The 2018 BIFAs - British Independent Film Awards

December 2nd, 2018.

Since having a bad time and also getting an arguably valid online smackdown last time I did a BIFA journal (in 2015) I have felt little or no desire to return to the BIFAs - the British Independent Film Awards. But when the weather proved both mild and dry and I found myself still at home at 4:15pm on a Sunday having accomplished relatively little with my day, I figured… why not make a comeback and see if anyone notices?

Here’s how it went down.

 Just to remind ourselves : “BIFA” insofar as the ‘fan’ component is concerned, takes place on a footpath, with no streetlights, with no lighting except from passing traffic and otherwise backlighting. It’s the only event I typically shoot at ISO3200 or higher, and in Manual mode, because it’s so erratic. Fun, in other words.

Just to remind ourselves : “BIFA” insofar as the ‘fan’ component is concerned, takes place on a footpath, with no streetlights, with no lighting except from passing traffic and otherwise backlighting. It’s the only event I typically shoot at ISO3200 or higher, and in Manual mode, because it’s so erratic. Fun, in other words.

 Viz : limited. View : as yet uninspiring.

Viz : limited. View : as yet uninspiring.

 I’d barely waited for 45mins, and survived what I’m calling an unprovoked mild verbal haranguing by a particularly excitable autograph dealer when our first arrival… arrived.

I’d barely waited for 45mins, and survived what I’m calling an unprovoked mild verbal haranguing by a particularly excitable autograph dealer when our first arrival… arrived.

 Jodie Whittaker is the current incarnation of Dr Who, a show I also have not watched in any of its incarnations. Although I veer towards one day watching the one where Jenna Coleman co-starred, I suppose Jodie Whittaker would be second most likely?

Jodie Whittaker is the current incarnation of Dr Who, a show I also have not watched in any of its incarnations. Although I veer towards one day watching the one where Jenna Coleman co-starred, I suppose Jodie Whittaker would be second most likely?

 Good enough!! (is it okay to like Jodie Whittaker even as a non-fan of Doctor Who?)

Good enough!! (is it okay to like Jodie Whittaker even as a non-fan of Doctor Who?)

  “I’m a fictional doctor, so I can’t authorise that prescription. Not for you, nor the horse you own that would require such a dose…”

“I’m a fictional doctor, so I can’t authorise that prescription. Not for you, nor the horse you own that would require such a dose…”

 Wireimage identifies this as Michaela Cole, but sadly imdb.com does not assist me, beyond suggesting that perhaps I’m interested in Michaela Coleman (a German actress) or Michael Cole (one of the kids from the movie ‘IT’)

Wireimage identifies this as Michaela Cole, but sadly imdb.com does not assist me, beyond suggesting that perhaps I’m interested in Michaela Coleman (a German actress) or Michael Cole (one of the kids from the movie ‘IT’)

  “If you can track my finger, your eyesight’s probably okay. But I mostly trade in signatures - I only dabble in optometry at an amateur level”  - if this is Ian Hart, he played Professor  “Voldemort Is At The Back Of My Head??”  Quirrell in the first Harry Potter movie.

“If you can track my finger, your eyesight’s probably okay. But I mostly trade in signatures - I only dabble in optometry at an amateur level” - if this is Ian Hart, he played Professor “Voldemort Is At The Back Of My Head??” Quirrell in the first Harry Potter movie.

  “Well… you’ve successfully read all the letters at the bottom of the chart which I’m holding and hoping Emma Stone later signs… I suppose I have no more reason to detain you further…?”

“Well… you’ve successfully read all the letters at the bottom of the chart which I’m holding and hoping Emma Stone later signs… I suppose I have no more reason to detain you further…?”

 I don’t know who this is, but I like the t-shirt and I’m still obsessively working out how to best pre-set the Nikon so that it can handle the varying light levels at this event. Autofocus is an entirely different issue (and if I’m making this all look and sound very glamorous and sexy, please excuse me : that’s not my intent).

