28 Feb - The 'Kong : Skull Island' European Premiere

February 28th, 2017.

Through a touch of fortune, I was able to get my crazy holographic sparkly wristband for today's Kong Skull Island premiere one day early just by walking past Leicester Square and noting the big stage already in the process of being constructed.

And through an additional touch of fortune, I was able to both skip lunch AND leave work an hour early to get to the premiere and 'defend' my excellent wristband number 29.

And then it got cold. And then it rained. And then the pens got compressed and I lost half of my front row spot.... and then ten minutes into the premiere I walked away from my front row spot and shot from the third row.

Here's how it went down:

Security let us into the pens early, which is excellent insofar as choosing a spot is concerned, but not so much when, three hours later security then alter the pen design in a way that makes your choice (and the three hours spent shivering in the cold and occasional rain) wrong.

Security let us into the pens early, which is excellent insofar as choosing a spot is concerned, but not so much when, three hours later security then alter the pen design in a way that makes your choice (and the three hours spent shivering in the cold and occasional rain) wrong.

"Mirror-app, Mirror-app, on the wall; please reassure me that Hiddleston's tall"

"Mirror-app, Mirror-app, on the wall; please reassure me that Hiddleston's tall"

"You could continue to pretend to be psychic about who's attending, or you could check the other side of the list, which has peoples' face and names on it" Or look at the giant screens all around which are also displaying the expected attendees.

"You could continue to pretend to be psychic about who's attending, or you could check the other side of the list, which has peoples' face and names on it" Or look at the giant screens all around which are also displaying the expected attendees.

"You're not even listening to either of us, are you? You're fantasising about Tom Hiddleston, aren't you?"

"You're not even listening to either of us, are you? You're fantasising about Tom Hiddleston, aren't you?"

"The Ape looks angry, Jerry. He makes me uncomfortable...."

"The Ape looks angry, Jerry. He makes me uncomfortable...."

A car pulls up, and in the event that the occupant of it is not Tom Hiddleston, whoever it is will feel a chill of disapproval they did nothing to deserve but is nonetheless sincere.

A car pulls up, and in the event that the occupant of it is not Tom Hiddleston, whoever it is will feel a chill of disapproval they did nothing to deserve but is nonetheless sincere.

Our first arrival carries a beard the likes of which none of us in the crowd (even those that had checked imdb.com beforehand) quite knew how to grapple with. The beard's owner : director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Our first arrival carries a beard the likes of which none of us in the crowd (even those that had checked imdb.com beforehand) quite knew how to grapple with. The beard's owner : director Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

"The beard is magnificent. I must have it. Even if I never actually wear it - it must be mine" - this movie's lead Tom Hiddleston, arguably best known for being Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, arrived earlier to much screeching, cheering and swooning.

"The beard is magnificent. I must have it. Even if I never actually wear it - it must be mine" - this movie's lead Tom Hiddleston, arguably best known for being Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, arrived earlier to much screeching, cheering and swooning.

I last photographed Tom Hiddleston in 2015 at The BFI Luminous Gala and the premiere of "High-Rise" and his presence at this premiere was certainly greeted with the noisiest cheers. I myself am here primarily for actress Brie Larson, who I've never photographed. Hiddleston and The Director's Beard are just a bonus.

I last photographed Tom Hiddleston in 2015 at The BFI Luminous Gala and the premiere of "High-Rise" and his presence at this premiere was certainly greeted with the noisiest cheers. I myself am here primarily for actress Brie Larson, who I've never photographed. Hiddleston and The Director's Beard are just a bonus.

"This man! This man here, and not Robert Downey Jnr is the man who is singlehandedly keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe afloat. No, I will NOT be quiet, Barbara - he needs to KNOW this!"

"This man! This man here, and not Robert Downey Jnr is the man who is singlehandedly keeping the Marvel Cinematic Universe afloat. No, I will NOT be quiet, Barbara - he needs to KNOW this!"

"Hey, you're that guy who was almost singlehandedly responsible for the alien invasion of New York! Love the jacket, man!". Samuel L Jackson is also part of the Marvel Cinematic Unverse, playing the role of Nick Fury across numerous films including Captain America The Winter Soldier and Captain America Civil War.

