26 Apr - The 'Captain America : Civil War' European Premiere

April 24th (two days earlier) : After queueing from early Sunday morning to get a wristband for Tuesday's premiere, I eventually got to the front of the queue after some two hours, and was given a choice of wristband corresponding to one of four parts of the ground floor shown on a map. I pointed at the second floor and asked the people handing out the wristbands "what about upstairs?" because that's where I was last year for Age of Ultron, and that pretty much ROCKED.

This is the view you want (well... you might want to be a bit closer to the stage, given a choice. That hanging shield is HUGE)

This is the view you want (well... you might want to be a bit closer to the stage, given a choice. That hanging shield is HUGE)

But... no wristbands for ustairs, they responded. So my plan would be : show up early on Tuesday and head upstairs. Also, because I trust that people are generally either wrong (or evil), just to be on the safe side, I grabbed one for downstairs anyway. In a shitty pen in a shitty position, mind you....

And then....

April 25th (one day before premiere)

Wow. Thanks Westfield. And here I am, having come in on Sunday wanting precisely one of those... farq.

Wow. Thanks Westfield. And here I am, having come in on Sunday wanting precisely one of those... farq.

April 26. I returned to Westfield with one ambition : get a balcony spot. Somehow. Whether by asking politely, whining politely, appealing to the better nature of security personnel,  or perhaps doing what one of my friends had cleverly done : find somebody with an upstairs wristband who wanted to trade for a downtairs wristband.

How did that work out for me?

Funny you should ask....

Through a combination of finding two sympathetic souls in the Security Detail upstairs (!!) and a French woman so willing to get a photograph with Jeremy Renner she swapped me her Grey Upstairs wristband for my Green Downstairs wristband. And I had my spot. And... damnit if Westfield weren't right. The view here is GREAT. Life is (provisionally) good.

Through a combination of finding two sympathetic souls in the Security Detail upstairs (!!) and a French woman so willing to get a photograph with Jeremy Renner she swapped me her Grey Upstairs wristband for my Green Downstairs wristband. And I had my spot. And... damnit if Westfield weren't right. The view here is GREAT. Life is (provisionally) good.

"You say we've got five hours to figure this jigsaw puzzle out? I don't want to alarm anyone but... uh..."

"You say we've got five hours to figure this jigsaw puzzle out? I don't want to alarm anyone but... uh..."

" 'Nice Cosplay?? How dare you! We're legitimate heroes. Just... you know... don't tell anyone our secret identities. We can't afford to get sued by Disney/Marvel"

" 'Nice Cosplay?? How dare you! We're legitimate heroes. Just... you know... don't tell anyone our secret identities. We can't afford to get sued by Disney/Marvel"

At last year's Age of Ultron premiere, somebody made a giant Hulkbuster out of balloons. Looks like they've done it again with Captain America this time.... I don't think he did anything similar for the Ant-Man premiere ... but then I guess that might have been deliberately minimalist.

At last year's Age of Ultron premiere, somebody made a giant Hulkbuster out of balloons. Looks like they've done it again with Captain America this time.... I don't think he did anything similar for the Ant-Man premiere ... but then I guess that might have been deliberately minimalist.

"Laugh it up girls... but Sebastian Stan WILL be mine tonight..." Rather surprisingly (or rather not necessarily so given I don't really understand teenage girls), it's Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier who ended up getting the loudest cheer of the evening.

"Laugh it up girls... but Sebastian Stan WILL be mine tonight..." Rather surprisingly (or rather not necessarily so given I don't really understand teenage girls), it's Sebastian Stan as The Winter Soldier who ended up getting the loudest cheer of the evening.

"Unless this movie has a decapitation, a three-way, and Anthony Mackie snorting heroin, this is going to be a pretty lame-ass war, Civil or Otherwise" Marvel's bad-boy Deadpool has been the surprise left-field release in the superhero genre this year. Actually, Batman v Superman was also a surprise in that it was even more dumb than expected.

