A wrap party is a big celebration a movie company has when a project closes (wraps). I have been to a couple of wrap parties before. The one for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was probably the most significant. I was quite unprepared for what I had the fortune to participate to last Saturday: the Pixar wrap party for UP!
It took place in two separate theatres. The first one, the Paramount theatre, held the screening. Walking in, I realised we were walking into a very old and beautiful theatre. There were easily over two thousands guests. Everyone was dressed intimidatingly fancy, except for a few people in movie-related costumes. The scale of the event was impressive.
There was a raffle, where the winners could get a ride on a zeppelin over San Francisco, and alas, I did not win. Then there was a talk from some of the people involved in the creation of this movie. John Lasseter (the first animator at Pixar and the current CCO) can be very entertaining.
Then the screening started. They showed the teaser of Toy Story 3, which is what I am currently working on, and then the delightful animated short Partly Cloudy.
I'm not going to spoil the movie, but there are very beautiful parts, I cried twice, and I still feel tears about to come out when I think of it. Overall I liked it. I thought it is surprisingly different from the other Pixar movies... assuming one could define what the a Pixar movie is like.
After the screening we walked to the Fox theatre, just two blocks away. The streets were closed, only for us. Passers by freaked out seeing all of a sudden over two thousand people in tuxedos and dresses, and huge spot lights pointing to the sky were showing the way there. There were balloon stalls on the streets as well, and retro cars parked all around to create more atmosphere.
Once inside, the theatre was, if possible, even more impressive (what are such nice theatres doing in Oakland anyway?). They were serving Chinese entrees and delicious sushi, made right on the spot. Later came some small portions of custard and brownies. There was open bar but other than a few individuals, it did not seem like people were taking much advantage of it. I guess that is good. The crowd was sometimes overwhelming, especially around the food. There was a big band, playing songs from the "Belle Epoque" of the early 20th century, that got later replaced by a DJ playing pop, rap and club music.
The party ended all too quickly. Or at least if felt like, since we were there really since 5pm until 2am.
Here are some hundreds of pictures, from the people who participated.