21 Nov - The 'Surviving Christmas With the Relatives' World Premiere

November 21st, 2018.

After the behemoth that was the Fantastic Beasts : The Crimes of Grindelwald premiere last week (so big it got a colour and black’n’white journal), and the weekend’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, London’s sole premiere this week was simultaneously (a) a World Premiere, and (b) officially stated publicly as a “No Impact Event” in Leicester Square.

What could that mean? Here’s how it went down:

As is often the case, the best seats for a premiere featuring no list, no wristbands, and a single public pen with room for less than 20 people on a night where temperatures were due to fall to somewhere around four degrees celsius… was at the friendly local Burger King overlooking at least part of the premiere.

As is often the case, the best seats for a premiere featuring no list, no wristbands, and a single public pen with room for less than 20 people on a night where temperatures were due to fall to somewhere around four degrees celsius… was at the friendly local Burger King overlooking at least part of the premiere.

Stupidly (and/or in the interests of discretion) I did not bring my Nikon into the King of Burgers’ upstairs throne room… instead relying on the Pentax, with its “fools choice” : a sub-par kit-lens with all the autofocus responsiveness of your pet goldfish…. or a great portrait lens without range.

Stupidly (and/or in the interests of discretion) I did not bring my Nikon into the King of Burgers’ upstairs throne room… instead relying on the Pentax, with its “fools choice” : a sub-par kit-lens with all the autofocus responsiveness of your pet goldfish…. or a great portrait lens without range.

“Taking a photo of the side and back of my head with a mobile phone. Well… it’s nice to know some people care about photography”  Patricia Hodge is in this movie, and I’m using a pentax kit lens through a glass window at night… I suspect the insult is roughly on par.

“Taking a photo of the side and back of my head with a mobile phone. Well… it’s nice to know some people care about photography” Patricia Hodge is in this movie, and I’m using a pentax kit lens through a glass window at night… I suspect the insult is roughly on par.

In contrast to many of the guests who will soon grace this small patch of Redness in Leicester Square’s green and pleasant land, actress Gemma Whelan is appropriately attired for the climate. (Though I’m still dressed warmer than she is…. and I’m indoors)

In contrast to many of the guests who will soon grace this small patch of Redness in Leicester Square’s green and pleasant land, actress Gemma Whelan is appropriately attired for the climate. (Though I’m still dressed warmer than she is…. and I’m indoors)

“When we ask for a talent moat and you don’t put in razor wire and a few guard towers, couldn’t you at least put in some piranhas and an actual moat?”  - The lady in purple and the man to her left are in this movie - Ronni Ancona and Michale Landes. I haven’t heard of either of them, but that’s on me, not on them, as they’ve presumably heard of themselves and each other.

“When we ask for a talent moat and you don’t put in razor wire and a few guard towers, couldn’t you at least put in some piranhas and an actual moat?” - The lady in purple and the man to her left are in this movie - Ronni Ancona and Michale Landes. I haven’t heard of either of them, but that’s on me, not on them, as they’ve presumably heard of themselves and each other.

Now they’re letting kids on red carpets? They’ve already invaded my weekend cafes and, last time I was in one, a local pub! Honestly… this country needs to establish some legal heroin shooting galleries just so there’s a public place that screaming kids legally CAN’T be! Anyway I believe these ones are in the movie. They’re probably entitled to be here. Forget I said anything.

Now they’re letting kids on red carpets? They’ve already invaded my weekend cafes and, last time I was in one, a local pub! Honestly… this country needs to establish some legal heroin shooting galleries just so there’s a public place that screaming kids legally CAN’T be! Anyway I believe these ones are in the movie. They’re probably entitled to be here. Forget I said anything.

“So I said… well, I’d better not repeat it here, but rest assured it was clever and highly suggestive yet also easily and plausibly deniable….. And what was the question again that you were asking?”

“So I said… well, I’d better not repeat it here, but rest assured it was clever and highly suggestive yet also easily and plausibly deniable….. And what was the question again that you were asking?”

“Let me put it another way : we dressed like this and it’s four degrees celsius. If you DON’T photograph us, it’s basically a different kind of assault”   I don’t know who they are, but I don’t want to be guilty of assault, or whatever.

