotel. I can't remember much else except hitting the pillow and not moving until the next morning.

Late the next morning I awoke to the sound of my phone ringing, letting the answering machine pick it up I slowly fell out of bed and found the closest source of tea I could get to. After a shower and something to drink I checked my voicemail, it was the NY Daily News, they wanted to do a story about the party. On the way to return my tux my phone rang 3 other times, it was 3 other newspapers that wanted to talk to us about the party. Little did I know it but the LA Times wrote that we were 'the party to be at on Oscar night', that peaked the interest of newspapers around the country and they all wanted to know about it!

The rest of the TORN crew was slowly making their way back to reality but it was a painful morning. We partied hard the night before and Monday would be the official day of recuperation. It was decided that we'd celebrate our party with dinner at 'The Stinking Rose' restaurant in Hollywood. 'The Stinking Rose', if you haven't guessed already, is a garlic themed restaurant. You can have anything you want to eat there, as long as it's garlic-laced.

It was raining all day on Monday, a sharp contrast to the previous two days filled with sunshine and warm weather. We all met at the restaurant and began to tell stories, many of which you'll read about in a special report we're putting together for you.

'Did you see when?...'
'You know who I met?...'
'Where were you when....'

It was great to hear so many different stories all about the same night; it really gives you a better feel for how massive this party truly was.

Calisuri made the first toast of the night, he thanked everyone for their hard work, and proudly quoted the LA Times story. Shortly after that Sala Baker, Lawrence Makoare and Bruce Hopkins strolled in! We were so happy to see them! They sat with us and shared their stories of the night too. Sala even made a small speech apologizing for being so late to our party. Sauron apologizing for his tardiness!

Dinner was fantastic, at one point Bruce Hopkins made a small speech thanking everyone; he then called for champagne all around! Great stuff!

After we had all ate and were content we began to share stories about LOTR. Bruce told us about the ROTK premiere in New Zealand, we told Sala and Lawrence all about the background of TORN. Tehanu even came up with a great new book idea that I cannot share with you at the moment!

All in all the day after the Oscars was almost as memorable as the night before. Being with the core TORN family is, and always will be and amazing experience. Like I told a crying Jincey when we were making our goodbyes, this will NOT be the last time we are all together, I guarantee it.

News & Updates 3/03/04
Step 1: Preperation
3/03/04, 5:21 pm EST -

TORN LA Gathering 2004
Click for more images

I'll try to keep this short since I know you really want to hear about the Oscar Party itself. I cannot comment about the events of this past weekend without mentioning the HARD work and dedication the TORN Staff and volunteers showed out in Los Angeles.

The American Legion Hall was a great location to have the Oscar party, it's large cavernous rooms and winding halls were great for dressing up and decorating to as we saw fit.

As we arrived Saturday morning to begin preparations TORN Volunteer Sarumann and Calisuri led the way by allocating tasks to various people. The heavy lifters were needed to unload 3 truckloads of goodies provided by Sideshow Toys, EA, Houghton Mifflin and others. The 'Goodie Baggins' crew was then needed to open all the boxes and individually prepare 1500 bags for every guest.

Meanwhile the decorating team was turning the Legion Hall into various places in Middle-earth, the Green Dragon, Mordor, Shelob's Cave and other places. The building team was assigned to building a large beacon pyre that we 'set alight' on the roof when the sun went down. The result was so realistic that the fire marshal was called in to investigate!

Meanwhile folks from The One Ring Circus, Dorian Mirth, Emerald Rose, and Lord of the Rhymes each took the stage for sound checks and to practice. The sound crews and engineers were working around them to make sure all was going to work properly.

Arathorn and others were in the cramped control room making sure that the webcast for Oscar Night would work without a hitch. It didn't help that TORN herself went down for the count thanks to a power outage in Kenosha.

Anastasia and the folks at Premiere Events were running around during this entire melee setting up the VIP area and getting the food ready. I saw them cooking chicken and vegetables at 12 noon the next day, talk about preparation!

When the 'Goodie Baggins' crew had finished their hard work in the main hall it needed some serious cleaning. Unfortunately the vacuum provided died before we could get started, so I flew over to the Holiday Inn and asked to borrow one. Muchos thanks for that folks!

By the end of the first day and well into the second the Store was ready to take its first customers....us! TORN staff and Volunteers had to pay for their own shirts (which we all gladly did). At the same time we were able to test out our credit card transactions and make sure all was working well. The auction room was setup and lit to perfection, with the bronzed Gandalf statue taking centre stage.

A large (and I mean LARGE) card was laid out for all the fans to sign, KJ and I took advantage before the doors opened and signed it. I hope you can read it PJ!

The above pictures detail all the pre-party madness, as well as some general shots from Hollywood. I will be adding more images from the Party and After-Party soon. You can also expect a TON of images fro fans to start flooding in soon.

