16 Nov - The 'Daddy's Home 2' Premiere

November 16th, 2017.

Today, for my first premiere in almost a fortnight, I brought the kickass pro Nikon camera, locked on my specialist low-light telephoto lens, and inserted my blisteringly fast memory card ....and only 20mins before heading to Leicester Square did i realise that I left the only battery I have for that camera back at my apartment where it's been charging since Paddington2 almost a fortnight ago.

So.... a premiere with just the Pentax, and just its kit lens, its sigma 10-20 wide-angle, and its short range portrait lens.... and a spot nowhere near the stage... for the first time double-Oscar winner Mel Gibson has been in London in (I'm told) a couple of decades.

No pressure, then. Here's how it went down:

Apparently they only gave out some 120 'regular' blue numbered wristbands for this premiere, which is a very low number. But just before you can wonder about that reasoning, it was also revealed that they'd handed out both numbered AND un-numbered red wristbands.

Apparently they only gave out some 120 'regular' blue numbered wristbands for this premiere, which is a very low number. But just before you can wonder about that reasoning, it was also revealed that they'd handed out both numbered AND un-numbered red wristbands.

This view of the spectacular Christmassy carpet is from the Burger King across from the Vue Leicester Square. They don't officially take kindly to people using their fine restaurant as a base for long-range premiere photography, and I don't really like the price of 'renting' a table and possibly having to eat some of their 'food' either.

This view of the spectacular Christmassy carpet is from the Burger King across from the Vue Leicester Square. They don't officially take kindly to people using their fine restaurant as a base for long-range premiere photography, and I don't really like the price of 'renting' a table and possibly having to eat some of their 'food' either.

Best camo suit ever : our host for this evening appears to be a pair of shoes, two hands and a floating head.

Best camo suit ever : our host for this evening appears to be a pair of shoes, two hands and a floating head.

"Me, my cameraman and sound guy are on the red-and-white-and-gree carpet having an awesome time. And those rumours that I'm drawing a triple salary by pretending to be three people to rip off the media empire I run are lies, damnit"

"Me, my cameraman and sound guy are on the red-and-white-and-gree carpet having an awesome time. And those rumours that I'm drawing a triple salary by pretending to be three people to rip off the media empire I run are lies, damnit"

" 'Ho, Ho, Ho' rhymes with 'Yo, Yo, Yo' people!!" your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ You-Gotta-Espresso-Yo-Elf presided over the warmup portion of this event, dispensing gifts primarily to people outside the event who hadn't been able to secure wristbands.

" 'Ho, Ho, Ho' rhymes with 'Yo, Yo, Yo' people!!" your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ You-Gotta-Espresso-Yo-Elf presided over the warmup portion of this event, dispensing gifts primarily to people outside the event who hadn't been able to secure wristbands.

"I don't know where the other three guys are and I'm feeling lonely and exposed here right now" - our first attendee is Will Ferrell, who was also in the first 'Daddy's Home' movie, whose premiere was back in 2015.

"I don't know where the other three guys are and I'm feeling lonely and exposed here right now" - our first attendee is Will Ferrell, who was also in the first 'Daddy's Home' movie, whose premiere was back in 2015.

With a flick of a switch, Will Ferrell turns on the Christmas lights on the house and the carpet, and hopefully it hasn't drained so much power from the grid that my deregulated rail company will have yet another excuse for why their trains are running late tonight.

With a flick of a switch, Will Ferrell turns on the Christmas lights on the house and the carpet, and hopefully it hasn't drained so much power from the grid that my deregulated rail company will have yet another excuse for why their trains are running late tonight.

"You need to stay next to me. I like feeling this tall" - John Lithgow plays Will Ferrell's father in the film, and I hope that isn't a spoiler but it seemed pretty clear from the trailers.

"You need to stay next to me. I like feeling this tall" - John Lithgow plays Will Ferrell's father in the film, and I hope that isn't a spoiler but it seemed pretty clear from the trailers.

"Our planet Earth was the Third Rock From The Sun all along? I don't actually know what you're talking about, but if it means you're not angry at me for wearing this coat I'm fine with it"

"Our planet Earth was the Third Rock From The Sun all along? I don't actually know what you're talking about, but if it means you're not angry at me for wearing this coat I'm fine with it"

"Will Ferrell was wonderful to work with, and I'm not just saying that because he's coming on stage after me" - I last photographed John Lithgow this year (and for the first time) at the TV Baftas.

"Will Ferrell was wonderful to work with, and I'm not just saying that because he's coming on stage after me" - I last photographed John Lithgow this year (and for the first time) at the TV Baftas.

"Your suit looks amazing Alex, but I still don't want to risk my eyesight by looking at you directly"

"Your suit looks amazing Alex, but I still don't want to risk my eyesight by looking at you directly"

"Well, you see, the Third Rock From The Sun was planet Earth, and I wasn't actually *IN* The Martian with Matt Damon... I don't think I can sign that"

"Well, you see, the Third Rock From The Sun was planet Earth, and I wasn't actually *IN* The Martian with Matt Damon... I don't think I can sign that"

"I don't want to seem a stickler for accurate Astronomy... but it's important"

"I don't want to seem a stickler for accurate Astronomy... but it's important"

Mel Gibson. Despite his apologies and time in the Hollywood Sin Bin, I'm still concerned posting photos of him lest they cause offence. But he's a dual Oscar winner and it's a Christmas-themed movie and that's a time for forgiveness and I've posted photos of Jaden Smith and Kim Kardashian in this journal in the past and not explicitly apologised for that either....

