Due to various factors both within and outside of my control, I have missed the last 4 consecutive London premieres (at least two of which I regret). However, today was the premiere for “We’re The Millers” and my instinct was : let’s make it five in a row. For one thing, I only had one spare battery which already 1000 images taken on it. For another, I’ve already got a good shot of Jennifer Aniston, I got it last year at Horrible Bosses . For a third : I’d left my spare camera and MAIN LENS at home anyway. For a fourth – the queue in Leicester Square at the time I arrived all but guaranteed I’d be third or fourth row… or worse. And for a fifth…. meh.
That’s when I realised : That’s Precisely Why I Had To Go.
So I left the queue, went back to the office, dumped my backpack, and went for a drink. Here’s how it went down.
The Odeon West End is pretty small, and the premieres it hosts are typically likewise small. But today, crowds were huge (crowd not shown in picture above!). Still, I had a bad lens, a half-used battery, a wallet, and a plan involving the bar to the right, and what looked to be an unattended second storey window to photograph out of..
I feel my morose mood of late might actually improve if I also had a giant sign explaining what was going on. It would be nothing near this polite, though.
This is the view a pint of Aspall’s and a small plate of fries will buy you at this premiere, as photographed on a fisheye lens. The majority of the crowd is a giant heaving mass in front of me, but a column at least four deep, plus a row of media across from them, stretches from the right part of this picture all the way to the road a further thirty meters or so away.
The secondary lens for this premiere has this field of view. It’s not enough for portraiture but might work for environmental shots. I’m about halfway through my pint of cider by this stage. It’s quite nice. The fries are okay, too, if you’re wondering. And my environment is air-conditioned. I repeat… air conditioned.
My main lens for today will be my Tamron 90mm. It’s kind of sluggish in focussing speed when batteries are low. And when contrast is low. And when I’m shooting through glass. And also possibly when I might be slightly drunk (maybe), as I’m three quarters through my pint and the premiere still hasn’t started.
Your host for this event, which is now running about 25mins late, will be Radio1 DJ Edith Bowman. And the white flower on the left is an agapanthus, I believe. They also come in a sort of lavender blue colour. In other news, in order to retain my spot I’ve felt obliged to order a second pint of Aspall’s. I see no way that this could negatively impact my mood and enthusiasm for the premiere. Like… no way.
I’m not sure why they’ve dedicated a cameraman and multiple speakers and microphones to the agapanthus section of the crowd, but there you have it. (shrugs)
Random Girl Band arrives early and poses for the Paparazzi. In the absence of other information, and buoyed by the alcohol in my system, I’ve decided to definitively declare them to be early 1990s pop/rock trio Wilson Philips (they had a couple of US #1s – they were totally legitimate in their day). I say this even though there appear to be four of them and I’m very certain Wilson Phillips only had three members.
Young actor Will Poulter used to be a tiny kid way back when he was in the Narnia films, which genuinely feels like it was maybe only three or four years ago. He now looks to be over six foot tall and contemplating a future in basketball. I last photographed him at the Wild Bill premiere
I’m still not sure about the genesis of this lady’s alleged fame, but I know her name is Kimberley because one of my friends is wholly smitten by her. I myself am immune to her charms and her body shape and her loose fitting clothing… by virtue of the fact of being fortified by what’s now approaching one and a half pints of cider which isn’t enough to make me forget there’s one full storey and about thirty meters and a pane of glass between us. Also (obviously) there’s the unbreakable code of honour among men (or rather, friends). And finally and probably most importantly there’s this girl I like that I’ve probably mentioned before that I still don’t have even the remotest chance with I don’t think, but latent effects of my vain hope provide some immunity against most females. Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron are both welcome to test my hypothesis, but I think it’s sound. But … I’m all for testing it.
Jennifer Aniston approaches from the far right, and the crowd suddenly remembers that their mobile phones have cameras on them.
The director of the film feels that your holiday photos are atrocious. Or possibly somewhat creepily awesome.
Other than strong views on the photos you keep on your phone, the director of “We’re The Millers” has the awesome triple-barrel name of Rawson Marshall Thurber, but I’m holding all mirth for now because IMDB has informed me he also directed the Vince Vaughn / Ben Stiller movie “Dodgeball”, which I actually really liked. Simple underdog story done well.
Actor Jason Sudeikis has been watching a few too many old zombie movies. Like Jennifer Aniston I last photographed him at the premiere for Horrible Bosses
I have genuine respect for directors who, realising their movie is having a Leicester Square premiere, reach for their phone to commemorate the moment. Richard Curtis did it (“The Boat that Rocked”). James Mangold did it (Wolverine). Michael Bay…. not so much.
“I’m going to give y’all twenty seconds to tell me how great I am. After that, I’m going inside because you’re all going to be screaming for Jennifer anway…”
Jennifer Aniston has finished interviews, it’s started raining, and I’ve pretty much finished my second pint of Aspall’s. In possibly unrelated news, Jennifer Aniston appears to be shaking a bit – I don’t seem to be able to properly focus on her. Or perhaps maybe YOUR screen is unstable. You should get that looked at. My camera technique is perfectly fine, thanks. (hic)
“I’m not posing unless you can name at least three other non-Friends things I’ve been in besides Horrible Bosses”. Farq. Well, “Along Came Polly” comes to mind. Other than that, I’m drawing a blank. Oh, wait. “Marley and Me”. Couldn’t tell you a third though.
“Could you please refrain from attempting to blind Miss Aniston. She needs those eyes. Like, to read movie scripts and find things in her purse with”
“They’re blinding me with photons : help me!!” Jason Sudeikis seems eager. I’m a bit too far away to help, sadly. Also, with a camera in one hand and a cider in the other I’d be of limited use. I’ve given away my table in order to fully concentrate on my drinking which means I have nowhere to safely lay my drink. Which is in a tall glass. I’m trying to be responsible.
With a light blue carpet and glossy yellow stage, my camera’s white balance is doing things my center of balance is also currently guilty of.
“Me? Horrible Bosses, Along Came Polly, Marley and Me, Picture Perfect, Bruce Almighty……… ummmm….. ahhh….. awwww… crap. Honestly much of the rest is a blur of interchangeable rom-coms with nary a historical epic or action film among them. They sure paid well, though”
Like me, the crowd is finding frustration in Jennifer Aniston being physically blocked by DJ Edith Bowman. I have about 4 more units of alcohol in me than the majority of the crowd, but unlike them my camera has interchangeable lenses and I can switch between them with a practiced confidence that has nothing to do with alcohol intake and everything to do with skill and the fact that ambient noise in the pub would make the gnashing and splintering sounds of misaligned contacts difficult to hear. I’ll let you know how I did next premiere when I try to use those lenses.
“Goodbye — and remember, box sets of Friends are available on DVD, Bluray, and iTunes… maybe even old copies of VHS. I get a percentage cut on all sales… so get yours today!!” Also, remember to watch this movie. I suppose.
So… I guess I’m back in the game, and for the first time in two or three weeks I have a new journal for my Archive of Movie Premieres
Of which the last couple were:
The Lone Ranger – Depp! Verbinski! Bruckheimer!
The Wolverine – Jackman! Mangold! Janssen! Others!
The Worlds End – Pegg! Frost! Pike! Wright!
Pacific Rim – Del Toro! Elba! Hunnam! Kazinsky
Man of Steel – Cavill! Snyder! Nolan! Zimmer! Shannon! Adams!