The 2018 Empire Movie Awards

March 2018.

About a month ago, the ba$tard$ at BAFTA abolished the queue system for obtaining wristbands, replacing it with a random methodology that induced more people than ever to head in to London, and then celebrated this momentous decision by issuing LESS WRISTBANDS than they had in the past decade. And I was #509 in a queue that catered for only 500 wristbands.

So for this reason, I've decided that the 2018 Empire Movie Awards are my 2018 BAFTAs.  And while it was set to be cold, at least (according to the Bureau of Meteorology) it wouldn't snow.

Here's how it went down:

 Because (unlike the Baftas) there was a queue system  in operation, I got to Camden very early  on a blisteringly cold day, collected my number, collected my corresponding wristband, and celebrated by going somewhere warm to spend much of the next five hours. It may have included one, if not two, pubs.

Because (unlike the Baftas) there was a queue system  in operation, I got to Camden very early  on a blisteringly cold day, collected my number, collected my corresponding wristband, and celebrated by going somewhere warm to spend much of the next five hours. It may have included one, if not two, pubs.

And then, just after 3pm, we were let into the public pens.

 Fortunately, they said it wasn't going to snow. Unfortunately, they are not good at their job.

Fortunately, they said it wasn't going to snow.
Unfortunately, they are not good at their job.

  "I was sent this in the mail. I wasn't sure what it was, so I put it into my CD player and it wouldn't play." 'What's a CD player?" "how old are you??"

"I was sent this in the mail. I wasn't sure what it was, so I put it into my CD player and it wouldn't play."
'What's a CD player?"
"how old are you??"

  "Barry, if you're monitoring this frequency, the Eagle has Left the Corroboree. On the other hand if I'm just whispering into my collar, forget I said anything"  I don't know who this is, but apparently he writes reviews for Empire Magazine.

"Barry, if you're monitoring this frequency, the Eagle has Left the Corroboree. On the other hand if I'm just whispering into my collar, forget I said anything"
I don't know who this is, but apparently he writes reviews for Empire Magazine.

 Our first 'real' arrival is very cool : young Dafne Keen plays Laura/X-23 in the Wolverine movie "Logan", which never had a premiere in London, and also represented a great send-off for a character that never really had a great movie prior to that one.

Our first 'real' arrival is very cool : young Dafne Keen plays Laura/X-23 in the Wolverine movie "Logan", which never had a premiere in London, and also represented a great send-off for a character that never really had a great movie prior to that one.

 Rian Johnson directed '   Star Wars : The Last Jedi   ' - the movie over 90% of critics loved but over 50% of fans on Rottentomatoes did not. Fortunately, critics pay to see movies.... don't they? Still, he's a nice guy and I really like this photo.

Rian Johnson directed 'Star Wars : The Last Jedi' - the movie over 90% of critics loved but over 50% of fans on Rottentomatoes did not. Fortunately, critics pay to see movies.... don't they? Still, he's a nice guy and I really like this photo.

 You know what? I'm going to call it RATZ ZRAW from now on. It really does look better when reversed.

You know what? I'm going to call it RATZ ZRAW from now on. It really does look better when reversed.

  "I can't feel the cold, Ruth, because I'm in the zone. I'm so attuned to what I'm doing that near-zero temperatures can not distract me from my life's true calling. That said... what's all that white stuff in front of the camera? it's ruining my pictures...."

"I can't feel the cold, Ruth, because I'm in the zone. I'm so attuned to what I'm doing that near-zero temperatures can not distract me from my life's true calling. That said... what's all that white stuff in front of the camera? it's ruining my pictures...."

  "I'm not going to lie... it was warmer inside the car. And I had less people shouting at me to sign stuff."  - Armando Iannucci has directed, among other things, the movie    'The Death of Stalin'   , which had its premiere last year at the Curzon Chelsea.

"I'm not going to lie... it was warmer inside the car. And I had less people shouting at me to sign stuff." - Armando Iannucci has directed, among other things, the movie 'The Death of Stalin', which had its premiere last year at the Curzon Chelsea.

  "If I can't see them, some philosophers posit that they can't see me" . I photographed Daisy Ridley, dressed quite differently and with different expression(s) just last week at    the premiere of 'Peter Rabbit'    with Domhnall Gleeson, James Corden and Elizabeth Debicki.

"If I can't see them, some philosophers posit that they can't see me". I photographed Daisy Ridley, dressed quite differently and with different expression(s) just last week at the premiere of 'Peter Rabbit' with Domhnall Gleeson, James Corden and Elizabeth Debicki.

 I find this expression on Daisy Ridley's face fascinating. It is completely different to any expression I've ever photographed on her. Or perhaps it's just that what she's wearing is so different from the 'daisy jacket' of last week's sunny premiere in Leicester Square.

