12 Oct - The BFI LFF 'The Ballad of Buster Scruggs' Premiere

October 12th, 2018.

Well, it’s day 3 of 12 of BFI LFF, and excitingly (at least for the lack of sleep I’ve been riding), today’s ‘main’ premiere in Leicester Square had an early start.

Here’s how it went down:

“You gonna unwrap those anytime soon?” ”Different union, guv. They gotta unwrap ‘em before I can lay ‘em” ”So you’re just gonna stand here and tweet until they get here?” ”Yep”

“You gonna unwrap those anytime soon?”
”Different union, guv. They gotta unwrap ‘em before I can lay ‘em”
”So you’re just gonna stand here and tweet until they get here?”
”Yep”

Brought the stepstool but forgot the camera. Regret is a powerful thing.

Brought the stepstool but forgot the camera.
Regret is a powerful thing.

“I’m not actually taking a photo : I’m hoping you’ll take a photo of ME pretending to take a photo, so people can see how cool I look when I’m taking a photo”  I wear a gold-lettered “L.A.” cap at summer premieres for precisely that reason.

“I’m not actually taking a photo : I’m hoping you’ll take a photo of ME pretending to take a photo, so people can see how cool I look when I’m taking a photo”
I wear a gold-lettered “L.A.” cap at summer premieres for precisely that reason.

“You really think the Coens will give us an interview when you’re standing here looking like that?” ”No - but I think it’ll get them to stop and stare, at which point I’ll have done my job and it’ll be up to YOU to convince them to give us an interview”

“You really think the Coens will give us an interview when you’re standing here looking like that?”
”No - but I think it’ll get them to stop and stare, at which point I’ll have done my job and it’ll be up to YOU to convince them to give us an interview”

“I bet they’d take us more seriously if we wore the Star Wars t-shirts I bought for us” ”Star Wars is lame now. The kids are all into DC movies now.” ”REALLY? Since when??” ”As if I’d know, Terry….. I still don’t even have an instagram”

“I bet they’d take us more seriously if we wore the Star Wars t-shirts I bought for us”
”Star Wars is lame now. The kids are all into DC movies now.”
”REALLY? Since when??”
”As if I’d know, Terry….. I still don’t even have an instagram”

“You can stop hugging me any time you want, John” ”… just like you can release your iron grip on your wallet any time you want, Dean”  I don’t know who these are but I have to assume something, somehow, is taking place.

“You can stop hugging me any time you want, John”
”… just like you can release your iron grip on your wallet any time you want, Dean”

I don’t know who these are but I have to assume something, somehow, is taking place.

True confession : I thought this was Tim Blake Nelson. But why would he wear a skirt like that? (Also : the guy she’s with is ALSO not Time Blake Nelson) (you should re-read that second sentence and check your male privilege, bro)

True confession : I thought this was Tim Blake Nelson. But why would he wear a skirt like that? (Also : the guy she’s with is ALSO not Time Blake Nelson) (you should re-read that second sentence and check your male privilege, bro)

True confession 2 : I bet a bit too heavily on this guy being Tim Blake Nelson. Which he isn’t / wasn’t.

True confession 2 : I bet a bit too heavily on this guy being Tim Blake Nelson.
Which he isn’t / wasn’t.

“Well, the Coens kinda prefer to write the stuff they direct, so I so the odds are slim that they’re going to accept your spec script”  - based on what I now know about the Coens’ reluctance to do interviews, let alone interact with fans, I think the odds are even worse.

“Well, the Coens kinda prefer to write the stuff they direct, so I so the odds are slim that they’re going to accept your spec script” - based on what I now know about the Coens’ reluctance to do interviews, let alone interact with fans, I think the odds are even worse.

The girls in my public pen were particularly interested in Harry Melling - he plays/played the vile (or perhaps ‘misunderstood’) Dudley Dursley - Harry Potter’s cousin - across the entire Potter saga.

The girls in my public pen were particularly interested in Harry Melling - he plays/played the vile (or perhaps ‘misunderstood’) Dudley Dursley - Harry Potter’s cousin - across the entire Potter saga.

“Harry totally deserved the way we treated him!! And that space under the stairs was roomier than it looked.”  Also it built character, kids.

“Harry totally deserved the way we treated him!! And that space under the stairs was roomier than it looked.” Also it built character, kids.

“I’m not sure they’d both fit into the same cinematic universe, but I suppose it might work…”   Zoe Kazan is possibly best known for two of the romantic comedies she’s been:    “What If”    with Daniel Radcliffe, and “The Big Sick” with Kumail Nanjiani .

“I’m not sure they’d both fit into the same cinematic universe, but I suppose it might work…”
Zoe Kazan is possibly best known for two of the romantic comedies she’s been: “What If” with Daniel Radcliffe, and “The Big Sick” with Kumail Nanjiani .

“… but if you add my character from ‘Ruby Sparks’, it would make it more meta. Hey, maybe we should get our people to arrange a meeting. Do you have people? Or people you can claim are your people?”

“… but if you add my character from ‘Ruby Sparks’, it would make it more meta. Hey, maybe we should get our people to arrange a meeting. Do you have people? Or people you can claim are your people?”

