17 Jul - 'The BFG' (Big Friendly Giant) Premiere

July 17th, 2016

Last week's small but perfectly pleasant "Finding Dory" premiere gave a Sunday premieres everywhere a good name, so when another one was scheduled exactly one week later I felt I knew what needed to be done. Also : Steven Spielberg would be attending. Which is enough to get me out of bed at 5:30am on a Sunday when so little else can.

Here's how it went down:

 

I got in to central London by about 7am and was 48th in the queue. However unlike last weekend, today's premiere was about 6x the size, started 4hrs later, and spanned across 2 cinemas. And we weren't even given a choice of location : Security staff just put us outside The Empire Cinema and told us to stay there..

I got in to central London by about 7am and was 48th in the queue. However unlike last weekend, today's premiere was about 6x the size, started 4hrs later, and spanned across 2 cinemas. And we weren't even given a choice of location : Security staff just put us outside The Empire Cinema and told us to stay there..

Notwithstanding my lack of choice in the matter, I'm on the "B" side of the giant V-Shapedpremiere. The signs look good :my name starts with the letter B, so I might yet get the 18x12 photo I took of Steven Spielberg all those years ago at the premiere of "War Horse" signed yet. Or maybe get that spec script for an E.T. prequel signed off...

Notwithstanding my lack of choice in the matter, I'm on the "B" side of the giant V-Shapedpremiere. The signs look good :my name starts with the letter B, so I might yet get the 18x12 photo I took of Steven Spielberg all those years ago at the premiere of "War Horse" signed yet. Or maybe get that spec script for an E.T. prequel signed off...

Hours passed. All the fun stuff was inside the park (including guests, giant toys and ornaments, and media and photographers) - we weren't allowed there. The pigeon : it mocks me.

Hours passed. All the fun stuff was inside the park (including guests, giant toys and ornaments, and media and photographers) - we weren't allowed there. The pigeon : it mocks me.

"The world's greatest living director will definitely pose here. I guarantee it."

"The world's greatest living director will definitely pose here. I guarantee it."

Then, suddenly, after about 2hrs of waiting, it became very clear that the carpet leading to the Empire Cinema was only for people watching the film, and the stars would all be going to the Odeon diagonally across from us half a galaxy away. And, sure if you're an easygoing zen-type person, this (like much else) is no big problem in the cosmic scheme of things. But if you, however lamentably, define your non-working life by premieres (and as the owner of the domain 'premieres.co' it's going to be tricky for me to claim otherwise), this was about as devastating as it gets. More so because we were the first ones to queue and were were TOLD where to stand!

What to do?

"Yeah, you're absolutely right. I've been looking at it all wrong. It's upside-down, is what it is"

"Yeah, you're absolutely right. I've been looking at it all wrong. It's upside-down, is what it is"

This does not make me feel much better. However, amazingly, an entire empty pen was 'discovered' somehow, and everyone with a green wristband ran, pushed, and gave agitated prayers and offerings to the dark lord to GET INTO THAT PEN.

Praise be to Zeus, Ra, and Chuck Norris, I now find myself on the OTHER side of the giant "V"-shaped premiere, with a view of the 'exit bridge' from the interior event to the cinema we've all been reassured is the one the cast and crew will head towards.

Praise be to Zeus, Ra, and Chuck Norris, I now find myself on the OTHER side of the giant "V"-shaped premiere, with a view of the 'exit bridge' from the interior event to the cinema we've all been reassured is the one the cast and crew will head towards.

"Is that jojoba bean extract I can smell? I can't believe they put conditioner in this!"

"Is that jojoba bean extract I can smell? I can't believe they put conditioner in this!"

I don't know who this is. Steven Spielberg is older and male, Mark Rylance always wears a hat, and composer John Williams doesn't travel for London premieres. That's probably a good thing - re - Williams. I've warned all my friends that if he DOES ever show up, I will stab, knife, and betray anyone for that photo and autograph. (They assume I'm kidding, which plays to my advantage!)

I don't know who this is. Steven Spielberg is older and male, Mark Rylance always wears a hat, and composer John Williams doesn't travel for London premieres. That's probably a good thing - re - Williams. I've warned all my friends that if he DOES ever show up, I will stab, knife, and betray anyone for that photo and autograph. (They assume I'm kidding, which plays to my advantage!)

"It's the Big Friendly Giant premiere - I shouldn't have to look DOWN at anything!" - It's Steven Spielberg! And he's wearing a hat!! (more vital news as it becomes available)

"It's the Big Friendly Giant premiere - I shouldn't have to look DOWN at anything!" - It's Steven Spielberg! And he's wearing a hat!! (more vital news as it becomes available)

Somewhere in this forest of branches and vines is the even more formally-hatted Mark Rylance, this year's Oscar and Bafta Winner for Best Supporting Actor, coincidentally also in a Steven Spielberg film - the excellent 'Bridge of Spies'. I last photographed him at this year's TV Baftas, I believe.

Somewhere in this forest of branches and vines is the even more formally-hatted Mark Rylance, this year's Oscar and Bafta Winner for Best Supporting Actor, coincidentally also in a Steven Spielberg film - the excellent 'Bridge of Spies'. I last photographed him at this year's TV Baftas, I believe.

