Of course you want to know about the equipment. You DON'T want to know about the hours spent waiting in the cold, the heat, the rain, the overcrowdedness. You don't want to know about the randomness quotient that means no matter how good your spot is you have no guarantee of a decent shot. You don't want to know about the low success rate, about how often you'll fail because your reflexes weren't quite good enough, your anticipation wasn't quite sharp enough, your attention was focussed elsewhere when something cool was happening in front of you. Plus you don't want to know about how even a good camera's autofocus can be flummoxed by the distracting lights, the stream of people moving back and forth and around the object of your attention on the carpet, the mobile phones and compact cameras held up high-and-blind by everyone around you, the pictures, posters, DVD covers and other movie memorabilia desperately shoved in front of stars....
You don't want to know how many premieres it takes before you start getting an idea of what goes on, about how much you get pushed and jostled, and how many times you get home cold and wet and reheating leftovers so you can sit down for several HOURS sifting through your photos, culling hundreds and hundreds of them down to a representative thirty or so, editing them and then writing a journal of comments while sleep-deprived at midnight, posting them to The Acclaim of The Internet (seriously... less than 50 views for Sony's latest Spider-Man reboot? Seriously??).
You probably are a bit confused as to Why Exactly I Do This In Light Of The Two Paragraphs Above. Very good question.
But No, you probably just want to know about the camera and lenses so you can nod and go 'ah.... that explains it'. Well, actually it doesn't explain much. But that said....
It started with one camera and a ... macro lens?
And Then it died in the the line of duty and I got an upgrade.
The K10 lasted a full tour of duty in London, only to fall at a (rare) premiere in Sydney. So I replaced it with the Pentax K-5. New and Improved, fresh with More megapixels. Faster autofocus. Better frame-per-second rapidfire shooting. More sensitivity at high-ISOs. And damnit if they weren't right about the 'Improved' bit. Especially in low light. And screw it... I had a dayjob. Throw a 70-200mm f2.8 onto that camera (Tamron.... 'cause I'm not made of money)
And then I thought... why not a second camera?
Why spend valuable microseconds changing lenses in a crowded place when I can have two cameras on me at all times... in a crowded place? And why not have a secondary camera that almost anyone would agree is a better camera than my PRIMARY camera? These are very good questions you're asking...
And then I thought... why not upgrade AGAIN? (on which note, some advice : don't just upgrade for the sake of it. Like... SERIOUSLY)
And then I was given this to use:
So that rounds out the equipment. Nikon, Pentax, if you're reading this : give me an excuse to go monogamous and I/you could make it worth my/your while. Just fix your metering and autofocus, respectively. GoPro? You kind of rock. I just wish it could be a little *more* discreet!
Wanna do this kind of thing yourself? I recommend the following:
1. Fast lens (forget using a flash unless you're into upclose portrait photography) - if you can.
2. Good High-ISO performance (refer above for flash) - even more important than a fast lens.
3. Weather-sealing (if and when it rains) - but I've learned that most cameras are pretty well-made these days.
4. Good autofocus (and/or learn how to prefocus)
5. High Framerate (and/or learn how to anticipate)
6. Spare battery and Spare Memory Cards (format card before every premiere. blame no-one if your run out of batteries)
7. Warm and waterproof clothing (in autumn, winter and spring)
Patience, luck, perseverence, lots of harddrive space, resilience... probably helps if you enjoy movies and photography.
And at least try to look like you're having fun! Otherwise people will think you're REALLY weird.