"Hey, you're that guy who was almost singlehandedly responsible for the alien invasion of New York! Love the jacket, man!". Samuel L Jackson is also part of the Marvel Cinematic Unverse, playing the role of Nick Fury across numerous films including Captain America The Winter Soldier and Captain America Civil War.

"This hat? It was a gift. From a guy. Sure, I was mugging him for his wallet at the time, but he gave me that hat of his own free will" - John C. Reilly is in this film, though sadly his hat is not.

"This hat? It was a gift. From a guy. Sure, I was mugging him for his wallet at the time, but he gave me that hat of his own free will" - John C. Reilly is in this film, though sadly his hat is not.

"Loki, Son of Odin, please deliver Hiddleston to me..... I know there are other gods I could be praying to, but I feel You're uniquely qualified to grant me this one wish..."

"Loki, Son of Odin, please deliver Hiddleston to me..... I know there are other gods I could be praying to, but I feel You're uniquely qualified to grant me this one wish..."

"I'm not sure I should be looking at that, bro"

"I'm not sure I should be looking at that, bro"

This is Alex Garcia, a producer of the film. I make it a point to photograph producers at premieres, as there's probably a better chance they'll decide my style of photography is uniquely suited to location and production photography (which : it really is) and might offer me a job. Because I could totally do it.

This is Alex Garcia, a producer of the film. I make it a point to photograph producers at premieres, as there's probably a better chance they'll decide my style of photography is uniquely suited to location and production photography (which : it really is) and might offer me a job. Because I could totally do it.

Alison Brie, who won a Best Actress Oscar last year for 'The Room', has arrived. I've not photographed her before, and she's set to play Captain Marvel in the cinematic universse already populated by co-stars Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L Jackson (but not, as yet, a giant ape).

Alison Brie, who won a Best Actress Oscar last year for 'The Room', has arrived. I've not photographed her before, and she's set to play Captain Marvel in the cinematic universse already populated by co-stars Tom Hiddleston and Samuel L Jackson (but not, as yet, a giant ape).

"OMG you're Tom Hiddleston - and also you were in that movie I was in!!"

"OMG you're Tom Hiddleston - and also you were in that movie I was in!!"

"OMG! Tom Hiddleston remembered my name! I mean, we spent months on set together, but one can never truly assume for certain...."

"OMG! Tom Hiddleston remembered my name! I mean, we spent months on set together, but one can never truly assume for certain...."

"So I just woke up one morning and thought 'why don't we do a movie about a giant ape?'. Turns out they'd done that before in 1933 and 2005 and a couple of times in between. But how was I to know? Also, turned out the studio owned the rights, so we were okay...."

"So I just woke up one morning and thought 'why don't we do a movie about a giant ape?'. Turns out they'd done that before in 1933 and 2005 and a couple of times in between. But how was I to know? Also, turned out the studio owned the rights, so we were okay...."

"This lighting is very romantic. I hope you don't mind, I'm subconsciously trying to figure out exactly where I want Brie Larson to stand later on when I interview her."

"This lighting is very romantic. I hope you don't mind, I'm subconsciously trying to figure out exactly where I want Brie Larson to stand later on when I interview her."

John C Reilly actually has an Academy Award nomination to his credit (Best Supporting Actor, Chicago, 2002). His hat, meanwhile, which I'm still somewhat fixated by, allegedly once killed a crocodile by drowning it in its own blood. Or so I hear.

John C Reilly actually has an Academy Award nomination to his credit (Best Supporting Actor, Chicago, 2002). His hat, meanwhile, which I'm still somewhat fixated by, allegedly once killed a crocodile by drowning it in its own blood. Or so I hear.

"....Weren't you in that terrible remake of Ben Hur that sank without a trace last year?"

"....Weren't you in that terrible remake of Ben Hur that sank without a trace last year?"

"That thing I'm pointing at is a distraction from that question you just asked me, Gerry." Toby Kebbell was also (unfortunately) in similarly disastrous box officer performers like "Fant4stic Four" (2015) and "Warcraft : The Beginning" (2016). But he was in Rock'n'Rolla back in 2008 and that was a good film.

"That thing I'm pointing at is a distraction from that question you just asked me, Gerry." Toby Kebbell was also (unfortunately) in similarly disastrous box officer performers like "Fant4stic Four" (2015) and "Warcraft : The Beginning" (2016). But he was in Rock'n'Rolla back in 2008 and that was a good film.