"What does B.F.G. stand for? My daughter told me something filthy. If she's right, it makes me happy - I'm glad Spielberg is finding His Rage at this stage in his career!" Steven Spielberg should definitely commute daily on Govia Thameslink. He'll never be mild-mannered again.

"What does B.F.G. stand for? My daughter told me something filthy. If she's right, it makes me happy - I'm glad Spielberg is finding His Rage at this stage in his career!" Steven Spielberg should definitely commute daily on Govia Thameslink. He'll never be mild-mannered again.

"I don't want to be the guy who goes down the "don't you know who I am??" path, but if it gets me to the front of the queue for popcorn faster, I can get the chaffeur to swing by and bring my three Oscars around....?" If proximity to awesomeness somehow makes me more awesome, I've now photographed Steven Spielberg three times : here today; and this year's Baftas, and War Horse back in 2012. I was also at the premiere of The Keith Lemon Movie.... so I'm still atoning for that.

"I don't want to be the guy who goes down the "don't you know who I am??" path, but if it gets me to the front of the queue for popcorn faster, I can get the chaffeur to swing by and bring my three Oscars around....?"
If proximity to awesomeness somehow makes me more awesome, I've now photographed Steven Spielberg three times : here today; and this year's Baftas, and War Horse back in 2012. I was also at the premiere of The Keith Lemon Movie.... so I'm still atoning for that.

"That's a great photo of me. I can't sign it and risk ruining it". Possibly not what The Great man said, but....  damn. It was really cumbersome to carry, too.

"That's a great photo of me. I can't sign it and risk ruining it". Possibly not what The Great man said, but....  damn. It was really cumbersome to carry, too.

"I'm wearing a hat and a tie and you're wearing a T-SHIRT?" Umm... it was warm in London today. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

"I'm wearing a hat and a tie and you're wearing a T-SHIRT?" Umm... it was warm in London today. Doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

"Yes, yes, I'm sure I'll get around to directing a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie one of these days. A Groot origin story, maybe" Because the fans demand it.

"Yes, yes, I'm sure I'll get around to directing a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie one of these days. A Groot origin story, maybe" Because the fans demand it.

"I'm done. Who wants to go next?".

"I'm done. Who wants to go next?".

"I think it's A Thing... but I'm not sure what kind of A Thing". Also in this film, and next to pass through the strange waterfall / shower is Rafe Spall, arguably best known as the quirky geologist in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"

"I think it's A Thing... but I'm not sure what kind of A Thing". Also in this film, and next to pass through the strange waterfall / shower is Rafe Spall, arguably best known as the quirky geologist in Ridley Scott's "Prometheus"

"Hey, I didn't write the script, I just acted in the movie. Take it up with Damon Lindelof". Oh, I will. Once the self-imposed restraining order expires, that is.

"Hey, I didn't write the script, I just acted in the movie. Take it up with Damon Lindelof". Oh, I will. Once the self-imposed restraining order expires, that is.

One day I will be in a position to take photos of people without giant blurry heads bocking my view. But until that day happens, I'm going to (a) pretend they're not there, (b) pretend it's "Art" or "Authentic" or something. Also : this is actress Rebecca Hall : she's in this film.

One day I will be in a position to take photos of people without giant blurry heads bocking my view. But until that day happens, I'm going to (a) pretend they're not there, (b) pretend it's "Art" or "Authentic" or something. Also : this is actress Rebecca Hall : she's in this film.

"if I can't see the autograph dealers, it stands to reason they can't see me either"

"if I can't see the autograph dealers, it stands to reason they can't see me either"

"I'm tall? Nah.. you're just short!" - Among Woody Allen movies I'd rather forget I've seen, Rebecca Hall was also, according to rumours of early script drafts, the villainess-that-could-have-been in Shane Black's "Iron Man 3". Pity.

"I'm tall? Nah.. you're just short!" - Among Woody Allen movies I'd rather forget I've seen, Rebecca Hall was also, according to rumours of early script drafts, the villainess-that-could-have-been in Shane Black's "Iron Man 3". Pity.

"If it's annoying you it's deliberate, otherwise sorry!"- big thanks to scowling sunglasses girl in the foreground, who blocked every single shot I could have taken of Rebecca Hall for about ten uninterrupted metres as she passed by. (still, I photographed Spielberg. Refer earlier in this journal)

"If it's annoying you it's deliberate, otherwise sorry!"- big thanks to scowling sunglasses girl in the foreground, who blocked every single shot I could have taken of Rebecca Hall for about ten uninterrupted metres as she passed by. (still, I photographed Spielberg. Refer earlier in this journal)

"I want that drink. Don't make me arm-wrestle you for it" According to imdb,com, Penelope Wilton is best known for being in Woody Allen's "Match Point" but that would be to deny her much more important role as Simon Pegg's Mum in "Shaun of the Dead"

"I want that drink. Don't make me arm-wrestle you for it"
According to imdb,com, Penelope Wilton is best known for being in Woody Allen's "Match Point" but that would be to deny her much more important role as Simon Pegg's Mum in "Shaun of the Dead"

"Beats me in an arm-wrestle then makes me open the bottle.... unbelievable". Penelope Wilton was also in the (First) and Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotels

"Beats me in an arm-wrestle then makes me open the bottle.... unbelievable".
Penelope Wilton was also in the (First) and Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotels

"I'm sorry I made fun of you all these years for wearing that hat. Can I borrow it now?"