News & Updates 3/26/03
Two Towers - One Party Pictures
3/26/03, 3:20 pm EST -

Our good friend O2THX from LiningUp.net has sent in loads of pictures from the 'Two Towers - One Party.' Check them out! (You'll get a good look at the Golden Gandalf) [More]

News & Updates 3/24/03
Oscar Party 2003: Xoanon's Report
3/24/03, 11:54 pm EST -

Xoanon here from Southern California. Kayjay and I are still in the hotel room recovering from last night's amazing Oscar Party at the Hollywood Athletics Club. Most of TORN is here with us in the hotel including Jincy, Corvar, Calisuri, Gamgee, Gandalf, Thorongil, Arathorn with Lady T. All os us are trying to wake up after staying out all night last night.

I'll give you a quick run down on the party with a promise of a more in-depth report and a whole slew of photos when I get back to TORN HQ.

This year we took over the Hollywood Athletics Club (HAC) as opposed to last year when we had only a select few rooms to play with. The main room was a gigantic auditorium complete with an amazing speaker system and a ceiling mounted screen where we presented the Oscars. This was one of 3 main viewing rooms, along with other smaller TVs all around the club. We had the main hall and registration area set up as Fangorn Forest, complete with trees and errie lights to give it that dark mood.

The entire club was Middle-Earth themed, with rooms called Edoras, the Golden Hall, Rohan, Henneth Annun and The Dead Marshes.

The Dead Marshes was of particular interest. Once a swimming pool, this room now housed a dance floor and bar. We transformed it into a viewing room with dry ice all around to give it a haunted look. Truly wonderful!

The lineup for the party went out the door, around the block and down the street! TORN staffers and volunteers were ready when the doors opened at 4pm. ABC aired it's usual pre-oscar blitz with red carpet coverage. Food was laid out for our many guests, with free beer, wine and soda all night. Quickbeam was our emcee again this year and after a fairly shaky introduction (all in good fun) he stepped onto the main stage in the Golden Hall to welcome everyone to the party!

The Oscars began at 5:30pm, while many of our 1100 guests were still making their way into the club. The night started off with a bang when TTT won for best visual effects!

TTT also picked up best sound editing later on in the night. It lost to Chicago for best film however, but we were content to know that next year will be ours!

All TORN staffers were on a rotating schedule. We hopped around from the silent auction room, to the TORN shop, to VIP rooms and more. It was at around 9:30 when KayJay and I were manning the TORN Shop that Tookish popped in to tell us that John Rhys-Davies (Gimli) had arrived. We were quite surprised by this since he had never confirmed that he would be coming. We didn't even know he was in the US. We patiently did our full hour at the TORN Store then shot upstairs to greet him. He told us that he was working on a small piece for the BBC, and found himself in LA at the time, so why not!

Craig Parker (Haldir) was next to arrive with a very excited Bruce Hopkins (Gamling). They were greeted by press asking questions and adoring fans behind baracades begging for photos. Bruce embraced me like a long lost friend, and was an absolue mad-house of energy. He was fired up from the moment he arrived, and indeed stuck around well after we left!

Billy Boyd (Pippin) and Dominic Monaghan (Merry) were the next to arrive. The roof nearly came off the ceiling when they turned the corner and were greeted by the adoring fans. We followed Billy and Dom up into the VIP area where they unfortunately made their way into the smallest room at the club! They were surrounded by fans and well wishers who wanted photos and a handshake.

About 30 minutes later we heard that Sean Astin (Sam) and his wife had arrived. Little did we know it but as we walked to the VIP entrance we passed right by them. Sean was amazingly gracious and dressed to the hilt in a tux as he had just returned from the Academy Awards. A throng of adoring fans converged around him. When one of them mentioned how they loved his short movie 'The Long and Short of it', he gave them the good news; His short will be seen on the theatrical version of TTT to be relased this August!

Sean immediately wanted to know where Billy and Dom were and we led him to the room they were hunkered down in (still the smallest room in the place). They then all decided to head down to the main room in the Golden Hall and thank all the fans at the party.

The next few minutes was a buzz of bodies, corridors and flashing lights as we led Billy, Dom, Craig, Bruce and Sean (John Rhys-Davies had already left) down to the main hall through secret back entrances. Kayjay and I were then lost amid the swimming masses of body-guards and HAC staff. The next thing I knew, Andy Serkis (Gollum) had arrived and was on stage with Barrie Osbourne, Mark Ordesky, Alan Lee, Jim Reigel, Randy Cook, Grant Major and a whole slew of other WETA talent that was present at the Oscars. How and when they arrived was a mistery to me.

