3 Oct - The 'Johnny English Strikes Again' Special Screening

October 3rd, 2018.

After yesterday’s pretty fun premiere for ‘The Romanoffs’, today I came crashing down to earth with a thud, with a premiere I hadn’t anticipated going to, which I therefore prepared improperly for, adapted poorly to, and finally have to blame myself for…. for my insane ongoing belief in the possibility that Pentax cameras can be used at major events. Sure, they can… but not really. And not this time.

Here’s how it went down:

Unlike yesterday, today they did not close down the road, and there were no wristbands, and the only red carpet was across the road from where I/we stood… on a road that would not even be closed down for the event. Hurray for passing London traffic, and its fumes of diesel. It’s a far cry from the much more grand    premiere the second Johnny English film had in 2011   .

Unlike yesterday, today they did not close down the road, and there were no wristbands, and the only red carpet was across the road from where I/we stood… on a road that would not even be closed down for the event. Hurray for passing London traffic, and its fumes of diesel.
It’s a far cry from the much more grand premiere the second Johnny English film had in 2011.

To highlight the metaphorical divide between what I’ll loosely call “The Fans” on our side and Media on the other, they’ve now put in place a literal divide of red tape to further discourage any attendees from heading across to us. Not sure why they didn’t just pull a gun on us or something.

To highlight the metaphorical divide between what I’ll loosely call “The Fans” on our side and Media on the other, they’ve now put in place a literal divide of red tape to further discourage any attendees from heading across to us. Not sure why they didn’t just pull a gun on us or something.

My only ‘gimmick’ at this premiere : I had a monopod to shoot with, using the Pentax’s stupidly slow 1 frame per 2 seconds interval shooting mode. Damnit, my old K5 was TWICE as fast…. and my current GoPro FOUR times. So why am I using the K1? Near as I can tell, stupidity.

My only ‘gimmick’ at this premiere : I had a monopod to shoot with, using the Pentax’s stupidly slow 1 frame per 2 seconds interval shooting mode. Damnit, my old K5 was TWICE as fast…. and my current GoPro FOUR times. So why am I using the K1? Near as I can tell, stupidity.

This movie’s director, David Kerr, is best known for directing episodes of TV series, while I’m possibly best known for smashing ill-performing cameras against walls (eg.    Rogue One     vs K3).

This movie’s director, David Kerr, is best known for directing episodes of TV series, while I’m possibly best known for smashing ill-performing cameras against walls (eg. Rogue One vs K3).

“And you brought this camera instead of a mobile phone why exactly?”  Bridge cameras and point-and-shoots are looking kind of lame compared to the many fine features found in mobile phones these days. (Actually, WHY DIDN’T I didn’t use my new mobile phone at this event?)

“And you brought this camera instead of a mobile phone why exactly?” Bridge cameras and point-and-shoots are looking kind of lame compared to the many fine features found in mobile phones these days. (Actually, WHY DIDN’T I didn’t use my new mobile phone at this event?)

This is a crop of Olga Kurylenko, shot on a Pentax set to f5 to maximise the chance of it being in focus. And not only is she not in focus, but what’s in focus is in the bottom fifth of the frame…. and I am shooting CENTRE FOCUS. Aiming for the centre of the Earth, Pentax?

This is a crop of Olga Kurylenko, shot on a Pentax set to f5 to maximise the chance of it being in focus. And not only is she not in focus, but what’s in focus is in the bottom fifth of the frame…. and I am shooting CENTRE FOCUS. Aiming for the centre of the Earth, Pentax?

I’ve skipped a metric f**kton of out-of-focus Olga Kurylenko shots to highlight this one, where the Pentax has decided that it’s got a better chance of getting an in-focus photo of the actress by focusing on the screens of other mobile phones pointed at her. Slow hand-clap for the Pentax.

I’ve skipped a metric f**kton of out-of-focus Olga Kurylenko shots to highlight this one, where the Pentax has decided that it’s got a better chance of getting an in-focus photo of the actress by focusing on the screens of other mobile phones pointed at her. Slow hand-clap for the Pentax.

This photo is also not in focus. Neither were the last 10 or next 20 I didn’t post…. and incidentally neither is the frown on the security guy behind Olga Kurylenko in focus, but somehow it’s so representative of my mood right now that it feels like it is.

