30 Jan - The 'This Means War' Premiere

 

January 30th, 2012.

I've always had a dream (not a big one or anything) that it would be *nice* to have some of the photos I take at premieres enlarged and signed by the stars I've photographed. And this was one of those premieres. But at the same time, I also know that whenever I need to compromise photography for autograph-y, it doesn't always work out.

Here's how it went down... in a weird wide-screen crop way I haven't done since "Avatar" back in 2009, and not since. I don't know why...

We open with a shot of a dog. Because.... who needs a reason?

We open with a shot of a dog. Because.... who needs a reason?

The movie is 'This Means War'. The Paps are lining up for The ID Tag Draw for spots, while everyone in the Pen nearby is probably going Online to check on the chest infection of actor Tom Hardy, who pulled out of all media events earlier today. Eek!

The movie is 'This Means War'. The Paps are lining up for The ID Tag Draw for spots, while everyone in the Pen nearby is probably going Online to check on the chest infection of actor Tom Hardy, who pulled out of all media events earlier today. Eek!

Odeon Kensington premieres are fairly uncommon, and usually less crowded if only because they have limited space.... and so they limit... that space.

Odeon Kensington premieres are fairly uncommon, and usually less crowded if only because they have limited space.... and so they limit... that space.

I don't know who she is, but it's just after six pm, and we're finally getting underway. The benchmark for 'best profile shot of the evening' has been set. My spot isn't great - it's side-on to most of the action, I can't see cars arriving, and the height of the cameraman on the 'interviewing stage' right across from me is VERY imposing..

I don't know who she is, but it's just after six pm, and we're finally getting underway. The benchmark for 'best profile shot of the evening' has been set. My spot isn't great - it's side-on to most of the action, I can't see cars arriving, and the height of the cameraman on the 'interviewing stage' right across from me is VERY imposing..

Among other things, this red carpet may not be entirely stable!

Among other things, this red carpet may not be entirely stable!

Main Arrival 1: Chris Pine played James T Kirk in "JJ Abrams Star Trek (2009)" . He's very... erm.... focussed? Still, I got kids in the pen with me (?) and even focussed stars like kids, right?

Main Arrival 1: Chris Pine played James T Kirk in "JJ Abrams Star Trek (2009)" . He's very... erm.... focussed? Still, I got kids in the pen with me (?) and even focussed stars like kids, right?

As a big fan of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, I felt it necessary to find the biggest, hugest, lens flare that Chris Pine stepped into this premiere. Watch the movie - it's great - and... LENS FLARES!

As a big fan of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, I felt it necessary to find the biggest, hugest, lens flare that Chris Pine stepped into this premiere. Watch the movie - it's great - and... LENS FLARES!

"So my aunt killed and skinned a gopher to give me this hat for Christmas. If you could say something nice about it, that would be appreciated." WOW. Tom Hardy DID make it after all despite the chest infection. He's not exactly at his most ebullient, but Major props to the guy. (Also : Wow -re - hat)

"So my aunt killed and skinned a gopher to give me this hat for Christmas. If you could say something nice about it, that would be appreciated." WOW. Tom Hardy DID make it after all despite the chest infection. He's not exactly at his most ebullient, but Major props to the guy. (Also : Wow -re - hat)

Tom Hardy is pretty awesome. I'm very impressed that somebody as seemingly sick as him didn't just arrive, but managed to mingle with the commoners while doing so. Bane 1 Batman 0 in my book.

Tom Hardy is pretty awesome. I'm very impressed that somebody as seemingly sick as him didn't just arrive, but managed to mingle with the commoners while doing so. Bane 1 Batman 0 in my book.

Chris Pines' arrogant way of Apple Eating during the Kobayashi Maru test in 'Star Trek' is nicely mirrorred in the way he drinks bottled water, too. (Just watch the damn film already!) Reese Witherspoon had arrived by this point, but she's short and hard to see from where I'm standing.

Chris Pines' arrogant way of Apple Eating during the Kobayashi Maru test in 'Star Trek' is nicely mirrorred in the way he drinks bottled water, too. (Just watch the damn film already!) Reese Witherspoon had arrived by this point, but she's short and hard to see from where I'm standing.

Tom Hardy. Cleaning up Gotham's corruption one way or another...  just as soon as he gets some Vicks Vapordrops.

Tom Hardy. Cleaning up Gotham's corruption one way or another...  just as soon as he gets some Vicks Vapordrops.