"Unless this movie has a decapitation, a three-way, and Anthony Mackie snorting heroin, this is going to be a pretty lame-ass war, Civil or Otherwise" Marvel's bad-boy Deadpool has been the surprise left-field release in the superhero genre this year. Actually, Batman v Superman was also a surprise in that it was even more dumb than expected.

'Yoyoyoyo. if you wanna make some noise for my free-ness wielding sidekick while I spin up some mad rhymez, please do so". Your friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Red Fish Blue Fish was indahouse as per usual, and the freeness was of a particularly high calibre today. Or at least the lady cheerfully holding it was.

'Yoyoyoyo. if you wanna make some noise for my free-ness wielding sidekick while I spin up some mad rhymez, please do so". Your friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Red Fish Blue Fish was indahouse as per usual, and the freeness was of a particularly high calibre today. Or at least the lady cheerfully holding it was.

And then, after having spent some seven (?) or eight (?) hours stationary but for a brief lunch trip in order to safeguard my hard fought-for-and-won spot... it finally began. (woo!)

"Is Aquaman going to show up?"

"Is Aquaman going to show up?"

Our first arrival - Tom Holland - is the new Spider-Man, and he looks all of about fourteen years old.

Our first arrival - Tom Holland - is the new Spider-Man, and he looks all of about fourteen years old.

"Mum won't let me watch Deadpool, but I hear it's excellent" - I've only photographed Tom Holland once, at last year's 'In The Heart Of The Sea" premiere.

"Mum won't let me watch Deadpool, but I hear it's excellent" - I've only photographed Tom Holland once, at last year's 'In The Heart Of The Sea" premiere.

"You best know me for my dry British accent, but let me just say : Wassup Mah Homeyz?" Paul Bettany was once Jarvis, Iron Man's disembodied butler, but after Avengers Age of Ultron he now plays the role of everyone's favourite Deus Ex Machina 'Vision' in the ever-more-complicated Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"You best know me for my dry British accent, but let me just say : Wassup Mah Homeyz?" Paul Bettany was once Jarvis, Iron Man's disembodied butler, but after Avengers Age of Ultron he now plays the role of everyone's favourite Deus Ex Machina 'Vision' in the ever-more-complicated Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"I'm not painting my face purple any more often than I have to, but you gotta be happy with the colour of the glasses at least?"

"I'm not painting my face purple any more often than I have to, but you gotta be happy with the colour of the glasses at least?"

"If I sign over the top of the mouth symbolically, maybe it'll reduce the number of quips he comes out with....?"

"If I sign over the top of the mouth symbolically, maybe it'll reduce the number of quips he comes out with....?"

"I'm actually twenty years old, so yes I'm totally allowed to be looking at this website without Mum's permission"

"I'm actually twenty years old, so yes I'm totally allowed to be looking at this website without Mum's permission"

"No... I'm not sure who this "Zemo" person is either. But I play him in the movie. And it's a four-letter name, so it's particularly easy to trademark and copyright". Daniel Bruhl (or "Brühl" because I believe names with umlauts are cool) has arrived.

"No... I'm not sure who this "Zemo" person is either. But I play him in the movie. And it's a four-letter name, so it's particularly easy to trademark and copyright". Daniel Bruhl (or "Brühl" because I believe names with umlauts are cool) has arrived.

Daniel Brühl needs to help to weave around the carpet - he was excellent as Austrian F1 champ Niki Lauda in the hugely underrated Ron Howard movie "Rush" (which also starred Thor's Chris Hemsworth in a non-Demigod capacity)

Daniel Brühl needs to help to weave around the carpet - he was excellent as Austrian F1 champ Niki Lauda in the hugely underrated Ron Howard movie "Rush" (which also starred Thor's Chris Hemsworth in a non-Demigod capacity)

Our next arrival is Elizabeth Olsen who I first photographed at last year's "Avengers Age of Ultron" premiere. However we also shared what I'd like to claim as "A Moment" earlier this year at The Elle Style Awards.

