23 Oct - The 'BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY' World Premiere

October 23rd, 2018.

And so, after just a one day break since 12 consecutive days of premieres of London Film Festival, it’s time (already) for another premiere (#18 in 14 days!) - and it’s a World Premiere, in Wembley, with a Purple carpet and everything.

Here’s how it went down:

The story of how I got my wristband for this premiere would fill a viking saga, and/or be used as testimony against me in a court of law, depending how much of the blood, violence, threats, recrimination, friendship and betrayal was true and how much was hyperbole.

The story of how I got my wristband for this premiere would fill a viking saga, and/or be used as testimony against me in a court of law, depending how much of the blood, violence, threats, recrimination, friendship and betrayal was true and how much was hyperbole.

It’s mild, it’s autumn, and for those interested I am starting to unveil the lineup of beanies I hope to take into the more glamorous premieres in the colder months.

It’s mild, it’s autumn, and for those interested I am starting to unveil the lineup of beanies I hope to take into the more glamorous premieres in the colder months.

“Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger….. Hold on. Wait. There are kids here, are we allowed to be singing these lyrics??”

“Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger….. Hold on. Wait. There are kids here, are we allowed to be singing these lyrics??”

“This hair swish is about as rock’n’roll as I’m willing to get. Or at least for now, until Aiden Gillen shows up. He’s the guy I really want to impress.”

“This hair swish is about as rock’n’roll as I’m willing to get. Or at least for now, until Aiden Gillen shows up. He’s the guy I really want to impress.”

Excellent news : your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and his tame DJ Nuffin Reely Matterz were officiating in the warm-up, and though a friend of mine coined the term “Bohemian Rap-Rap-Rhapsody”, he never said it. I maintain one of the gold backpacks on offer would have been his had he put it forth.

Excellent news : your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and his tame DJ Nuffin Reely Matterz were officiating in the warm-up, and though a friend of mine coined the term “Bohemian Rap-Rap-Rhapsody”, he never said it. I maintain one of the gold backpacks on offer would have been his had he put it forth.

The girls on the right were robbed of freeness by their edge-spot in the long secondary pen. They had more kinds of scary exuberance than most.

The girls on the right were robbed of freeness by their edge-spot in the long secondary pen. They had more kinds of scary exuberance than most.

The list for this world premiere is a very impressive one by size : a four by four grid per page, running for at least three pages. And with my spot being side-on to the posing board, and directly along the pathway all the stars would take AND my spot being directly behind the first media interview station all stars would be…. it couldn’t really be any easier.

The list for this world premiere is a very impressive one by size : a four by four grid per page, running for at least three pages. And with my spot being side-on to the posing board, and directly along the pathway all the stars would take AND my spot being directly behind the first media interview station all stars would be…. it couldn’t really be any easier.

I reiterate. COULD. NOT. BE. EASIER. This is my GoPro at probably 2.5metres. Implausible for detailed shooting. But clearly… this thing is less a premiere than an oldschool post-Christmas sale.

I reiterate. COULD. NOT. BE. EASIER.
This is my GoPro at probably 2.5metres. Implausible for detailed shooting. But clearly… this thing is less a premiere than an oldschool post-Christmas sale.

Jim Beach is the only person I was able to photograph long-range to the posing board before The Hordes descended upon the carpet. He is/was the band’s manager.

Jim Beach is the only person I was able to photograph long-range to the posing board before The Hordes descended upon the carpet. He is/was the band’s manager.

Kashmira Bulsara is the late Freddie Mercury’s sister. I suppose a similar precedent was set at the premiere of    The Beatles’ Eight Days A Week    concert film, where ex-wives and relatives attended in place of members unable to attend.

Kashmira Bulsara is the late Freddie Mercury’s sister. I suppose a similar precedent was set at the premiere of The Beatles’ Eight Days A Week concert film, where ex-wives and relatives attended in place of members unable to attend.

“It’s not so much inspired by Freddie as it is a generic, and somewhat ill-timed disguise. Oops.”

“It’s not so much inspired by Freddie as it is a generic, and somewhat ill-timed disguise. Oops.”

“Did it hurt?” ”Not as much as removing the tattoo of Beethoven I used to have there… after which my chamber orchestra colleagues also made me feel really bad.”

“Did it hurt?”
”Not as much as removing the tattoo of Beethoven I used to have there… after which my chamber orchestra colleagues also made me feel really bad.”

