2 Nov - The 'Murder on the Orient Express' World Premiere

November 2nd, 2017.

Yesterday at lunchtime, I picked up a rather worrying wristband #226 to (then) tomorrow's World Premiere of 'Murder on the Orient Express'. That number wasn't exactly great, I thought, but then I remembered that's about the wristband number I get most BAFTAs, and I seem to do okay at those.

I had no idea 24 hours later how bad... and then unexpectedly awesome... it was going to get. Here's how it went down:

This year, the Royal Albert Hall hosted The Baftas and The Oliviers (and composer Michael Giacchino's 50th Birthday). But it rarely hosts premiers... and when it does they're invariably HUGE. Like...James Cameron's Titanic in 3D, and James Bond's Skyfall and Spectre HUGE.

This year, the Royal Albert Hall hosted The Baftas and The Oliviers (and composer Michael Giacchino's 50th Birthday). But it rarely hosts premiers... and when it does they're invariably HUGE. Like...James Cameron's Titanic in 3D, and James Bond's Skyfall and Spectre HUGE.

It was 2pm and as at now, the venue wasn't even close to ready. Security told all us wristband holders to shift location, and then shift location AGAIN so that we were now a mass of people kinking around a corner. And then, in an act of infamy so incomprehensibly moronic as to defy explanation, all the wristband holders with numbers 300+ to 600+ were independently led to the front of the TOP pens of the Royal Albert Hall and given the front row, leaving everyone with wristband numbers less than them queueing for the main pens at the bottom.

It was 2pm and as at now, the venue wasn't even close to ready. Security told all us wristband holders to shift location, and then shift location AGAIN so that we were now a mass of people kinking around a corner.

And then, in an act of infamy so incomprehensibly moronic as to defy explanation, all the wristband holders with numbers 300+ to 600+ were independently led to the front of the TOP pens of the Royal Albert Hall and given the front row, leaving everyone with wristband numbers less than them queueing for the main pens at the bottom.

AND THEN somebody at from Security had to come and admit that there ... well... maybe weren't enough spaces in the main pens to hold the number of people still waiting there, so everyone with wristbands 200-300 was now given the choice of either (a) getting a spot BEHIND everyone with wristbands 300-600 in already full pens.... or (b) not being guaranteed any spot in ANY pen at all if there was no space.

AND THEN somebody at from Security had to come and admit that there ... well... maybe weren't enough spaces in the main pens to hold the number of people still waiting there, so everyone with wristbands 200-300 was now given the choice of either (a) getting a spot BEHIND everyone with wristbands 300-600 in already full pens.... or (b) not being guaranteed any spot in ANY pen at all if there was no space.

Fuming, I waited for half an hour to get this spot, standing second row behind a dude considerably taller than me, and with a wristband number that should have put him THREE HUNDRED spots behind me. Then again... could be worse... this was approximately my spot during this year's 2017 Baftas and that turned out okay. Still... not happy, Jan.

Fuming, I waited for half an hour to get this spot, standing second row behind a dude considerably taller than me, and with a wristband number that should have put him THREE HUNDRED spots behind me. Then again... could be worse... this was approximately my spot during this year's 2017 Baftas and that turned out okay.

Still... not happy, Jan.

"Next time they put together a list this big, I want it bound and in hardcover. Or made into a deck of playing cards"

"Next time they put together a list this big, I want it bound and in hardcover. Or made into a deck of playing cards"

"The braziers are lit, the lights are on, and some dude with  a black backwards-facing baseball cap is about to start asking people to (yo, yo, yo) Make Some Noise. I wouldn't be anywhere else, Tom, but I would prefer to be wearing a beanie". it's getting colder the nights.

"The braziers are lit, the lights are on, and some dude with  a black backwards-facing baseball cap is about to start asking people to (yo, yo, yo) Make Some Noise. I wouldn't be anywhere else, Tom, but I would prefer to be wearing a beanie". it's getting colder the nights.

