15 Nov - The 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' European Premiere

November 15th, 2016.

The last time there was a Harry Potter universe film, London had the biggest premiere it's ever had in all the time I've been here. People camped out for a week and Trafalgar Square was full. I turned up about 4 hours before it started and I was saved by a last minute road closure which allowed me to photograph pretty much everything.

Can Fantastic Beasts and its planned 4 sequels recapture that magic? Well, people started camping out on Saturday morning for a Tuesday premiere so the fan passion seems to be there. I, meanwhile, queued for two hours on Monday (if you're my boss reading this : I queued for 45mins and was back at my desk promptly), and left work about.. uh... 2hours earlier than usual.

Why? Because it was going to be big.

Here's how it went down:

"Dobby didn't become a free elf to be told where to stand and what colour wristband was needed" - after I arrived around 1:30pm we were told at 2:00pm we'd be let into our pen at 3:00pm, so perhaps leaving work particulary early wasn't as imperative as first presumed.

"Dobby didn't become a free elf to be told where to stand and what colour wristband was needed" - after I arrived around 1:30pm we were told at 2:00pm we'd be let into our pen at 3:00pm, so perhaps leaving work particulary early wasn't as imperative as first presumed.

"They said 'mandatory bag checks' and I said 'not advisable' so they made me leave" - security at premieres these days is more than just cursory, although aggressive autograph dealers and the airborne pathogens they exude somehow are still allowed to attend.

"They said 'mandatory bag checks' and I said 'not advisable' so they made me leave" - security at premieres these days is more than just cursory, although aggressive autograph dealers and the airborne pathogens they exude somehow are still allowed to attend.

After two hours later, and what I'd call "mild" respect for the system of numbered wristbands we'd mostly been observing, we were finally led into our pen - a long one stretching from drop-off all the way to the left entrance of the Empire Cinema.

This is the view to my left. But more crucially the spot I've chosen is pretty much the only one that's actually undercover on the off-chance it rains. On the one hand, rain has not been forecast. On the other.... it's rained at or before every Harry Potter premiere ever.

This is the view to my left. But more crucially the spot I've chosen is pretty much the only one that's actually undercover on the off-chance it rains. On the one hand, rain has not been forecast. On the other.... it's rained at or before every Harry Potter premiere ever.

More importantly, the view to my right has a view of the giant stage. This is not exactly a coincidence.

More importantly, the view to my right has a view of the giant stage. This is not exactly a coincidence.

I'm pretty sure the fantastic beasts won't be that hard to find - your favourite local toy store, online retailer or merchandise point will no doubt be able to assist.

I'm pretty sure the fantastic beasts won't be that hard to find - your favourite local toy store, online retailer or merchandise point will no doubt be able to assist.

"That's a lot of people. Are they all this small in real life?" ".... I'm guessing this is your first premiere. In that case, yes. Yes they are"

"That's a lot of people. Are they all this small in real life?"
".... I'm guessing this is your first premiere. In that case, yes. Yes they are"

"Well, *obviously* Hogwarts isn't a real school. Durmstrang, on the other hand....."

"Well, *obviously* Hogwarts isn't a real school. Durmstrang, on the other hand....."

Don't look now, but one of the fantastic beasts is on that man's hat.

Don't look now, but one of the fantastic beasts is on that man's hat.

"YOyoyoyoyoyo : who's here for Beasts? And who's here for the Beatz? And who needs a grocery shop to sell them some Beets?" your friend and mine, Hakim Mr Impact and DJ Noteworthy Mammal presided over the warm-up portion of the event.

"YOyoyoyoyoyo : who's here for Beasts? And who's here for the Beatz? And who needs a grocery shop to sell them some Beets?" your friend and mine, Hakim Mr Impact and DJ Noteworthy Mammal presided over the warm-up portion of the event.

A short time later.....

"Forget health and safety : who brought marshmallows?"

"Forget health and safety : who brought marshmallows?"

