What happens when an aspiring production designer, set decorator, and cinematographer collaborate to throw a party? A night of pure magic!
As you can probably guess, I am a HUGE fan of the Lord of the Rings. Experiencing Peter Jackson’s cinematic genius as a child has a lot to do with why I choose to enter the world of film design. I never got over how they brought Tolkien’s historic tale to life in such a creative way.
Flash forward to the year 2021, the 20th anniversary of this groundbreaking trilogy. Of course, this must be met with celebration and merriment. And so, using my birthday as an excuse to throw a party, I approached Tolkien fanatics and fellow creatives Abby & Jeff, and together we hatched a plan. I hope you enjoy this photo-filled and Behind-the-Scenes recounting of the journey to A Night to Remember!
We began with multiple brainstorming sessions, landing on an overall design theme of: What if the Hobbits came to dinner in Rivendell?
Beginning with the color pallet, we knew we wanted to pull heavily from Tolkien’s vintage book cover designs. Charged with designing table settings, the birthday cake, and charcuterie (aka Adult Lunchables as it has come to be known), I set to work watching clips of Bilbo’s 111th birthday and taking a deep dive on Pinterest.
Due to limited time, I decided to outsource the cake to the legendary gals over at Half Baked Co. in Burbank.
They did an incredible job of getting the design details of Bilbo’s cake just right, and to top it off (literally), the golden vanilla with mocha mousse and caramel buttercream was TO DIE FOR!
Combining items from Amazon, Etsy, local craft stores, Trader Joe’s, and even some lost tree bark from my evening strolls, we created many magical centerpieces and tasty delights!
Abby (our resident set decorator and master fabricator!) was in charge of creating one-of-a-kind decorations that included a hand-painted tent, my birthday banner, various hand-painted signs, Lembas bread, and to my surprise–hand-made Elven Fellowship leaf broaches!
Abby worked tirelessly to make every detail exact and beautiful!
Thank you, Abby!
Lastly, no LOTR-themed party could have been complete without FIREWORKS! Jeff (our amazing DP!!) went to work creating the most amazing wall of fairy lights, which he programmed to simulate Billbo’s fireworks for the exact moment when everyone sang happy birthday!
Thank you for sharing this journey with us! May these designs bring more magic to your next celebration!
Enjoy the below Hobbit highlight reel!