19 Apr - Marvel's 'Avengers' European Premiere

April 19th, 2012.

Ah... the Avengers. I'm not a fan of comic books generically (my geeky nature never swung that way), but as a fan of hype and spectacle I am...not unaware of the fact that movies for Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, etc exist, with the end aim of setting up a hypergiant film combining the various marvel properties. Some of them were good, some of them were bad, but this one? Looks pretty epic.

How epic? Let's just say I took a day off work for this one, got up at 4am and was on the first Tube to Westfields Shepherds Bush. Obsessed? Not so much.. though the fact that Scarlett Johansson was meant to attend might have had more than a little to do with all that.

How did it go down? Was it worth it? Well.. let's just say 2,300 photos were taken.

Erm........

It's a premiere, and I've taken the day off. I joined the queue outside the place around 6:15, but they let us in around an hour later. This was my vantagepoint as at 8:00am (two rows back, but the girls (!) in front of me are short).

It's a premiere, and I've taken the day off. I joined the queue outside the place around 6:15, but they let us in around an hour later. This was my vantagepoint as at 8:00am (two rows back, but the girls (!) in front of me are short).

I'd previously been here on the left from 7:30am, but things changed so I had to move. So.. 2hrs down, 9 to go, huh?

I'd previously been here on the left from 7:30am, but things changed so I had to move. So.. 2hrs down, 9 to go, huh?

But... even with the movie trailer on insta-repeat, at least there were people making things interesting as we counted down the hours. (8..... 7..... 6...... 5...... 4..... 3. ... those are some long hours)

But... even with the movie trailer on insta-repeat, at least there were people making things interesting as we counted down the hours. (8..... 7..... 6...... 5...... 4..... 3. ... those are some long hours)

Eventually it filled up..... this was only with about two hours or so to go!! (I'd had lunch and a few toilet breaks)

Eventually it filled up..... this was only with about two hours or so to go!! (I'd had lunch and a few toilet breaks)

Please GET EXCITED!!!! But not too excited, there's still at least an hour to go. Shall we watch the movie's trailer sixteen or seventeen more times? Oh, please. Let's

Please GET EXCITED!!!! But not too excited, there's still at least an hour to go. Shall we watch the movie's trailer sixteen or seventeen more times? Oh, please. Let's

"So do you have trouble getting into and out of taxis with that thing?" With about 2 hours to go, it was a standing crush until 5:30pm when they started with a dressup competition. Which not many premieres do.

"So do you have trouble getting into and out of taxis with that thing?" With about 2 hours to go, it was a standing crush until 5:30pm when they started with a dressup competition. Which not many premieres do.

"Okay, I'm back" Ultimately the linear nature of how we perceive time meat that inevitably, all the waiting (and watching the 2.5 minute trailer every five minutes for about 11 hours) was over, and we were under way..

"Okay, I'm back" Ultimately the linear nature of how we perceive time meat that inevitably, all the waiting (and watching the 2.5 minute trailer every five minutes for about 11 hours) was over, and we were under way..

Just want to point out : left home at 4am.. the time is now 6pm. And I am still, despite my half-hearted efforts over the years, single.

The giant mural behind the buy opens up at Iron Man's hands and dispenses stars one by one to the cheers of the waiting crowd. And first to arrive, Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor

The giant mural behind the buy opens up at Iron Man's hands and dispenses stars one by one to the cheers of the waiting crowd. And first to arrive, Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor

 "I briefly rocked a ponytail like that, but my wife couldn't stop laughing for a week. Then she divorced me".

 "I briefly rocked a ponytail like that, but my wife couldn't stop laughing for a week. Then she divorced me".

Chris Hemsworth's wife is heavily pregnant, my keen knowledge of the female anatomy tells me, .... and my choice of crop somewhat obscures.

Chris Hemsworth's wife is heavily pregnant, my keen knowledge of the female anatomy tells me, .... and my choice of crop somewhat obscures.

"Hello future loyal slaves!!" Here is your lord and liberator, Tom Hiddleston, aka Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, the main antagonist of the film.