This photo is also not in focus. Neither were the last 10 or next 20 I didn’t post…. and incidentally neither is the frown on the security guy behind Olga Kurylenko in focus, but somehow it’s so representative of my mood right now that it feels like it is.

OMG. The first in-focus photo of Olga Kurylenko happens when a PASSING F**KING TRUCK momentarily freaks out the Pentax’s autofocus, causing it to more or less randomly panic and leap to the actress’ face. Needless to say, the autofocus moves on scant frames later.

OMG. The first in-focus photo of Olga Kurylenko happens when a PASSING F**KING TRUCK momentarily freaks out the Pentax’s autofocus, causing it to more or less randomly panic and leap to the actress’ face. Needless to say, the autofocus moves on scant frames later.

The next in-focus shot comes when a dealer simultaneously raises a photo to get signed AND the actress ducks down for a selfie with the guy with the amazing bridge camera. Thanks, camera.

The next in-focus shot comes when a dealer simultaneously raises a photo to get signed AND the actress ducks down for a selfie with the guy with the amazing bridge camera. Thanks, camera.

“You know that I’m an actress, with a real life and hopes and dreams. Not just a photographic subject?”  I’m just glad I photographed Olga Kurylenko at    the premiere for “Oblivion” back in 2013.

“You know that I’m an actress, with a real life and hopes and dreams. Not just a photographic subject?”
I’m just glad I photographed Olga Kurylenko at the premiere for “Oblivion” back in 2013.

One day they’ll sing songs about photographers who take portraits in the tiny gaps between heads. But they’ll be crap and highly self-indulgent. And hey, it’s in focus. Who knew.

One day they’ll sing songs about photographers who take portraits in the tiny gaps between heads. But they’ll be crap and highly self-indulgent. And hey, it’s in focus. Who knew.

Rowan Atkinson arrives and sees the impenetrable wall of doom that two traffic cones and some plastic tape represents, and decides coming across to our side of the road is not worth the risk. (He then does, signs maybe two autographs,and retreats)

Rowan Atkinson arrives and sees the impenetrable wall of doom that two traffic cones and some plastic tape represents, and decides coming across to our side of the road is not worth the risk. (He then does, signs maybe two autographs,and retreats)

“I’m just going to stand here until Rowan decides how he wants to approach this dilemma”

“I’m just going to stand here until Rowan decides how he wants to approach this dilemma”

Bearing in mind that my interval shooting speed is 1 frame per 2 seconds, Olga Kurylenko has been standing here for some time.

Bearing in mind that my interval shooting speed is 1 frame per 2 seconds, Olga Kurylenko has been standing here for some time.

Olga and Rowan posed,facing this direction for less than four seconds, meaning I had only two shots of them posing. One was blurry. This one was overexposed. Woo To the Hoo.

Olga and Rowan posed,facing this direction for less than four seconds, meaning I had only two shots of them posing. One was blurry. This one was overexposed. Woo To the Hoo.

Same shot as previously, except in colour. If I zoom in much further all it’s going to do is make me feel worse about myself, so I won’t.

Same shot as previously, except in colour. If I zoom in much further all it’s going to do is make me feel worse about myself, so I won’t.

“You can absolutely use this opportunity to tell me how great I am. Indeed, I almost insist upon it”

“You can absolutely use this opportunity to tell me how great I am. Indeed, I almost insist upon it”

“Well, I’m done. It’s been awesome. I’m out of here”  I can certainly agree to two thirds of those sentences.

“Well, I’m done. It’s been awesome. I’m out of here”
I can certainly agree to two thirds of those sentences.

And… that was that. I think it’s fairly evident that I hated this event, and the camera I chose to record it on. I dislike blaming my equipment, and I hate that I keep making strategic choices that leave me with the wrong equipment for the wrong event. And I hate walking home and thinking “I should’ve used the f**king GOPRO”… because I probably should have used it, and not the former flagship model of a company that once made decent cameras but certainly are as irrelevant as any trip to a camera store will reassure you.

So, if you’re a friend and see me at a premiere with a Pentax and I can’t provide evidence that I’ve also brought the Nikon, remember to punch me in the face for being a f**king idiot. Thanks.

Until whenever.

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