10 Oct - The BFI LFF 'Mindhunter' Premiere / David Fincher Screentalk

October 10th, 2017

After yesterday's quasi-'rest day' (to see composer James Newton Howard do a screentalk at Royal Albert Hall), today ended up being a second one of those, as I decided to give up an EASY premiere for the chance to photograph - possibly poorly, possibly not at all - one of the people I've most wanted to photograph for years.

David Fincher is the director of such incredible films as Fight Club, The Social Network, Seven, Gone Girl, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo remake, The Curious Life of Benjamin Button, Zodiac... and sure, fine, Alien3 as well.

I already had a ticket to the screentalk, but that's iPhone-from-a-distance territory. I wanted 'proper' photos of director David Fincher.

Here's how it went down:

In another, more optimistic timeline, the plan after seeing the small crowds at Leicester Square had been to go down to BFI Southbank, do the 'Mindhunter' premiere (if there was a setup); then zip BACK to Leicester Square to do The Shape of Water, before once AGAIN zipping BACK to BFI Southbank for the screentalk. That's not how it worked out.

In another, more optimistic timeline, the plan after seeing the small crowds at Leicester Square had been to go down to BFI Southbank, do the 'Mindhunter' premiere (if there was a setup); then zip BACK to Leicester Square to do The Shape of Water, before once AGAIN zipping BACK to BFI Southbank for the screentalk.

That's not how it worked out.

Due to space and travel constraints today, I was forced to take just one DSLR camera with me. The choice was between (1) the infallible Nikon, which is brilliant (but way oversized and indiscreet), or (2) the Pentax, with its beautiful low-light sensor, small size, (but supremely variable autofocus). Hilariously, I brought the Pentax. This is my low-light test shot for the autofocus. Farq... sixth time's the charm, maybe?

Due to space and travel constraints today, I was forced to take just one DSLR camera with me. The choice was between (1) the infallible Nikon, which is brilliant (but way oversized and indiscreet), or (2) the Pentax, with its beautiful low-light sensor, small size, (but supremely variable autofocus).

Hilariously, I brought the Pentax. This is my low-light test shot for the autofocus. Farq... sixth time's the charm, maybe?

The location for the 'Mindhunter' 'premiere' has all the glitz and glamour of an underground service access corridor, being comprised of two perpendicular posing boards, a stairwell, artificial lighting. It also features a Dealer Minion standing right in front of me, whose use of the words "f**k" and "c---" verges on sauvant-like.

The location for the 'Mindhunter' 'premiere' has all the glitz and glamour of an underground service access corridor, being comprised of two perpendicular posing boards, a stairwell, artificial lighting. It also features a Dealer Minion standing right in front of me, whose use of the words "f**k" and "c---" verges on sauvant-like.

The view in the other direction is even less compelling.... though the stairs do descend in a kind of attractive metallic manner I suppose.

The view in the other direction is even less compelling.... though the stairs do descend in a kind of attractive metallic manner I suppose.

Then, about one and a half- "I could have been in Leicester Square and done a premiere and rushed back for this" -hours later:

I've now recognisably photographed David Fincher!! And it's all been worthwhile, and for the first time in years am in the position of having to figure out a new person to sit atop my "List Of People I Most Want To Photograph", because it had been Fincher prior to this.

I've now recognisably photographed David Fincher!! And it's all been worthwhile, and for the first time in years am in the position of having to figure out a new person to sit atop my "List Of People I Most Want To Photograph", because it had been Fincher prior to this.

All of a sudden, David Fincher is a LOT closer to where I am than he was before. Possibly magic, possibly I (somehow) didn't notice him walking over. And in other news, I might actually be getting his autograph, which is kind of crazy.

All of a sudden, David Fincher is a LOT closer to where I am than he was before. Possibly magic, possibly I (somehow) didn't notice him walking over. And in other news, I might actually be getting his autograph, which is kind of crazy.

Obviously my (currently-briefly-out-of-retirement) Sensei Mo made it here in time with barely minutes to spare and got a front row spot for an autograph.

Obviously my (currently-briefly-out-of-retirement) Sensei Mo made it here in time with barely minutes to spare and got a front row spot for an autograph.

Mr David Fincher. It's been a long road from failing to photograph him in 2011 at the premiere of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" because I think he never went inside the cinema via the front entrance; and then a few years later I was at the premiere of "Flight" with Robert Zemeckis and learned afterwards that "House of Cards" was having a premiere at the same time across Leicester Square and I didn't know....

Mr David Fincher. It's been a long road from failing to photograph him in 2011 at the premiere of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" because I think he never went inside the cinema via the front entrance; and then a few years later I was at the premiere of "Flight" with Robert Zemeckis and learned afterwards that "House of Cards" was having a premiere at the same time across Leicester Square and I didn't know....

The best eye-contact I get from David Fincher is him asking whether this is my pen and whether I want it back! SO TECHNICALLY I AM CHATTING WITH DAVID FINCHER!!  (and weirdly it's not my pen...)