"Hello future loyal slaves!!" Here is your lord and liberator, Tom Hiddleston, aka Loki, the Norse God of Mischief, the main antagonist of the film.

Loki says : "My armies will be destroying a city near you soon"

Loki says : "My armies will be destroying a city near you soon"

Actor Tom Hiddleston isn't really the most naturally evil-looking person in the world. But he is a good actor. And apparently good reader of erotic poetry. I have been told.

Actor Tom Hiddleston isn't really the most naturally evil-looking person in the world. But he is a good actor. And apparently good reader of erotic poetry. I have been told.

Still on the subject of peace and/or gang signs...  is Mark Ruffalo, who is neither Eric Bana nor Ed Norton nor entirely Computer Graphics as The Hulk / Bruce Banner.

Still on the subject of peace and/or gang signs...  is Mark Ruffalo, who is neither Eric Bana nor Ed Norton nor entirely Computer Graphics as The Hulk / Bruce Banner.

"You're funny and you're short and you smell funny and your hair looks weird. Are you getting angry yet? If you turn into the hulk and trash the place the fans will lap it up!".

"You're funny and you're short and you smell funny and your hair looks weird. Are you getting angry yet? If you turn into the hulk and trash the place the fans will lap it up!".

And then Robert Downey Jnr showed up....

And then Robert Downey Jnr showed up....

.....  in his usual restrained way. (Did he get the biggest cheer of the night? Hm... maybe Thor and Loki got slightly more, but we're talking degrees of deafness here)

.....  in his usual restrained way. (Did he get the biggest cheer of the night? Hm... maybe Thor and Loki got slightly more, but we're talking degrees of deafness here)

"Hey, it's me! Looking good". Something tells me that Robert Downey Jnr doesn't find it a stretch playing billionaire playboy Tony Stark.

"Hey, it's me! Looking good". Something tells me that Robert Downey Jnr doesn't find it a stretch playing billionaire playboy Tony Stark.

"Kids, be like this guy - build your own weaponised battle suit. The US Government totally won't mind. Also, stay in school and don't do drugs"

"Kids, be like this guy - build your own weaponised battle suit. The US Government totally won't mind. Also, stay in school and don't do drugs"

Next up, Clark Gregg, who has played Agent Phil Coulson in about four of the feeder films for the Avengers franchise.

Next up, Clark Gregg, who has played Agent Phil Coulson in about four of the feeder films for the Avengers franchise.

Also, most of the nearby ladiez were saying something about Sex in the City, but I wasn't listening.

Also, most of the nearby ladiez were saying something about Sex in the City, but I wasn't listening.

Clark Gregg is apparently married to Jennifer Grey of "Dirty Dancing" fame?? (I was listening..)

Clark Gregg is apparently married to Jennifer Grey of "Dirty Dancing" fame?? (I was listening..)

It's Jeremy Renner! And he wishes you a pleasant day.

It's Jeremy Renner! And he wishes you a pleasant day.

If the look is "Magnum" or "Blue Steel" then it must be either Derek Zoolander; or Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye in the film.

If the look is "Magnum" or "Blue Steel" then it must be either Derek Zoolander; or Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye in the film.

"Jeremy Renner jus' gonna slide ovah heah if y'all wanna see.. no?"

"Jeremy Renner jus' gonna slide ovah heah if y'all wanna see.. no?"

"Okay, then. Maybe Jeremy will just stand here until somebody pays attention, yeah?"

"Okay, then. Maybe Jeremy will just stand here until somebody pays attention, yeah?"

But this was all well and good... I like Chris, Tom, Mark, Robert, Clark and Jeremy as much as the next guy (possibly less). What this premiere needed (with all due respect to Elsa Pataki and Jennifer Grey) was a Y-chromosome....

And then.... Scarlett Johansson showed up, making me (a) very happy (b) that my camera has 7 frames per second and (  c) a nice long telephoto zoom and (d) that I was here for this. Unless she started swearing and kicking random kids.... though I guess I could handle the swearing if the kicking of kids was only targetted upon strong moral and ethical lines.  In theory. (But hey, I definitely don't want it to come to that...) (where was I?)