“The tickets to see the movie were cheap, but I paid extra to have mine specially embossed”.  I endorse this. Only lame people print out QPR codes or use their mobiles.

“The tickets to see the movie were cheap, but I paid extra to have mine specially embossed”.
I endorse this. Only lame people print out QPR codes or use their mobiles.

Lucy Boynton arrives and I get my first real taste for the mayhem the people in my barely 1-deep pen are capable of. I might even have had a miniature step-stool I briefly stood upon, but when I vacated it even momentarily some girl stood on it and… well…. you try being a dude whose property has been co-opted during the Time’s Up era wanting his stuff back. Dude… I’m part of the patriarchy. I’m pretty sure I’m meant to deserve this.

Lucy Boynton arrives and I get my first real taste for the mayhem the people in my barely 1-deep pen are capable of. I might even have had a miniature step-stool I briefly stood upon, but when I vacated it even momentarily some girl stood on it and… well…. you try being a dude whose property has been co-opted during the Time’s Up era wanting his stuff back. Dude… I’m part of the patriarchy. I’m pretty sure I’m meant to deserve this.

“I have me the enemy, and they are Dealer”  - in retrospect, the layout of the premiere meant that there was no ‘best’ pen - all that weren’t affected by some 5000+ people marching past them or standing wherever they wanted with minimal effort by security to move them on, had limited direct views. The Dealers did okay, though. Please don’t worry about The Dealers.

“I have me the enemy, and they are Dealer” - in retrospect, the layout of the premiere meant that there was no ‘best’ pen - all that weren’t affected by some 5000+ people marching past them or standing wherever they wanted with minimal effort by security to move them on, had limited direct views. The Dealers did okay, though. Please don’t worry about The Dealers.

“This is how they high-five in Hollywood now!!” ”But which of these hands are yours and which ones are mine and what do we do with them?”  - I have photographed Lucy Boynton once before, at the equally massive    World Premiere for ‘Murder on the Orient Express   ’ last year.

“This is how they high-five in Hollywood now!!”
”But which of these hands are yours and which ones are mine and what do we do with them?”
- I have photographed Lucy Boynton once before, at the equally massive World Premiere for ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ last year.

“Are the eye-lashes real? Well, there might be a kind of magic involved.” ”Were you contractually required to use the lyrics of at least one Queen song into your answers?” ”I’m not allowed to say”

“Are the eye-lashes real? Well, there might be a kind of magic involved.”
”Were you contractually required to use the lyrics of at least one Queen song into your answers?”
”I’m not allowed to say”

Good news (for me) - the most reliable angle for my photography currently involves shooting over and through the crowd of the third side of the triangle I’m on the second side of, long range. Generally speaking I prefer long-range at events because (a) there are less people futilely holding up mobile phones to capture such shots, and (b) my Nikon’s autofocus reliably nails focus at that distance, and (c) I like the challenge.

Good news (for me) - the most reliable angle for my photography currently involves shooting over and through the crowd of the third side of the triangle I’m on the second side of, long range. Generally speaking I prefer long-range at events because (a) there are less people futilely holding up mobile phones to capture such shots, and (b) my Nikon’s autofocus reliably nails focus at that distance, and (c) I like the challenge.

Allen Leech plays Freddy Mercury’s manager ‘Paul Prenter’ in the movie, but is arguably best known for being in 45 episodes of Downton Abbey, which I’d like to think features several songs by Queen played discreetly on harpsichord to see if anyone is paying attention.

Allen Leech plays Freddy Mercury’s manager ‘Paul Prenter’ in the movie, but is arguably best known for being in 45 episodes of Downton Abbey, which I’d like to think features several songs by Queen played discreetly on harpsichord to see if anyone is paying attention.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing dark sunglasses?” ”Why?” ”I have it on good authority that the guy you play will turn up wearing sunglasses”  Ben Hardy plays Queen bandmember Roger Taylor in this film.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing dark sunglasses?”
”Why?”
”I have it on good authority that the guy you play will turn up wearing sunglasses”

Ben Hardy plays Queen bandmember Roger Taylor in this film.

“Standing here with me now …. Queen’s very own Roger Taylor!! Meanwhile, I hear Ben Hardy decided to attend the premiere sunglasses-less. I’ll be asking him about that later..”