Our next arrival is Elizabeth Olsen who I first photographed at last year's "Avengers Age of Ultron" premiere. However we also shared what I'd like to claim as "A Moment" earlier this year at The Elle Style Awards.

That moment when you're faced with a cordon of VIP red carpet photographers but yours truly on the first floor is the only person you're looking at. It's a nice feeling, if it wasn't also coupled with the suspicion that it's the weirdness of me shooting this premiere on a Pentax that might be contributing

That moment when you're faced with a cordon of VIP red carpet photographers but yours truly on the first floor is the only person you're looking at. It's a nice feeling, if it wasn't also coupled with the suspicion that it's the weirdness of me shooting this premiere on a Pentax that might be contributing

Anthony and Joe Russo co-directed this movie, as well as the (rightfully) very highly regarded Captain America Winter Soldier. My brother and I mostly collaborate on Christmas and Birthday presents for family members. That goes really well, but the budget isn't exactly Marvel-size...

Anthony and Joe Russo co-directed this movie, as well as the (rightfully) very highly regarded Captain America Winter Soldier. My brother and I mostly collaborate on Christmas and Birthday presents for family members. That goes really well, but the budget isn't exactly Marvel-size...

"Please stop referring to this movie as "Avengers 2.5" - we're only using 80% of the Avengers, and additionally introducing only about half a dozen new ones."

"Please stop referring to this movie as "Avengers 2.5" - we're only using 80% of the Avengers, and additionally introducing only about half a dozen new ones."

I hadn't photographed Emily VanCamp before, but she was Agent 13 (or "Kate") in Winter Soldier. And the mosaic style of the dress she's wearing is both vaguely hypnotic and fantastic for the contrast-detect autofocus on my Pentax.

I hadn't photographed Emily VanCamp before, but she was Agent 13 (or "Kate") in Winter Soldier. And the mosaic style of the dress she's wearing is both vaguely hypnotic and fantastic for the contrast-detect autofocus on my Pentax.

"Hail Hydra. Wait... are we still doing that?" Yet another in the cavalcade of arrivals : Jeremy Renner, and he's arguably everyone's least favourite Avenger. Then again his presence at this premiere motivated a French girl to switch wristbands with me, so I'm pretty happy he came.

"Hail Hydra. Wait... are we still doing that?" Yet another in the cavalcade of arrivals : Jeremy Renner, and he's arguably everyone's least favourite Avenger. Then again his presence at this premiere motivated a French girl to switch wristbands with me, so I'm pretty happy he came.

"I'm actually thinking of opening up a chain of farmstay vacation homesteads so if you and your band of powerful friends ever get bored, or tired, or need to lay low after nearly causing the destruction of Earth (again), you can stay at one"

"I'm actually thinking of opening up a chain of farmstay vacation homesteads so if you and your band of powerful friends ever get bored, or tired, or need to lay low after nearly causing the destruction of Earth (again), you can stay at one"

Paul Rudd, meanwhile, plays Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I believe his beard has a small but vital role in upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones

Paul Rudd, meanwhile, plays Ant-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I believe his beard has a small but vital role in upcoming episodes of Game of Thrones

"I'm very proud of my beard, and I'm always pleased when it finds roles that I'm too busy to audition for"

"I'm very proud of my beard, and I'm always pleased when it finds roles that I'm too busy to audition for"

To the sounds of deafening screams in frequency ranges that right now are altering migratory flight paths of geese in Siberia , our next arrival is The Winter Soldier, aka Bucky, aka Bucky Barnes, aka actor Sebastian Stan!!

To the sounds of deafening screams in frequency ranges that right now are altering migratory flight paths of geese in Siberia , our next arrival is The Winter Soldier, aka Bucky, aka Bucky Barnes, aka actor Sebastian Stan!!

"And can you located the guy or gal in the crowd here who hated Batman v Superman the most?" Possibly true. I don't think it's safe for Davd S Goyer and I to be in the same city anymore.

"And can you located the guy or gal in the crowd here who hated Batman v Superman the most?" Possibly true. I don't think it's safe for Davd S Goyer and I to be in the same city anymore.