...... and then something remarkable happened. Security went past our pen and told us that a new pen was opening next to the Paparazzi further down, and if anyone wanted to, they could move there, like, Right Now.

And Right Now I'm not sure I've ever moved so fast at a premiere....

I don't believe the universe has a sense of justice. It's a vile, vindictive monster that sometimes lets you have a moment of joy just to confuse you. And, yeah, I'm confused... but also pretty damn grateful..

I don't believe the universe has a sense of justice. It's a vile, vindictive monster that sometimes lets you have a moment of joy just to confuse you. And, yeah, I'm confused... but also pretty damn grateful..

If I had wristband #1 and was given a choice of any pen position that the crowd ended up being allowed to be, I would have chosen precisely this spot without hesitation.... and I just acquired it wearing a wristband with #226 at a premiere where the organisation skillz on display fit somewhere between "facebook privacy concerns" and "degree to which my train company is actually sorry for any inconvenience". 'Weird' doesn't begin to cover it!

If I had wristband #1 and was given a choice of any pen position that the crowd ended up being allowed to be, I would have chosen precisely this spot without hesitation.... and I just acquired it wearing a wristband with #226 at a premiere where the organisation skillz on display fit somewhere between "facebook privacy concerns" and "degree to which my train company is actually sorry for any inconvenience". 'Weird' doesn't begin to cover it!

A short time later, director and lead Kenneth Branagh arrives - among other movies he's directed Marvel's Thor, and the live action version of Disney's Cinderella; plus he's been nominated for five different categories of Academy Award - from Lead and Support acting to Directing and Short Film and Adapted Screenplay.

A short time later, director and lead Kenneth Branagh arrives - among other movies he's directed Marvel's Thor, and the live action version of Disney's Cinderella; plus he's been nominated for five different categories of Academy Award - from Lead and Support acting to Directing and Short Film and Adapted Screenplay.

"Didn't I see you in Sydney back in '11 ?" Sure... (and wow that was a long time ago now)

"Didn't I see you in Sydney back in '11 ?" Sure... (and wow that was a long time ago now)

"You cleared the carpet so I could sprint maniacally along it in a zig-zag pattern with gleeful abandon? I'm touched... but I might just walk if that's okay" - Dame Judi Dench is in this movie, and one of the two James Bond movies that also had their premieres at the Royal Albert Hall (Skyfall)

"You cleared the carpet so I could sprint maniacally along it in a zig-zag pattern with gleeful abandon? I'm touched... but I might just walk if that's okay" - Dame Judi Dench is in this movie, and one of the two James Bond movies that also had their premieres at the Royal Albert Hall (Skyfall)

"They've all been told. You can punch any that disobey. Or ask security to punch them for you" - Dame Judi Dench suffers from an eye ailment and all the Paparazzi were instructed to turn OFF their flashes when photographing her.

"They've all been told. You can punch any that disobey. Or ask security to punch them for you" - Dame Judi Dench suffers from an eye ailment and all the Paparazzi were instructed to turn OFF their flashes when photographing her.

One of the weirdest things I've ever experienced at a premiere is hearing the 10fps clicking of dozens and dozens of professional photographers without seeing a single flash go off. (both of my two cameras are set up without an attached flash)

One of the weirdest things I've ever experienced at a premiere is hearing the 10fps clicking of dozens and dozens of professional photographers without seeing a single flash go off. (both of my two cameras are set up without an attached flash)

"But... but... I wanted to run all along the carpet in a zig-zag pattern with gleeful abandon!" Michelle Pfeiffer, who is in this movie, has arrived. I've only photographed her once previously, and not particularly well, at the premiere of Dark Shadows back in 2012

"But... but... I wanted to run all along the carpet in a zig-zag pattern with gleeful abandon!" Michelle Pfeiffer, who is in this movie, has arrived. I've only photographed her once previously, and not particularly well, at the premiere of Dark Shadows back in 2012

"Stop calling me a 'thespian' - there's one guy that keeps doing it thinking it's some kind of ego-boosting thing. I'm just an actor, man" - noted thespian Sir Derek Jakobi is in this movie.

