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.