"I'm sorry I made fun of you all these years for wearing that hat. Can I borrow it now?"

One day later, and it suddenly occurs to me I apparently never photographed THE GIRL who is the lead in this film, excepting The titular BFG. Fortunately, upon reinvestigation, it seems I photographed at least part of Ruby Barnhill (phew!)

One day later, and it suddenly occurs to me I apparently never photographed THE GIRL who is the lead in this film, excepting The titular BFG. Fortunately, upon reinvestigation, it seems I photographed at least part of Ruby Barnhill (phew!)

Mark Rylance's accent and wig in "The Gunman" wasn't so much forgettable as unrememberable... however he was excellent in Bridge of Spies. And if he's forgotten The Gunman, then despite photographing Charlize Theron at the premiere, so have I.

Mark Rylance's accent and wig in "The Gunman" wasn't so much forgettable as unrememberable... however he was excellent in Bridge of Spies. And if he's forgotten The Gunman, then despite photographing Charlize Theron at the premiere, so have I.

The dress of the lady on the left stole the Nikon's autofocus, but at least I salvaged a bit more of Ruby Barnhill in this image. (In my defence, Mark Rylance is very cool, and I've seen him in movies before)

The dress of the lady on the left stole the Nikon's autofocus, but at least I salvaged a bit more of Ruby Barnhill in this image. (In my defence, Mark Rylance is very cool, and I've seen him in movies before)

"I'm gonna moon-walk along the rest of this red carpet. In my mind, that is....."

"I'm gonna moon-walk along the rest of this red carpet. In my mind, that is....."

"I will not be photographed by a point-and-shoot camera. It's Nokia Mobile or higher"

"I will not be photographed by a point-and-shoot camera. It's Nokia Mobile or higher"

So... that was that, presumably. But wasn't there a chance that the world's greatest director, who might or might not have free drinks purchased to him at any bar, pub or tavern in London, might sign some autographs if he wasn't staying to watch a movie he'd almost certainly already seen?

So... that was that, presumably. But wasn't there a chance that the world's greatest director, who might or might not have free drinks purchased to him at any bar, pub or tavern in London, might sign some autographs if he wasn't staying to watch a movie he'd almost certainly already seen?

"Hi guys. Don't worry. I definitely intend to sign for some of you guys who deserve it least". I'm not bitter that autograph dealers who moments earlier had been harrassing a mother with pram and getting into arguments with security somehow forced their way to the front of a pen backing onto a disabled pen..... but I can't think of a better word than 'bitter' right now.

"Hi guys. Don't worry. I definitely intend to sign for some of you guys who deserve it least". I'm not bitter that autograph dealers who moments earlier had been harrassing a mother with pram and getting into arguments with security somehow forced their way to the front of a pen backing onto a disabled pen..... but I can't think of a better word than 'bitter' right now.

"Shhhh.... I still can hear John Williams' score coming from the screening. Don't interrupt my enjoyment of it"

"Shhhh.... I still can hear John Williams' score coming from the screening. Don't interrupt my enjoyment of it"

"Mr Spielberg ever since 1976 I've thought you should do a sequel to Jaws except instead of one shark there'd be dozens. It'd be like making ALIEN.... and then ALIENS : except here you'd be making JAWS and then.... uh... making JAWSS. That sounds really really bad now that I say it out loud, huh?.... yeah.

"Mr Spielberg ever since 1976 I've thought you should do a sequel to Jaws except instead of one shark there'd be dozens. It'd be like making ALIEN.... and then ALIENS : except here you'd be making JAWS and then.... uh... making JAWSS. That sounds really really bad now that I say it out loud, huh?.... yeah.

"I love you guys a lot, but given you're not knifing each other, or ladies with prams, or disabled people to get my autograph, I'm just not sure you want it enough.....". I'm not entirely sure that would hold up in court, but I think I'd get backing on the internet.

"I love you guys a lot, but given you're not knifing each other, or ladies with prams, or disabled people to get my autograph, I'm just not sure you want it enough.....". I'm not entirely sure that would hold up in court, but I think I'd get backing on the internet.

Boy at bottom : "Excuse me... are you famous?"

Boy at bottom : "Excuse me... are you famous?"

So... that was that. It was a long, hot wait for a brief series of flurries of excitement. Worth it? To photograph Steven Spielbeg? Uh... yeah.

And it's another entry into The Archve of Movie premieres, too. Until next time!

 

ps. if you want to know whenever I post a new premiere journal, feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo or on facebook by clicking here (or demand that I add you to my mailing list by emailing me at bernd.talasch@optusnet.com.au). You can also share this journal, comment on it below, or explain to me how autograph dealers are a vital part of the economic ecosystem that simple extermination would somehow disrupt :)