"Stop calling me a 'thespian' - there's one guy that keeps doing it thinking it's some kind of ego-boosting thing. I'm just an actor, man" - noted thespian Sir Derek Jakobi is in this movie.

"I know he's an autograph dealer and therefore not to be trusted, but I don't see how he could have stolen your wallet from all the way over there....."

"I know he's an autograph dealer and therefore not to be trusted, but I don't see how he could have stolen your wallet from all the way over there....."

Michelle Pfeiffer approaches the parapazzi cordon, and a guy in our pen really wants her autograph and is calling out for her in a voice several octaves higher than his regular speaking voice, which is disconcerting.

Michelle Pfeiffer approaches the parapazzi cordon, and a guy in our pen really wants her autograph and is calling out for her in a voice several octaves higher than his regular speaking voice, which is disconcerting.

My Favourite Catwoman. (Though I thought Anne Hathaway was very good)

My Favourite Catwoman. (Though I thought Anne Hathaway was very good)

"Well, I hope you're feeling pleased with yourself after all those hours spent waiting in the cold and uncertainty of a world premiere". (Between you and me my photos on the night weren't entirely all that great, quality wise, especially given my proximity to the stars. All I can conclude is that usually I have to work much harder at premieres, and being given an easier spot confused me?)

"Well, I hope you're feeling pleased with yourself after all those hours spent waiting in the cold and uncertainty of a world premiere". (Between you and me my photos on the night weren't entirely all that great, quality wise, especially given my proximity to the stars. All I can conclude is that usually I have to work much harder at premieres, and being given an easier spot confused me?)

"He's rambling ungratefully about something that has nothing to do with our movie. Let's move on"

"He's rambling ungratefully about something that has nothing to do with our movie. Let's move on"

And I might even have taken another shot of this scene with the camera held back a bit, and in doing so taken my first ever premiere selfie (featuring not one but FIVE noted actors). I say "might have". It was a weird night. Any number of things *might* have also have happened.

And I might even have taken another shot of this scene with the camera held back a bit, and in doing so taken my first ever premiere selfie (featuring not one but FIVE noted actors). I say "might have". It was a weird night. Any number of things *might* have also have happened.

"That's where Judi Dench stood, but I gotta warn you, they're probably going to use their flashes at full power for you" - Tom Bateman is in this movie

"That's where Judi Dench stood, but I gotta warn you, they're probably going to use their flashes at full power for you" - Tom Bateman is in this movie

"They really REALLY want you to sign some Batman Return stuff. They asked me to tell you that. "really REALLY". Look, they made me write it on my hand and everything" "...." "So you're saying 'no'? I should tell them you said 'no'?" "....." "I'm going to tell them you said 'no'"

"They really REALLY want you to sign some Batman Return stuff. They asked me to tell you that. "really REALLY". Look, they made me write it on my hand and everything"
"...."
"So you're saying 'no'? I should tell them you said 'no'?"
"....."
"I'm going to tell them you said 'no'"

"OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!" "I'm only signing 'Grease2' and 'Sinbad : Legend of the Seven Seas' stuff...."

"OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!OMG!"
"I'm only signing 'Grease2' and 'Sinbad : Legend of the Seven Seas' stuff...."

"I'm NOBODY!!" this man cried out. Well, firstly, nobody wearing a bow tie like that is a nobody, and secondly unlike most of the people around me I did know who he was.

"I'm NOBODY!!" this man cried out. Well, firstly, nobody wearing a bow tie like that is a nobody, and secondly unlike most of the people around me I did know who he was.

Patrick Doyle is a composer who has done the music for most of Kenneth Branagh's movies (including Thor and Cinderella), but he's also scored a Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire), a Planet of the Apes movie ('Rise...') and a Pixar movie ('Brave'). His two Oscar nominations were for 'Hamlet' and 'Sense & Sensibility'.

