25th Oct 2019 - The "The Seven" Premiere

25th October, 2019.

The minimum requirements for an event to qualify as a premiere has been debated by some of the finest minds ever to put themselves to the task of debating this specific topic (but very few people otherwise). The bar can be set pretty low : for example, what if there were no dealers, no security, no barriers and no carpet, and no listing on premierescene AND no official notice on the cinema itself that a premiere was taking place?

Would that be a premiere? And would I show up to photograph it? Well… we know the answer to at least one of those questions. Here’s how it went down:

It’s a cinema marquee after my own heart. (And liver.)

It’s a cinema marquee after my own heart. (And liver.)

By my lowly standards, this event just became a premiere : Amber Doig-Thorne has shown up AND she’s in this movie.  And according to Eventbrite, who was selling tickets to this event,   “The Seven is premiering in the UK at the Genesis Cinema with an afterparty to celebrate the film with the stars of the film plus many more worldwide celebrities attending.”  . With “Many” “More” “Worldwide” and “Celebrities” (and possibly even “Attending”) all terms open to debate.

By my lowly standards, this event just became a premiere : Amber Doig-Thorne has shown up AND she’s in this movie.

And according to Eventbrite, who was selling tickets to this event, “The Seven is premiering in the UK at the Genesis Cinema with an afterparty to celebrate the film with the stars of the film plus many more worldwide celebrities attending.”. With “Many” “More” “Worldwide” and “Celebrities” (and possibly even “Attending”) all terms open to debate.

The thing is, and I’m rarely as aware of it as I am right now, that Doing This - this weird hobby of candid premiere photography - is basically impossible, stupid and possibly even ill-advised when it’s in near-dark on an unfamiliar footpath outside a cinema for a premiere whose stars I don’t recognise and can’t be certain of the attendance of.

The thing is, and I’m rarely as aware of it as I am right now, that Doing This - this weird hobby of candid premiere photography - is basically impossible, stupid and possibly even ill-advised when it’s in near-dark on an unfamiliar footpath outside a cinema for a premiere whose stars I don’t recognise and can’t be certain of the attendance of.

Amber Doig-Thorne is (rightly) entirely unconcerned by how weird I’m feeling. After all - she’s in this film and entitled to be here, whereas this is merely a footpath and… well… I guess I am technically entitled to be here. But taking photo, while also technically legal… feels slightly more weird. At least when I’m at the Troxy in Limehouse for a premiere, it feels like everything is weird enough to justify being photographed.

Amber Doig-Thorne is (rightly) entirely unconcerned by how weird I’m feeling. After all - she’s in this film and entitled to be here, whereas this is merely a footpath and… well… I guess I am technically entitled to be here. But taking photo, while also technically legal… feels slightly more weird. At least when I’m at the Troxy in Limehouse for a premiere, it feels like everything is weird enough to justify being photographed.

I do not know who this man is, and/but his jacket is pretty amazing. And Amber Doig-Thorne has gone inside. Is this premiere, like, over? And who can I ask if it is?

I do not know who this man is, and/but his jacket is pretty amazing. And Amber Doig-Thorne has gone inside. Is this premiere, like, over? And who can I ask if it is?

The sign. It mocks me.

The sign. It mocks me.

At this point I need to be honest : the plan is to take photos, randomly, of people. ANY people, in order to (if nothing else) provide The Flavour Of The Event (or rather “The Event As Seen From The Streets Outside The Event”). On top of which, because imdb.com is so unhelpful on most of the stars in the movie, I’m just going to take photos and hope I photograph somebody I can later identify.  Yes, this is totally a hobby I have.  I drank two beers before doing this. It was.. probably just enough.  Oh, and one of the people in the above photo IS IN THE MOVIE!!

At this point I need to be honest : the plan is to take photos, randomly, of people. ANY people, in order to (if nothing else) provide The Flavour Of The Event (or rather “The Event As Seen From The Streets Outside The Event”). On top of which, because imdb.com is so unhelpful on most of the stars in the movie, I’m just going to take photos and hope I photograph somebody I can later identify.

Yes, this is totally a hobby I have.

I drank two beers before doing this. It was.. probably just enough.

Oh, and one of the people in the above photo IS IN THE MOVIE!!

“I assume you’re doing some kind of ‘art’ thing about the remaining and ever-dwindling number of phone boxes on London’s streets?”.  Erm… yes. Absolutely. That is what I am doing. Because that is slightly less embarrassing than what I am ACTUALLY doing.  Also, this man is NOT in the movie - it’s actually the guy in the CENTRE of the prior photo, who is Amar Adatia, and who is not just in the movie, but the largest face on the movie poster.

“I assume you’re doing some kind of ‘art’ thing about the remaining and ever-dwindling number of phone boxes on London’s streets?”. Erm… yes. Absolutely. That is what I am doing. Because that is slightly less embarrassing than what I am ACTUALLY doing.

Also, this man is NOT in the movie - it’s actually the guy in the CENTRE of the prior photo, who is Amar Adatia, and who is not just in the movie, but the largest face on the movie poster.

