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A 30th Birthday Party to DIE for!

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A 30th Birthday Party to DIE for!

Postby KyleBPedley » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:02 am

Hi everyone!

I'm new to the boards and wanted to share with you all about my 30th birthday party which we held on Sat 4th February using the 'Lights! Camera! Murder!' mystery pack.

My family, friends and I are real fans of a good murder mystery dinner party; we do on average 3 or 4 a year, and usually for birthdays or celebrations, but I really wanted something different and special for my big 3-0.

It was my first time trying one of the Night of Mystery parties - we had previously just used the boxed sets you can buy off the shelf here in the UK - and everyone had an amazing time. It was fantastic getting to hold an actual party around which everyone in character played out their own investigations and agendas. As much as we enjoy the other style of murder mystery dinner party, there was something liberating and incredibly fun about not all being sat around a table reading from scripts all night.

It made for a much more engaging and entertaining night!

Knowing it was for my 30th, I decided I wanted to go all out with the theming and decorating - we had a giant Oscar statue, a movie poster wall, converted our dining room into a glitzy gold 'ballroom', had a massive tiered Hollywood-themed cake, a genuine 1-1 gold Oscar replica and a series of slightly smaller oscars to hand out at a special Oscar ceremony after we wrapped up the murder mystery, a special suspect board with everyone's names and characters on (and which the evidence was later added to over the course of the evening), a projector playing classic movie clips over the course of the evening, and of course everyone getting dressed up and into character.

When it transpired we had nobody to play Hollywood icon Dana Darling, I even decided I'd drag up for the night - it certainly made it all the more memorable!

I'd also prepared two special posters - one a film poster-esque take on the evening as a whole, and then another special in-universe poster for the fictional Oscar ceremony (hosted by 'M.C. Award'), both of which hung on the walls above the red carpet of the hall entrance - the latter of which I got everybody to sign. Naturally, the red carpet stretched out to the front of the house, too!

And Ben, our very own awards night paparazzi, was there ready to get snaps of Hollywood's finest all night!

I also prepared a lot of flourishes for the evening, including oscar pencils for our glittery ballot box (for people voting on the awards for the evening), popcorn tin party favours, and a special 'The Magic of the Movies' montage which gave the perfect reason for all of the guests to gather in the dining room to watch it - with the lights off, of course... how very perfect for a loud bang and a dead body to be found when the lights go up when it finished!

This montage can be watched over on Youtube at (but please note it won't play on mobiles).

The murder mystery itself was so much fun, and it was amazing to see how much everybody really got into character! I was actually surprised at how some of the guests who I wasn't expecting to do much acting-wise really got stuck in. Having friends come from as far as flying in from Ireland, and having never done a murder mystery with so many people (we ended up with 24 in total) I was naturally a bit reticent beforehand as to how smoothly the night would run, but I have to say, it went perfectly!

Seeing people, including some who have never met before, engaged, in character, hurling insults or sharing jokes/secrets/bribes/scandal made for an hilarious, joyous and unforgettable atmosphere, all set to a pre-arranged soundtrack of movie themes and suitably ominous murder mystery music for the more dramatic moments.

After the murder mystery itself, we morphed the certificates and awards idea into our own Oscar awards ceremony - giving out 7 Oscars on the night in total, these were for:

* Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role (Best Actress)
* Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Best Actor)
* Outstanding Achievement in Production Research (Best Sleuth)
* Outstanding Achievement in Production Budgeting (Moneybags Award)
* Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design - Male (Best Dressed Male)
* Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design - Female (Best Dressed Female)

* Special Lifetime Achievement Award

As with the real Oscars, I prepped a special introduction and musical cue for each award, and had relevant guests present each award. I didn't tell any of them who would be presenting which award, or even if they would be at all, so when the introduction read them out it would be a surprise.

For instance, to present the award for Best Dressed Male, I picked one of the guests who actually works in the costume department for major films in London, as well as another of the guests who is a frequent (and excellent) cosplayer.

The special lifetime achievement award was a surprise award which was not on the ballots and which I presented to my sister Laura, with a special speech that was a mix of fondness and memories, and of course lots of cheeky jokes and jibes!

As someone who has loved Film from a very early age, did my University degree in Film Production, and who has stayed up every year to watch the Oscars (even though it's on at 1am - 5am here in the UK, haha!), going for a Hollywood / Oscars theme was a no-brainer. I'd originally planned to have an Oscars-themed party for my 30th, anyway, so when I saw Night of Mystery did one that was set at that very theme, it became an absolute must-do!

Everyone who attended had an absolutely amazing time, and it's all we've been talking about since.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photos (which were incredibly difficult to whittle down, there's over 400 in total haha) and it would be a real honour to be considered for the 'Party of the Month' contest, especially having seen some of the incredible parties and efforts people have gone to in previous submissions/winners.

Until the photos get added, they can be found in the following dropbox link:

Thanks! And of course, thanks to Night of Mystery for providing us with such a fantastic, high-quality and entertaining Murder Mystery kit and experience! :D :)
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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:55 am

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