Patrick Doyle is a composer who has done the music for most of Kenneth Branagh's movies (including Thor and Cinderella), but he's also scored a Harry Potter movie (Goblet of Fire), a Planet of the Apes movie ('Rise...') and a Pixar movie ('Brave'). His two Oscar nominations were for 'Hamlet' and 'Sense & Sensibility'.

"OMG - that's Patrick Doyle. He's awesome" - I know! Lucy Boynton is in this movie, and there's no reason she wouldn't/ couldn't be a soundtrack afficionado.

"OMG - that's Patrick Doyle. He's awesome" - I know! Lucy Boynton is in this movie, and there's no reason she wouldn't/ couldn't be a soundtrack afficionado.

"Somewhat impractical for wielding a lightsaber while wearing, but it's pretty, I guess". Daisy Ridley is arguably best known for a being a collectible Star Wars figurine tied to a movie series she's also in. She's also in this movie, and I'm not sure if there are collectible toys they're planning to release.

"Somewhat impractical for wielding a lightsaber while wearing, but it's pretty, I guess". Daisy Ridley is arguably best known for a being a collectible Star Wars figurine tied to a movie series she's also in. She's also in this movie, and I'm not sure if there are collectible toys they're planning to release.

.... and I don't even like Star Wars! (ps. to anyone who saw the unedited version of this image, where the pink ear of the dude behind Daisy Ridley was seemingly poking out of the side of her head... I can only apologise (again))

.... and I don't even like Star Wars!
(ps. to anyone who saw the unedited version of this image, where the pink ear of the dude behind Daisy Ridley was seemingly poking out of the side of her head... I can only apologise (again))

"Could you just sign one or two lunchboxes, a few mint on card figures, a couple of posters and DVDs and this piece of paper for my cousin?" "What's you're cousin's name?" "He's... uh.... got the same name as I do. But that's just a coincidence" Daisy Ridley declined to sign in our area...

"Could you just sign one or two lunchboxes, a few mint on card figures, a couple of posters and DVDs and this piece of paper for my cousin?"
"What's you're cousin's name?"
"He's... uh.... got the same name as I do. But that's just a coincidence"

Daisy Ridley declined to sign in our area...

"She wouldn't sign? Well, I can autograph those figures for you if you want, and if Disney is okay with that". Personally, I think Disney is okay with you doing anything they can sue you for later, or grab another 5% of the box office take in retribution.

"She wouldn't sign? Well, I can autograph those figures for you if you want, and if Disney is okay with that". Personally, I think Disney is okay with you doing anything they can sue you for later, or grab another 5% of the box office take in retribution.

"I can't afford to get sued by Disney - I'm young and pretty and I want to be in one of their franchises one day!" ... and don't we all.

"I can't afford to get sued by Disney - I'm young and pretty and I want to be in one of their franchises one day!" ... and don't we all.

"No, seriously, it's just a simple waiver form. Everyone's signed it. You don't need to read it. This is nothing suspicious" - Sergei Polunin looks doubtful, and is also in this movie.

"No, seriously, it's just a simple waiver form. Everyone's signed it. You don't need to read it. This is nothing suspicious" - Sergei Polunin looks doubtful, and is also in this movie.

"I signed it. I hope it's a contract to use my name and likeness for a smart-casual fragrance to which I'll be entitled to 51% of the profits... I hear that happens sometimes"

"I signed it. I hope it's a contract to use my name and likeness for a smart-casual fragrance to which I'll be entitled to 51% of the profits... I hear that happens sometimes"

"Spontaneously discreet fist-bump?" "But I was going for a quiet low-five." "Damnit.. we need to co-ordinate this better" - Josh Gad is in this movie and best known (arguably) as the voice of the snowman Olaf in Disney's 'Frozen'

"Spontaneously discreet fist-bump?"
"But I was going for a quiet low-five."
"Damnit.. we need to co-ordinate this better"
- Josh Gad is in this movie and best known (arguably) as the voice of the snowman Olaf in Disney's 'Frozen'

Olivia Colman was excellent in the fanastic 'The Lobster (2015)'... but does that beige purse fit with the colour of that dress? I don't know the answer to that question, and it's after midnight and I can't think of any online resources to answer this question... other than literally typing it into Google I suppose.