I’ve doubled-down on  “that guy with the dark jacket, shirt and no tie must surely be in the movie…. right?”  strategy. But, as mentioned, there’s no evidence that he is in the movie. Same goes for the lady on the left.

I’ve doubled-down on “that guy with the dark jacket, shirt and no tie must surely be in the movie…. right?” strategy. But, as mentioned, there’s no evidence that he is in the movie. Same goes for the lady on the left.

A car pulls up and a lady in bright pink hair and a low-cut top gets out of the back. I naturally take a photo, and am glad that I did….. because the lady in the blue dress getting out of the FRONT PASSENGER side seat is the one who is actually in the movie.

A car pulls up and a lady in bright pink hair and a low-cut top gets out of the back. I naturally take a photo, and am glad that I did….. because the lady in the blue dress getting out of the FRONT PASSENGER side seat is the one who is actually in the movie.

In my partial defence, the fine folk at imdb make Jess Impiazzi look like she’s a fair-skinned, blue-eyed Norwegian siren while the ambient lighting at night in Stepney Green makes her look closer to Fijian royalty. She’s very pretty either way, I hasten to add.

In my partial defence, the fine folk at imdb make Jess Impiazzi look like she’s a fair-skinned, blue-eyed Norwegian siren while the ambient lighting at night in Stepney Green makes her look closer to Fijian royalty. She’s very pretty either way, I hasten to add.

“Oh look, Barbs. They’ve finally released the final movie in that Heptalogy of movies they’ve been working on” ”What on earth are you talking about?” ”Well…. after two good movies, I think they lost the plot around “The Three” and “The Four”, but “The Five” was an improvement and “The Six” was a real return to form.” ”I wish I hadn’t asked…”

“Oh look, Barbs. They’ve finally released the final movie in that Heptalogy of movies they’ve been working on”
”What on earth are you talking about?”
”Well…. after two good movies, I think they lost the plot around “The Three” and “The Four”, but “The Five” was an improvement and “The Six” was a real return to form.”
”I wish I hadn’t asked…”

I am shocked and dismayed that this man is not in the movie (or… at least I don’t think he is), but if you’re interested, the full sign in the background reads “Practical Car & Van Rental”. I’m sorry I cropped it.

I am shocked and dismayed that this man is not in the movie (or… at least I don’t think he is), but if you’re interested, the full sign in the background reads “Practical Car & Van Rental”. I’m sorry I cropped it.

Smoking. If it’s so bad for you, why do people look so cool when they do it?

Smoking. If it’s so bad for you, why do people look so cool when they do it?

“What if Mom is right, and the reason I haven’t been discovered is because I insist on wearing a camouflage top and NOT because I lack of talent?”  Never doubt your talent… and always question your choice of clothing. (Me? Beanie and light ski jacket, jeans, trainers. Pentax camera. 50mm lens).

“What if Mom is right, and the reason I haven’t been discovered is because I insist on wearing a camouflage top and NOT because I lack of talent?” Never doubt your talent… and always question your choice of clothing. (Me? Beanie and light ski jacket, jeans, trainers. Pentax camera. 50mm lens).

“… and not ONE of them has noticed me. It’s simply GOT to be the camouflage top…. damnit, all those years wearing it to try-outs, open casting calls, and auditions … WASTED”

“… and not ONE of them has noticed me. It’s simply GOT to be the camouflage top…. damnit, all those years wearing it to try-outs, open casting calls, and auditions … WASTED”

Two women  walk out of a car and I take a photo… and I realise that I can’t make this sound any creepier. I should probably just get a t-shirt that says “PHOTOGRAPHER’ and wear that. It would literally change nothing, but somehow I feel it might lend authenticity to what I’m doing. Failing that… it occurs to me now that I should totally get myself a camouflage shirt, like THAT guy.

Two women walk out of a car and I take a photo… and I realise that I can’t make this sound any creepier. I should probably just get a t-shirt that says “PHOTOGRAPHER’ and wear that. It would literally change nothing, but somehow I feel it might lend authenticity to what I’m doing. Failing that… it occurs to me now that I should totally get myself a camouflage shirt, like THAT guy.

“Wait for it…. wait for it…. damnit, I waited too long for it.”  Hey, I’m now photographing elderly gentlemen because society suggests that me doing this is somehow less creepy. Edited to add : not in this film.

“Wait for it…. wait for it…. damnit, I waited too long for it.” Hey, I’m now photographing elderly gentlemen because society suggests that me doing this is somehow less creepy. Edited to add : not in this film.

This premiere has a photographer!!! I mean…. a REAL one. He was almost solely based inside the venue, and in answer to the question “is anyone coming?” - not asked by me - he grumpily answered “no”. Guess that means main draw Dean Cain - former Superman in the 1990s TV series ‘Lois & Clark’ will NOT be attending

This premiere has a photographer!!!
I mean…. a REAL one. He was almost solely based inside the venue, and in answer to the question “is anyone coming?” - not asked by me - he grumpily answered “no”. Guess that means main draw Dean Cain - former Superman in the 1990s TV series ‘Lois & Clark’ will NOT be attending

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this distinguished looking man has anything to do with this movie… but then there’s no evidence to suggest he doesn’t have something to do with other movies, you know? And that is a nice bow-tie, to be sure.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that this distinguished looking man has anything to do with this movie… but then there’s no evidence to suggest he doesn’t have something to do with other movies, you know? And that is a nice bow-tie, to be sure.

