27 Feb 2019 - The 'Captain Marvel' UK Gala and/or European Premiere

February 27th, 2019.

Depending on who or what you believe, London’s “Captain Marvel” event was either a “European Premiere” (as promoted on Premierescene and Markmeets beforehand, and WhatsOnTheRedCarpet afterwards), a “London Premiere” (as promoted by AllinLondon), a “UK Gala” (as promoted on the giant poster on the side of the cinema), or even a “European Gala” (as promoted afterwards on wireimage). Whatever it was, however, I couldn’t get in because the organisers only gave out somewhere between 68 and 80 wristbands to their closest Autograph Dealer friends.

Oh well. Here’s how it went down, as photographed from outside the event.

Please allow me to reminisce about the days when Disney/Marvel premieres filled shopping centres (eg.    The Avengers   ) or had full-blown Leicester Square premieres (eg.    Thor The Dark World   ,    Iron Man 3   ), and didn’t limit attendances to sub-100 people and hold them in one of London’s smallest cinemas.

Please allow me to reminisce about the days when Disney/Marvel premieres filled shopping centres (eg. The Avengers) or had full-blown Leicester Square premieres (eg. Thor The Dark World, Iron Man 3), and didn’t limit attendances to sub-100 people and hold them in one of London’s smallest cinemas.

Of course for a long time Disney/Marvel didn’t have any premieres at all for their movies (eg. Thor Ragnarok, Antman and the Wasp), or made them large but entirely invitation only (eg.    Black Panther   , Avengers Infinity War). Bottom line .. this is not the side of an exclusion barrier I want to be on when there IS a premiere. Less than a hundred wristbands, though... pretty lame.

Of course for a long time Disney/Marvel didn’t have any premieres at all for their movies (eg. Thor Ragnarok, Antman and the Wasp), or made them large but entirely invitation only (eg. Black Panther, Avengers Infinity War). Bottom line .. this is not the side of an exclusion barrier I want to be on when there IS a premiere. Less than a hundred wristbands, though... pretty lame.

“I’d show you who’s on the list, but SHE might not like that”  I meanwhile am in a line of half a dozen people optimistically lining up for the possibility of a spare pen being opened (indeed : we could see one that, half an hour before event starting, was empty) (They ended up filling it… with three cosplayers. Lucky them…. I couldn’t convince security that I was in cosplay as a production unit accountant or second lead caterer…)

“I’d show you who’s on the list, but SHE might not like that”
I meanwhile am in a line of half a dozen people optimistically lining up for the possibility of a spare pen being opened (indeed : we could see one that, half an hour before event starting, was empty)
(They ended up filling it… with three cosplayers. Lucky them…. I couldn’t convince security that I was in cosplay as a production unit accountant or second lead caterer…)

“You’re Samuel L Jackson!!! Wait… let me remove those exclamation marks and insert some question marks so it forces you to answer….”  - it is indeed Samuel L Jackson, and his imdb entry is basically most of your DVD collection, listed (if you’re too young to remember DVDs, they’re kind of like small round drinks coasters, but shinier and with a hole in the middle)

“You’re Samuel L Jackson!!! Wait… let me remove those exclamation marks and insert some question marks so it forces you to answer….” - it is indeed Samuel L Jackson, and his imdb entry is basically most of your DVD collection, listed (if you’re too young to remember DVDs, they’re kind of like small round drinks coasters, but shinier and with a hole in the middle)

“I like what you’re doing with the giant star here. It’s making me feel really, really special. Please don’t break my heart and tell me you’re letting other people stand in front of it too….”  - I last photographed him    at 2018’s “The Incredibles 2”   , since I wasn’t in town early enough in January to photograph him at “Glass”

“I like what you’re doing with the giant star here. It’s making me feel really, really special. Please don’t break my heart and tell me you’re letting other people stand in front of it too….” - I last photographed him at 2018’s “The Incredibles 2”, since I wasn’t in town early enough in January to photograph him at “Glass”

“Don’t tell Sam that we stood here”  I didn’t have much luck photographing this film’s directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden - and I was going to say I’d never heard of them, but I’ve watched two of their co-directed films : “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story” which I sadly didn’t think was that funny; and “Mississippi Grind” which I quite liked.

