On the California-Nevada state border, in a seedy motel, seven strangers come looking for redemption before it’s too late. The new film, Bad Times at the El Royale, may sound dark, but thanks to our premiere lighting, its premiere event was decidedly not!
With two different environments on either side of the California-Nevada divide created by event producer Jennifer Wang of JWang Consulting, lighting would be a major design element that united the two looks into one cohesive event. Working closely with Wang, our lighting designer Nicholas Blasi had a lot of fun bringing the personalities of California and Nevada to light.
The line between the two was drawn – literally — in the pool of The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Being such an integral part of the film and the design story, Blasi encouraged the use of a floating material for the line and lettering rather than projecting gobos so they would be clearly defined. The static floating element worked perfectly and even had an unexpected side benefit. When they were hit with light, the letters were reflected on the bottom of the pool making the entire effect even more dramatic.
The line divided the pool area into California circa 1960s with a beach feel on one side of the pool. Here, the furnishings were retro, surfboards were set upright and uplit in warm amber tones, with vintage atomic style starbursts which created a finishing touch over the buffet.
Situated right along the California-Nevada line was a DJ on the roof with a prop from the film of the motel’s neon sign on one side and a jukebox that took requests from party guests.
On the other side of the pool, Nevada was portrayed by Las Vegas elements such as shimmering columns of beads, retro furniture, casino games with custom made purple felt, and casino themed neon signs all bathed in purple lighting with string lights over the bar area.
Gobo projections of palm fronds in both amber and purple on their respective sides of the border added another layer both in design and in helping to further tie the areas together.
Above it all, palm trees swayed and The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s own neon sign glowed red against the night sky, as the hotel easily slipping into character for its film noir role as a stand-in for one night as the El Royale.
Event Production/Design: JWang Consulting | Venue: The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel | Lighting: Images by Lighting, LD Nicholas Blasi | Sound: CBC Technical | Furniture Rental: Blueprint Studios | Linens: BBJ Linens | Neon Signage: Heaven or Las Vegas | Casino Games: South Bay Casino Rentals | Photos: Line 8 Photography