21 Apr 2015 - The 'Avengers : Age of Ultron' European Premiere

April 21st, 2015

It's been three years since the first Avengers Movie, a day where I queued for 12 hours and photographed Scarlett Johansson well enough that I've had the photo hanging on my wall since. Then, last year I queued for another 12 hours at the Captain America The Winter Soldier premiere hoping in futility to get that photo signed. For this premiere? I had no hope. I had no wristband. I had no spot in a pen.. and I got there some 4 hours after they opened it to the public.

Here's how it went down:

Good news for fans of subtlety... this movie keeps its subtlety quite subtle.

Good news for fans of subtlety... this movie keeps its subtlety quite subtle.

I have a spot, and it's not in the front row. But it has an elevated position of the crazyness to come, and a view of the stage (to my left), and a couple of friends to talk with. Not a complete loss.

I have a spot, and it's not in the front row. But it has an elevated position of the crazyness to come, and a view of the stage (to my left), and a couple of friends to talk with. Not a complete loss.

Hours pass. Empires rise and fall, and hard concrete tiling starts looking comfortable....

Hours pass. Empires rise and fall, and hard concrete tiling starts looking comfortable....

"Yes... those are MY tickets to the premiere screening! Please pass them over" Spirits remain high among the people with wristband access, though sadly many of them are as yet unaware that the empty space in front of them is being kept clear for four rows of Paparazzi to occupy later.

"Yes... those are MY tickets to the premiere screening! Please pass them over" Spirits remain high among the people with wristband access, though sadly many of them are as yet unaware that the empty space in front of them is being kept clear for four rows of Paparazzi to occupy later.

"But I'm too cute to be denied front row access!!"

"But I'm too cute to be denied front row access!!"

I've been standing in this spot for some four hours, but it feels like longer. Still... finally we get to see more than just egregious ads for car companies who paid money to have their vehicles featured in the movie (I forget the brand because they don't sponsor my journals) . Oh... and these guys won the Cosplay competition.

I've been standing in this spot for some four hours, but it feels like longer. Still... finally we get to see more than just egregious ads for car companies who paid money to have their vehicles featured in the movie (I forget the brand because they don't sponsor my journals) . Oh... and these guys won the Cosplay competition.

Must.... photograph... people.... who.... put.. in.... more.....effort.... than.... me

Must.... photograph... people.... who.... put.. in.... more.....effort.... than.... me

For a brief half hour security elected to close down and lock the balcony pen unannounced, even for people who had left to go to the toilet in good faith, returning to find that they'd only be allowed to go in if somebody else left.... which was clearly untenable. Fortunately it did not require The Hulk losing his temper to resolve the situation with maximum bloodshed. But while that didn't really make sense... this thing I'm seeing makes none at all.

For a brief half hour security elected to close down and lock the balcony pen unannounced, even for people who had left to go to the toilet in good faith, returning to find that they'd only be allowed to go in if somebody else left.... which was clearly untenable. Fortunately it did not require The Hulk losing his temper to resolve the situation with maximum bloodshed. But while that didn't really make sense... this thing I'm seeing makes none at all.

Some people had been camping since Saturday, and I'd been waiting some six hours.... but for all of us, it's FINALLY begun.

Some people had been camping since Saturday, and I'd been waiting some six hours.... but for all of us, it's FINALLY begun.

Our first arrival is Joss Whedon, Director of the third-biggest movie of all time (inflation unadjusted)... who also directed its sequel, the movie we're all here for, and for which I have bought my ticket for.... (checks) Thursday. Day of release.

Our first arrival is Joss Whedon, Director of the third-biggest movie of all time (inflation unadjusted)... who also directed its sequel, the movie we're all here for, and for which I have bought my ticket for.... (checks) Thursday. Day of release.

"If you're seeing this film in 2D instead of 3D, you're not just robbing yourself, you're also depriving us of the extra money we need to keep making these movies in the quality you've become accustomed to (leaving aside Ant-Man). In fact, unless you're seeing it in 3D in Imax, you're basically pirating this movie. Don't do that." Wait... I'm pretty sure that's not the feed coming from the mike.

"If you're seeing this film in 2D instead of 3D, you're not just robbing yourself, you're also depriving us of the extra money we need to keep making these movies in the quality you've become accustomed to (leaving aside Ant-Man). In fact, unless you're seeing it in 3D in Imax, you're basically pirating this movie. Don't do that." Wait... I'm pretty sure that's not the feed coming from the mike.

