As most of you know by now, I had the chance to experience my very first LA red carpet experience this week for the upcoming movie, Pete’s Dragon (opening in theaters 8/12)! Now that I’m back to town, the question I get asked most is…you guessed it… “HOW WAS IT?”
Well, to sum it all up, the entire experience was truly amazing. It was far more than just the fanfare and being around the popular celebrities. It was an opportunity for me to learn so much more about the Disney film making experience, to meet some of the most brilliant people in the industry, to connect with similarly brilliant other bloggers and to just be privy to many of the coolest behind the scenes tidbits that go into the creating the movies my family loves. Yes…it was all of that!
It was also extremely busy! I have to remind my family and friends sometimes that this is actually considered work. It’s work that I love and wouldn’t trade for most things, but it’s still work in the sense that I’m forced to be challenged, think on my toes, and put in the time and effort to be better.
I along with 24 other bloggers, had a jam-packed schedule each day filled with movie screenings, interviews, networking and more. It’s way too much to fit in just one post, so I’ll break each part of the trip down into several posts over the next few days. Here are some of the highlights of our adventure to Los Angeles for the entire Pete’s Dragon Event and my red carpet experience:
Sunday, Aug. 7
- 5:00pm – 6:15pm: Group dinner at the Sheraton Universal Hotel
- 6:45pm: Arrive at the Walt Disney Studios lot
- 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Screening of QUEEN OF KATWE (Side note: it was an amazing movie! Loved, loved, LOVED it! Stay tuned for the review)
Monday, August 8
- 8:30am: Arrive at the ABC Building/breakfast
- 9:00am – 10:30am: THE JUNGLE BOOK Blu-ray bonus features screening immediately followed by a Q+A with Producer Brigham Taylor and Visual Effect Supervisor Rob Legato (You could never imagine all that went into the production of this movie!!!)
- 11:00am – 11:20am: Group interview with Wes Bentley (“Jack”) from PETE’S DRAGON
- 11:30am – 12:00pm: Disney Consumer Products presentation
- 12:00pm – 1:15pm: Lunch at the Rotunda restaurant on the top floor of the Seven Dwarfs building on the lot
- 1:30pm – 1:45pm: Screening of the short INNER WORKINGS (which will play in theatres in front of MOANA) followed by a Q+A with Director Leo Matsuda and Producer Sean Lurie
- 1:45pm – 3:00pm: MOANA Footage Presentation and Drawing Demo with Head of Animation Amy Smeed, Head of Story Dave Pimentel, Story Artist Dave Derrick, “Mini Maui” Animation Supervisor Eric Goldberg and Development Sr. Creative Exec Jessica Julius
- 3:30pm – 4:45pm: Get ready for the PETE’S DRAGON premiere
- 5:30pm – 7:00pm: Premiere party for PETE’S DRAGON at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
- 7:00pm – 9:15pm: Premiere Screening of PETE’S DRAGON at the legendary El Capitan Theatre
Tuesday, August 9
- 8:45am: Arrive at the PETE’S DRAGON press day where breakfast will be served
- 9:00am – 9:20am: Group interview with Bryce Dallas Howard (“Grace” form Pete’s Dragon)
- 9:30am – 9:50am: Group interview with Oakes Fegley (“Pete”) & Oona Laurence (“Natalie”)
- 10:00am – 10:30am: Tour of the El Capitan Theatre
- 11:00am: Arrive at the Walt Disney Studios lot
- 11:15am – 11:45am: Group interview with Auli’i Cravalho (voice of Moana)
- 11:45am – 1:00pm: Lunch at the Disney Commissary & Shopping at the Studio Store
Who couldn’t love a premiere party in LA? We’re talking food, drinks, decor, and of course a who’s who of celebrities in town for the premiere! I’ve been to quite a few celebrity parties before, but one of the differences with this one I’d say is that since it’s a Disney movie, a lot of celebrities were there with their families. I have to say it’s pretty cool seeing them most genuinely in their elements. I couldn’t get pics of everybody there…because the one rule we had was, “Don’t be weird!” So, on the strength of me not trying to be weird, here are some faces you’d recognize.
And then there was that one time I rode a dragon…
The Red Carpet
Ok, here’s a biggie…the red carpet was actually green! It’s usually red, but went with green this time in honor of Pete’s Dragon. It’s also not this thin strip of carpet like you see in the movies. It’s a wide carpeted area with multiple backdrops of the movie, blocked off to everyone besides ticketed guests of the premiere (including celebs) and select media. There’s also a bunch of fans standing near the opening of theater behind the barricades, fully equipped with their cameras and regularly shouting the names of the celebrities in the hopes that they’d glance over for a picture.
Bryce Dallas Howard arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon at the El Capitan Theater.(Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)
The Red Carpet Premiere
Finally, we made it into the legendary El Capitan Theatre for the official premiere of Pete’s Dragon.
In the theater, there’s a man playing an organ (which I learned is affectionately named “Ethel”) while the theatre fills up in anticipation of the movie. At show time, the organ descends into the stage and the curtain opens for the movie.
The energy of the crowd is especially exciting because there are genuine supporters of the film – stars, filmmakers, producers along with their families. We applaud when it starts and we applaud as the credits roll. Just an amazing night and experience I will never forget!
Pete’s Dragon Official Trailer – In Theaters 8/12
Keep up with Disney’s Pete’s Dragon on Social Media:
Like PETE’S DRAGON on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyPetesDragon
Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneypetes
Follow PETE’S DRAGON on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneypetesdragon/
Visit Disney Animation on Tumblr: http://disneyanimation.tumblr.com
Visit the official PETE’S DRAGON website here: http://movies.disney.com/petes-dragon-2016