Sean Astin played Emcee for the moment and introduced everyone on stage. The roof nearly DID come off as the crowds cheered for the Oscar winners. They all came to the mic to thank the fans and TheOneRing.net for all the dedication and love. Barrie Osbourne had arranged for Peter Jackson to call in from New Zealand to thank everyone 'in person'. Peter and Fran, along with a whole slew of other NZ talent had opted to stay in New Zealand this year, much to our dissapointment. Peter came on the PA system over a phone line from New Zealand and the crowd erupted in applause. The only problem is that PJ couldn't hear us very well, and we couldn't hear him! It turned into a comedy routine with Sean Astin on the mic saying 'Peter?' and PJ on the loudspeakers saying 'Yes?'. With a big 'thank you' (the only thing we could hear) Peter left the loudspeakers and the LOTR gang left the stage.

We escorted a few of the talent back up to the VIP room while some gathered their limos and headed off into the night. Mark Ordesky and his wife were kind enough to stop by and say 'hi' before leaving for the night.

Kayjay and I headed back to the VIP area and I finally got my chance to shake Barrie Osbourne's hand. We had been playing phone tag in the morning, and I almost missed him at the party. We spoke about ROTK and what they have in store for this coming spring and summer re-shoots. Chris and Dan Hennah were also in attendance. I had met them in Toronto a few months back at the TTT Exhibit. They were as kind and genuine as ever, giving me a few details on the sets they are building and the number of folks currently employed at WETA (scheduled to increase soon).

I was led to our interview room where Craig Parker was signing Oscar posters for us (almost mis-spelling 'Haldir' in the process). We spoke for a while about New Zealand, Canada and accents. I mentioned to him the droves of emails I receive daily from a group of Haldir obsessed women who are petitioning for more Haldir in the TTT Extended DVD. He got a kick out of that, but thought that we'd seen the end of Haldir, Extended Edition or not.

By this time it was coming on to 2am and Kayjay and I (along with the rest of the staff) had been at the HAC on our feet for almost 12 hours. We were beginning to look like zombies as we gathered our things and made our good-byes. Bruce Hopkins was haming it up with a Hobbit standee when we arrived downstairs to leave. He wished me well and asked us not to leave, but at this point I was starting to loose the feeling in my toes. So we departed.

We will have other, more extensive reports about the party last night, on this and other websites. I know I've got a ton more to write about. And a whole camera full of pictures to post. For now I'll leave you with these 12. Enjoy!

Two Towers - One Party
3/24/03, 7:59 pm EST -

I just woke up, and I wanted to report real quick to all those waiting for information. The party went off splendidly! We once again had the Oscar winners and Oscar Nominees involved with Lord of the Rings on stage, as well as new guests; Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Sean Astin, Andy Serkies, John Rhys-Davies, Craig Parker and Bruce Hopkins! Barrie Osborne gratefully accepted our 'Golden Gandalf' statue for excellence in filmmaking, and Peter Jackson called from New Zealand to wish us all well! Emerald Rose brought the house down and everyone walked away with a great 'Goody Baggins.' More details to be posted shortly!

News & Updates 3/21/03
Getting Around! Official Map of 'Two Towers - One Party'
3/21/03, 3:33 am EST -

Click for Larger Version
We've created a little map to help you get around at the party. Don't worry, you won't need to bring this with you. We'll hand you one when you walk in the door. This is just to give you an idea of the layout before the party. Only 2 days away! Woo!

News & Updates 3/20/03
Additional Prizes added from New Line Cinema
3/20/03, 9:42 pm EST -

More prizes for the guests! Thanks to a generous donation from New Line Cinema, we now have a slew of new items to offer in our silent auctions and raffles. Check out this list:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 100 - Mini Posters
100 Mini Teaser Posters
1 XL Black Fleece Pullover with Two Towers logo
1 of each of the 4 Bus Character Shelters featuring Aragorn, Saruman, Gandalf, and Frodo
5 XL 'Frodo Lives' T-Shirts
10 Character Bookmarks (in packs of 5)
1 Sterling Silver Arwen Pendant - Compliments of the New Line Shop 1 Elven Broach (Leaf Pin) - Compliments of the New Line Shop
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003 Promotional Calendars

News & Updates 3/19/03
Oscar Party Raffle Prizes
3/19/03, 8:07 pm EST -

All you happy Party Guests can count on a really fantastic raffle during our Oscar Party event. Just one little ticket and you might walk away with a HUGE prize package. This time the prizes will not be given out piecemeal; but are collected into *big raffle packages.* Each package is different, and each contains a variety of items. [Learn More]

Some Goodies to Wet your Appetite...
3/19/03, 2:30 am EST -

So you have your reservations and you ready to attend the largest fan-run Lord of the Rings celebration ever. Besides the live entertainment and various activities taking place throughout the night, you might ask, "What else can I expect?" How about the opportunity to bid on some of the most sought after collectibles available! [More]

Go back to Oscar Party Archives