“Let me put it another way : we dressed like this and it’s four degrees celsius. If you DON’T photograph us, it’s basically a different kind of assault”
I don’t know who they are, but I don’t want to be guilty of assault, or whatever.

“If they didn’t get my good side, it doesn’t matter, as I can no longer feel my good or my bad side”

“If they didn’t get my good side, it doesn’t matter, as I can no longer feel my good or my bad side”

Almost every person present in this photo is kind of amusing, from the dude in the beret on the top right who isn’t looking at anyone, to the confused lady on the top left, to the lady recoiling in some kind of shock behind a friend… to the presence of a bicycle helmet in the public pen on the bottom centre.

Almost every person present in this photo is kind of amusing, from the dude in the beret on the top right who isn’t looking at anyone, to the confused lady on the top left, to the lady recoiling in some kind of shock behind a friend… to the presence of a bicycle helmet in the public pen on the bottom centre.

“We went to all the trouble of installing a fireplace for people to pose against, and yet it’s non-functional meaning that none of the scantily-clad red carpet posers will derive any relief from the cold. ….. and it sucks that nobody realises it was all part of my evil plan”.

“We went to all the trouble of installing a fireplace for people to pose against, and yet it’s non-functional meaning that none of the scantily-clad red carpet posers will derive any relief from the cold. ….. and it sucks that nobody realises it was all part of my evil plan”.

“If none of y’all are looking, I might just check these stockings and see if Santa got here early”  I don’t know who this is, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen festive serviettes with the same pattern as her dress.

“If none of y’all are looking, I might just check these stockings and see if Santa got here early”
I don’t know who this is, but I’m fairly certain I’ve seen festive serviettes with the same pattern as her dress.

“Your question is fantastic, and deserves a carefully considered response. But I’m outside and it’s freezing so I’m going to say “square pecan” and let you puzzle it out while I head inside”

“Your question is fantastic, and deserves a carefully considered response. But I’m outside and it’s freezing so I’m going to say “square pecan” and let you puzzle it out while I head inside”

“Interviews are like football : you always shoot at the gap, not the player” ”Did they teach you that on the back of a box of cereal or something?”  - according to the imdb, Michael Landes is best known for the movie “Hooten & The Lady”. Nb. he was the Hooten.

“Interviews are like football : you always shoot at the gap, not the player”
”Did they teach you that on the back of a box of cereal or something?”
- according to the imdb, Michael Landes is best known for the movie “Hooten & The Lady”. Nb. he was the Hooten.

“Honestly, I’m not sure in what direction I should be looking. Can we come to some kind of consensus?”  - I believe the man in the centre is the director, but then I believe in a lot of things.

“Honestly, I’m not sure in what direction I should be looking. Can we come to some kind of consensus?”
- I believe the man in the centre is the director, but then I believe in a lot of things.

“You know how they wrap shock victims in gold or silver foil to keep them warm after accidents? Yeah… this dress doesn’t work that way.”

“You know how they wrap shock victims in gold or silver foil to keep them warm after accidents? Yeah… this dress doesn’t work that way.”

“I really can’t be held responsible for what anyone is wearing on this red carpet, appropriate or otherwise”  - James Dearden didn’t just write and direct this movie, but he was Oscar-nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘Fatal Attraction (1987)’

“I really can’t be held responsible for what anyone is wearing on this red carpet, appropriate or otherwise” - James Dearden didn’t just write and direct this movie, but he was Oscar-nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for ‘Fatal Attraction (1987)’

“hey, it’s my Peeps over there!!!”

“hey, it’s my Peeps over there!!!”

“Damn… turns out they weren’t my Peeps over there”  - despite posing for the Paparazzi, signing autographs and being interviewed, I have no idea who this is. Or who her Peeps are.

“Damn… turns out they weren’t my Peeps over there” - despite posing for the Paparazzi, signing autographs and being interviewed, I have no idea who this is. Or who her Peeps are.

So obviously I’m photographing the two dudes facing the photographers in front of the posing wall, and not the lady in the short maroon skirt, semi-translucent mesh top and cow-patterned boots….