I find this expression on Daisy Ridley's face fascinating. It is completely different to any expression I've ever photographed on her. Or perhaps it's just that what she's wearing is so different from the 'daisy jacket' of last week's sunny premiere in Leicester Square.

 Sadly, though I recognised Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow as soon as he stepped out o his car, none of the dealers around me did, and by the time I finally got an unobstructed shot, this was the only angle I was able to get.

Sadly, though I recognised Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow as soon as he stepped out o his car, none of the dealers around me did, and by the time I finally got an unobstructed shot, this was the only angle I was able to get.

  "I'm just as cold as you guys are, but I'm keeping dry and I'm getting paid to be here. How many of you can say that?"  Actually, that pub across the way charged a lot for a hot chocolate that was instant mix and not hot, so financially I'm further behind than at most premieres.

"I'm just as cold as you guys are, but I'm keeping dry and I'm getting paid to be here. How many of you can say that?" Actually, that pub across the way charged a lot for a hot chocolate that was instant mix and not hot, so financially I'm further behind than at most premieres.

  "Check it out. Springtime in London"  - Amma Asante directed the    very good 'A United Kingdom'   , as well as the    very excellent 'Belle'   .

"Check it out. Springtime in London" - Amma Asante directed the very good 'A United Kingdom', as well as the very excellent 'Belle'.

 A girl can put on all the makeup, get her hair done, wear the most form-fitting and impractical cold-weather dress to a major event.... but it only takes one dude on a roadside doing his job and wearing a yellow high-viz vest over a bright blue hoodie standing next to a bright orange traffic cone to make it feel like it's all been for nought.

A girl can put on all the makeup, get her hair done, wear the most form-fitting and impractical cold-weather dress to a major event.... but it only takes one dude on a roadside doing his job and wearing a yellow high-viz vest over a bright blue hoodie standing next to a bright orange traffic cone to make it feel like it's all been for nought.

 I first photographed Anya Taylor-Joy at    last year's Empire Awards   , just after I'd watched 'The VVitch', which she was very good in.

I first photographed Anya Taylor-Joy at last year's Empire Awards, just after I'd watched 'The VVitch', which she was very good in.

 And remarkably the next person to arrive is Ralph Inerson, who I ALSO first photographed at last year's Empire Awards who is ALSO IN 'THE VVITCH'. And I'm so cold right now despite the layers of clothing I'm wearing that this is of immense excitement to me. Even now, back in my warm apartment, hours later, this continues to be true.

And remarkably the next person to arrive is Ralph Inerson, who I ALSO first photographed at last year's Empire Awards who is ALSO IN 'THE VVITCH'. And I'm so cold right now despite the layers of clothing I'm wearing that this is of immense excitement to me. Even now, back in my warm apartment, hours later, this continues to be true.

  "You can hold up my umbrella anytime, dude......" "....." "... even when it's NOT raining or snowing"  Oh, my. I believe that's subtext. (actress still to be identified) (edited to add : Emily Beecham. Best known for TV Series, but she was also in the Coen Brothers' "Hail, Caesar!")

"You can hold up my umbrella anytime, dude......"
"....."
"... even when it's NOT raining or snowing"

Oh, my. I believe that's subtext. (actress still to be identified) (edited to add : Emily Beecham. Best known for TV Series, but she was also in the Coen Brothers' "Hail, Caesar!")

 I don't know who this is, but one of my favourite film composers (Michael Giacchino) often wears a bow tie, and this gentleman kind of sort of almost looks like it could be him. If not, it's still a great bow tie, worthy of being photographed and placed into a journal.

I don't know who this is, but one of my favourite film composers (Michael Giacchino) often wears a bow tie, and this gentleman kind of sort of almost looks like it could be him. If not, it's still a great bow tie, worthy of being photographed and placed into a journal.

 Sadly, this is as good a photo of Mark Hamill as I was able to take, owing to the clamouring of security, PAs, photographers, soothsayers, passersby, (probably) his family, errant cameras, mobile phones, heads, beanies, and even particularly enthusiastic flakes of snow.

Sadly, this is as good a photo of Mark Hamill as I was able to take, owing to the clamouring of security, PAs, photographers, soothsayers, passersby, (probably) his family, errant cameras, mobile phones, heads, beanies, and even particularly enthusiastic flakes of snow.

 Fortunately, I have photographed Mark Hamill (better than this) at premieres and events such as    last year's GQ Awards    and last year's    premiere for Star Wars : The Last Jedi   . And yes, absolutely, I feel that it requires at LEAST four Umbrellas in London to keep the snow off Mark Hamill. And the umbrellas should be held only by the tallest security guards on the payroll.