Tom Hardy approaches, and I put down the camera and try to get a copy of Empire Magazine (limited edition BANE cover) signed. *I brought a silver pen and everything*

Tom Hardy approaches, and I put down the camera and try to get a copy of Empire Magazine (limited edition BANE cover) signed. *I brought a silver pen and everything*

Chris Pine puts on a second coat (temperatures were at about 4 degrees for this premiere). (Which puts what Reese Witherspoon is wearing into context, later)

Chris Pine puts on a second coat (temperatures were at about 4 degrees for this premiere). (Which puts what Reese Witherspoon is wearing into context, later)

Meanwhile, elsewhere, I always feel that Security Guards spend far too much time looking for (Male) Threats To Stars among the crowd, while leaving 'harmless' (?) females to interact with minimal interference. Tom Hardy looks like he wants OUT.

Meanwhile, elsewhere, I always feel that Security Guards spend far too much time looking for (Male) Threats To Stars among the crowd, while leaving 'harmless' (?) females to interact with minimal interference. Tom Hardy looks like he wants OUT.

It's director McG, whose three major movie direction credits include the two Charlies Angels films and Terminator Salvation. I... will defer commenting. (The wristbands we were given upon entry into the premiere also allowed us to go in and watch the movie. But I... I kinda had to go home. And... do my hair. Yeah.... my hair).

It's director McG, whose three major movie direction credits include the two Charlies Angels films and Terminator Salvation. I... will defer commenting. (The wristbands we were given upon entry into the premiere also allowed us to go in and watch the movie. But I... I kinda had to go home. And... do my hair. Yeah.... my hair).

One day, like Michael Bay (?), McG will possibly have his Citizen Kane moment. I'll keep this atmospheric black'n'white portrait for that eventuality.

One day, like Michael Bay (?), McG will possibly have his Citizen Kane moment. I'll keep this atmospheric black'n'white portrait for that eventuality.

"Sorry, but the name of your media organisation makes me doubt how seriously you're taking my answer" Reese Witherspoon has entered photo-taking range! Broad attendants on either side make things hard, though

"Sorry, but the name of your media organisation makes me doubt how seriously you're taking my answer" Reese Witherspoon has entered photo-taking range! Broad attendants on either side make things hard, though

"They've got Fantails AND Maltesers?? Do you think I can play the "I've won an Oscar PLUS I'm in the film" card and get a discount?"

"They've got Fantails AND Maltesers?? Do you think I can play the "I've won an Oscar PLUS I'm in the film" card and get a discount?"

"And if Tom Hardy is still under the weather and thus unable to fulfil his obligations to any required The Dark Knight Rises reshoots, I've told director Chris Nolan I'll be happy to stand in for him." In that dress?

"And if Tom Hardy is still under the weather and thus unable to fulfil his obligations to any required The Dark Knight Rises reshoots, I've told director Chris Nolan I'll be happy to stand in for him." In that dress?

Reese Witherspoon looks cheerful enough. Dare I hope she'll be in a good enough mood to sign a portrait of her I took at the premiere of "Monsters vs Aliens" way back in 2009? *I brought a silver pen and everything.*

Reese Witherspoon looks cheerful enough. Dare I hope she'll be in a good enough mood to sign a portrait of her I took at the premiere of "Monsters vs Aliens" way back in 2009? *I brought a silver pen and everything.*

Reese Witherspoon poses for Paparazzi before heading over and... and.....

Reese Witherspoon poses for Paparazzi before heading over and... and.....

Insert what happened <here>..... and....

'Bye!!!

'Bye!!!



She signed!

She signed!

But the downside of this accomplishment was one of "autograph etiquette" whereby I've learned that if the star has their own pen to sign with, it is not considered appropriate by her minders to offer her a different pen to sign with, even if silver works better on a black-dominated portrait than.... black does. Oh well.

So the bottom line is.... even if you bring your own pen, security will overrule your aesthetic choice if the star has their own. Which kind of sucks. Yes, I agree it probably aids the flow of rapid-fire autographing, but with some degree of justification, I think we're talking 'Teh Art' here. But, and I'd hate to generalise, security guards probably aren't hired for their artistic merits. Sure, outside of work they're probably all into wood carving and bonsai topiary.... but within it, they're not capable of making a "black on black no work" style decision.

Finally, on the off-chance that you're interested, I make it a policy not to interact with stars on red carpets (Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle aside, I try to keep a degree of candidness in my photos), however upon handing over the 18"x12" photo to have it signed, my interchange with Ms Witherspoon went:
RW : <Mid-Western US accent> Did you take this?
BT : <vaguely Australian accent> Yes
RW : It's very beautiful
BT : Thanks!

Is it enough to claim as a personal endorsement of my "entire celebrity photography archive"? Her lawyers would probably say *NO!* (curse those handsome devils!)

Still, until next time (when the camera will once again be the main focus!), it's another one for "My Archive Of Movie Premieres"

Until next time!

And if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals (and - hardly ever - gush over a particularly compelling starlet), feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo, or on facebook at premieresdotco.