"No, I didn't mean that thing about Imax 3D... in fact, if you want to wait for it to come out on VHS that's fine too. Just don't pirate this film"  And also, watching the trailer for two and a half hours is not as good as watching the film.

"No, I didn't mean that thing about Imax 3D... in fact, if you want to wait for it to come out on VHS that's fine too. Just don't pirate this film"  And also, watching the trailer for two and a half hours is not as good as watching the film.

"Really happy to be here. Honestly"

"Really happy to be here. Honestly"

"Movie piracy makes me very angry. Also rampant AI robots seeking to destroy humanity... that makes me angry too. I'll let you figure out which one I'm fighting first, though" Our second arrival is Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner / The Hulk in this movie.

"Movie piracy makes me very angry. Also rampant AI robots seeking to destroy humanity... that makes me angry too. I'll let you figure out which one I'm fighting first, though" Our second arrival is Mark Ruffalo, who plays Bruce Banner / The Hulk in this movie.

Spurning his love would also make him angry

Spurning his love would also make him angry

"If you only watch one movie this year, watch the movie "Black Hat" which I'm in and could really use the box-office lift. I'm guessing from the crowd here that Avengers Age Of Ultron will do okay" Aussie Chris Hemsworth plays Thor The God Of Thunder in the film

"If you only watch one movie this year, watch the movie "Black Hat" which I'm in and could really use the box-office lift. I'm guessing from the crowd here that Avengers Age Of Ultron will do okay" Aussie Chris Hemsworth plays Thor The God Of Thunder in the film

"Please rise for the Asgardian National Anthem. And please do not take the verses about heavy drinking and merciless smiting of enemies literally, or at least wait until you're outside this shopping centre"

"Please rise for the Asgardian National Anthem. And please do not take the verses about heavy drinking and merciless smiting of enemies literally, or at least wait until you're outside this shopping centre"

"What's the movie about? I'd tell you, but in a crowd this size I'd say there's between three and four dozen Marvel/Disney assassins with orders to take me down if I give away spoilers"

"What's the movie about? I'd tell you, but in a crowd this size I'd say there's between three and four dozen Marvel/Disney assassins with orders to take me down if I give away spoilers"

"OMG you're so much cuter than my actual half-brother who's a vicious betraying god of mischief I really should stop trusting one of these days. Joss.... can we get this kid onboard to replace Loki?"

"OMG you're so much cuter than my actual half-brother who's a vicious betraying god of mischief I really should stop trusting one of these days. Joss.... can we get this kid onboard to replace Loki?"

"Remember... this is the second Avengers Movie. End of Phase two. If you need to catch up on all the films, put aside 29 hours before this movie comes out". You could arguably skip the second Thor, second IronMan and both Hulk films and save a good eight hours...

"Remember... this is the second Avengers Movie. End of Phase two. If you need to catch up on all the films, put aside 29 hours before this movie comes out". You could arguably skip the second Thor, second IronMan and both Hulk films and save a good eight hours...

"Still waiting for that standalone movie, Joss...." Jeremy Renner plays Hawkeye in The Avengers.

"Still waiting for that standalone movie, Joss...." Jeremy Renner plays Hawkeye in The Avengers.

Aaron Taylor Johnson is not only one of the very few actors who has played more than one comic book character (Kick-Ass in "Kick-Ass" 1 and 2; and Quicksilver in this film)... and is also one of the very few actors playing a role simultaneously being played in a different competing franchise (it's complicated... but there's another one of 'him' in the X-Men films)

Aaron Taylor Johnson is not only one of the very few actors who has played more than one comic book character (Kick-Ass in "Kick-Ass" 1 and 2; and Quicksilver in this film)... and is also one of the very few actors playing a role simultaneously being played in a different competing franchise (it's complicated... but there's another one of 'him' in the X-Men films)

Elizabeth Olsen plays Aaron Taylor Johnson's sister in this movie ... weirdly, she played ATJ's wife in last year's Godzilla movie. Her character in the film is "Scarlet Witch"... who is not to be mistaken for Scarlett Johansson, who is still to arrive. I'm going to need a venn diagram if the comic book univeres gets any more convoluted.

Elizabeth Olsen plays Aaron Taylor Johnson's sister in this movie ... weirdly, she played ATJ's wife in last year's Godzilla movie. Her character in the film is "Scarlet Witch"... who is not to be mistaken for Scarlett Johansson, who is still to arrive. I'm going to need a venn diagram if the comic book univeres gets any more convoluted.