The best eye-contact I get from David Fincher is him asking whether this is my pen and whether I want it back! SO TECHNICALLY I AM CHATTING WITH DAVID FINCHER!!  (and weirdly it's not my pen...)

Fingers are pointing, pens are being held and it seems I am still sharing an ongoing moment with David Fincher! Nothing makes sense, but it's kind of awesome nonetheless,

Fingers are pointing, pens are being held and it seems I am still sharing an ongoing moment with David Fincher! Nothing makes sense, but it's kind of awesome nonetheless,

Jonathan Groff - kind of hilariously the three people at the very front of the public pen had no knowledge of who David Fincher was or what he looked like and didn't care, because Their Man Jonathan Groff is in the musical "Hamilton", was in the TV series "Glee" and was the voice of "Kristoff" in Disney's "Frozen"

Jonathan Groff - kind of hilariously the three people at the very front of the public pen had no knowledge of who David Fincher was or what he looked like and didn't care, because Their Man Jonathan Groff is in the musical "Hamilton", was in the TV series "Glee" and was the voice of "Kristoff" in Disney's "Frozen"

"At this distance, I'm really only taking a photo of Holt's fabulous windsor knot, but sure, you can all get closer together if you want"

"At this distance, I'm really only taking a photo of Holt's fabulous windsor knot, but sure, you can all get closer together if you want"

"If this works, it's totally deliberate"

"If this works, it's totally deliberate"

It pleases me to know that David Fincher might at any moment sprightly and nimbly burst away, having better and cooler things to do right now.

It pleases me to know that David Fincher might at any moment sprightly and nimbly burst away, having better and cooler things to do right now.

.... he just politely asked David Fincher to look left and is now wondering whether he can put "Have Directed David Fincher" on his CV (i say : yes)

.... he just politely asked David Fincher to look left and is now wondering whether he can put "Have Directed David Fincher" on his CV (i say : yes)

Not sure what happened here, photographically but this is Holt McClanny.

Not sure what happened here, photographically but this is Holt McClanny.

Holt McCallany has been in numerous films, but also several David Fincher ones including Alien3, Fight Club and Mindhunter.

Holt McCallany has been in numerous films, but also several David Fincher ones including Alien3, Fight Club and Mindhunter.

"I was the voice of the guy in Frozen, but that doesn't mean I actually ANSWER to 'Kristoff', cool name though it is"

"I was the voice of the guy in Frozen, but that doesn't mean I actually ANSWER to 'Kristoff', cool name though it is"

Jonathan Groff. I have little to add, but he's making people who are not me happy by singing and posing for selfies, which I think is nice.

Jonathan Groff. I have little to add, but he's making people who are not me happy by singing and posing for selfies, which I think is nice.

Holt McCallany, meanwhile, has just remembered he was in the movie "Monster Trucks" which I'm assured actually IS about monsters living inside trucks.

Holt McCallany, meanwhile, has just remembered he was in the movie "Monster Trucks" which I'm assured actually IS about monsters living inside trucks.

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And then it was time to go into the auditorium. Pretty much iphone only territory... and my seat though desirable (this event was sold out before it was offered to the public, and only a few tickets were later allocated to online purchases) is quite distant from the stage.

When I obsessively pressed the 'refresh' button on the BFI Website as they announced more tickets *maybe* to this event.... I actually didn't think I'd be sitting here a fortnight later. But here I am, thinking how lucky I am, and how freaking annoyed I'm going to be if some Dutch Basketballers bought tickets for row K in front of me....

When I obsessively pressed the 'refresh' button on the BFI Website as they announced more tickets *maybe* to this event.... I actually didn't think I'd be sitting here a fortnight later. But here I am, thinking how lucky I am, and how freaking annoyed I'm going to be if some Dutch Basketballers bought tickets for row K in front of me....

This lady is not a Dutch Basketballer.... but what's the deal with sliding across the seat in front of me?? Anyway... shhhh.... I'm trying to listen, not take photos.

This lady is not a Dutch Basketballer.... but what's the deal with sliding across the seat in front of me??

Anyway... shhhh.... I'm trying to listen, not take photos.

Maybe one more photo. When David Fincher speaks, I listen.

Maybe one more photo. When David Fincher speaks, I listen.

To summarise : it's what we call in the Trades "a good day"

To summarise : it's what we call in the Trades "a good day"

So... that was that. On the one hand, it's a website called "PREMIERES.CO"... but the reason I do it is because I love movies. And David Fincher is big enough to miss premieres for, and do dodgey journals for, just for a couple of grainy semi-par photos of a Director who is AWESOME at what he does.

No regrets!

Until next time!

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And NO, your five year old could NOT have made that David Fincher autograph. Because I was holding the paper too high for them to have been able to reach.

And NO, your five year old could NOT have made that David Fincher autograph. Because I was holding the paper too high for them to have been able to reach.