And then.... Scarlett Johansson showed up, making me (a) very happy (b) that my camera has 7 frames per second and (  c) a nice long telephoto zoom and (d) that I was here for this. Unless she started swearing and kicking random kids.... though I guess I could handle the swearing if the kicking of kids was only targetted upon strong moral and ethical lines.  In theory. (But hey, I definitely don't want it to come to that...) (where was I?)

That high-contrast LED background does attract the Pentax's autofocus, but on the subject of "Must Get Good Photo Of Scarlett Johansson At All Costs" we're off to a promising start.

That high-contrast LED background does attract the Pentax's autofocus, but on the subject of "Must Get Good Photo Of Scarlett Johansson At All Costs" we're off to a promising start.

Host says : "I.... I have nothing. Please marry me". (Hey, no fair. That's TOTALLY my line!)

Host says : "I.... I have nothing. Please marry me". (Hey, no fair. That's TOTALLY my line!)

"She's been doing that mannequin pose for 15 minutes now, isn't she great? Give her a round of applause everybody!"

"She's been doing that mannequin pose for 15 minutes now, isn't she great? Give her a round of applause everybody!"

 Also, on a separate note, it now makes director Chris Nolan the new person I now rank #1 on my list of People I Really Want To Photograph That I Haven't Yet. Scarlett Johansson has occupied the #1 spot since 2008 after I photographed Charlize Theron at my very first London Premiere for "Hancock".

 Also, on a separate note, it now makes director Chris Nolan the new person I now rank #1 on my list of People I Really Want To Photograph That I Haven't Yet. Scarlett Johansson has occupied the #1 spot since 2008 after I photographed Charlize Theron at my very first London Premiere for "Hancock".

So, as Ms Johansson winds her way along the crowd towards the obscured-from-my-vantagepoint paparazzi pen, the impossibly awesomely named "Cobie Smulders" who plays agent Maria Hill in the film arrives on the main stage (psstt.... she's also on the mural on the left)

So, as Ms Johansson winds her way along the crowd towards the obscured-from-my-vantagepoint paparazzi pen, the impossibly awesomely named "Cobie Smulders" who plays agent Maria Hill in the film arrives on the main stage (psstt.... she's also on the mural on the left)

Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson has moved into our area and the crush of people pushing forward might put wildebeest stampedes to shame. This is not as close as I generally want to be when taking photos. (when being around Scarlett Johansson, yes. When taking photos, no)

Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson has moved into our area and the crush of people pushing forward might put wildebeest stampedes to shame. This is not as close as I generally want to be when taking photos. (when being around Scarlett Johansson, yes. When taking photos, no)

I, meanwhile, may have found my favourite photo of about 70 taken at 7fps. I won't bore you with the full sequence yet. I call this photo "Scarlett" and I've got an 18x12 inch enlargement, framed, at home. If you know a way I can get it signed (by Scarlett Johansson, preferably) please let me know... I doubt my abilities at a regular premiere (1 attempt, 1 failure)

I, meanwhile, may have found my favourite photo of about 70 taken at 7fps. I won't bore you with the full sequence yet. I call this photo "Scarlett" and I've got an 18x12 inch enlargement, framed, at home. If you know a way I can get it signed (by Scarlett Johansson, preferably) please let me know... I doubt my abilities at a regular premiere (1 attempt, 1 failure)

"Many people say you should add milk for consistency, but that's both a mistake and mainly to do with omelettes. Where were we?" Kevin Feige was one of NINE producers on this film I have no idea what that means.

"Many people say you should add milk for consistency, but that's both a mistake and mainly to do with omelettes. Where were we?" Kevin Feige was one of NINE producers on this film I have no idea what that means.

Meanwhile... I have only some idea what this means, but only if I discount the expression on the face of the guy on the right.

Meanwhile... I have only some idea what this means, but only if I discount the expression on the face of the guy on the right.