"Am I hot enough for you? Cool enough?.... oh, wait. Wrong part of the crowd....."

"Am I hot enough for you? Cool enough?.... oh, wait. Wrong part of the crowd....."

"Marry Me! Marry all of us! Hug Me! Provide feeback on our grumpy cat meme sheet! Please don't leave! We're not weird! You're cool! We Love You!.... I should probably stop talking now.."

"Marry Me! Marry all of us! Hug Me! Provide feeback on our grumpy cat meme sheet! Please don't leave! We're not weird! You're cool! We Love You!.... I should probably stop talking now.."

"Hey! They're using all the pickup lines *I* was going to use on Sebastian!"

"Hey! They're using all the pickup lines *I* was going to use on Sebastian!"

"Yes, sure, I'll pose. But in exchange I want a list of every pickup line, marriage proposal and double entendre you gave to Sebastian Stan, along with how they were received by him...."

"Yes, sure, I'll pose. But in exchange I want a list of every pickup line, marriage proposal and double entendre you gave to Sebastian Stan, along with how they were received by him...."

Anthony Mackie is our next arrival, and nobody thus far has been better-dressed (with the possible exception of Elizabeth Olsen, although she would have worn Mackie's sharp suit just as well, I'd opine)

Anthony Mackie is our next arrival, and nobody thus far has been better-dressed (with the possible exception of Elizabeth Olsen, although she would have worn Mackie's sharp suit just as well, I'd opine)

"Shut up. I'm totally a superhero too."

"Shut up. I'm totally a superhero too."

"Left shoulder! Right shoulder! Both shoulders! Sign my camera bag! Calculate the cube root of 28!"

"Left shoulder! Right shoulder! Both shoulders! Sign my camera bag! Calculate the cube root of 28!"

"I'm surprised you recognise me given I usually wear a face mask / mouth guard, long black hair and occasionally tinted glases. Also... is that why you think I'm sexy?"

"I'm surprised you recognise me given I usually wear a face mask / mouth guard, long black hair and occasionally tinted glases. Also... is that why you think I'm sexy?"

"OMG - like, SIX of you are dressed as Iron Man! WHY?" Across the Marvel Films, Tony Stark's Iron Man is basically provably the biggest threat to the safety of the planet of anyone, hero, villain or random banker.

"OMG - like, SIX of you are dressed as Iron Man! WHY?" Across the Marvel Films, Tony Stark's Iron Man is basically provably the biggest threat to the safety of the planet of anyone, hero, villain or random banker.

"You're absolutely right! The wifi signal here really IS fantastic! I'm gonna download some podcasts immediately." WeHateMovies' 2+hr evisceration of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice is very much worth your time, incidentally. If you hate that movie. Which you should.

"You're absolutely right! The wifi signal here really IS fantastic! I'm gonna download some podcasts immediately." WeHateMovies' 2+hr evisceration of Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice is very much worth your time, incidentally. If you hate that movie. Which you should.

"Hey -- you're in the movie too? I didn't recognise you without the purple face paint! And did you see how tall Paul Rudd is?"

"Hey -- you're in the movie too? I didn't recognise you without the purple face paint! And did you see how tall Paul Rudd is?"

"You probably shouldn't have shown that to Tom Holland. He is a bit young...."

"You probably shouldn't have shown that to Tom Holland. He is a bit young...."

"You owe me five dollars!!" Random-but-not-so-random attendee : Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker in Disney's most profitable toy line based on a movie based on a merchandise machine.

"You owe me five dollars!!" Random-but-not-so-random attendee : Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker in Disney's most profitable toy line based on a movie based on a merchandise machine.

"You should probably answer their question, even though they're probably not even official media. Truth be told, it's even better than the one I'm going to ask."

"You should probably answer their question, even though they're probably not even official media. Truth be told, it's even better than the one I'm going to ask."

NB. The reason both this journal and the premiere it's based upon is so lengthy is because although we've been going for over an hour, the two biggest names (going off the movie poster, not the screams and implausible offerings of Sebastian Stan fans) have not yet arrived ....