"No... I don't think Godzilla is part of the Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe.... yet"

"No... I don't think Godzilla is part of the Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe.... yet"

"My character has these special powers, and they work something like *THIS*!!!!" I suspect it's even more impressive once the special effects guys get involved

"My character has these special powers, and they work something like *THIS*!!!!" I suspect it's even more impressive once the special effects guys get involved

I kind of wish I was more skilled at photoshop. Still.. hire me, Disney.

I kind of wish I was more skilled at photoshop. Still.. hire me, Disney.

"I stole Jeremy Renner's spare pair of sunglasses. I hope he hasn't noticed". Chris Evans plays Captain America in the film (and also played The Human Torch in the two-film Fantastic Four series that's about to be given a dull, dour, I've-already-forgotten-the-trailer reboot that they're making because Reasons)

"I stole Jeremy Renner's spare pair of sunglasses. I hope he hasn't noticed". Chris Evans plays Captain America in the film (and also played The Human Torch in the two-film Fantastic Four series that's about to be given a dull, dour, I've-already-forgotten-the-trailer reboot that they're making because Reasons)

"Can't talk. Having this movie projected onto the inside of the glasses. It's a great way to enjoy the film"

"Can't talk. Having this movie projected onto the inside of the glasses. It's a great way to enjoy the film"

"Would they have let me play Captain America if I'd been born in Canada or Guatemala? That's an excellent question"

"Would they have let me play Captain America if I'd been born in Canada or Guatemala? That's an excellent question"

"My humility knows no bounds. It is limitless. It is infinite... it's so massively that it's brushing up against my ego". Tony Stark has arrived. I like to think he plays Robert Downey Jnr in real life. Also Iron Man.

"My humility knows no bounds. It is limitless. It is infinite... it's so massively that it's brushing up against my ego". Tony Stark has arrived. I like to think he plays Robert Downey Jnr in real life. Also Iron Man.

"I just want to thank you for your love, admiration, and ego-boosting cheers. There is no more worthy recipient. Thank you again"

"I just want to thank you for your love, admiration, and ego-boosting cheers. There is no more worthy recipient. Thank you again"

I don't want to suggest that I'm suffering from any kind of Marvel Cinematic Universe Franchise Fatigue.... but to me Paul Bettany is The Voice Of Jarvis In Iron Man's Suit, and not some purple-faced alien/thing/character called "Vision" they're also selling us on. Sorry Marvel, but my mind can retain loyalty for no more than about six superheroes at one time. Once The Avengers Membership hits a dozen, or movies can no longer be made without immediately being split into two movies I think I'm out.

I don't want to suggest that I'm suffering from any kind of Marvel Cinematic Universe Franchise Fatigue.... but to me Paul Bettany is The Voice Of Jarvis In Iron Man's Suit, and not some purple-faced alien/thing/character called "Vision" they're also selling us on. Sorry Marvel, but my mind can retain loyalty for no more than about six superheroes at one time. Once The Avengers Membership hits a dozen, or movies can no longer be made without immediately being split into two movies I think I'm out.

It's all rather pleasant even despite the vertiginous angle, black carpet leeching everything of colour and the lack of shallow angle I usually rely upon. However, I can't help but notice that everyone of the Avengers has... assembled, if you will. But Scarlett Johansson has not. What's with that?

"She's coming". Joss Whedon has returned to stage for an interview, and he's being hit with all the important questions.

"She's coming". Joss Whedon has returned to stage for an interview, and he's being hit with all the important questions.

"Soon" Chris Hemsworth is next up to be interviewed, and he might have been answering questions about Scarlett Johansson's whereabouts or half-brother Loki's next appearance in a Marvel film. I wasn't paying attention.

"Soon" Chris Hemsworth is next up to be interviewed, and he might have been answering questions about Scarlett Johansson's whereabouts or half-brother Loki's next appearance in a Marvel film. I wasn't paying attention.

It's.... it's..... !!! I know who it is, but honestly I do not know what she's wearing. Trousers.... ? And a matching tank top? Jumpsuit? Dress? (Who am I kidding, I'll forgive Scarlett Johansson anything. Even dating Sean Penn for a time...)

It's.... it's..... !!! I know who it is, but honestly I do not know what she's wearing. Trousers.... ? And a matching tank top? Jumpsuit? Dress? (Who am I kidding, I'll forgive Scarlett Johansson anything. Even dating Sean Penn for a time...)

