6 Mar - The 'Kung Fu Panda 3' European Premiere

March 6th, 2016.

Back in 2011, after a year back in Australia, I returned to London for a second Tour of Duty determined (among other things not yet accomplished) to continue doing premieres. And the very first one I did upon coming back? Kung Fu Panda 2.

It's 5 years later, and just like it was then, it's a weekend premiere. Here's how it went down:

It was cold but it was bright, and the first 250 people at the premiere would be allowed to see the film for free. Would rampant greed for free-ness win out over the fact that it's Mothers Day in the UK? (the question is rhetorical. I got there at 8am and was about 80th in the queue)

It was cold but it was bright, and the first 250 people at the premiere would be allowed to see the film for free. Would rampant greed for free-ness win out over the fact that it's Mothers Day in the UK? (the question is rhetorical. I got there at 8am and was about 80th in the queue)

A Sunday premiere on Mothers Day? I'm not a parent and even I'm unsure what I'm doing here.

A Sunday premiere on Mothers Day? I'm not a parent and even I'm unsure what I'm doing here.

"Actually I'd slimmed down considerably, but then the creators demanded I put all the weight back on for the role"

"Actually I'd slimmed down considerably, but then the creators demanded I put all the weight back on for the role"

"I'm not entirely sure it's meant to be doing this...."

"I'm not entirely sure it's meant to be doing this...."

Jeffrey Katzenberg is the CEO of Dreamworks, the studio who made this movie. Meaning that if he really REALLY likes the rap stylings of our friend Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Oriental Wisdom, some big numbers could be written on sizeable cheques for that album deal.

Jeffrey Katzenberg is the CEO of Dreamworks, the studio who made this movie. Meaning that if he really REALLY likes the rap stylings of our friend Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Oriental Wisdom, some big numbers could be written on sizeable cheques for that album deal.

I haven't photographed actress Kate Hudson since the premiere of the musical "Nine" (with Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz) back in (appropriately) 2009. Her sense of dressing for cold weather has not improved over that time, which is to the great benefit of photographers.

I haven't photographed actress Kate Hudson since the premiere of the musical "Nine" (with Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman and Penelope Cruz) back in (appropriately) 2009. Her sense of dressing for cold weather has not improved over that time, which is to the great benefit of photographers.

"That man is pointing a finger! It's a personal affront!" Jack Black has arrived, and energy levels at this premiere have immediately risen. And yes, they're playing "Kung Fu Fighting" because *obviously*

"That man is pointing a finger! It's a personal affront!" Jack Black has arrived, and energy levels at this premiere have immediately risen. And yes, they're playing "Kung Fu Fighting" because *obviously*

"Everyone's eyes are on the man in the panda suit. Kate.. if we want to get everyone's attention I'm going to have to do something neither of our spouses would approve of"

"Everyone's eyes are on the man in the panda suit. Kate.. if we want to get everyone's attention I'm going to have to do something neither of our spouses would approve of"

Refer dude at far right : Place your bets now as to what percentage of the press cordon will be wielding top-of-the-line smartphones in (say) 3 years from now. I'm going for 25%.

Refer dude at far right : Place your bets now as to what percentage of the press cordon will be wielding top-of-the-line smartphones in (say) 3 years from now. I'm going for 25%.

"Fine. Be that way." If you can't beat them, join them.

"Fine. Be that way." If you can't beat them, join them.

"I'm going for dinner at The Savoy afterwards, and it's a pretty formal place. I might need somebody to draw a top hat on the panda"

"I'm going for dinner at The Savoy afterwards, and it's a pretty formal place. I might need somebody to draw a top hat on the panda"

"I'd loan you my jacket, but ... uh.... it'd clash with your dress."

"I'd loan you my jacket, but ... uh.... it'd clash with your dress."

"You got my book at a discount? I guess I should be offended, but it makes good financial sense"

"You got my book at a discount? I guess I should be offended, but it makes good financial sense"

"Is this live-view or just the world's longest and most boring movie starring me and some girl's shoulder?"

"Is this live-view or just the world's longest and most boring movie starring me and some girl's shoulder?"