“No, my People can’t also be your People. That’s not how People works. ” Also note : the World’s Tallest Security Guard, the bottom of whose chin appears on the top right of this shot.

“No, my People can’t also be your People. That’s not how People works.
Also note : the World’s Tallest Security Guard, the bottom of whose chin appears on the top right of this shot.

Wireimage identifies this as ‘Scott Stuber’. He’s a producer… but not of this particular movie/anthology. Imdb offers 37 credits, including 1997’s ‘Volcano’, the movie that offered the world the possibility of both a volcano erupting in Los Angeles, and a love between Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche, both apparently likely at the time.

Wireimage identifies this as ‘Scott Stuber’. He’s a producer… but not of this particular movie/anthology. Imdb offers 37 credits, including 1997’s ‘Volcano’, the movie that offered the world the possibility of both a volcano erupting in Los Angeles, and a love between Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche, both apparently likely at the time.

It’s Frances McDormand! - she won an Oscar (and was at last year’s BFI London Film Festival Closing premiere) for “   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri   ”. She’s married to one of the two Coens (… Joel?) and after exactly three rapidfire shots from the Nikon, the fat-faced lady in the foreground blocked further shots where she was facing in my direction until….

It’s Frances McDormand! - she won an Oscar (and was at last year’s BFI London Film Festival Closing premiere) for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. She’s married to one of the two Coens (… Joel?) and after exactly three rapidfire shots from the Nikon, the fat-faced lady in the foreground blocked further shots where she was facing in my direction until….

“Clear the carpet : I think he’s going to run down all of it! ” - Frances McDormand didn’t stop (or really even pause) on her flight down the carpet into the cinema. Her husband provided marginally more interaction with the event. Marginally.

“Clear the carpet : I think he’s going to run down all of it!” - Frances McDormand didn’t stop (or really even pause) on her flight down the carpet into the cinema. Her husband provided marginally more interaction with the event. Marginally.

Having posed for the VIP Paparazzi, and possibly not bothered with the regular photographers (?), directors Joel Cohen (pictured) and Ethan Coen (not pictured) decided not to do interviews, let alone sign or pose for selfies or bless babies or politely decline offered spec scrips. And their wide retinue moved as one mass down the red carpet, blocking most shots.

Having posed for the VIP Paparazzi, and possibly not bothered with the regular photographers (?), directors Joel Cohen (pictured) and Ethan Coen (not pictured) decided not to do interviews, let alone sign or pose for selfies or bless babies or politely decline offered spec scrips. And their wide retinue moved as one mass down the red carpet, blocking most shots.

“Joel Coen is behind me and moving fast…. but there’s a really nice steak place just around that corner you might want to check out.”

“Joel Coen is behind me and moving fast…. but there’s a really nice steak place just around that corner you might want to check out.”

It’s only slightly better than a side-profile photo of Ethan Coen, but at least I did frame him against the increasingly iconic “ 50% SALE ” signs I’ve already photographed the likes of    director Steve McQueen    (and, a long time ago,    Bill Murray   ) in front of.

It’s only slightly better than a side-profile photo of Ethan Coen, but at least I did frame him against the increasingly iconic “50% SALE” signs I’ve already photographed the likes of director Steve McQueen (and, a long time ago, Bill Murray) in front of.

“I don’t give a crap about the starbursts : are the 50% SALE signs in focus? I can move if they’re not”

“I don’t give a crap about the starbursts : are the 50% SALE signs in focus? I can move if they’re not”

So… that was that, at least under ordinary circumstances. All the stars had gone into the cinema and all I had to do was head off to pick up my laptop and head home. However…..

I decided to see if I could get a better shot of the Coens… and that meant waiting for them to leave the cinema. Handy tip : the cast and crew very rarely stay to watch the movie that’s getting a premiere : typically they introduce the film and then head off to an after party, or the nearby Lego store, or one of the ever-growing number of Shake Shacks in London.  And….

I decided to see if I could get a better shot of the Coens… and that meant waiting for them to leave the cinema. Handy tip : the cast and crew very rarely stay to watch the movie that’s getting a premiere : typically they introduce the film and then head off to an after party, or the nearby Lego store, or one of the ever-growing number of Shake Shacks in London.

And….

After ten or Fifteen minutes of waiting… and this is as good as I got. Mixed result.

After ten or Fifteen minutes of waiting… and this is as good as I got. Mixed result.

So then I got back to the apartment and looked online and realised that….. erm…. I seemed to have not photographed Tim Blake Nelson : THE TITULAR BUSTER SCRUGGS IN THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS. I thought I’d photographed him (refer further above) but I learned that I hadn’t. So I hastily searched through the photographs I’d taken to see if he might have accidentally snuck in…. and…

“You Are The Scruggs?” ”Might be. Might not be”  The World’s Tallest Security Guard meets (?) Tim Blake Nelson.

“You Are The Scruggs?”
”Might be. Might not be”

The World’s Tallest Security Guard meets (?) Tim Blake Nelson.

So… that was that. Three sharks down, Lord, NINE Demon Fish to go. And I’m already starting to unravel to the extent that I’m quoting 1990s shark films…. hopefully enough thread remains to get me through all this.

Until Next Time!?

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