“Don’t tell Sam that we stood here”
I didn’t have much luck photographing this film’s directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden - and I was going to say I’d never heard of them, but I’ve watched two of their co-directed films : “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story” which I sadly didn’t think was that funny; and “Mississippi Grind” which I quite liked.

Tragically, I found myself crowded out of a good spot to photograph the beautiful Gemma Chan. Moreover, look at this freaking setup : from the two ladies chatting in the background to Edith Bowman wearing a blue/pink striped suit to the insanely white fleecy hoodie turned inside out and the surprisingly blonde hair of the lady in front, all I could do was convert to black’n’white… and that doesn’t make me happy.

Tragically, I found myself crowded out of a good spot to photograph the beautiful Gemma Chan. Moreover, look at this freaking setup : from the two ladies chatting in the background to Edith Bowman wearing a blue/pink striped suit to the insanely white fleecy hoodie turned inside out and the surprisingly blonde hair of the lady in front, all I could do was convert to black’n’white… and that doesn’t make me happy.

Gemma Chan, this time in colour, but you’ve got the lady in the cowboy hat looking at me like I kidnapped her pomeranian, you’ve got the lady in the mustard dress standing behind her… and you have Gemma Chan, an island of beautiful calm that’s so serene my eyes keep sliding away to the lady with the damn cowboy hat!

Gemma Chan, this time in colour, but you’ve got the lady in the cowboy hat looking at me like I kidnapped her pomeranian, you’ve got the lady in the mustard dress standing behind her… and you have Gemma Chan, an island of beautiful calm that’s so serene my eyes keep sliding away to the lady with the damn cowboy hat!

So now I only have to worry about the giant mural in the background… and Gemma Chan disappearing from all further photos for some reason, goshdarnit.

So now I only have to worry about the giant mural in the background… and Gemma Chan disappearing from all further photos for some reason, goshdarnit.

“My agent assured me they were niche films, unlikely to be seen by a large audience, but you’re telling me that these Marvel films are actually a REALLY BIG DEAL? Wow.. I gotta check my bank account again…”  Jude Law is in this film.

“My agent assured me they were niche films, unlikely to be seen by a large audience, but you’re telling me that these Marvel films are actually a REALLY BIG DEAL? Wow.. I gotta check my bank account again…”
Jude Law is in this film.

“Wait a minute.. this isn’t secretly one of those DC films, is it? I’ve heard they’re not as good…”  I dunno. I watched Aquaman, and through the careful reduction in standards brought about by the awfulness of most of the other films in that franchise, Aquaman could almost be described as a “kind of good” film.

“Wait a minute.. this isn’t secretly one of those DC films, is it? I’ve heard they’re not as good…” I dunno. I watched Aquaman, and through the careful reduction in standards brought about by the awfulness of most of the other films in that franchise, Aquaman could almost be described as a “kind of good” film.

“So they didn’t let you in? That’s pretty bad. I’d say something nasty about the film company involved, but I’ve just heard they’re Disney and they’re, like, really really rich. So I’d rather not piss them off. Have a nice evening, though”

“So they didn’t let you in? That’s pretty bad. I’d say something nasty about the film company involved, but I’ve just heard they’re Disney and they’re, like, really really rich. So I’d rather not piss them off. Have a nice evening, though”

Behind a pink so searing my camera’s sensor wasn’t quite sure what to make of it (worn by Lashana Lynch, who is in this movie), and next to a lady wearing a leopardskin (print?) jacket…. it’s kind of hard to appreciate the importance of that fact that Brie Larson, who plays the titular Captain Marvel, has arrived.

Behind a pink so searing my camera’s sensor wasn’t quite sure what to make of it (worn by Lashana Lynch, who is in this movie), and next to a lady wearing a leopardskin (print?) jacket…. it’s kind of hard to appreciate the importance of that fact that Brie Larson, who plays the titular Captain Marvel, has arrived.

“It was so searingly pink I had to look away immediately — how are you guys!!!”   Brie Larson was excellent in the movie “Short Term 12” which nobody’s heard of, won an Oscar for “The Room” which I liked, and was also in “Kong Skull Island” which I quite liked too. I still can’t quite believe she was “envy” in Scott Pilgrim vs The World… so I will continue not to believe that.