"Your Hair Looks Stupid" "YOUR Hair Looks MORE Stupid" "I'm telling our Dad on you" On-screen brothers Loki and Thor meet in front of the press pen. Punches are not thrown. (Actually they seem like good friends)

"Your Hair Looks Stupid"
"YOUR Hair Looks MORE Stupid"
"I'm telling our Dad on you"

On-screen brothers Loki and Thor meet in front of the press pen. Punches are not thrown. (Actually they seem like good friends)

"But what he doesn't know is that I AM his Dad (sort of, depending on where you are in the Marvel CInematic Canon) (also, I have a time machine, that's how I know stuff about Thor 2 The Dark World that I couldn't, yet)

"But what he doesn't know is that I AM his Dad (sort of, depending on where you are in the Marvel CInematic Canon) (also, I have a time machine, that's how I know stuff about Thor 2 The Dark World that I couldn't, yet)

Jeremy Renner was in Mission Impossible 4 and will starring in the upcoming fourth Bourne film. The smooth-jazz career may remain on hold for longer...

Jeremy Renner was in Mission Impossible 4 and will starring in the upcoming fourth Bourne film. The smooth-jazz career may remain on hold for longer...

At this point in the proceedings our new compere arrives (what was wrong with the old compere? He was funny.. although he was kind of swooning over Scarlett Johansson)

Our NEW compere Jonathan Ross is big enough in the field of entertainment that each of the actors are called back on stage to be interviewed briefly. I should probably check my batteries and card to see whether they can sustain much more of this.

Our NEW compere Jonathan Ross is big enough in the field of entertainment that each of the actors are called back on stage to be interviewed briefly. I should probably check my batteries and card to see whether they can sustain much more of this.

"Chris' wife is pregnant and due any day now, which means they had intercourse". Yeah, and unlike my unsanctioned comments for the rest of the journal... Jonathan Ross actually said this! (Chris took it well - the laughing shots are a couple of frames later after Ross finished talking)

"Chris' wife is pregnant and due any day now, which means they had intercourse". Yeah, and unlike my unsanctioned comments for the rest of the journal... Jonathan Ross actually said this! (Chris took it well - the laughing shots are a couple of frames later after Ross finished talking)

Jonathan Ross: "I ... will you marry me? I know, I know, I'm already married and my wife is quite wealthy, but I think between the three of us we could make it work. Take this discussion off-stage? Sure..."

Jonathan Ross: "I ... will you marry me? I know, I know, I'm already married and my wife is quite wealthy, but I think between the three of us we could make it work. Take this discussion off-stage? Sure..."

One last Johansson photo. Pretty. So very pretty. 11 hours of waiting and a day of annual leave taken to do so. Worth it? Once I get full mobility in my legs and back again after the crush, probably!!

One last Johansson photo. Pretty. So very pretty. 11 hours of waiting and a day of annual leave taken to do so. Worth it? Once I get full mobility in my legs and back again after the crush, probably!!

The Avengers Assemble on the stage as a group. Okay, Fine... I'll watch the movie. 11 hours of that trailer will eventually wear a man down anyway. Premiere? Over. 1.5hr trip home to start editing photos for 4 or so hours? Just beginning.

The Avengers Assemble on the stage as a group. Okay, Fine... I'll watch the movie. 11 hours of that trailer will eventually wear a man down anyway. Premiere? Over. 1.5hr trip home to start editing photos for 4 or so hours? Just beginning.

STOP CHATTING UP MY GIRL, HIDDLESTON... 

STOP CHATTING UP MY GIRL, HIDDLESTON... 

So....

That was insane. Would I do it again? Maybe. Would I do it for any other film? Maybe not immediately.

Still, it was worth it as premiere photography goes. The full set of shots turned out pretty good and this journal could have been a LOT longer.

And it's definitely one for the "Archive of Movie Premieres"

Until next time!

And if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals (which I can almost fully guarantee will be considerably smaller than this gargantuan one!), feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo, or on facebook at premieresdotco.