"I had to do some shopping first, but I made it!" The titular Captain America himself - Chris Evans - has arrived to considerable acclaim (about 0.6 on the Sebastian Stan scale, which sounds low but could still startle wildlife and pets in neighbouring suburbs).

"I had to do some shopping first, but I made it!" The titular Captain America himself - Chris Evans - has arrived to considerable acclaim (about 0.6 on the Sebastian Stan scale, which sounds low but could still startle wildlife and pets in neighbouring suburbs).

Chris Evans and I share a moment. I'm flattered, of course.

Chris Evans and I share a moment. I'm flattered, of course.

"Sorry, can't stop to chat. I might sign some autographs. Or just stand around looking cool... whichever."

"Sorry, can't stop to chat. I might sign some autographs. Or just stand around looking cool... whichever."

"Stop talking about signing autographs and sign some autographs Chris. I've been signing as you for the last twenty minutes"

"Stop talking about signing autographs and sign some autographs Chris. I've been signing as you for the last twenty minutes"

"See, I could either talk about signing autographs, or I could stay until I figure out what the deal is with the guy crouching behind me on my right. NO DON'T LOOK AT HIM, Christine. I've got this..."

"See, I could either talk about signing autographs, or I could stay until I figure out what the deal is with the guy crouching behind me on my right. NO DON'T LOOK AT HIM, Christine. I've got this..."

Kevin Feige is arguably the puppetmaster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as being one of fourteen (!) producers of this film. In contrast, the DC Cinematic Universe, as evidenced by its latest instalment, has a magic 8-ball as a puppetmaster and a packet of fruit tingles as it team of producers.

Kevin Feige is arguably the puppetmaster of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as being one of fourteen (!) producers of this film. In contrast, the DC Cinematic Universe, as evidenced by its latest instalment, has a magic 8-ball as a puppetmaster and a packet of fruit tingles as it team of producers.

A crazily striped suit, dotted tie and mismatching trousers arrives, wearing actor Samuel L Jackson. Usually I like clothing with a lot of contrast as it helps with my camera's autofocus, but upon looking at this, my camera dragged itself away and sobbed quietly to itself for a few minutes while I switched to the Nikon...

A crazily striped suit, dotted tie and mismatching trousers arrives, wearing actor Samuel L Jackson. Usually I like clothing with a lot of contrast as it helps with my camera's autofocus, but upon looking at this, my camera dragged itself away and sobbed quietly to itself for a few minutes while I switched to the Nikon...

"I have to look in this direction, Alex, because if I look at what Samuel L Jackson is wearing for too long, my subconscious is going to shut down my brain to protect itself from long-term effects"

"I have to look in this direction, Alex, because if I look at what Samuel L Jackson is wearing for too long, my subconscious is going to shut down my brain to protect itself from long-term effects"

"OMG did you lose a bet or something???" It's true. Sadly, I have it on fabricated authority that Samuel L Jackson's suit had wanted to be worn by Mark Hamill at this premiere...

"OMG did you lose a bet or something???" It's true. Sadly, I have it on fabricated authority that Samuel L Jackson's suit had wanted to be worn by Mark Hamill at this premiere...

Another random attendee, also from the world of Disney's Star Wars live action toy commercials : John Boyega has arrived.

Another random attendee, also from the world of Disney's Star Wars live action toy commercials : John Boyega has arrived.

"Your screams of approval are appreciated, fine folk of London" - our final (woo!) arrival is Robert Downey Jnr, who plays Iron Man in this movie.

"Your screams of approval are appreciated, fine folk of London" - our final (woo!) arrival is Robert Downey Jnr, who plays Iron Man in this movie.

"Of course, he's just an actor and not actually a billionaire but those Disney cheques aren't small, and I wonder if I could ask him for a couple of million for some private projects I'm working on...."

"Of course, he's just an actor and not actually a billionaire but those Disney cheques aren't small, and I wonder if I could ask him for a couple of million for some private projects I'm working on...."