Olivia Colman was excellent in the fanastic 'The Lobster (2015)'... but does that beige purse fit with the colour of that dress? I don't know the answer to that question, and it's after midnight and I can't think of any online resources to answer this question... other than literally typing it into Google I suppose.

"It's not beige. It's freakin' Light Salmon". My mistake.

"It's not beige. It's freakin' Light Salmon". My mistake.

"They're still calling me to sign stuff. But nothing from Studio Ghibli..... all Star Wars stuff". Even I was surprised to read that Daisy Ridley was a voice in the English dub of "Only Yesterday"... also because she was born in 1992 while that movie was made in 1991. I guess that's theoretically possible....

"They're still calling me to sign stuff. But nothing from Studio Ghibli..... all Star Wars stuff". Even I was surprised to read that Daisy Ridley was a voice in the English dub of "Only Yesterday"... also because she was born in 1992 while that movie was made in 1991. I guess that's theoretically possible....

It's true. I'm part of the small minority that feels Disney's 'Tangled' wasn't just better, but highly superior, to 'Frozen'. And I will defend my position.

It's true. I'm part of the small minority that feels Disney's 'Tangled' wasn't just better, but highly superior, to 'Frozen'. And I will defend my position.

"She's not in the cast of the movie, but her agent says she skinned that alpaca  and hand-dyed its pelt herself, which she adds is not easy"

"She's not in the cast of the movie, but her agent says she skinned that alpaca  and hand-dyed its pelt herself, which she adds is not easy"

"yes you have". I was all set to say that sadly I've never watched anything Leslie Odom Jr. has been in, but it turns out he was in the George Lucas-produced "Red Tails" (2012) which... well... watch it if you have to, I suppose.

"yes you have". I was all set to say that sadly I've never watched anything Leslie Odom Jr. has been in, but it turns out he was in the George Lucas-produced "Red Tails" (2012) which... well... watch it if you have to, I suppose.

Leslie Odom Jr.

Leslie Odom Jr.

"OMG it's Leslie Odom Junior. JUNIOR!!!"

"OMG it's Leslie Odom Junior. JUNIOR!!!"

I don't know who this is, but she's pretty and knows it to the point where she was professional enough to turn to every single photographer but NOT me, showing she clearly realises how little pull I have in the world of fashion (this despite all the years Ive covered Tha Streetz at London Fashion Week...)

I don't know who this is, but she's pretty and knows it to the point where she was professional enough to turn to every single photographer but NOT me, showing she clearly realises how little pull I have in the world of fashion (this despite all the years Ive covered Tha Streetz at London Fashion Week...)

"I'm just going to ask you some random questions now... I'll be honest I'm mostly just waiting for Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp to show up."

"I'm just going to ask you some random questions now... I'll be honest I'm mostly just waiting for Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz and Johnny Depp to show up."

"I'm mostly signing this so that the dealers further below get really pissed off I'm not signing it for them". Some days there is no higher reason to do anything than To Piss Off Autograph Dealers.

"I'm mostly signing this so that the dealers further below get really pissed off I'm not signing it for them". Some days there is no higher reason to do anything than To Piss Off Autograph Dealers.

With the arrival of Penelope Cruz, we're about nine down, two to go from the poster used to advertise this movie (and EVERYONE is set to attend this World Premiere)

With the arrival of Penelope Cruz, we're about nine down, two to go from the poster used to advertise this movie (and EVERYONE is set to attend this World Premiere)

"But I wasn't even in a Star Wars movie. What could they possibly want me to sign?" Penelope Cruz won a best supporting Oscar for Vicky Christina Barcelona, but is arguably (and possibly regrettably) best known for being in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (the 4th one)

"But I wasn't even in a Star Wars movie. What could they possibly want me to sign?" Penelope Cruz won a best supporting Oscar for Vicky Christina Barcelona, but is arguably (and possibly regrettably) best known for being in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (the 4th one)

"Oh, to have chosen a slimming and shimmering black dress over this faux cheetah thing I'm wearing..." "I'm sorry... are you touching my arm while regretting that?"