I don’t know who this is, but I like the t-shirt and I’m still obsessively working out how to best pre-set the Nikon so that it can handle the varying light levels at this event. Autofocus is an entirely different issue (and if I’m making this all look and sound very glamorous and sexy, please excuse me : that’s not my intent).

 Either the 1200 movies I’ve watched in the three calendar years since my last BIFA are improving my skillz at identifying people… or maybe it’s the hundreds of premieres I’ve gone to. But still… I know who Samantha Morton is. (I also know who Yorgos Lanthimos is, but he’s not in this photo)

Either the 1200 movies I’ve watched in the three calendar years since my last BIFA are improving my skillz at identifying people… or maybe it’s the hundreds of premieres I’ve gone to. But still… I know who Samantha Morton is. (I also know who Yorgos Lanthimos is, but he’s not in this photo)

 I last photographed Alexa Davies at the World Premiere of    “MammaMia! Here We Go Again”   . Under a self-imposed mandate, it’s my objective to eventually watch EVERY movie I’ve been to the premiere of. MM2 isn’t one I feel I need to see anytime soon, though.

I last photographed Alexa Davies at the World Premiere of “MammaMia! Here We Go Again”. Under a self-imposed mandate, it’s my objective to eventually watch EVERY movie I’ve been to the premiere of. MM2 isn’t one I feel I need to see anytime soon, though.

  “I’ve been looking at you for ten uncomfortable seconds now and really, all I can come up with is “you’re kind of short, aren’t you?”  . Short, but loud. I photographed Jessie Buckley during the BFI London Film Festival premiere for    “Wild Rose”    back in October. She seems nice.

“I’ve been looking at you for ten uncomfortable seconds now and really, all I can come up with is “you’re kind of short, aren’t you?” . Short, but loud. I photographed Jessie Buckley during the BFI London Film Festival premiere for “Wild Rose” back in October. She seems nice.

 Fortuitous side-flash on this photo (and the other one) courtesy of    Ibsan73    !

Fortuitous side-flash on this photo (and the other one) courtesy of Ibsan73 !

  “Sure, thank your friends, but not me for standing here”  - Ellie Bamber.

“Sure, thank your friends, but not me for standing here” - Ellie Bamber.

 I believe this speeding actor is Josh O’Connor? If so, he had a small role in Disney’s live-action Cinderella, a larger role in Florence Foster Jenkins…and is now set to play Prince Charles in the third season of ‘The Queen’.

I believe this speeding actor is Josh O’Connor? If so, he had a small role in Disney’s live-action Cinderella, a larger role in Florence Foster Jenkins…and is now set to play Prince Charles in the third season of ‘The Queen’.

  “Oh, no…. it’s a dark, dreary, damp night; and I thought those people wanting my autograph might not have shown up”  Sadly, Gemma Arterton, like everyone else, has stumbled into their preferred climate (though I found them nicely docile this evening, with one exception).

“Oh, no…. it’s a dark, dreary, damp night; and I thought those people wanting my autograph might not have shown up” Sadly, Gemma Arterton, like everyone else, has stumbled into their preferred climate (though I found them nicely docile this evening, with one exception).

  “The British International Freight Association are totally my favouite BIFA. These BIFAs are okay too, I suppose, but let’s just say I’m glad I never have to choose between the two”

“The British International Freight Association are totally my favouite BIFA. These BIFAs are okay too, I suppose, but let’s just say I’m glad I never have to choose between the two”

 It’s not the best photo of Martin Freeman I’ve ever taken (the one where he throws a pen in the air at last year’s TV Baftas is) - but look at the sweet bokeh in the lights in the background! And, if that’s your thing, the giant ear and head of the guy on the far right is pretty amazing too!