“Standing here with me now …. Queen’s very own Roger Taylor!! Meanwhile, I hear Ben Hardy decided to attend the premiere sunglasses-less. I’ll be asking him about that later..”

“Curse him and his stylish ways”  Up until seconds ago I had no idea Ben Hardy played ‘Angel’ in    X-Men Apocalypse   .

“Curse him and his stylish ways”
Up until seconds ago I had no idea Ben Hardy played ‘Angel’ in X-Men Apocalypse.

This premiere’s other Queen bandmember in attendance is Brian May, who has been wearing Brian May’s Amazing Hair with considerable aplomb for some time now. I last photographed him wearing the same hair at    this year’s Olivier Awards, I think.

This premiere’s other Queen bandmember in attendance is Brian May, who has been wearing Brian May’s Amazing Hair with considerable aplomb for some time now. I last photographed him wearing the same hair at this year’s Olivier Awards, I think.

“Right now I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that my hair is more Brian May-like than my next guest up here : Gwylim Lee - who plays Brian May in this movie!!”

“Right now I’m feeling pretty good about the fact that my hair is more Brian May-like than my next guest up here : Gwylim Lee - who plays Brian May in this movie!!”

Shooting through the media ain’t as easy at this premiere as I’d hoped. And at the ‘leading’ edge of the pen where I once stood, it quickly got three-deep with people holding up mobile phones that I couldn’t shoot past, or through.

Shooting through the media ain’t as easy at this premiere as I’d hoped. And at the ‘leading’ edge of the pen where I once stood, it quickly got three-deep with people holding up mobile phones that I couldn’t shoot past, or through.

I briefly get a chance to shoot high-and-blind into the interview area and catch a few in-focus shots before she moves into another, more distant spot.

I briefly get a chance to shoot high-and-blind into the interview area and catch a few in-focus shots before she moves into another, more distant spot.

It’s Mike Myers! I’ve never previously photographed him, and I might be ever so slightly more excited than he is about that.

It’s Mike Myers! I’ve never previously photographed him, and I might be ever so slightly more excited than he is about that.

“NO! If you put any more salt than this much into it, it’s not just RUINED, but you might as well burn down the kitchen you’re using to make

“NO! If you put any more salt than this much into it, it’s not just RUINED, but you might as well burn down the kitchen you’re using to make

“Not one of you so-called journalists has asked me about the medal I’m wearing around my neck. Now I ask YOU - do you think I’d be wearing it if I didn’t want to be asked about it??”  Mike Myers is probably still best known for any number of roles in the Austin Powers movies - Austin Powers, Doctor Evil, Fat Bastard…whatever the villain in that third movie was called…

“Not one of you so-called journalists has asked me about the medal I’m wearing around my neck. Now I ask YOU - do you think I’d be wearing it if I didn’t want to be asked about it??”
Mike Myers is probably still best known for any number of roles in the Austin Powers movies - Austin Powers, Doctor Evil, Fat Bastard…whatever the villain in that third movie was called…

“He plays Freddy Mercury’s boyfriend in the movie, his look of Blue Steel is stunning and he’s more stylishly dressed than I am so I won’t be having him up here long : it’s Aaron McCusker!!”

“He plays Freddy Mercury’s boyfriend in the movie, his look of Blue Steel is stunning and he’s more stylishly dressed than I am so I won’t be having him up here long : it’s Aaron McCusker!!”

It’s Rami Malek! He plays Freddie Mercury himself in the film, and he’s probably the one person in the cast this journal really couldn’t have afforded to be without (which is to say : the crowd in our public pen is still milling arond the media corner, and shooting long-range to the stage is still kind of hit-or-miss)

It’s Rami Malek! He plays Freddie Mercury himself in the film, and he’s probably the one person in the cast this journal really couldn’t have afforded to be without (which is to say : the crowd in our public pen is still milling arond the media corner, and shooting long-range to the stage is still kind of hit-or-miss)

I was pretty close to deleting the dual ‘ET’ signs on the interviewer’s microphone, but this mid-range shot that somehow the people in the pen were too cool / oblivious to see was mainly due to them. Also : Rami Malek seems very nice : I’ve photographed him only once before, as a guest at    the “Lost City of Z” premiere   .

