Now that the high-budget onslaught from Golden Globe campaigning is finally giving way, studios will once again applaud their own performances with a golden extravagance that’s reaching levels perhaps not seen since the ’30s — the incomparable post-party.
With budgets running as high as $200,000 per party, the once simple celebration has evolved into a slew of mega-galas. Much like their bigscreen products, each studio tries to outdo the other’s glamour in what has become a new staple of the award season.
“The post-parties have increased in number over the last couple of years due to the increased popularity of the awards show, which is now being seen on network television, and the worldwide media attention the event receives,” says Kathy Carpenter, vice president of Merv Griffin Prods. The company has hosted the Golden Globes and subsequent parties in the Beverly Hilton since the ’60s.
“Nowhere else in this city on any other night will you be able to find Hollywood’s A list of film and television stars schmoozing together in one location,” she says. “It’s a great opportunity for the studios to wine and dine Academy members.”
In 1995, only three studios (Disney, Miramax and Paramount) hosted parties, while in ’96 three more jumped on the bandwagon (Columbia/TriStar, MGM and HBO). This year at least seven studios are ready to party.
Four of the galas will be held on the hotel rooftop for the first time, as the studios look for more inventive ways to celebrate, win or lose. In fact, nearly every suite, party room and open space will be consumed by the Golden Globes and their offspring.
“One has only to look at how these parties have grown over the past few years to see how the studios are returning to the old Hollywood tradition of glamour and elegance,” says Carpenter.
Disney has reserved the pool and its vicinity, HBO has laid claim to its usual suite, and others have had to scram-ble for their own niche.
Just as the Golden Globe awards dinner seems to be more relaxed and informal than the Oscar ceremony, the post-parties also seem to invite looser, more “creative” ways of celebration. Recent themes have ranged from piano bars to pool halls to bordellos.
“To date, Miramax hosted the wildest party with its New Orleans- style bordello decor back in 1995 to celebrate the ‘Pulp Fiction’ wins,” says Carpenter. Already, the studios are plotting to match that standard.
“The demand for these receptions from the studios has tripled during the last three years,” says Shaun Robinson, director of catering at the hotel. “The themes will be carried through from decor, uniforms, fabrics and spectacular lighting to provide an unforgettable experience.”
Unlike the Academy Award events, which are dispersed throughout Hollywood, Globe parties are all held at the Hilton. The flood of TV and film celebrities and their eager fans has led to some unusual requests.
“It’s astonishing what kinds of things we have been asked to provide,” says Carpenter. “Stars will sometimes ask for their own private bathroom in order to avoid an awkward confrontation with a fan. Generally we are asked to shuffle a celebrity from one party to another without being seen, just to avoid the paparazzi.”
Studio execs maintain that the blowouts are good for the industry and the studios. “This is about our studio getting together to offer some space to congratulate our nominees, whether they are the winners or not,” says JuliGoodwin, who is organizing the Fine Line post-bash for “Shine.”
Since Globe tix are difficult to come by, Goodwin says the party will start by inviting associates to an awards viewing before moving to the fancier party in honor of the movie.
“With ‘Shine’ being our only nomination, it makes it a little easier to decide on a particular theme,” she says. “Whatever we decide to do, we want to make sure everyone is able to have a good time.”