“It was so searingly pink I had to look away immediately — how are you guys!!!”
Brie Larson was excellent in the movie “Short Term 12” which nobody’s heard of, won an Oscar for “The Room” which I liked, and was also in “Kong Skull Island” which I quite liked too. I still can’t quite believe she was “envy” in Scott Pilgrim vs The World… so I will continue not to believe that.

“I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s not necessary for my Art that anybody tell me”

“I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s not necessary for my Art that anybody tell me”

“So don’t you think it’s either ridiculously lazy writing or frikkin’ lame that after spending 20 movies in a franchise to sett up the most powerful villain in the Marvel Universe, the 21st movie retrospectively introduces for the first time the most powerful hero in the universe, so she can fight him in the 22nd movie of the franchise?”  The reporter in the foreground might be tiny, but she makes an excellent point. Lame and lazy, though independently of this I hope the movie is still good. I have lower hopes for Avengers 4, though.

“So don’t you think it’s either ridiculously lazy writing or frikkin’ lame that after spending 20 movies in a franchise to sett up the most powerful villain in the Marvel Universe, the 21st movie retrospectively introduces for the first time the most powerful hero in the universe, so she can fight him in the 22nd movie of the franchise?”
The reporter in the foreground might be tiny, but she makes an excellent point. Lame and lazy, though independently of this I hope the movie is still good. I have lower hopes for Avengers 4, though.

“Your question is awesome and you’re really pretty. Is that a good enough answer?”  The only previous time I photographed Brie Larson was at    the premiere of “Kong : Skull Island”    - which Samuel L Jackson also attended.

“Your question is awesome and you’re really pretty. Is that a good enough answer?”
The only previous time I photographed Brie Larson was at the premiere of “Kong : Skull Island” - which Samuel L Jackson also attended.

“Look into infinite distance, projecting a profound knowledge”.  I tried that in my Year 12 school photo. I think I looked more like I was about to throw up… but Brie Larson manages it a lot better than I did.

“Look into infinite distance, projecting a profound knowledge”.
I tried that in my Year 12 school photo. I think I looked more like I was about to throw up… but Brie Larson manages it a lot better than I did.

This photo looks even better in Black’n’White…and would have looked better than that if either the dress (or the carpet) was red, instead of both being blue. Also : Brie Larson is pretty.

This photo looks even better in Black’n’White…and would have looked better than that if either the dress (or the carpet) was red, instead of both being blue. Also : Brie Larson is pretty.

“People keep asking me about the colour of the dress and then looking away. What’s that all about?”  - Lashana Lynch has been in a lot of TV series I haven’t seen, and was in the movie “Fast Girls” whose premiere in 2012 I sadly missed. But I have now seen the dress she’s wearing here, so I know what people are talking about when they mention it.

“People keep asking me about the colour of the dress and then looking away. What’s that all about?” - Lashana Lynch has been in a lot of TV series I haven’t seen, and was in the movie “Fast Girls” whose premiere in 2012 I sadly missed. But I have now seen the dress she’s wearing here, so I know what people are talking about when they mention it.

I think it’s pretty amazing that despite the dim (and ultimately impatient) view of security patrolling the exclusion barriers, the fans were allowed to stay and take photos over the barrier so long as we didn’t touch it or block the passage of people walking past. I also can not believe that an aerial is necessary on a camera, and that it would block the face of the person I’m trying to photograph..

I think it’s pretty amazing that despite the dim (and ultimately impatient) view of security patrolling the exclusion barriers, the fans were allowed to stay and take photos over the barrier so long as we didn’t touch it or block the passage of people walking past. I also can not believe that an aerial is necessary on a camera, and that it would block the face of the person I’m trying to photograph..

“You wanna see the snaps I took of the giant ape when I played a photographer in Kong Skull Island? Well, the thing is I wasn’t even taking any photos…. that’s ACTING, baby, and I’m kinda good at it”  The challenge I set myself was to take a photo of Brie Larson in focus, with the Captain Marvel poster directly behind her. Sounds simple… but proved impossible.