My conversion of this photo into black'n'white may or may not have anything to do with what Scarlett Johansson's dress/thing is doing to my retina and/or camera sensor and/or autofocus and/or long term vision.

My conversion of this photo into black'n'white may or may not have anything to do with what Scarlett Johansson's dress/thing is doing to my retina and/or camera sensor and/or autofocus and/or long term vision.

"Do you want me to stand here and look pretty, or move over there and look pretty? I can look pretty almost anywhere". Even in that not-dress thing, I can only agree.

"Do you want me to stand here and look pretty, or move over there and look pretty? I can look pretty almost anywhere". Even in that not-dress thing, I can only agree.

After posing prettily, Scarlett Johansson signs autographs. Sadly I was not able to implement the rope and pulley system that would have (I hoped) allow me to lower a framed 18x12 black'n'white photo I took back at The Avengers Premiere in 2012 and have it signed on the floor below me.

After posing prettily, Scarlett Johansson signs autographs. Sadly I was not able to implement the rope and pulley system that would have (I hoped) allow me to lower a framed 18x12 black'n'white photo I took back at The Avengers Premiere in 2012 and have it signed on the floor below me.

Scarlett : <thinks> "Younger than me... not necessarily prettier" Elizabeth : "She knows I can read minds... her thoughts are very hurtful"

Scarlett : <thinks> "Younger than me... not necessarily prettier"
Elizabeth : "She knows I can read minds... her thoughts are very hurtful"

Just in case you momentarily forgot that this isn't a small premiere.

Just in case you momentarily forgot that this isn't a small premiere.

I am a fan of any photo containing any one of Robert Downey Jnr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. Bonus points because they're making it look like Scarlett is wearing a dress in this pose/configuration

I am a fan of any photo containing any one of Robert Downey Jnr, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans. Bonus points because they're making it look like Scarlett is wearing a dress in this pose/configuration

"Please don't hesitate to fight over me"

"Please don't hesitate to fight over me"

I guess it was a good thing that Scarlett Johansson arrived last, given that once she arrived I more or less tracked only her for the remainder of the premiere. It might have been a bit embarrassing if she'd arrived first and I had a journal consisting only of photos of her. (Embarrassing... but not necessarily something I'd regret).

I guess it was a good thing that Scarlett Johansson arrived last, given that once she arrived I more or less tracked only her for the remainder of the premiere. It might have been a bit embarrassing if she'd arrived first and I had a journal consisting only of photos of her. (Embarrassing... but not necessarily something I'd regret).

Briefly spotted and photographed : David Bautista - who plays Drax in the "Space Avengers" (aka Guardians of The Galaxy), Marvel's Other Superhero Teamup group.

Briefly spotted and photographed : David Bautista - who plays Drax in the "Space Avengers" (aka Guardians of The Galaxy), Marvel's Other Superhero Teamup group.

"No, you can't have my car. I'm Iron Man. But if you flex your neck muscle like that again, I might let you borrow it longterm and not bother to ask you to return it"

"No, you can't have my car. I'm Iron Man. But if you flex your neck muscle like that again, I might let you borrow it longterm and not bother to ask you to return it"

"I didn't want you to see that. It made me look weak. But I want you to know I was merely making sure you guys weren't threatened and that's why I stood down from the fight against the vicious killer alien. Which I would have won, by the way. Is that the time?"

"I didn't want you to see that. It made me look weak. But I want you to know I was merely making sure you guys weren't threatened and that's why I stood down from the fight against the vicious killer alien. Which I would have won, by the way. Is that the time?"

The time has come for The Avengers to once again Assemble, and to lead them out is fearless leader / director Joss Whedon. He's already said he won't be directing the third (part 1) or third (part 2) movies... and suggested he might join us at the premiere for that. Good luck, Joss. Show up three days early or fight for balcony space like the rest of us.

The time has come for The Avengers to once again Assemble, and to lead them out is fearless leader / director Joss Whedon. He's already said he won't be directing the third (part 1) or third (part 2) movies... and suggested he might join us at the premiere for that. Good luck, Joss. Show up three days early or fight for balcony space like the rest of us.

Joss invited Andy Serkis on stage first. I assume he's being motion-captured running onstage... for a movie that's about premieres.

Joss invited Andy Serkis on stage first. I assume he's being motion-captured running onstage... for a movie that's about premieres.

