10 December 2016

So Cal Trip day 3 & 4: Twilight Saga Live Auction event

This post requires a little background before get to those two days.

Lionsgate decided to auction off costumes and props from the Twilight Saga movies. The Prop Store was the auction house that was used. The announcement was made at San Diego ComiCon in July where they had some items, referred to as lots, on exhibit. Jack Morrissey had worked his magic and arranged for a selection of lots to be exhibited at Forever Twilight in Forks (FTF) this year; that exhibit was also announced at SDCC. The exhibit was wonderful. The Prop Store staff was informative in answering questions about the lots and about the auction process. There were 900 lots to choose from:  453 from the first three movies, 447 from the two Breaking Dawn movies. The auction was available on line with the live event scheduled over two days, 19 and 20 November where one could also bid via phone, at the Chinese Theater complex in Hollywood. There were two catalogs, one for each day. The catalogs are keepsakes themselves, full color pictures of each lot plus images from the movies of some of the items in use or costume being worn. The catalog provided the first close ups of some costume pieces. 
Catalog link:   http://www.twilightsagaauction.com/catalog.html

Once the announcement was made for the exhibit and auction, general questions were slowly being asked and answered about the auction within the closed FTF Facebook group. Jack was a great resource about the art of collecting movie memorabilia and auctions, as he has been doing so for a number of years.  Matt Truex, Prop Store project manager, was added to the closed FTF Facebook group and answered questions more about the auction process with online and live bidders. It was fascinating. The catalog wasn’t ready until after FTF, but they did tease us with sample pictures of items being brought to Forks. 

Once FTF was over an auction specific closed group on Facebook was set up. Questions became more specific. Anticipation for the catalog release in three formats, available as a PDF to download, interactive with more pictures, and hardcopy, grew. Jack advised on having an overall budget and specific item budget. Jack advised to do research on the item of interest – does it show up on screen, film shown or deleted scene, just background, worn by actor or stunt double. There were discussions about what to do if a ‘really want item’ had a high lot number but didn’t want to miss getting something earlier of interest. Excitement was building. There were some discussions about attending live or save that money to win something.

There were a couple of items I was interested in, practical items that could be used not just put in case for display: bookends and vertical bookcase, both from Edward’s room. And then there were the books that would be display only, movie specific copies of Romero and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and Merchant of Venice and The Bible used for the wedding. Jack had planted the seed in me to attend in person. The timing worked out to go and do some other visits as well to family and friends. I asked Prop Store for permission to take pictures and that was granted, including a press badge! I’ve never had an official press badge before.  I was ready and eager to go.

My goals were to hang out with some Twilight fans at likely the last event in LA area, take pictures at event, make a serious bid on at least one item of interest. Winning an item would be nice but not necessary. If I had not received permission to take pictures, I likely would not have attended the event. Not only permission to take pictures but encouraged with a press badge! My goals were all met. Very happy with the experience.

Saturday, 19 November, was the first day of the live auction. The auction was scheduled to start at 1100hrs. The doors would open about 1000hrs, check in start about 0930hrs. There was a standing banner of Edward to welcome us at one entrance. There was a small exhibit of lots in the lobby.  

We checked in and got our bidder placard from Tami Garcia and Justin Miller. There was a big ‘wolf’ stand-in to greet us at the door. There was a small crowd of people waiting to get in. The only people I recognized were the FTF committee members.


The theater auditorium was set up with a stage that had Bella’s and Edward’s BD2 final battle costume on either side of podium. The screen had image of the lot currently being bid on and in upper right corner bid info. There were tables with computers in pit area for the Prop Store staff along with the camera for the internet streaming service. There was one row of couches with tables a couple of steps up from the pit area. Another step up had one row of regular theater seats with wheelchair gaps, then the regular seats ranged up from there. 