"Your love means more to me than I can say, so I won't cheapen it by acknowledging it any more than this. And you're right... I've already said too much"

"Your love means more to me than I can say, so I won't cheapen it by acknowledging it any more than this. And you're right... I've already said too much"

"And you're absolutely sure I can pay these people no attention whatsoever and they'll get even more excited? Well... let's do that, then!" This premiere has already gone more than half an hour over the usual length for a premiere, which is about an hour. So if RDJ wants to rush this, I'm cool with that... I'm really hungry!

"And you're absolutely sure I can pay these people no attention whatsoever and they'll get even more excited? Well... let's do that, then!" This premiere has already gone more than half an hour over the usual length for a premiere, which is about an hour. So if RDJ wants to rush this, I'm cool with that... I'm really hungry!

"Let me give you an alternative : instead of me answering one question from all of you, how about you all just ask me as many questions as you want and I stand here looing cool and saying nothing?"

"Let me give you an alternative : instead of me answering one question from all of you, how about you all just ask me as many questions as you want and I stand here looing cool and saying nothing?"

One thing they traditionally end large Marvel premieres with is a cast assembly on the main stage (otherwise I would have happily left about 30mins earlier. Well.. .not happily. Fairly begrudgingly, actually)

One thing they traditionally end large Marvel premieres with is a cast assembly on the main stage (otherwise I would have happily left about 30mins earlier. Well.. .not happily. Fairly begrudgingly, actually)

"Captain America's Mother's name is MARTHA????" "Iron Mans' Mother's name is ALSO MARTHA????????" "Let's never fight again!"

"Captain America's Mother's name is MARTHA????"
"Iron Mans' Mother's name is ALSO MARTHA????????"
"Let's never fight again!"

And THAT'S how you resolve complicated moral and ethical conundrums.....

And THAT'S how you resolve complicated moral and ethical conundrums.....

A random fan from the crowd was selected to partake in The World's Most Awesome Selfie. I mean... it is pretty awesome, but without Scarlett Johansson attending?

A random fan from the crowd was selected to partake in The World's Most Awesome Selfie. I mean... it is pretty awesome, but without Scarlett Johansson attending?

And then somebody won the superbowl or the NBA or a best spoken word comedy Grammy Award. I'm not sure which.

And then somebody won the superbowl or the NBA or a best spoken word comedy Grammy Award. I'm not sure which.

So... that was the end of a rather epic premiere. Usually they last for 45mins to an hour, this one clocked in at two hours. Usually I spend about 3hrs waiting, today I spent 9hours. Usually, I get a wristband to the pen I want, this time i had to negotiate and pray. And usually I don't crack 5000 photos taken at an event. But at this one.... pretty much did it.

I guess I'll watch the movie : Marvel hasn't seriously let me down yet. But for now, I'm getting some well-deserved sleep, after which I'll look at this journal and wonder who the sleep deprived drunkard responsible for writing this was...... and I might even find the motivation to go through the photos fully and put together an all-black-and-white alternative journal with no commentary and different photos. Just because:

"The Redcarpet Monochrome journal is long and different. It's not a sequel or prequel... more a parallelquel?"

"The Redcarpet Monochrome journal is long and different. It's not a sequel or prequel... more a parallelquel?"

And it's yet another entry for The Archive of Movie premires, joining the pantheon of fine Marvel events incuding:

Thor - Hemsorth! Hiddleston! Branagh!
The Avengers - Johansson! RDJ! Hiddleston! Gregg! Hemsworth!
Iron Man 3 - RDJ! Cheadle! Kinglsey! Shane Black!
Thor The Dark World - Hemsworth! Hiddleston! Portman! Whedon!
Captain America The Winter Soldier - Evans! Stan! Russos! Johansson!
Guardians of the Galaxy - Pratt! Saldana! Bautista! Diesel!
Avengers Age of Ultron - Whedon! RDJ! Renner! Evans! Johansson!
Ant-Man - Rudd! Douglas!

Until next time!

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