"I watched Warcraft AND Fant4stic AND Ben Hur..... do I get to ask him for a personal apology or refund or something?"

"I watched Warcraft AND Fant4stic AND Ben Hur..... do I get to ask him for a personal apology or refund or something?"

"I'm TRYING to be discreet here, Gerry. It doesn't work if you look at me like you've noticed what I'm doing...."

"I'm TRYING to be discreet here, Gerry. It doesn't work if you look at me like you've noticed what I'm doing...."

"Is it vertical or horizontal video you're not meant to shoot? I keep forgetting"

"Is it vertical or horizontal video you're not meant to shoot? I keep forgetting"

"I know what you're thinking. The beanie and jacket clash slightly. Wel, Sir,you're absolutely right about that. And yet here I am on this stage loving life while you're in the crowd, being crushed, looking up at me in your perfectly matched ensemble". I knew attending London Fashion Week 2017's many streetside congregations would come back to haunt me...

"I know what you're thinking. The beanie and jacket clash slightly. Wel, Sir,you're absolutely right about that. And yet here I am on this stage loving life while you're in the crowd, being crushed, looking up at me in your perfectly matched ensemble". I knew attending London Fashion Week 2017's many streetside congregations would come back to haunt me...

'I thought it might undermine my credibility if I asked for a selfie on-set while we were still shooting, but this is the promotional tour, Tom. May I?" Wow. The director of the film wants a selfie with Tom Hiddleston.

'I thought it might undermine my credibility if I asked for a selfie on-set while we were still shooting, but this is the promotional tour, Tom. May I?" Wow. The director of the film wants a selfie with Tom Hiddleston.

Tom Hiddleston responds to the plaintive pleas of the (female) fans in the pen I'm in. And also ghostly green hands.

Tom Hiddleston responds to the plaintive pleas of the (female) fans in the pen I'm in. And also ghostly green hands.

"You look lovely, beautiful, flawless! Just let me cover up that one spot..."

"You look lovely, beautiful, flawless! Just let me cover up that one spot..."

"I don't really have any questions, Alison. I just want this quiet romantic moment between you, me, and several hundred people to speak for itself"

"I don't really have any questions, Alison. I just want this quiet romantic moment between you, me, and several hundred people to speak for itself"

"I could keep holding that umbrella inside the cinema, and on the way to the hotel, and... like... forever after that, if you like and if it's not too weird?"

"I could keep holding that umbrella inside the cinema, and on the way to the hotel, and... like... forever after that, if you like and if it's not too weird?"

All of a sudden, my urge to pre-emptively hate yet another Marvel frachise entry - one starring Brie Larson - is fading. It's possibly got to do with the dress.

All of a sudden, my urge to pre-emptively hate yet another Marvel frachise entry - one starring Brie Larson - is fading. It's possibly got to do with the dress.

"My wife really wants your autograph. Just make it out to "Gerry", though. That'll be fine"

"My wife really wants your autograph. Just make it out to "Gerry", though. That'll be fine"

I would have like to have taken photos of Tom Hiddleston walking off-stage in our direction, but all of a sudden all the people in our pen spontaneously decided to leave, blocking my view with their umbrellas and sweeping me towards the pen exit like some kind of disapointed tide of estrogen and autograph dealers....

I would have like to have taken photos of Tom Hiddleston walking off-stage in our direction, but all of a sudden all the people in our pen spontaneously decided to leave, blocking my view with their umbrellas and sweeping me towards the pen exit like some kind of disapointed tide of estrogen and autograph dealers....

So... that was that. And frustrating / infuriating though it was to literally lose a front-row spot because of a late and arbitrary decision by Security at the event, it does show one thing I've generally held to be true as a strategy for photographing premieres : Don't Stay Married To Your Spot. Even if it's the front row, don't stay if it's not good. Even if you've 'worked' hard for your spot, staying there when it's crap is not as good as moving elsewhere into a spot you'd never voluntarily have chosen that is now better.

Also there's a movie about a giant ape being released in cinemas. If that's your thing, you should totally go see that. For now, more personally, it means I can go inside, where it's warm, and dry, and put another entry into The Archive of Movie Premieres.

Until next time!

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