“You wanna see the snaps I took of the giant ape when I played a photographer in Kong Skull Island? Well, the thing is I wasn’t even taking any photos…. that’s ACTING, baby, and I’m kinda good at it”
The challenge I set myself was to take a photo of Brie Larson in focus, with the Captain Marvel poster directly behind her. Sounds simple… but proved impossible.

So basically the only thing wrong with this photo of Brie Larson’s face sharp in the foreground with the face of Captain Marvel in the background is… everything. There’s a dude looking over his shoulder, a guy in a white polo shirt in the background chimping shots on his DSLR, leopard-print lady looking worriedly at the reporter whose hair takes up more photographing real estate than Brie Larson’s face. That’s photography.

So basically the only thing wrong with this photo of Brie Larson’s face sharp in the foreground with the face of Captain Marvel in the background is… everything. There’s a dude looking over his shoulder, a guy in a white polo shirt in the background chimping shots on his DSLR, leopard-print lady looking worriedly at the reporter whose hair takes up more photographing real estate than Brie Larson’s face. That’s photography.

Well, now it’s just Brie Larson’s expression that’s a problem, but otherwise everything is great. (Except security getting a bit more antsy at more people taking photos over the barrier, especially with that one freaking idiot who can not get it into his head not to touch the barrier whenever he’s told not to, which is seconds after he was last told not to). (I assume he’s allowed to vote. Democracy sure is awesome).

Well, now it’s just Brie Larson’s expression that’s a problem, but otherwise everything is great.
(Except security getting a bit more antsy at more people taking photos over the barrier, especially with that one freaking idiot who can not get it into his head not to touch the barrier whenever he’s told not to, which is seconds after he was last told not to). (I assume he’s allowed to vote. Democracy sure is awesome).

“So…. bald or balding guys who wear glasses… do you find them more attractive than the alternative?"  Shut up everybody… the answer to this question could be very important, and I’m really interested in the response. Because I want to know…. for a friend, you understand.

“So…. bald or balding guys who wear glasses… do you find them more attractive than the alternative?"
Shut up everybody… the answer to this question could be very important, and I’m really interested in the response. Because I want to know…. for a friend, you understand.

“Well… I think I might just trail off with this answer and make it look like I’m still thinking about it…..”

“Well… I think I might just trail off with this answer and make it look like I’m still thinking about it…..”

“She just asked me the same question about the 20 movies to set up Thanos, then using the 21st to set up Captain Marvel in the past so she can fight Thanos in the 22nd… is she asking on your behalf? I’m guessing not, because she’s the one wearing the Captain Marvel costume and you’re not”

“She just asked me the same question about the 20 movies to set up Thanos, then using the 21st to set up Captain Marvel in the past so she can fight Thanos in the 22nd… is she asking on your behalf? I’m guessing not, because she’s the one wearing the Captain Marvel costume and you’re not”

“I don’t know how to say this, EVERY woman around here is NOT looking at me. That’s kind of a new feeling for me…. and I’ve decided I really don’t like it.”

“I don’t know how to say this, EVERY woman around here is NOT looking at me. That’s kind of a new feeling for me…. and I’ve decided I really don’t like it.”

“The dress is outside of my peripheral vision, but my brain knows it’s there just outside it, and it’s not letting me think about anything else….”

“The dress is outside of my peripheral vision, but my brain knows it’s there just outside it, and it’s not letting me think about anything else….”

“OMG somebody’s getting away with that giant star! If only there was somebody with a military rank who was kind of, well, marvelous at fighting crime that we could call for help…”

“OMG somebody’s getting away with that giant star! If only there was somebody with a military rank who was kind of, well, marvelous at fighting crime that we could call for help…”

So.. .that was that. Not my preferred way to photograph a premiere, but security indulged us for about 2/3 of the event before starting to insist that people leave. Given the alternative to photographing this event would have been to stay home, eat a nice meal and relax, I think……. I’m not sure how to finish that sentence, except to note that it’s +1 for the archive (and my first ‘real’ Marvel premiere since… I think Ant-Man? Woah. Wait.. no… it was Captain America Civil War)

Until next time!

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