So obviously I’m photographing the two dudes facing the photographers in front of the posing wall, and not the lady in the short maroon skirt, semi-translucent mesh top and cow-patterned boots….

Oh, look! They let a cute puppy dog onto the carpet. (Bottom, towards the left) (why, what were YOU looking at?)

Oh, look! They let a cute puppy dog onto the carpet. (Bottom, towards the left)
(why, what were YOU looking at?)

“I would have unbuttoned two, maybe three additional buttons on my shirt if I’d known what the ladies from earlier had endured in order to impress you all….”  - the man with a mere two unbuttoned-shirt top is Nick Hamson, one of the producers of the film.

“I would have unbuttoned two, maybe three additional buttons on my shirt if I’d known what the ladies from earlier had endured in order to impress you all….” - the man with a mere two unbuttoned-shirt top is Nick Hamson, one of the producers of the film.

Now that nobody’s distracted…. it’s a dog. Wearing a handkerchief, I think?

Now that nobody’s distracted…. it’s a dog. Wearing a handkerchief, I think?

“Is he still within earshot? He was lovely to work with…. but tell me when he’s gone and I can tell you some stuff they’ll almost certainly not put onto the DVD extras….”

“Is he still within earshot? He was lovely to work with…. but tell me when he’s gone and I can tell you some stuff they’ll almost certainly not put onto the DVD extras….”

“The story I’m sticking with? Some prick stole my jacket. Does anybody have a furry dog I can hold for the event? Failing that, has anyone got a match I can use to set fire to the tree to keep warm?”  - apparently this is Ellie Brown

“The story I’m sticking with? Some prick stole my jacket. Does anybody have a furry dog I can hold for the event? Failing that, has anyone got a match I can use to set fire to the tree to keep warm?”
- apparently this is Ellie Brown

“Well of course it’s form-fitting. Loose dresses haven’t been in since the 1960s and I’m not nearly brave enough to start the trend to bring them back….”  - apparently this is Olivia Cox.

“Well of course it’s form-fitting. Loose dresses haven’t been in since the 1960s and I’m not nearly brave enough to start the trend to bring them back….” - apparently this is Olivia Cox.

“If course I’m cold. I also note that none of you are clamouring to offer me your beanies or jackets…”  - wireimage identifies this victim of the death of chivarly as Ruby Bhogal.

“If course I’m cold. I also note that none of you are clamouring to offer me your beanies or jackets…” - wireimage identifies this victim of the death of chivarly as Ruby Bhogal.

“I know chivalry’s dead, now. Any chance you’d give up your jacket for Tha Sistahood? ….No?”

“I know chivalry’s dead, now. Any chance you’d give up your jacket for Tha Sistahood? ….No?”

“Exactly HERE is where I’d put the bar heater. Failing that, the bar. With enough cocktails maybe to hold out until the St Bernard with the Hard Stuff comes to rescue me”  Apparently this is Amber Turner

“Exactly HERE is where I’d put the bar heater. Failing that, the bar. With enough cocktails maybe to hold out until the St Bernard with the Hard Stuff comes to rescue me”
Apparently this is Amber Turner

Meanwhile the interior posing board of the Vue cinema contains a row of people I didn’t notice walking on the red carpet. Then again, there’s a remote chance I might have been momentarily distracted for a few moments.

Meanwhile the interior posing board of the Vue cinema contains a row of people I didn’t notice walking on the red carpet. Then again, there’s a remote chance I might have been momentarily distracted for a few moments.

But hey, if I haven’t fulfilled some kind of quota I need to when posting too many shots of ladies in tight clothing or men with insufficiently unbuttoned shirts, here ya go.

But hey, if I haven’t fulfilled some kind of quota I need to when posting too many shots of ladies in tight clothing or men with insufficiently unbuttoned shirts, here ya go.

“Me? Just walking my invisible dog. If you’ve got a problem with that, talk to my invisible lawyer. He’s over there”

“Me? Just walking my invisible dog. If you’ve got a problem with that, talk to my invisible lawyer. He’s over there”

“Maybe I should have expected that the carpet was going to be a near-identical shade of red…”   Joely Richardson, along with being somebody I photographed at    Sunday’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards   , is probably the main cast-drawcard of this film. Excepting the cute dog, and the many scantily dressed guests at its premiere I suppose.