I was pretty close to deleting the dual ‘ET’ signs on the interviewer’s microphone, but this mid-range shot that somehow the people in the pen were too cool / oblivious to see was mainly due to them. Also : Rami Malek seems very nice : I’ve photographed him only once before, as a guest at the “Lost City of Z” premiere.

No longer as interested since I’m not saying anything about him, but keeping an ear out just in case. That’s the mark of a professional.

No longer as interested since I’m not saying anything about him, but keeping an ear out just in case. That’s the mark of a professional.

“You play #2, who was subsequently replaced by #3. Were you as hurt by this even as an actor as the character in question?”  - Aiden Gillen plays Queen’s Second Manager, John Reid.

“You play #2, who was subsequently replaced by #3. Were you as hurt by this even as an actor as the character in question?” - Aiden Gillen plays Queen’s Second Manager, John Reid.

“I’ll answer that question as soon as I’ve heard what Aaron says for his. I’m not saying I’ll copy his answer… but maybe I’ll adapt it, changing some of the minor details and elaborating further on some things. I’m an actor. it’s what I do”  - Aiden Gillen is best known for being Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish across 41 episodes of Game of Thrones.

“I’ll answer that question as soon as I’ve heard what Aaron says for his. I’m not saying I’ll copy his answer… but maybe I’ll adapt it, changing some of the minor details and elaborating further on some things. I’m an actor. it’s what I do” - Aiden Gillen is best known for being Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish across 41 episodes of Game of Thrones.

“It wasn’t self-bestowed, if that’s what you’re implying. And I hope youre NOT implying…”

“It wasn’t self-bestowed, if that’s what you’re implying. And I hope youre NOT implying…”

Trying to figure out what to do when a girl says she LOOOOOVES bass guitarists from famous bands, and you only play the bass guitarist in a movie about a famous band…… Joseph Mazzello plays Queen bassist Joe Deacon in the film

Trying to figure out what to do when a girl says she LOOOOOVES bass guitarists from famous bands, and you only play the bass guitarist in a movie about a famous band…… Joseph Mazzello plays Queen bassist Joe Deacon in the film

“So they’re letting people stand on barriers at this event?” ”Only if they’re REALLY fans. It helps identify them” ”I see….”

“So they’re letting people stand on barriers at this event?”
”Only if they’re REALLY fans. It helps identify them”
”I see….”

“We’re just to stop talking now and see what the guy does next. Is he scared of heights? Has he somehow gotten stuck? Is he at the wrong premiere and trying to find his way elsewhere? Part of me wants to get him up here and ask. I’m a journalist at heart, Brian. You understand”

“We’re just to stop talking now and see what the guy does next. Is he scared of heights? Has he somehow gotten stuck? Is he at the wrong premiere and trying to find his way elsewhere? Part of me wants to get him up here and ask. I’m a journalist at heart, Brian. You understand”

Rami Malek climbs the stage, and the crowd is stilled…. … except for the excited braying of autograph dealers. I think they want Aiden Gillen at the moment.

Rami Malek climbs the stage, and the crowd is stilled…. … except for the excited braying of autograph dealers. I think they want Aiden Gillen at the moment.

“I took care of it, Alex” ”That’s cool. I just wanted to know what happened to that guy standing on the railings” ”Like I said. I took care of it”

“I took care of it, Alex”
”That’s cool. I just wanted to know what happened to that guy standing on the railings”
”Like I said. I took care of it”

“This kiss for you. Just you, Sir. If anyone else catches it and thinks it’s for them, it’s not. And you’d better hand it over to him”

“This kiss for you. Just you, Sir. If anyone else catches it and thinks it’s for them, it’s not. And you’d better hand it over to him”

And finally….

“They asked me if I wanted to be in a Queen biopic and I said absolutely, as long as I could play the Duchess of York. They told me I was the third person who’d made a similar joke, but they still wanted me in the film. It was a close call, Alex.”

“They asked me if I wanted to be in a Queen biopic and I said absolutely, as long as I could play the Duchess of York. They told me I was the third person who’d made a similar joke, but they still wanted me in the film. It was a close call, Alex.”

So… that was that. A big, impressive, and yet difficult-to-photograph premiere. I came away with some lucky shots, but missed a lot more. Then again, this wasn’t exactly my first rodeo. It just felt like I’d been thrown around a bit more than usual. From here, it’s a bit quieter on the premieres front, though there is one a bit over a week from now to look forward to. My Archive of Premieres does need occasional feeding.

Until next time!

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