It’s not the best photo of Martin Freeman I’ve ever taken (the one where he throws a pen in the air at last year’s TV Baftas is) - but look at the sweet bokeh in the lights in the background! And, if that’s your thing, the giant ear and head of the guy on the far right is pretty amazing too!

 Of all the people I photographed in a sub-par way on the night, this is who I’d most like a second chance at photographing. Sadly, none of the dealers were attracted/impressed by her so she slipped into the venue without being called for. Turns out she’s Jessica Ellerby, an actress.

Of all the people I photographed in a sub-par way on the night, this is who I’d most like a second chance at photographing. Sadly, none of the dealers were attracted/impressed by her so she slipped into the venue without being called for. Turns out she’s Jessica Ellerby, an actress.

  “If you’re gonna sell my autograph anyway, I insist you pay me for this pen… it’s only fair”  - Olivia Colman is an alumni of no less than two Yorgos Lanthimos movies (   “The Lobster”    and    “The Favourite”   ) and is set to play Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of ‘The Crown’)

“If you’re gonna sell my autograph anyway, I insist you pay me for this pen… it’s only fair” - Olivia Colman is an alumni of no less than two Yorgos Lanthimos movies (“The Lobster” and “The Favourite”) and is set to play Queen Elizabeth II in the third season of ‘The Crown’)

  “The guy behind me insists you pay me for these autographs I’m signing. He accepts cash, visa paywave, apple pay and quarts of blood”

“The guy behind me insists you pay me for these autographs I’m signing. He accepts cash, visa paywave, apple pay and quarts of blood”

  “I’m a left-hander, by the way. Enjoy this scrawl”  - actually Olivia Colman was very nice - signing for fans (and otherwise) on both sides of the entrance, as did Jodie Whittaker and (spoiler) the upcoming Jason Isaacs.

“I’m a left-hander, by the way. Enjoy this scrawl” - actually Olivia Colman was very nice - signing for fans (and otherwise) on both sides of the entrance, as did Jodie Whittaker and (spoiler) the upcoming Jason Isaacs.

  “You want me to turn around and tell you what the writing on the truck says? But I’m not even facing in that direction!”  - I believe this is Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole.

“You want me to turn around and tell you what the writing on the truck says? But I’m not even facing in that direction!” - I believe this is Peaky Blinders’ Joe Cole.

  “If you want to avoid signing autographs, you can escape over that way, Sir” ”Across four lanes of traffic???” ”Erm… yes.” ”Good call - I’ll see you later”  - it’s Jason Isaacs! Formerly best known for being Draco Malfoy’s dad in the Harry Potter films, he’s probably better known now for being in Star Trek : Discovery

“If you want to avoid signing autographs, you can escape over that way, Sir”
”Across four lanes of traffic???”
”Erm… yes.”
”Good call - I’ll see you later”
- it’s Jason Isaacs! Formerly best known for being Draco Malfoy’s dad in the Harry Potter films, he’s probably better known now for being in Star Trek : Discovery

  “I insist you straighten the horizon on this photo if you ever upload it. Dutch tilts aren’t cool anymore. Haven’t been since 2007”

“I insist you straighten the horizon on this photo if you ever upload it. Dutch tilts aren’t cool anymore. Haven’t been since 2007”

 When Felicity Jones charges into a venue, she really charges into a venue! Fortunately I’ve photographed her at (for instance)    “The Theory of Everything”   .

When Felicity Jones charges into a venue, she really charges into a venue! Fortunately I’ve photographed her at (for instance) “The Theory of Everything”.

  “Whatever that blur was, it was moving fast, but still at sub-light speed.”

“Whatever that blur was, it was moving fast, but still at sub-light speed.”

 Tricky to photograph as the cluster of crowdedness on the (lack of) red carpet seemed to increase markedly in density upon her arrival : it’s Emma Stone! She’s also in    ‘The Favourite’,    which (psst! spoiler!) ended up winning not one but TEN awards on the night.