“Maybe I should have expected that the carpet was going to be a near-identical shade of red…”
Joely Richardson, along with being somebody I photographed at Sunday’s Evening Standard Theatre Awards, is probably the main cast-drawcard of this film. Excepting the cute dog, and the many scantily dressed guests at its premiere I suppose.

This is probably the first premiere I’ve been to where the people outside the premiere outnumbered the people inside it; and there were more photographers in the photoraphers’ pen than public in the public pen. (Note : the public pen was actually locked down when it had less than 20 people in it, which might itself have been a record)

This is probably the first premiere I’ve been to where the people outside the premiere outnumbered the people inside it; and there were more photographers in the photoraphers’ pen than public in the public pen. (Note : the public pen was actually locked down when it had less than 20 people in it, which might itself have been a record)

“They serve warm drinks up there don’t they?”  - yes, and in sad news the micro-EasyCoffee place just two shops over from the Vue has closed down. I tried some of their weirder coffees once or twice. They weren’t great but running the business out of town over it seems a bit harsh.

“They serve warm drinks up there don’t they?” - yes, and in sad news the micro-EasyCoffee place just two shops over from the Vue has closed down. I tried some of their weirder coffees once or twice. They weren’t great but running the business out of town over it seems a bit harsh.

“Youse are orright…. insofar as I can judge at this distance and with this little evidence”  It’s Bob Geldof! Or, based on greater-percentage-photographed, its Bob Geldof’s Brown Beret!

“Youse are orright…. insofar as I can judge at this distance and with this little evidence”
It’s Bob Geldof! Or, based on greater-percentage-photographed, its Bob Geldof’s Brown Beret!

“She’s wearing even less dress than I AM!!”  - yes, but wireimage identifies the red dress lady, not the white, as Shelby Tribble.

“She’s wearing even less dress than I AM!!”
- yes, but wireimage identifies the red dress lady, not the white, as Shelby Tribble.

“Tim, I’m standing here on the red carpet, wondering whether it’s morally and karmically right to wish hypothermia and other complications upon supposedly ‘better-dressed’ women on the red carpet. I think I’ve made up my mind, though…. ”

“Tim, I’m standing here on the red carpet, wondering whether it’s morally and karmically right to wish hypothermia and other complications upon supposedly ‘better-dressed’ women on the red carpet. I think I’ve made up my mind, though…. ”

“Thankfully all those insanely under-dressed women have finally gone inside, But if the chattering of their teeth disturbs the screening, I’ll feel no hesitation in turfing them outside…”

“Thankfully all those insanely under-dressed women have finally gone inside, But if the chattering of their teeth disturbs the screening, I’ll feel no hesitation in turfing them outside…”

“So the straw poll of fans online suggests violence, alcohol, drugs, lying and staying with random strangers are the most popular means of Surviving Christmas with ones relatives… anyone care to comment?”

“So the straw poll of fans online suggests violence, alcohol, drugs, lying and staying with random strangers are the most popular means of Surviving Christmas with ones relatives… anyone care to comment?”

“Your cameras all take upwards of 10 frames per second. How many more fractions of a second do we need to stand here for you to get the shot?”

“Your cameras all take upwards of 10 frames per second. How many more fractions of a second do we need to stand here for you to get the shot?”

So… that was that. I took some 4,000 photos from the Burger King, all on the Pentax, most on the kit lens, all on a single battery charge… mainly because the autofocus on the camera struggled so much that ‘sheer quantity’ was the only to attempt to get enough photos together to ‘imply quality’. (are you reading this, PENTAX?). And did it work? Partly. However I took so many photos I didn’t have time to review more than a fraction of them so I’m sure I missed a lot of better shots.

Oh, well… there’s somewhere between 4 and 5 premieres in London on the four days from this Sunday. We’ll see how that goes.

Until next time!

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archive of premieres : here
last three events photographed : Fantastic Beasts 2, Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and The Lord Mayor’s Show.