Brandon Alinger, COO Prop Store in LA, introduced the auctioneer, Richard Schur. He had us hold up our placards to make sure he could see them. He explained how the floor bidding would work with the on-line and phone bidders. We would have a 10 min break every 100 lots and continue until lot 453 on Saturday and lot 900 on Sunday completed bidding. And we were off and bidding. Realizing most of us were new to auctions he kept the pace even and maybe a little slow for the first couple hundred lots. He commented intelligently about the items. He was entertaining. He teased out extra bids from some attendees and knew when to stop. It was fascinating. The paced was picked up after the 200 lot break. 

My photography goal was to get some reaction shots when someone in room won. Some were kind of quiet about it. Some surprised they won after intense bidding war. Most of the bidding wars were between on-line bidders and maybe someone in the room. There were a few between in-room bidders. Interesting to watch the others looking between the two, especially when I was one of the bidders. It was clear that people had particular items they were after. Some items went for a lot more than the estimated price. Some hardly had any bids that I figured would be more popular. It was strange. Thinking about it now, that is more likely an indicator of personal meaning, rather than investment collecting. There were some costume lots that did not meet the reserve, so those lots were passed on. Figured out that most likely the reserve was the lowest of estimate price and some got to within $50 of that, but not to that price. 

Ryan Albertson, Sian Taylor, Matt Truex
Matt Truex was the main in-room person for the on-line bidders, raising his hand when an on-line bid came in. He became an unpopular person for that reason at least to those that were bidding in the room. People came and went as day progressed. Food and drinks were brought back. There was a lounge area upstairs to get away from the immediacy of the auction with some snacks and water and sodas. There were about four people that were noting down each winning bid. The first day ended about 2230hrs (10:30pm), I think.

Sunday started again at 1100hrs with lot 454, Volterra door panels. The excitement energy was a little higher than yesterday and grew as got to the battle costumes and near the end. The room excitement and auction fever overtook some of us. I did bid on the few items I was interested in and as got closer to end bid higher than I should have. I did not win any bids, eventually kept my head and heart grounded to reality of pocketbook. I got what I came for, the experience, taking pictures to share, and meet some more Twilight folks. Once all of my items were gone, I approached Ms Andros, FTF committee chair, to donate a portion of my budgeted money to her for lot(s) for Forks. It was the logical thing to do. Some items were missed by $50-$150. If my donation could help her get an item for Forks, that would be money well spent. It did come in useful for her to win a Renesmee costume. 

The last two lots were Bella's and Edward’s battle cuffs and both went to a phone bidder. Don Hill was the phone in-room person. The picture above is of the last bid. The auction ended about 2100hrs (9pm) on Sunday. People went up to stage to get pictures with the auctioneer and the two costumes on the stage. People relaxed and chatted as prepared to leave. It was a very interesting time. Educational. Fun. Intense. 

April Tinnes, Kelly Grable, Richard Schur, Adrienne Spykers, Lissy,Sarah George
No, I don’t know who all got what. A couple of items I was interested in did go to good homes. The final bid on the engagement ring was $14,000. Ms Andros did score final bid on a few lots. The FTF committee and Forks Chamber of Commerce are working on plans for a permanent exhibit. No matter when Twilight Fans visit, they will have a chance to view those items. Join the FTF Facebook group to keep up. Closed group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/forevertwilightinForks/?fref=ts

Thanks go to pre-readers Adrienne Spykers and Lori Hurley Wright to make sure I reported accurately and Christine Bentley Johnston for fresh eyes that didn’t attend the auction and encourage a more personal post.

Thank you to the Prop Store staff that came to Forks and stayed around to answer questions while guarding the exhibit – Matt Truex, Ryan Albertson, Brian Cordoba. They continued to answer question via the Facebook page and emails until the live event and after. Thank you for encouraging me to take pictures at the live auction with the press badge!

One last thank-you here to a most important person, Jack Morrissey. For all the work he has done for Forever Twilight in Forks, for arranging for the auction exhibit at FTF, for encouraging fans about the auction, answering their questions, admin for the Facebook groups, for being the generous and caring person that he is. I feel honored to know you and count you a friend.

1 comment: