9 May - The 'X-Men : Apocalypse' Global Fan Screening

May 9th, 2016.

It was only yesterday that I was south of the Thames for the 2016 Television Baftas and now one day later.... I'm back again, this time for an enigmatically-titled "Global Fan Screening" for the new X-Men movie. All I knew is that it was at BFI Imax, there were to be heaps of fans present, and it was forecast to rain.

Frankly, I couldn't wait. Here's how it went down"

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. And my wristband number more closely resembled a telephone number than one I wanted to convert into a spot in a public pen. And then it started to rain. Properly.

It was a dark and stormy afternoon. And my wristband number more closely resembled a telephone number than one I wanted to convert into a spot in a public pen. And then it started to rain. Properly.

Here's an advance shot of my expected strategy. Like many other premieres at BFI Southbank, there is merit in finding a good spot on a small step around two-lane roundabout, and making sure that local security are reassured that you're not crazy. (Not *especially* crazy, anyway).

Here's an advance shot of my expected strategy. Like many other premieres at BFI Southbank, there is merit in finding a good spot on a small step around two-lane roundabout, and making sure that local security are reassured that you're not crazy. (Not *especially* crazy, anyway).

Also : good news. Pigeons are nesting. (I bet nobody at Getty put THIS into their report!)

Also : good news. Pigeons are nesting. (I bet nobody at Getty put THIS into their report!)

Our first arrival is Tye Sheridan, who portrays (rechecks) young Cyclops in the movie. You'll have to forgive me, I'm not the biggest fan of the X-Men franchise, which always seemed to me to be the dour version of The Avengers. I liked First Class though.

Our first arrival is Tye Sheridan, who portrays (rechecks) young Cyclops in the movie. You'll have to forgive me, I'm not the biggest fan of the X-Men franchise, which always seemed to me to be the dour version of The Avengers. I liked First Class though.

I wasn't paying attention when they announced who this was. Also, while there's no danger paused by the aforementioned two lanes of busy London traffic I'm standing with my back turned to, there's greater weirdness in that some traffic (including bikes and motorbikes!) just stop and people get off them to see what's going on!

I wasn't paying attention when they announced who this was. Also, while there's no danger paused by the aforementioned two lanes of busy London traffic I'm standing with my back turned to, there's greater weirdness in that some traffic (including bikes and motorbikes!) just stop and people get off them to see what's going on!

The implausibly/impressively/accurately named Lana Condor plays the role of "Jubilee" in the film. Sounds less like an X-Men character than a member of the celebratory catering staff, but okay.

The implausibly/impressively/accurately named Lana Condor plays the role of "Jubilee" in the film. Sounds less like an X-Men character than a member of the celebratory catering staff, but okay.

"This isn't weird. It's is how I guide everyone to their posing place. Even and especially James McAvoy, if and when he comes". I also don't know who this is. And the nesting pigeon has flown off elsewhere.

"This isn't weird. It's is how I guide everyone to their posing place. Even and especially James McAvoy, if and when he comes". I also don't know who this is. And the nesting pigeon has flown off elsewhere.

"From now on I'm no longer going bald for these movies. Patrick Stewart needs to start wearing a hairpiece instead" - James McAvoy plays Professor X in the 'First Class' (ie. younger) variant of the X-Men labyrinthine cinematic timeline.

"From now on I'm no longer going bald for these movies. Patrick Stewart needs to start wearing a hairpiece instead" - James McAvoy plays Professor X in the 'First Class' (ie. younger) variant of the X-Men labyrinthine cinematic timeline.

"35d Y7V D0dV NEW-X??? What movie is this premiere for??"

"35d Y7V D0dV NEW-X??? What movie is this premiere for??"

Due to the way in which the Marvel Comic Empire has its movie rights distributed, for a time there were two cinematic Quicksilvers. One of them (spoilers) didn't make it out of Avengers Age of Ulton alive, so now (less confusingly) there's only one. Actor Evan Peters is that one. (And this is why I prefer to create spreadsheets than keep track of Comic Book franchises).

Due to the way in which the Marvel Comic Empire has its movie rights distributed, for a time there were two cinematic Quicksilvers. One of them (spoilers) didn't make it out of Avengers Age of Ulton alive, so now (less confusingly) there's only one. Actor Evan Peters is that one. (And this is why I prefer to create spreadsheets than keep track of Comic Book franchises).

"I'm actually pulling approximately 800 facial expressions per second. Even I have no idea which one your camera is going to pick up...."

"I'm actually pulling approximately 800 facial expressions per second. Even I have no idea which one your camera is going to pick up...."

"I've been pacing up and down this blue carpet sixty times per second. If your sync speed can't handle it, then I'm sorry I can't be of more help" - the Pentagon kitchen scene in X-Men Days of Future past was pretty much the single most clever comic book scene for years

"I've been pacing up and down this blue carpet sixty times per second. If your sync speed can't handle it, then I'm sorry I can't be of more help" - the Pentagon kitchen scene in X-Men Days of Future past was pretty much the single most clever comic book scene for years

"You don't have to put your hand right there. I'm feeling pretty relaxed at this premiere already"

"You don't have to put your hand right there. I'm feeling pretty relaxed at this premiere already"

"If you're going to turn that quickly, maybe flash an indicator, sir. The red carpet is getting very crowded since everyone's hoping to be here when Jennifer Lawrence arrives"

"If you're going to turn that quickly, maybe flash an indicator, sir. The red carpet is getting very crowded since everyone's hoping to be here when Jennifer Lawrence arrives"

Alexandra Shipp plays the younger version of Halle Berry's "Storm" in this movie. I guess I/we can blame her for the terrible, albeit predictable, London weather at this premiere.

Alexandra Shipp plays the younger version of Halle Berry's "Storm" in this movie. I guess I/we can blame her for the terrible, albeit predictable, London weather at this premiere.

"Everyone who's got an umbrella up at this premiere is personally insulting ME! You are weak!!" in other news, my Lonsdale hoodie is proving to be a lot less water-resistant than I'd hoped.

"Everyone who's got an umbrella up at this premiere is personally insulting ME! You are weak!!" in other news, my Lonsdale hoodie is proving to be a lot less water-resistant than I'd hoped.

"Stop dissing my iPhone. Next time I'm bringing an etch-a-sketch. See if anyone calls me on it THEN"

"Stop dissing my iPhone. Next time I'm bringing an etch-a-sketch. See if anyone calls me on it THEN"

Olivia Munn plays 'Psylocke' in the film, but a quick review of her imdb.com entry reveals that she was also in Iron Man 2 - meaning she's been in movies across two different Marvel films! Only Ryan Reynolds, who was in both DC's Green Lantern and Fox/Marvel's Deadpool, can match that.

Olivia Munn plays 'Psylocke' in the film, but a quick review of her imdb.com entry reveals that she was also in Iron Man 2 - meaning she's been in movies across two different Marvel films! Only Ryan Reynolds, who was in both DC's Green Lantern and Fox/Marvel's Deadpool, can match that.

"I really wanna get a small role in the Sony Spider-Man reboot. I heard you get a prize if you're the first person to manage the trifecta"

"I really wanna get a small role in the Sony Spider-Man reboot. I heard you get a prize if you're the first person to manage the trifecta"

Ben Hardy plays the geometrically proficient "Angle" in this movie. Or perhaps he's "Angel", I don't know, or care enough to check....

Ben Hardy plays the geometrically proficient "Angle" in this movie. Or perhaps he's "Angel", I don't know, or care enough to check....

"This is the X-Men premiere. The Crochet-Knitters-Weekly Conference is over on the other side!"

"This is the X-Men premiere. The Crochet-Knitters-Weekly Conference is over on the other side!"

"Yup. Rain alright". A mere one day after I mistakenly claimed I photographed Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner at the TV Baftas (I'd actually photographed Eleanor Tomlinson)... I can now more confidently say that THIS is Sophie Turner.

"Yup. Rain alright". A mere one day after I mistakenly claimed I photographed Game of Thrones' Sophie Turner at the TV Baftas (I'd actually photographed Eleanor Tomlinson)... I can now more confidently say that THIS is Sophie Turner.

".... Eleanor Tomlinson? Really?" it's a mistake anyone with my research budget could make.

".... Eleanor Tomlinson? Really?" it's a mistake anyone with my research budget could make.

Good news : I'm returning to shooting through foliage. The roundabout I'm on has become quite crowded, and shifting positions for better angles is currently ill-advised.

Good news : I'm returning to shooting through foliage. The roundabout I'm on has become quite crowded, and shifting positions for better angles is currently ill-advised.

It's easy to dismiss Sansa Stark as a fairly useless player in The Game Of Thrones... but unlike many other stronger players, she's still alive. Also, I'm sacrificing both my cameras to the Drowned God at this premiere at the moment.

It's easy to dismiss Sansa Stark as a fairly useless player in The Game Of Thrones... but unlike many other stronger players, she's still alive. Also, I'm sacrificing both my cameras to the Drowned God at this premiere at the moment.

House Stark is few in remaining numbers, but those seamstresses are doing an excellent job keeping the once great house looking edgy. (My T-shirt is Uniqlo)

House Stark is few in remaining numbers, but those seamstresses are doing an excellent job keeping the once great house looking edgy. (My T-shirt is Uniqlo)

"You're absolutely right. X-Men needs dragons. And Whitewalkers."

"You're absolutely right. X-Men needs dragons. And Whitewalkers."

Why yes, it's been raining. Why do you ask?

Why yes, it's been raining. Why do you ask?

"If this is the queue for popcorn, I'm getting back into the car and driving to BFI Southbank. Y'all can join me there" - Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique / Raven) has arrived.

"If this is the queue for popcorn, I'm getting back into the car and driving to BFI Southbank. Y'all can join me there" - Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique / Raven) has arrived.