Mel Gibson. Despite his apologies and time in the Hollywood Sin Bin, I'm still concerned posting photos of him lest they cause offence. But he's a dual Oscar winner and it's a Christmas-themed movie and that's a time for forgiveness and I've posted photos of Jaden Smith and Kim Kardashian in this journal in the past and not explicitly apologised for that either....

Mel Gibson has won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (for Braveheart in 1995) and was also nominated for Best Director for Hacksaw Ridge at this year's Academy Awards.

Mel Gibson has won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (for Braveheart in 1995) and was also nominated for Best Director for Hacksaw Ridge at this year's Academy Awards.

later on stage, Alex Zane would ask Mel a question that went "so do you have any advice to give for the holiday season?" with "always count to ten before you say anything" which... well... I've failed to count to anything from 4 to about 800 and still regretted it myself, but it's generically decent advice.

later on stage, Alex Zane would ask Mel a question that went "so do you have any advice to give for the holiday season?" with "always count to ten before you say anything" which... well... I've failed to count to anything from 4 to about 800 and still regretted it myself, but it's generically decent advice.

Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg sashayed down the Knitted Christmas Sweater Carpet, offending nobody (though sorely disappointing dealers for whom he would not keep his promise and return to sign autographs) (but since those dealers are set to start an internal and unstoppable riot when Mel Gibson comes over in about 6,5,4,3,2,1 seconds from now, my sympathy for them is limited)

Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg sashayed down the Knitted Christmas Sweater Carpet, offending nobody (though sorely disappointing dealers for whom he would not keep his promise and return to sign autographs) (but since those dealers are set to start an internal and unstoppable riot when Mel Gibson comes over in about 6,5,4,3,2,1 seconds from now, my sympathy for them is limited)

"I like how you made an effort, Alex. Unlike me, who wore a black t-shirt and jeans and is feeling unfairly shown up at my own premiere to promote my movie, Alex...."

"I like how you made an effort, Alex. Unlike me, who wore a black t-shirt and jeans and is feeling unfairly shown up at my own premiere to promote my movie, Alex...."

"Well, you could walk directly to the stage and do an interview, or you could cause utter chaotic mayhem in the public pens and dozens of greedy autograph dealers flood all the unsecured pens to get more of your signatures by trampling each other and being complete dickheads. Though most of their victims will be other autograph dealers, I suppose...."

"Well, you could walk directly to the stage and do an interview, or you could cause utter chaotic mayhem in the public pens and dozens of greedy autograph dealers flood all the unsecured pens to get more of your signatures by trampling each other and being complete dickheads. Though most of their victims will be other autograph dealers, I suppose...."

"Guys, I don't want to panic you but I think Mel Gibson's about to sign autographs and the resulting stampede of autograph dealers is going to make wildebeest migrations across crocodile infested waterways seem like a beautiful corporate trust exercise in comparison."

"Guys, I don't want to panic you but I think Mel Gibson's about to sign autographs and the resulting stampede of autograph dealers is going to make wildebeest migrations across crocodile infested waterways seem like a beautiful corporate trust exercise in comparison."

Also... go watch our movie. We'd really appreciate it"

Also... go watch our movie. We'd really appreciate it"

"Okay, even I got stop you here Alex. What those people are doing in the pens while Mel Gibson signging Autographs is both horrendous and compelling, and I'm torn between using my fame to try to stop it, and using that same fame to get a free popcorn and stand here watching". I, meanwhile, have been swept along in the mess and have sought refuge at a convenient metal barrier that ensures I can now only be pushed in one direction. A nearby autograph dealer queen has pointed me out to security as a contributor to the mayhem because apparently that is possible from where I'm standing.

"Okay, even I got stop you here Alex. What those people are doing in the pens while Mel Gibson signging Autographs is both horrendous and compelling, and I'm torn between using my fame to try to stop it, and using that same fame to get a free popcorn and stand here watching". I, meanwhile, have been swept along in the mess and have sought refuge at a convenient metal barrier that ensures I can now only be pushed in one direction. A nearby autograph dealer queen has pointed me out to security as a contributor to the mayhem because apparently that is possible from where I'm standing.

"If your camera has somehow NOT switched focus to the pretty girl behind me, you have my sympathy." I'm shooting this photo of Mel Gibson at some distance, which is good because once he gets much closer a wave of autograph dealers will destroy everything in its path, especially my faith in humanity.

"If your camera has somehow NOT switched focus to the pretty girl behind me, you have my sympathy." I'm shooting this photo of Mel Gibson at some distance, which is good because once he gets much closer a wave of autograph dealers will destroy everything in its path, especially my faith in humanity.

"I made it out alive and signed some autographs. Please tell me the next thing I look at on my right will be completely normal and not even slightly confronting"

"I made it out alive and signed some autographs. Please tell me the next thing I look at on my right will be completely normal and not even slightly confronting"

Yeah I'm done too.

Yeah I'm done too.

So, that was that. And I'm not going to lie, even though I think I did pretty well with basically a DSLR with a kit lens at nighttime (something I haven't done for years, and certainly not voluntarily), I've also had more fun sitting at home wondering where my life is heading and coming to fairly pessimistic conclusions than being at this premiere. Once the stars went inside, I didn't stay in the hope of getting better photos if/when the stars left the cinema, or attempt to get a ticket to watch the film for free (they were handing them out near me) and perhaps photograph the stars inside on a stage.... I just wanted to go home where if it wasn't warm and comfortable, it was at least AWAY.

Until next time - when I'll probably have my 'real' camera to record the carnage in more loving detail at least!

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