I will admit that much as I like Andy Serkis (and I do) and Marvel Movies Usually (and I do), that his character's name in the movie.... "Ulysses Klaw"(??) seems a bit.... unfortunate.

I will admit that much as I like Andy Serkis (and I do) and Marvel Movies Usually (and I do), that his character's name in the movie.... "Ulysses Klaw"(??) seems a bit.... unfortunate.

"This is literally as slow as I am allowed by my contract with Marvel to ever run, given I play a guy called Quicksilver. I'm not even allowed to walk to the shops anymore"

"This is literally as slow as I am allowed by my contract with Marvel to ever run, given I play a guy called Quicksilver. I'm not even allowed to walk to the shops anymore"

"You want ME to be part of this crazyness? Well... I did sign a six-picture deal, after all". I hear everyone signs six picture deals with Marvel these days. Even most of the catering crew, key grips and production accountants.

"You want ME to be part of this crazyness? Well... I did sign a six-picture deal, after all". I hear everyone signs six picture deals with Marvel these days. Even most of the catering crew, key grips and production accountants.

"The white thing I'm wearing under my trousers? That's a dress, silly! What did you think it would be?." I don't get fashion. I do like Scarlett Johansson, though.

"The white thing I'm wearing under my trousers? That's a dress, silly! What did you think it would be?." I don't get fashion. I do like Scarlett Johansson, though.

"Hey... you're that guy... that guy...." "That guy whose head you slammed against a steel railing in the first Avengers film. I'm surprised I remember it better than you do"

"Hey... you're that guy... that guy...."
"That guy whose head you slammed against a steel railing in the first Avengers film. I'm surprised I remember it better than you do"

I'm just going to keep taking photos of Scarlett Johansson until I'm asked to stop. Presumably by the cleaners at Westfields Shepherds Bush, sometime after 11pm when they inform me that the event ended about four hours earlier.

I'm just going to keep taking photos of Scarlett Johansson until I'm asked to stop. Presumably by the cleaners at Westfields Shepherds Bush, sometime after 11pm when they inform me that the event ended about four hours earlier.

"So, in closing, I hope you go and see our movie and help support small-budget independent filmmaking. The two are not related... but you should do both"

"So, in closing, I hope you go and see our movie and help support small-budget independent filmmaking. The two are not related... but you should do both"

"What WAS the budget on this thing? Could we really have bailed out Greece?" For a few weeks at least.

"What WAS the budget on this thing? Could we really have bailed out Greece?" For a few weeks at least.

"Tell us one more time how great we are!!" They certainly don't give the impression of a cast who hate each other.

"Tell us one more time how great we are!!" They certainly don't give the impression of a cast who hate each other.

"And twelve cents!!! Oh, how we all laughed"

"And twelve cents!!! Oh, how we all laughed"

Girl at top left, looking at Chris Hemsworth : "Oh, would that those fingers were entwined in mine" Me, at laptop back home, looking at Scarlett Johansson "Oh, would that those fingers were entwined in mine"  

Girl at top left, looking at Chris Hemsworth : "Oh, would that those fingers were entwined in mine"
Me, at laptop back home, looking at Scarlett Johansson "Oh, would that those fingers were entwined in mine"
 

"Guys, you've been great. But keep your hands off my car"

"Guys, you've been great. But keep your hands off my car"

So... that was kind of loud. And crowded. And bustling. And it was time to take several modes of transportation home, heat up some leftovers and edit photos into the wee hours of the morning. (By which I mean... time to send my photos to my butler, head off to the nightclub, chat up babez til the early hours, then go home and change into my vigilante crimefighting gear and patrol the city, keeping her safe)

Until next time!

Obviously it joins my Archive of Movie premieres... where it joins the rest of the Marvel Premieres:

Thor - with Hemsworth, Hiddleston and Alexander
The Avengers - with all of The Avengers
Thor The Dark World - With Hemsworth, Hiddleston, Portman, Skarsgard, Dennings
Iron Man 3 - With Downey Jnr, Cheadle and Kingsley
Captain American Winter Soldier - with Evans, Johannson, Mackie and Sebastian Stan
Guardians of the Galaxy... and technically The Amazing Spider-Man 1, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and The Wolverine.

ps. If you want to know whenever I post a new premiere journal, feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo or on facebook by clicking here  (assuming the incompetent and thuggishly superior clowns there let you)