Jennifer Lawrence. Not drowning. Waving.

Jennifer Lawrence. Not drowning. Waving.

"I don't want to sound all elitist, but if I can fast-track my way to the front-of the popcorn queue because you're all intimidated by me, I'm riding the advantage..."

"I don't want to sound all elitist, but if I can fast-track my way to the front-of the popcorn queue because you're all intimidated by me, I'm riding the advantage..."

Excellent. I've now become The Guy Who Shoots Celebrities Through Foliage. Mum would be so proud. (And then mildly disappointed because I'm not even getting paid to do this...).

Excellent. I've now become The Guy Who Shoots Celebrities Through Foliage. Mum would be so proud. (And then mildly disappointed because I'm not even getting paid to do this...).

"Do I feel like I'm being watched? All the time. Everywhere. Even under tree canopies. I'd also like to give thanks to Google, Facebook and the NSA for making the whole process that led to this feel natural and inevitable."

"Do I feel like I'm being watched? All the time. Everywhere. Even under tree canopies. I'd also like to give thanks to Google, Facebook and the NSA for making the whole process that led to this feel natural and inevitable."

"Mind if I stand here next to you fine-looking people?"

"Mind if I stand here next to you fine-looking people?"

"Waltz? Right now? Okay..." the newly arrived Oscar Isaac is also in this movie, and not so much a random guest or competition winner with implausible levels of charisma.

"Waltz? Right now? Okay..." the newly arrived Oscar Isaac is also in this movie, and not so much a random guest or competition winner with implausible levels of charisma.

Oscar Isaac is arguably best known for playing an action figure in the latest range of Star Wars toys and their accompanying ads. He now plays the purple faced En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse, in this movie.

Oscar Isaac is arguably best known for playing an action figure in the latest range of Star Wars toys and their accompanying ads. He now plays the purple faced En Sabah Nur, aka Apocalypse, in this movie.

"I'm still hoping to find out that 'Winters Bone' is part of the X-Men shared cinematic universe. Every cinematic universe could use more redneck hicks.."

"I'm still hoping to find out that 'Winters Bone' is part of the X-Men shared cinematic universe. Every cinematic universe could use more redneck hicks.."

"Peace out, I'm J-Lawz indahouse!!" Sadly, I missed the inestimable Rhythmic Styling(z) of your hero and mine, Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Cell Division prior to this event.

"Peace out, I'm J-Lawz indahouse!!" Sadly, I missed the inestimable Rhythmic Styling(z) of your hero and mine, Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Cell Division prior to this event.

"I want a rap name. Get me a rap name, darling." "Did you say something, honey?"

"I want a rap name. Get me a rap name, darling."
"Did you say something, honey?"

"I have a three inch version of him on my nightstand, and that's not as weird as saying that sentence might suggest....."

"I have a three inch version of him on my nightstand, and that's not as weird as saying that sentence might suggest....."

"This is the perfect lighting. I'm not moving for anyone. I don't care who I'm interviewing or how many Oscars they've been nominated for"

"This is the perfect lighting. I'm not moving for anyone. I don't care who I'm interviewing or how many Oscars they've been nominated for"

"Star Wars VII? THAT small movie? I'm surprised you remember it, let alone that I was in it" To me, that movie's marketing barrage wasn't so much 'Ubiquitous' as it was 'Military Invasion'. My local art and framing supply store was selling the frikkin' MUGS.

"Star Wars VII? THAT small movie? I'm surprised you remember it, let alone that I was in it" To me, that movie's marketing barrage wasn't so much 'Ubiquitous' as it was 'Military Invasion'. My local art and framing supply store was selling the frikkin' MUGS.

"Like I'm being watched, if I'm honest"

"Like I'm being watched, if I'm honest"

.... and if the lady waving her hands behind you is windmilling them crazily, that means it's gone on for far too long, and it's time to wrap things up. And she's right.

.... and if the lady waving her hands behind you is windmilling them crazily, that means it's gone on for far too long, and it's time to wrap things up. And she's right.

.... and yet there's still one late attendee: director Bryan Singer sprints for that last decent seat

.... and yet there's still one late attendee: director Bryan Singer sprints for that last decent seat

"This is my pre-emptive response to any criticism of this movie. Cheers."

"This is my pre-emptive response to any criticism of this movie. Cheers."

So... that was rather large, impressive, and occasionally waterlogged. I didn't have to queue in a crowded pen for hours, but I did get to stand around in the rain for a while. Do I intend to watch the movie? Not really. X-Men is a bit of a one-trick pony with a cast that's really large and a tone that's too melancholy. And if I have to watch one more movie where Shit Gets Blowed Up Real Good this year, on balance I'd prefer it to be Independence Day Resurgence.

Still.. it was a fun event, it's another for the archive of movie premieres... and incredibly there's ANOTHER premiere tomorrow. And even more danger of rain. And crowding. And Johnny Depp.

Until next time!

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