October 12th, 2015.
I do a lot of premieres (citation needed). Some are good, some are bad, some are easy, some are frustrating. But it's usually fun and I like it enough that I keep doing it and almost all of them are worth it. Even the bad ones teach you something... and besides. It's photography... there are ALWAYS angles.
But some days you wonder why they have premieres at all, rather than (say) having stars do interviews on a soundstage in complete isolation, or put them into concrete bunkers and photograph them against a greenscreen and paint in the CGI crowds later. Because this one bordered on the pointless.
Here's how it ("it") went down:
NOTE : I've since become aware of some mitigating circumstances around this premiere that exonerates the stars and puts more blame on the organisers. Further details below
So... I know I come out of this journal sounding like a whiny b1tch. That's a valid observation because it's a free event and I should be happy with what I get. It's just that this one, for all the relatively lesser-known cast that were there (and the more well-known cast that weren't)... it could have aimed to be a lot more inclusive for the people who were there. For the most part this premiere gave no indication of its own necessity or desire for even existing as a premiere. This could have been done with a photocall or a press interview. Or facebook messenger.
That said, if there's a lesson to be taken out of this debacle, it's this : if you're going to whine about how crappy things are, it's worth staying for that last second. The final photos I took were the best - everything else before that was rubbish and disappointing.
But if the movie flops, I'm not going to be shedding any tears for it. I suppose I'll put it into The Archive Of All Movie Premieres anyway. And hopefully as soon as tomorrow all memories of this will be left behind as BFI LFF lurches ever onwards.
In the meantime:
NOTE : further information I've become aware of explains why Saoirse Ronan didn't sign beyond the Autograph Dealers' area : as there were no pens (just an open barrier), it meant that the dealers, who have an 'infinite' supply of pictures and posters to get signed, continually followed along the barrier, getting in the way of legitimate fans and anyone else. The autograph dealers had apparently also been harrassing her at the BFI Q&A and even at Covent Garden when she was out with friends. And at this premiere, finally having had enough after one dealer shouted insistently at her to sign, I have first hand accounts that she told him (in what I shall assume was a sweetly-accented innocent voice) to 'fuck off'. And I think, based on all I observed... that is a pretty awesome thing, and kind of retrospectively makes this premiere kind of awesome even if it didn't benefit me and I wasn't there to hear it directly.
So this one's on the organisers : why weren't there pens to keep the autograph dealers safely confined and quarantined. (Also... why aren't dealers who are so aggressive that they're getting sworn at by Stars not banned from events??).
Until next time!
ps. Finally, if you want to know whenever I post a new premiere journal (and occasional angry rant, and, later, partial retraction), feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo or on facebook at premieresdotco.