Joined July 2007

Bernd Talasch doesn’t remember being hatched in a research laboratory in Omaha in the late 1950s so maybe that never happened....

Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol premiere - TCruise! SPegg!

A mere one day ago I’d been at the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo premiere which was quite fun, and now I was back for another – Mission Impossible’s latest instalment. I know it might be cool to hate on the actor and/or the franchise, but while the second film was utter crap (AND long), the third was an excellent, gritty, film, so I’m actually up for seeing this film!

But that’s not what this journal is all about – it’s about the premiere. Here’s how it went down:

Uniquely, this premiere was held at a circular location : the 360 degree walk around the BFI Imax. It’s actually set below street level and with hanging vine trellises, all Babylonian style. I had high hopes for good photos, what with the stage right in front of me and a product-placement-licious new branded car to my left. Neither, sadly, contributed much to the photography.

“If Tom Cruise comes to this thing, PLEASE let him mention the hat.” Failing that, maybe the ample scaffolding all around the Imax theatre.

I am such a fan of schadenfreude that part of me would have loved to see this man having to take his LG mobile out of his pocket to take photos after not one but three DSLRs failed in unison. (Sorry dude, hope the premiere went well for you…)

Good news for fans of Tom Cruise : he’s HERE, and he is signing and/or posing for absolutely anyone and everyone. (Well.. when I say ‘anyone and everyone’, one of his Personal Assistants looked at the cameras in our group of four, asked us what ‘we’ were doing in ‘this’ area and wouldn’t believe we were just civilians. True, if rather devastating and yet oddly complimentary story.)

I had this photo 100% set up, fully anticipated, until some dude with a leather jacket on the right (cropped out) chose that precise moment to amble slowly across my frame of view like he was a multiple Oscar nominee (He wasn’t. He looked vaguely drunk). Gah. There’s no justice, or I’d have Sith powers, or a sniper rifle, for occasions like this!

OMG – it’s Yellow Cap(less) Guy and Tom Cruise. He (YCG) hasn’t been at a premiere for Aaaages. ‘A Dangerous Method’, I think, where he was chatting up Keira Knightley. The guy is smooth, what can I say?

“They’re behind me, aren’t they?”

“You can be my wingman? Bull5hit, you can be mine? Am I right?”
Tom Cruise, lest it be forgotten, arrived at the event a full hour before anyone else from the film did, just to sign for absolutely not quite absolutely everyone.

Tom Cruise is, regardless of what you might think about him, his private life, his acting, or even his choice of jacket (which, personally, I think is very nice), a pretty cool guy. The security dude to his right, however, might be able to suck out your soul with that look.

At about this stage in the procedings, four rows of autograph dealers crushed behind our area to get yet more signatures. To their credit, Mr Cruise’s assistants and security were more than capable of dismissing them and their greed (!), but let’s just say their efforts didn’t help my short-range photography. Sigh.

Apparently she’s in the film, and perhaps even more excitingly she is not Tom Cruise! (the other actors in the film have arrived, in other words). If this is French Actress Lea Seydoux, she (a) is in this film, and (b) was also in ‘Inglourious Basterds’.

Yellow Cap Guy attaches himself to actor Simon Pegg, who is probably only a little bit of a grey tinge of hair away from pulling off an ‘elder statesman’ look (?!)

In all the hour or so he spent in our area, this is pretty much the ONLY candid, unrehearsed photo of Tom Cruise I was able to take. He is a consummate professional, so candid is a bit rare!

Meanwhile, Top Gear’s Richard Hammond shows up to add to the unplanned hilarity

Actress Paula Patton is exceedingly lively and animated. She was also in “Hitch” with Will Smith, “De Ja Vu” with Denzel Washington, and in a dress with rhinestones sufficient to populate a Texas chorus line.

Paula Patton is also so helpful she’ll lean artfully so you don’t have to tilt your camera to do so! (the cryptic word in the background is a fragment of ‘protocol’, in case it’s bugging you.

Director Brad Bird has won two Oscars (both Ratatouille and The Incredibles won best animated feature Academy Awards). He also directed The Iron Giant … and this film! He may or may not also be happy to take a look at spec scripts from fans at these events.

“From what I know of Disney, they’ll probably unleash their legal teams and they will hunt you down without mercy if you attempt to make this unsolicited sequel” He’s just sayin’.

“I’m guessing this is neither IMAX- nor 3D- capable?”

Simon Pegg, looking quirkily awesome.

Simon Pegg, looking quirkily awesome (II)

Never in the field of interviewing has a man thought so hard before answering.

Never in the field of premiere photography have I wanted so much for a woman to move over so I can photograph a man. Argh.

This is not so much a photo of Tom Cruise as it is of the dude in the background valiantly attempting to do the greatest leap in history to get The Shot Of Tom Cruise on a mobile phone.

It’s still more about the awesome man with the mobile phone than Tom Cruise. You go, Awesome Mobile Phone Man!

Now it’s actually more about the guy with the hat in the foreground, but it’s still more about the awesome man with the mobile phone than Tom Cruise.

Civilisations rise and fall, men with mobile phones leap balletically, and guys with furry hats simply are men with furry hats. But Tom Cruise keeps answering every question he’s posed with as much time as he has available.

And then for no readily apparent reason (but totally in keeping with the randomness quotient of this premiere) Gillian Anderson shows up. In her interview she said she was here to see Simon Pegg. Ooh.. Tom Cruise just got served, if my understanding of the concept is correct!!

Meanwhile, the photographic opportunities are never wasted when the camera is trained on Simon Pegg, and here’s another. I know he owes my five dollars, but I think he thinks I’ve set debt collectors out there to grab it.

I have no idea who it is but it does remind me oddly that I never did manage to achieve my ambition of photographing a drunken Supermodel Kate Moss while in London. She’s calmed down a lot since then, though. (Where was I?)

One more shot of Gillian Anderson, looking judgementally dismissive, yet pretty. And Tom Cruise was STILL signing in further reaches of the crowd

One last shot of Mr Cruise, and I’m outta here! Along with Will Smith, he seems to be the most fan-focussed A-Lister in the business. (Vin Diesel, unsurprsingly, not so much)

So…. that’s Another One For The Archive of movie premieres, and it’s ‘until next time’ and ‘Merry Christmas’ and all that. All I want for Christmas is a neurotoxin-filled blowdart gun to tranquilise autograph dealers with. Hopefully Santa comes through for me, and for you 8)

Journal Comments

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