"Oh, to have chosen a slimming and shimmering black dress over this faux cheetah thing I'm wearing..."
"I'm sorry... are you touching my arm while regretting that?"

"Don't worry, I'll get that other one looked at" If you backed me into a corner and asked me to name five movies Penelope Cruz was in RIGHT NOW, I think four would be me mistaking her for Salma Hayek. And vice versa.

"Don't worry, I'll get that other one looked at" If you backed me into a corner and asked me to name five movies Penelope Cruz was in RIGHT NOW, I think four would be me mistaking her for Salma Hayek. And vice versa.

"Oh, very well.... I guess I can sign one or two movies I was in. Or Derek Jacobi was in - I'm pretty sure I know how his signature goes..."

"Oh, very well.... I guess I can sign one or two movies I was in. Or Derek Jacobi was in - I'm pretty sure I know how his signature goes..."

"I don't mind. That first Spider-Man trilogy was quite a while ago now.." Willem Dafoe risks being swamped by dealers who have just discovered Johnny Depp is just behind him. He was The Green Goblin in the Toby Maguire Spider-Man franchise.

"I don't mind. That first Spider-Man trilogy was quite a while ago now.." Willem Dafoe risks being swamped by dealers who have just discovered Johnny Depp is just behind him. He was The Green Goblin in the Toby Maguire Spider-Man franchise.

"If I roll this dice and the number is even, I'll sign that. But if it's not.... let's just say it'll be interesting. Are you in?" Most recently Willem Dafoe was in (but technically not entirely at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of) "The Florida Project".

"If I roll this dice and the number is even, I'll sign that. But if it's not.... let's just say it'll be interesting. Are you in?" Most recently Willem Dafoe was in (but technically not entirely at the BFI London Film Festival premiere of) "The Florida Project".

At first i was going to make a comment about how even famous film stars will look up at a large monitor and admire themselves being shown on it. But in this case I think it was broadcasting the mayhem of Johnny Depp signing for the Main Dealer Pen.

At first i was going to make a comment about how even famous film stars will look up at a large monitor and admire themselves being shown on it. But in this case I think it was broadcasting the mayhem of Johnny Depp signing for the Main Dealer Pen.

"I made it out alive. Sort of. Only just." - it's Johnny Depp!!! You know... he's of "It's Johnny Dep!!!" fame.

"I made it out alive. Sort of. Only just." - it's Johnny Depp!!! You know... he's of "It's Johnny Dep!!!" fame.

"All right. I forgot my sunglasses but I think I can get my driver to take me back to the hotel and help me with most of the stuff I need to do in the next 48 hours if you medically blind me..." - I've photographed Johnny Depp at several premieres, including "Public Enemies", "The Lone Ranger" and "Black Mass"

"All right. I forgot my sunglasses but I think I can get my driver to take me back to the hotel and help me with most of the stuff I need to do in the next 48 hours if you medically blind me..." - I've photographed Johnny Depp at several premieres, including "Public Enemies", "The Lone Ranger" and "Black Mass"

"Mortdecai? Really? But my moustache is so much better now...."

"Mortdecai? Really? But my moustache is so much better now...."

"Half of the fun of wearing a bow-tie is having it lazily draped like this". I say three-quarters.

"Half of the fun of wearing a bow-tie is having it lazily draped like this". I say three-quarters.

And that? Is that.

And that? Is that.

So that, unaccountably, and certainly unexpectedly, turned out to be pretty amazing in terms of being a huge reversal of fortune. But I'm tired now, so I'll reflect on it later. Maybe tomorrow. Oh wait... it's past midnight so it's ALREADY tomorrow.

Eh. I'm tired, I'm sorry about the spelling mistakes, and Until Next Time!

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals, feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or twitter at berndt2_photo; and if you want to tell me how hard it is to put people into a pen in number order... well... my life is boring enough. Why not.