Tricky to photograph as the cluster of crowdedness on the (lack of) red carpet seemed to increase markedly in density upon her arrival : it’s Emma Stone! She’s also in ‘The Favourite’, which (psst! spoiler!) ended up winning not one but TEN awards on the night.

  “No spoilers from the time-travelers among you - I have no idea how many awards we’re going to win yet”  - fortunately for my g ood-only-under-the-circumstances  photos of Emma Stone here, I’ve photographed this year at both “   The Favourite”    and    “Maniac”

“No spoilers from the time-travelers among you - I have no idea how many awards we’re going to win yet” - fortunately for my good-only-under-the-circumstances photos of Emma Stone here, I’ve photographed this year at both “The Favourite” and “Maniac”

  “I actually only have two arms, but thanks for asking!!”  - good news for Emma Stone - not only has she won an Oscar (for LaLaLand) AND not only does she have the requisite usual number of arms, but The Amazing Spiderman movies are no longer in her top four movies on imdb!

“I actually only have two arms, but thanks for asking!!” - good news for Emma Stone - not only has she won an Oscar (for LaLaLand) AND not only does she have the requisite usual number of arms, but The Amazing Spiderman movies are no longer in her top four movies on imdb!

  “You brought a yellow jacket to this event just for me? I’m touched!” ”Erm… it’s not for you, Miss Peake” ”That’s okay. The guy with the RockJock<tm> insulated beanie will no doubt offer that to me”  Anyone who can fight their way past the two rows of dealers in front of me has earned that beanie, and that’s an open invitation to anyone at any premiere. I have two spares!

“You brought a yellow jacket to this event just for me? I’m touched!”
”Erm… it’s not for you, Miss Peake”
”That’s okay. The guy with the RockJock<tm> insulated beanie will no doubt offer that to me”

Anyone who can fight their way past the two rows of dealers in front of me has earned that beanie, and that’s an open invitation to anyone at any premiere. I have two spares!

 It’s… Josh Hartnett?? Wow. Never thought I’d photograph him….. I haven’t seen him in anything since Sin City (2005), and I’m trying to figure out what he’s been in in the last twelve years that I might have heard of or watched. (Based on the event I’m at, I’m guessing something British and Independent?)

It’s… Josh Hartnett?? Wow. Never thought I’d photograph him….. I haven’t seen him in anything since Sin City (2005), and I’m trying to figure out what he’s been in in the last twelve years that I might have heard of or watched. (Based on the event I’m at, I’m guessing something British and Independent?)

 I still can’t believe that after all this time, I’ve now finally completed the full house of ‘Pearl Harbor’ alumni : director Michael Bay, composer Hans Zimmer, actors Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale… and now Josh Hartnett!! What a world we live in…

I still can’t believe that after all this time, I’ve now finally completed the full house of ‘Pearl Harbor’ alumni : director Michael Bay, composer Hans Zimmer, actors Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale… and now Josh Hartnett!! What a world we live in…

  “How did you guys follow me? I instructed the driver to take the most circuitous route possible no less than four times before getting here? .. how did you KNOW I’d be here??”  - Steve Coogan was most recently in (and at the BFI LFF closing night premiere of)    “Stan and Ollie”

“How did you guys follow me? I instructed the driver to take the most circuitous route possible no less than four times before getting here? .. how did you KNOW I’d be here??” - Steve Coogan was most recently in (and at the BFI LFF closing night premiere of) “Stan and Ollie”

So… that was that. I had just enough time to pack up and head to Blackfriars to catch the train that was then delayed by more than 10 minutes because f**k you we’re Govia Thameslink and we don’t give a crap. Still.. can’t blame that on BIFA, and given I only invested about four hours from beginning to end on this event (plus a further three hours back in the apartment doing editing)… it was probably still worth it to chalk up another +1 for the Archive of Premieres.

Until next time? Yeah….. I think I can still make two more events this year before I close off 2018… but we’ll see.

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