Fortunately, I have photographed Mark Hamill (better than this) at premieres and events such as last year's GQ Awards and last year's premiere for Star Wars : The Last Jedi. And yes, absolutely, I feel that it requires at LEAST four Umbrellas in London to keep the snow off Mark Hamill. And the umbrellas should be held only by the tallest security guards on the payroll.

  "You thought Geostorm was a terrible movie based on the worst kind of understanding of weather? HA! Snow in mid-March, people. Who's laughing NOW?"  - Jim Sturgess was also in (I would argue) better movies, like    'Cloud Atlas'    and.... erm...

"You thought Geostorm was a terrible movie based on the worst kind of understanding of weather? HA! Snow in mid-March, people. Who's laughing NOW?" - Jim Sturgess was also in (I would argue) better movies, like 'Cloud Atlas' and.... erm...

 As much as I'd want to make a comment about the pen, and the connection between expectant dealer and indulgent star.... it's the guy in the background on the far left, probably wishing people would stop shouting so he could  Make That Very Important Trade , that I keep looking at.

As much as I'd want to make a comment about the pen, and the connection between expectant dealer and indulgent star.... it's the guy in the background on the far left, probably wishing people would stop shouting so he could Make That Very Important Trade, that I keep looking at.

  "At least two road cones and an awkwardly cropped nose. That's what good photography is, Steve"  - Fionn Whitehead is/was the lead in    Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk"   . Nolan, as well as such directors as Stephen Spielberg, Peter Jackson and... well... Taika Waititi were all rumoured to be coming to the Awards... but sadly none did. At least not via the front entrance.

"At least two road cones and an awkwardly cropped nose. That's what good photography is, Steve" - Fionn Whitehead is/was the lead in Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk". Nolan, as well as such directors as Stephen Spielberg, Peter Jackson and... well... Taika Waititi were all rumoured to be coming to the Awards... but sadly none did. At least not via the front entrance.

  "Well, it's not warm, I can give you that much of a hint..."  - sadly I had other commitments so I was not able to photograph Joely Richardson at the premiere of Red Sparrow earlier this year, but I have photographed her at such premieres as    'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'   ,    'Anonymous'    and    'Snowden'

"Well, it's not warm, I can give you that much of a hint..." - sadly I had other commitments so I was not able to photograph Joely Richardson at the premiere of Red Sparrow earlier this year, but I have photographed her at such premieres as 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo', 'Anonymous' and 'Snowden'

  "Don't look directly into their eyes, Rachel. They'll steal your soul. Or what's in your handbag. I don't think they're picky"  - among many other things, Celia Imrie was in both the    Best    and    Second Best    Exotic Marigold Hotel films.

"Don't look directly into their eyes, Rachel. They'll steal your soul. Or what's in your handbag. I don't think they're picky" - among many other things, Celia Imrie was in both the Best and Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films.

 I don't know who this is, but the expression in his eyes does not allow me to contemplate the consequences if I don't include this photo in this journal.

I don't know who this is, but the expression in his eyes does not allow me to contemplate the consequences if I don't include this photo in this journal.

  "Let's just take a moment to remember, people, that tiny bits of harmless solid water are falling from the sky and we are all here to see them and be moved by it"  - Edgar Wright has directed three movies I really liked :    Baby Driver   , Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and Shaun of the Dead.

"Let's just take a moment to remember, people, that tiny bits of harmless solid water are falling from the sky and we are all here to see them and be moved by it" - Edgar Wright has directed three movies I really liked : Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim vs the World, and Shaun of the Dead.

 I also don't know who this is, but at most events my policy is that any woman with a glamorous enough dress gets photographed, as does any man with a glamorous enough scarf. And here we have a coat, vest, suitjacket, tie and shirt as well. All that, and a tiny hand just behind him too. It's been a great event so far..... though in other news, I can't feel most of my toes.

I also don't know who this is, but at most events my policy is that any woman with a glamorous enough dress gets photographed, as does any man with a glamorous enough scarf. And here we have a coat, vest, suitjacket, tie and shirt as well. All that, and a tiny hand just behind him too. It's been a great event so far..... though in other news, I can't feel most of my toes.

  "I got this. Snow is nothing to me".  Daniel Brühl has been in excellent in such diverse films as    Ron Howard's "RUSH"   , The Russos'    "Captain America Civil War"    and other films - many German - that I wasn't at the premiere of, like Joyeux Noel, Goodbye Lenin and The Edukators.

"I got this. Snow is nothing to me". Daniel Brühl has been in excellent in such diverse films as Ron Howard's "RUSH", The Russos' "Captain America Civil War" and other films - many German - that I wasn't at the premiere of, like Joyeux Noel, Goodbye Lenin and The Edukators.

