18 Jun - Hancock Premiere

June 18th, 2008

It all starts (or started) with this one. Just think... if I hadn't gone to this one and if it hadn't resulted in at least one decent photo, I might never have done another one of these. I might not have bought this website 6 years later, might never have returned to London after leaving it, might have... you know... had a normal life instead of this... this.... thing I've got. - Me, August 1st, 2014.

I was just a young lad back then, with little idea of whether I'd even be able to cope with Charlize Theron walking past within a couple of meters of me.


"Do you really think Jason Bateman will turn up? That would be SO sweet..." In all the pandemonium, sometimes you forget it's not about a studio flying out big stars to a major market in order to secure maximum publicity and a large opening to get payback for a big financial outlay. It's about... uh...

"Do you really think Jason Bateman will turn up? That would be SO sweet..." In all the pandemonium, sometimes you forget it's not about a studio flying out big stars to a major market in order to secure maximum publicity and a large opening to get payback for a big financial outlay. It's about... uh...

"Hey, check out that dude with his Pentax K10D. And he's only carrying ONE of them. How quaint!"

"Hey, check out that dude with his Pentax K10D. And he's only carrying ONE of them. How quaint!"

"I'll make this autograph out "to eBay" then, will I?". It's WILL SMITH!! I've photographed Will Smith!! (What do I win? When do I get blase about this?)

"I'll make this autograph out "to eBay" then, will I?". It's WILL SMITH!! I've photographed Will Smith!! (What do I win? When do I get blase about this?)

"Hey, that's not my good side. You'd better not be posting that online, yeah?"

"Hey, that's not my good side. You'd better not be posting that online, yeah?"

Every time I remind Will Smith that he still owes me five dollars, this is the response I get... him hiding behind his bodyguards and waving.(Also : OMG - eye-contact from Will Smith. What do I win? Do I win anything? Can I get a high-five too?)

Every time I remind Will Smith that he still owes me five dollars, this is the response I get... him hiding behind his bodyguards and waving.(Also : OMG - eye-contact from Will Smith. What do I win? Do I win anything? Can I get a high-five too?)

"If you guys co-ordinate your flashes properly, we could get ourselves some free laser eye surgery"

"If you guys co-ordinate your flashes properly, we could get ourselves some free laser eye surgery"

"Why yes, young lady, I AM Will Smith. Did you want my number?" Jason Bateman is many things... but he is not nor has he ever been the Fresh Prince of Bel Air (or had multiple RAP albums...)

"Why yes, young lady, I AM Will Smith. Did you want my number?" Jason Bateman is many things... but he is not nor has he ever been the Fresh Prince of Bel Air (or had multiple RAP albums...)

It's Jason "is that Charlize Theron behind him!!" Bateman.( I know. That's unfair. It's not his fault he's not as pretty as Charlize Theron)

It's Jason "is that Charlize Theron behind him!!" Bateman.( I know. That's unfair. It's not his fault he's not as pretty as Charlize Theron)

Meanwhile, I don't want to seem ungrateful, but .... I've now photographed Will Smith and Jason Bateman. Is it too much to ask for Charlize Theron?

Meanwhile, I don't want to seem ungrateful, but .... I've now photographed Will Smith and Jason Bateman. Is it too much to ask for Charlize Theron?

Eeeee! (umm... that was my camera making that noise. Not me.) (And I just want to restate : I still can't believe that my very first London premiere EVER resulted in me getting within meters of Charlize Theron... and the photo(s) turned out okay!)

Eeeee! (umm... that was my camera making that noise. Not me.) (And I just want to restate : I still can't believe that my very first London premiere EVER resulted in me getting within meters of Charlize Theron... and the photo(s) turned out okay!)

June 18th, photo for the day, week, month, possibly year. In fact, I may never wash the lens I used to take this photo.

June 18th, photo for the day, week, month, possibly year. In fact, I may never wash the lens I used to take this photo.

Then I realised I'd already taken a photo I like even more than the above one. Good times.... and a fun fact? I actually thought about leaving the premiere once I'd photographed Will Smith, because who knew Charlize Theron would ALSO attend a premiere (I was so young at the time...)

Then I realised I'd already taken a photo I like even more than the above one. Good times.... and a fun fact? I actually thought about leaving the premiere once I'd photographed Will Smith, because who knew Charlize Theron would ALSO attend a premiere (I was so young at the time...)

"Could you guys hurry up with the photos? 'cause I hear Jason Bateman is showing up for a movie premiere here as well" I.... am in no hurry to photograph Jason Bateman right now. Or ever. Regardless of how highly regarded he is.

"Could you guys hurry up with the photos? 'cause I hear Jason Bateman is showing up for a movie premiere here as well" I.... am in no hurry to photograph Jason Bateman right now. Or ever. Regardless of how highly regarded he is.

Remarkably, I was able to leave my position near the drop-off point and make my way around the outside of Leicester Square to a spot that had a vantagepoint towards a footbridge used by the stars to exit the interview area in the centre of the 'square. Quite handy. Also... more Charlize Theron!!

Remarkably, I was able to leave my position near the drop-off point and make my way around the outside of Leicester Square to a spot that had a vantagepoint towards a footbridge used by the stars to exit the interview area in the centre of the 'square. Quite handy. Also... more Charlize Theron!!

"If there's a problem with your cameraman, I'm sure any one of these fine people would be happy to loan you their point-and-shoots and/or mobile phones" Will Smith Solves Problems.

"If there's a problem with your cameraman, I'm sure any one of these fine people would be happy to loan you their point-and-shoots and/or mobile phones" Will Smith Solves Problems.

"Jason Bateman? He's here??" Apparently. Somewhere. I stopped looking once the lady in the black dress showed up (in fact, I'm surprised I'm still taking photos now that Charlize Theron has gone inside the cinema)

"Jason Bateman? He's here??" Apparently. Somewhere. I stopped looking once the lady in the black dress showed up (in fact, I'm surprised I'm still taking photos now that Charlize Theron has gone inside the cinema)

"Peace out, y'all. And for the guy who I owe five dollars to, my valet has it for you. Yes, that guy over there : nineteen stone, ex-SAS. Go ask him"

"Peace out, y'all. And for the guy who I owe five dollars to, my valet has it for you. Yes, that guy over there : nineteen stone, ex-SAS. Go ask him"

So... that was premiere. In London. That I took photos at. Amazing. In retrospect, my only slight regret (then, and even a little bit now, writing this six years later) is that I didn't make the connection between the giant setup for "Speed Racer", which I walked past and noted but never investigated further, weeks (?) earlier. Had I made that my first premiere, I might have photographed either or both of Emile Hirsch or more importantly Christina Ricci - both of whom I still have not photographed.

I guess if I had to estimate what I felt walking home afterwards, it probably would have approximated to "I wonder if I'll do more of these?" the answer to which is... yeah. Alternatively / additionally, if you'd asked me who I'd most want to photograph among ALL Hollywood stars prior to this premiere, I honestly would have said "Charlize Theron". After that? Scarlett Johansson.

And I'd have had no idea at the time how long THAT would take, or if I'd be successful.

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NB.  Although I call this my first premiere, it's actually my first LONDON premiere. I was at the Sydney midnight screening and premiere for Star Wars Episode III in 2005 at which the dude who played Jango Fett attended (I didn't manage to photograph him) ... and back in 2003 I was in Rome when I wandered past an event that ended up being the Italian premiere to the movie "Cold Mountain". I naturally hoped that Nicole Kidman or Rennee Zellwegger would show up, but neither did : only Jude Law attended, and I got the back and side of his head. Small beginnings, people....