"When you ask Jack Black how he's feeling, he always wants to make sure his answer is 100% precise. So let's keep waiting"

"When you ask Jack Black how he's feeling, he always wants to make sure his answer is 100% precise. So let's keep waiting"

"I feel ... Well.... ...I feel fine Alex"

"I feel ... Well....
...I feel fine Alex"

"... it was not the greatest song in the WORLD" . No... it was just a tribute.

"... it was not the greatest song in the WORLD" . No... it was just a tribute.

"... I think that song has, like, eight verses and a ten minute air guitar solo, so I'm glad I rugged up!"

"... I think that song has, like, eight verses and a ten minute air guitar solo, so I'm glad I rugged up!"

"That song doesn't usually last forty minutes, but I forgot how it ended...."

"That song doesn't usually last forty minutes, but I forgot how it ended...."

Either Disney's lawywers or Dreamworks' lawyers are taking a long hard look at this balloon animal.

Either Disney's lawywers or Dreamworks' lawyers are taking a long hard look at this balloon animal.

"So you guys co-directed this movie... how does that work? Did you alternate cells, or scenes, or plots or what?" - Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh did indeed co-direct this movie.

"So you guys co-directed this movie... how does that work? Did you alternate cells, or scenes, or plots or what?" - Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh did indeed co-direct this movie.

"If she doesn't wear a tie, I'm not wearing one either" - Alessandro Carloni's credits also include story lead of the two 'How To Train Your Dragon' films.

"If she doesn't wear a tie, I'm not wearing one either" - Alessandro Carloni's credits also include story lead of the two 'How To Train Your Dragon' films.

"I'm wearing black and white at this premiere, of course!". Weirdly (and unintentionally, beause I'm never in style), so was I.

"I'm wearing black and white at this premiere, of course!". Weirdly (and unintentionally, beause I'm never in style), so was I.

"That man's hand is hideously deformed and it's awesome!!!"

"That man's hand is hideously deformed and it's awesome!!!"

I don't always have opinions on the thickness of other guys' beanies or beards... but some days that half centimetre or centimetre can really hurt me, dude.

I don't always have opinions on the thickness of other guys' beanies or beards... but some days that half centimetre or centimetre can really hurt me, dude.

"So I've got the name of your band written down on this piece of paper... how do you pronounce that?"

"So I've got the name of your band written down on this piece of paper... how do you pronounce that?"

"It's 'The Vamps', Alex. Pronounced 'VAMPS' "

"It's 'The Vamps', Alex. Pronounced 'VAMPS' "

"Yeah.. I wrote Kung Fu Panda 3. But... yeah... Jack Black also "wrote" a fair bit of his dialogue on-set and in the recording booth. And the car ride over"

"Yeah.. I wrote Kung Fu Panda 3. But... yeah... Jack Black also "wrote" a fair bit of his dialogue on-set and in the recording booth. And the car ride over"

"I got two seconds of audio in this movie. I'm not sure what that means in terms of long-term royalties, though" - his name is "Reggie" but I don't know much else.

"I got two seconds of audio in this movie. I'm not sure what that means in terms of long-term royalties, though" - his name is "Reggie" but I don't know much else.

"That woman's elbow is going to ruin this otherwise decent portrait, isn't it?" . Possibly.

"That woman's elbow is going to ruin this otherwise decent portrait, isn't it?" . Possibly.

And after all of that, we were led into one of several screening rooms in the Odeon Leicester Square, got a free bottle of water and an authorised merchandising tie-in Kung Fu Panda Fortune Cookie (Mine read : "May your life be as long a panda's restaurant bill" -which suggests I'm not long for this world since pandas typically don't eat in restaurants, so thanks for the death-curse, Dreamworks..) (....so I decided to double-or-nothing it with a second fortune cookie, which read "when in doubt, have another dumpling" so maybe I'm going to be okay if I can find a Chinese restaurant).

As for the movie? Gorgeous in 3D, if nothing else, and of course the journal joins my Archive of Premieres right next to its predecessor.

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Until next Time!