  "Of course I'm invited. But I forgot the ticket at home. I did bring this, however..."  "Is that a Beretta in your jacket pocket???"  "Nononono.... a Beretta's too bulky. But listen..."  Martin Freeman is best known for being The Hobbit in Peter Jackson's    'The Hobbit'    trilogy, and/or Watson in the 'Sherlock' TV Series.  

"Of course I'm invited. But I forgot the ticket at home. I did bring this, however..."
"Is that a Beretta in your jacket pocket???"
"Nononono.... a Beretta's too bulky. But listen..."

Martin Freeman is best known for being The Hobbit in Peter Jackson's 'The Hobbit' trilogy, and/or Watson in the 'Sherlock' TV Series.
 

  "Your umbrella technique sucks, Mark."  - speaking of poor efforts, at about this time (over three-quarters of the event), security finally realised that the road-facing barriers had been put in place the WRONG WAY and told everyone on our side that they'd now be guiding all stars to sign elsewhere. They also made the same error at    last Thursday's "Pacific Rim Uprising" screening   . You live and learn. Or... you know... you don't.

"Your umbrella technique sucks, Mark." - speaking of poor efforts, at about this time (over three-quarters of the event), security finally realised that the road-facing barriers had been put in place the WRONG WAY and told everyone on our side that they'd now be guiding all stars to sign elsewhere. They also made the same error at last Thursday's "Pacific Rim Uprising" screening. You live and learn. Or... you know... you don't.

  "What's "TIME'S UP" a reference to? Well, I'll give you a hint, it's not a fan group dedicated to the particularly awesome line-delivery of those words by Jeff Goldblum just before the aliens attack in Independence Day (1996)".  - actress Hayley Squires is best known for being in    the movie "I, Daniel Blake"

"What's "TIME'S UP" a reference to? Well, I'll give you a hint, it's not a fan group dedicated to the particularly awesome line-delivery of those words by Jeff Goldblum just before the aliens attack in Independence Day (1996)". - actress Hayley Squires is best known for being in the movie "I, Daniel Blake"

  "A marriage proposal? Right here? Right now? And not in front of a huge mostly drunken crowd at a basketball game where it could have been broadcast on their giant television screen? I'm disappointed. I honestly had you pegged as more of a romantic, frankly..."  - Vanessa Kirby is best known for being Princess Margaret in    the TV series 'The Crown'

"A marriage proposal? Right here? Right now? And not in front of a huge mostly drunken crowd at a basketball game where it could have been broadcast on their giant television screen? I'm disappointed. I honestly had you pegged as more of a romantic, frankly..." - Vanessa Kirby is best known for being Princess Margaret in the TV series 'The Crown'

 Stern expression notwithstanding, Andy Serkis got a cheer from the whole crowd at the event, as he was the only star to sign for EVERYBODY in every pen while it snowed. Very nicely done, though he was slightly more warmly dressed than (say) Anya Taylor Joy or Vanessa Kirby.

Stern expression notwithstanding, Andy Serkis got a cheer from the whole crowd at the event, as he was the only star to sign for EVERYBODY in every pen while it snowed. Very nicely done, though he was slightly more warmly dressed than (say) Anya Taylor Joy or Vanessa Kirby.

 And now.. it's time to head back, miss my train by one minute, and have the next one run 15 minutes later AND an additional 22 minutes late. Big thanks to the assholes at Govia Thameslink, who don't merely have bad reasons for train delays, they additionally can't say with certainty or consistency HOW late their trains are running. But don't worry : their prerecorded automated apology is just as sincere the 101st time her recording is played as she was the first 100 times.

And now.. it's time to head back, miss my train by one minute, and have the next one run 15 minutes later AND an additional 22 minutes late. Big thanks to the assholes at Govia Thameslink, who don't merely have bad reasons for train delays, they additionally can't say with certainty or consistency HOW late their trains are running. But don't worry : their prerecorded automated apology is just as sincere the 101st time her recording is played as she was the first 100 times.

So... that was that, and it joins the three (four?) other EMPIRE Awards I've got sitting in my Archive of Premieres.. (And on the assumption I didn't catch anything I can't shake off in less than 24 hours, I'll hopefully be ready to do it tomorrow, for the fifth event in nine days this fine city has seen fit to bestow on its citizens).

Until next time!

ps. If you ever want to know when I post one of these journals, feel free to follow me on Twitter at berndt2_photo, or on facebook at premieresdotco.

pps. If you're seeking to overthrow Govia Thameslink's bull5hit excuse for a rail franchise by means that probably officially don't include violent armed militias but (nudge, nudge / wink, wink) maybe they do.... let me know.