10 Jul - Not Quite The 'Magic Mike' Premiere

July 10th, 2012 / May 18th 2017.

Although London's premieres are typically held around Leicester Square, other cinemas (Picturehouse Central, Curzon Mayfair, BFI Southbank and BFI Imax, Odeon Kensington (RIP), Odeon West End (RIP)) have also hosted premieres; along with various unaffiliated venues (Westfield, Somerset House, an Alleyway behind the BFI Southbank). However, there are also occasionally premieres held at Hotels. I don't go to those.

This is the reason why:

We take up the action outside London's Claridges Hotel, which IS NOT where the premiere for Magic Mike is being held. Rather, it's being held down the road at the Hotel Mayfair. But that venue has no barriers, next to no pavement, and is already crowded. Why am I here? Because this is the hotel the stars themselves are staying in, and will be leaving en route to the Hotel Mayfair.

We take up the action outside London's Claridges Hotel, which IS NOT where the premiere for Magic Mike is being held. Rather, it's being held down the road at the Hotel Mayfair. But that venue has no barriers, next to no pavement, and is already crowded. Why am I here? Because this is the hotel the stars themselves are staying in, and will be leaving en route to the Hotel Mayfair.

Oh, 2012. Your ways are so baffling and quaint to us, here in the future (in 2017 we have flying cars and moonbases).

Oh, 2012. Your ways are so baffling and quaint to us, here in the future (in 2017 we have flying cars and moonbases).

Actor Matthew McConaughey, arguably still several years from his "McConnaissance" leaves the hotel en route to the limo that will take him about two blocks south to the Hotel Mayfair. The crowd here is almost exclusively comprised of Autograph Dealers who, after he signs (if he signs) will be running to the Hotel Mayfair to have a second go.

Actor Matthew McConaughey, arguably still several years from his "McConnaissance" leaves the hotel en route to the limo that will take him about two blocks south to the Hotel Mayfair. The crowd here is almost exclusively comprised of Autograph Dealers who, after he signs (if he signs) will be running to the Hotel Mayfair to have a second go.

"You leave the girl out of this. She's harmless"

"You leave the girl out of this. She's harmless"

"Okay, drop and give me twenty and I'll consider signing some of your crap. Or maybe I'll just put my initials on it. I haven't decided"

"Okay, drop and give me twenty and I'll consider signing some of your crap. Or maybe I'll just put my initials on it. I haven't decided"

"Once I've won my Oscar, I'll come back and MAKE you sell me that hat, Sir" - prior to this (non-)premiere I'd never photographed either Matthew McConaughey or Channing Tatum, which is kind of why I thought it was more prudent to be at the hotel they were at rather than the hotel they were going to

"Once I've won my Oscar, I'll come back and MAKE you sell me that hat, Sir" - prior to this (non-)premiere I'd never photographed either Matthew McConaughey or Channing Tatum, which is kind of why I thought it was more prudent to be at the hotel they were at rather than the hotel they were going to

Wow. Check out the 2012 camera tech on display in this photo! (I myself was shooting on slide film, with a phosphorus flash. This image was then developed in a darkroom, and later hand-coloured by my assistants. Then it was scanned, and uploaded pixel-by-pixel on a dialup plan on a desktop computer the size of a small apartment.)

Wow. Check out the 2012 camera tech on display in this photo! (I myself was shooting on slide film, with a phosphorus flash. This image was then developed in a darkroom, and later hand-coloured by my assistants. Then it was scanned, and uploaded pixel-by-pixel on a dialup plan on a desktop computer the size of a small apartment.)

"Here's my phone number. When they've invented mobile phones, call me" - this movie's *other* star, Channing Tatum (of 'movies that haven't been released yet but he'll be famous for those, plus this one' fame) is also leaving this hotel to go to another hotel.

"Here's my phone number. When they've invented mobile phones, call me" - this movie's *other* star, Channing Tatum (of 'movies that haven't been released yet but he'll be famous for those, plus this one' fame) is also leaving this hotel to go to another hotel.

"wow - they're putting sepia tones on mobile phones now??"

"wow - they're putting sepia tones on mobile phones now??"

If all these faces were in focus, I'd be hard-pressed telling you who the subject is....

If all these faces were in focus, I'd be hard-pressed telling you who the subject is....

"Could you please take your hand off my shoulder? It makes me feel uncomfortable" "That's not my hand. That's your security guard's hand." "Frank?? What aren't you telling me, Frank?"

"Could you please take your hand off my shoulder? It makes me feel uncomfortable"
"That's not my hand. That's your security guard's hand."
"Frank?? What aren't you telling me, Frank?"

"And the medium format film goes where?"

"And the medium format film goes where?"

"Sorry guys, my quill has run dry and your papyrus is going to have to get signed some other time. But I wish you well in your future endeavours". It saddens me to say that many of the autograph dealers in this picture are still active five year later (while I... well... I've probably moved onto bigger and better things, on the assumption I lead a double life of which I'm not aware)

"Sorry guys, my quill has run dry and your papyrus is going to have to get signed some other time. But I wish you well in your future endeavours". It saddens me to say that many of the autograph dealers in this picture are still active five year later (while I... well... I've probably moved onto bigger and better things, on the assumption I lead a double life of which I'm not aware)

So.. that was that. I wandered vaguely past the Hotel Mayfair en route to the tube station and homewards after this, and the crowd there was much larger and just as chaotically arranged, with a couple of barriers and (if memory serves) no red carpet either. I didn't feel at the time that I'd been at a premiere where I'd been, and yet had I gone to the 'Mayfair, the photos would have been worse even if that *would* have been 'the premiere'. At that point, I came to the conclusion that without a red carpet, or rather without spectacle, and without some kind of'sense' of a premiere...  I wouldn't bother in the future. And I pretty much haven't.

Except when the non-premiere is a Disney non-premiere (but that's another rant for another time).

Art, 2012. It was resting against a brick wall near where I work. I probably should have taken it home - it'd be worth a small fortune today, I think.

Art, 2012. It was resting against a brick wall near where I work. I probably should have taken it home - it'd be worth a small fortune today, I think.

 

..... and finally, after all this time, this 'thing' (whatever it is) gets its long overdue place in 'The Archive of Movie Premieres' - right next to its sequel, Magic Mike XXL, released a few years later, which had an *actual* Leicester Square premiere (and Amber Heard, as well as Channing Tatum).

Until ... next time!

ps. If you ever want to know when I publish one of these premieres (typically late in the evening OF that premiere, and not years later), feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or on twitter @berndt2_photo.