“I hear they’re already planning “The Eight”. But I was sworn to secrecy so I’m going to have to ask you to follow me to that quiet alleyway over yonder….”

“I hear they’re already planning “The Eight”. But I was sworn to secrecy so I’m going to have to ask you to follow me to that quiet alleyway over yonder….”

“Hi… and you are?” ”I asked you that two minutes ago and you didn’t answer. You can’t just pretend that didn’t happen…”

“Hi… and you are?”
”I asked you that two minutes ago and you didn’t answer. You can’t just pretend that didn’t happen…”

I was never NOT going to photograph this guy - bow tie, cummerbund, suit, stunning hair… AND it turns out he’s Matt Lapinskas AND in the movie, so even if I’m approached by him angrily with some variant of  “Yo… bruv… wotcha doin’ fotografin’ me’n’my frends”,  I’ll have a legitimate excuse he can beat me up for providing, rather than a lie made up on the spot that he might ALSO beat me up for.

I was never NOT going to photograph this guy - bow tie, cummerbund, suit, stunning hair… AND it turns out he’s Matt Lapinskas AND in the movie, so even if I’m approached by him angrily with some variant of “Yo… bruv… wotcha doin’ fotografin’ me’n’my frends”, I’ll have a legitimate excuse he can beat me up for providing, rather than a lie made up on the spot that he might ALSO beat me up for.

“I don’t beat up weird people who photograph me on the street. I’ve got a friend called “Biffa” who I get to do that…”

“I don’t beat up weird people who photograph me on the street. I’ve got a friend called “Biffa” who I get to do that…”

STOP EVERYTHING - this premiere, Brexit, the rotation of the Solar System… I don’t care. Stop it all immediately.  THAT MAN ON THE RIGHT IS WEARING A MULLET. AND IT IS AMAZING.

STOP EVERYTHING - this premiere, Brexit, the rotation of the Solar System… I don’t care. Stop it all immediately. THAT MAN ON THE RIGHT IS WEARING A MULLET. AND IT IS AMAZING.

“It’s even more beautiful than I could ever have imagined”  I feel like I need to take up smoking just so I can light a cigarette and acknowledge I’ve shared something amazing with some total strangers that will forever bind us….

“It’s even more beautiful than I could ever have imagined”
I feel like I need to take up smoking just so I can light a cigarette and acknowledge I’ve shared something amazing with some total strangers that will forever bind us….

“Happy wedding anniversary, darling. I hope you enjoy the premiere.” ”If you don’t get out of the way of the selfie I’m taking with that guy’s mullet I will tear out your lungs with my car keys. Also, love you too, dear”

“Happy wedding anniversary, darling. I hope you enjoy the premiere.”
”If you don’t get out of the way of the selfie I’m taking with that guy’s mullet I will tear out your lungs with my car keys. Also, love you too, dear”

“Darling, take a photo of me standing next to this young rapper.” ”Actually, I’m a practising endocrinologist.” ”Maybe, but when I update my Facebook profile picture you won’t be”  The man in the white vest is in this movie - he’s Dave Courtney.

“Darling, take a photo of me standing next to this young rapper.”
”Actually, I’m a practising endocrinologist.”
”Maybe, but when I update my Facebook profile picture you won’t be”

The man in the white vest is in this movie - he’s Dave Courtney.

And then - possibly? - Miss Monaco GP 2018 showed up.

And then - possibly? - Miss Monaco GP 2018 showed up.

“Heard some dude showed up with a mullet. I’d like to meet this man”  I just want to state my advance disappointment and disgust at the possibility that this guy might not be in the movie.

“Heard some dude showed up with a mullet. I’d like to meet this man” I just want to state my advance disappointment and disgust at the possibility that this guy might not be in the movie.

“Just a second, dear. I’m just instructing my intellectual property advisor to release the beta version of the “Mulletify”  photo app I coded when I was on semester break a few years back…”

“Just a second, dear. I’m just instructing my intellectual property advisor to release the beta version of the “Mulletify” photo app I coded when I was on semester break a few years back…”

“Smoking is still cool, right?” ”Probably.” ”Does anyone know if they’ve all gone inside and whether the movie has started?”

“Smoking is still cool, right?”
”Probably.”
”Does anyone know if they’ve all gone inside and whether the movie has started?”

So… that was that. Definitely one of the stranger experiences I’ve had, and I can’t imagine the people wondering why some dude with a Pentax was discreetly (?) taking photos on a footpath outside a cinema on Mile End road felt it was any less strange.

But it’s a hobby, and as far as I’m aware ‘weird’ and ‘illegal’ are two different things (… your honour).

It does occur to me that if I introduced myself I might even be welcomed at smaller events like this, rather than snubbed at events for larger movies held in urine-stained pedestrian underpasses closer to central London (lookin’ squarely at you, Disney/Marvel).

But where would the fun be in that?

Until next time!

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