And before you could say "where's the freeness??" the event started. To the deafening screams of the 90% female crowd around, lead actor Eddie Redmayne arrives, and the King of Burgers gets a rare product placement in one of these journals.

And before you could say "where's the freeness??" the event started. To the deafening screams of the 90% female crowd around, lead actor Eddie Redmayne arrives, and the King of Burgers gets a rare product placement in one of these journals.

"They're screaming really loudly. And you definitely checked bags?" - Eddie Redmayne is not (yet) best known for reducing even the hardiest Chinese and/or Mexican tourists to high-pitched screaming - he's won an Oscar for Best Actor for "The Theory of Everything"

"They're screaming really loudly. And you definitely checked bags?" - Eddie Redmayne is not (yet) best known for reducing even the hardiest Chinese and/or Mexican tourists to high-pitched screaming - he's won an Oscar for Best Actor for "The Theory of Everything"

"Is that sign in some kind of magic script I'm meant to be able to read or is it just upside down?" - Eddie Redmayne has also been in such far-flung premieres as "Les Miserables", "The Danish Girl", and "My Week with Marilyn"

"Is that sign in some kind of magic script I'm meant to be able to read or is it just upside down?" - Eddie Redmayne has also been in such far-flung premieres as "Les Miserables", "The Danish Girl", and "My Week with Marilyn"

Eddie Redmayne has come to our area and fortunately for those who fear being in an enclosed space with spurned women, he is cheerfully signing and posing for selfies and effortlessly dodging marriage proposals and gifts of children and what have you.

Eddie Redmayne has come to our area and fortunately for those who fear being in an enclosed space with spurned women, he is cheerfully signing and posing for selfies and effortlessly dodging marriage proposals and gifts of children and what have you.

"This might be a franchise series I'll be proud to say I'm in!! YAY!!" - Ezra Miller is our first on-stage interviewee. He's arguably best known for the fact that he is to be The Flash in the ongoing noisy pointlessness that is the DC Comics Cinematic Universe.

"This might be a franchise series I'll be proud to say I'm in!! YAY!!" - Ezra Miller is our first on-stage interviewee. He's arguably best known for the fact that he is to be The Flash in the ongoing noisy pointlessness that is the DC Comics Cinematic Universe.

"Wait? You criticising my Bros at the Warner Bros who are handling both DC movies AND Harry Potter universe movies? Read my shirt, people." Not a euphemism.

"Wait? You criticising my Bros at the Warner Bros who are handling both DC movies AND Harry Potter universe movies? Read my shirt, people." Not a euphemism.

"You love me!!! I endorse this!!"

"You love me!!! I endorse this!!"

"Hi, I'm Dan Fogler, and I'm in this movie, and this beret is not for sale. Also : sorry you're leaving the EU. Berets are gonna be harder to get, I expect"

"Hi, I'm Dan Fogler, and I'm in this movie, and this beret is not for sale. Also : sorry you're leaving the EU. Berets are gonna be harder to get, I expect"

"When I said the beret wasn't for sale, Alex, I meant merely Not At The Price You Were Offering"

"When I said the beret wasn't for sale, Alex, I meant merely Not At The Price You Were Offering"

"You don't want a beret, Ezra. You want a nose stud and a lower lip stud. And a hat that's more enticing tan a beret" "Are you my conscience?"

"You don't want a beret, Ezra. You want a nose stud and a lower lip stud. And a hat that's more enticing tan a beret"
"Are you my conscience?"

"The Purge isn't based on a true story, though, right?" Carmen Ejogo was in Purge : Anarchy as well as the excellent 'Selma', both of which are set in America and I'd consider either of them equally plausibly based on fact.

"The Purge isn't based on a true story, though, right?" Carmen Ejogo was in Purge : Anarchy as well as the excellent 'Selma', both of which are set in America and I'd consider either of them equally plausibly based on fact.

"You're Eddie Redmayne" "Sure" "I can put more exclamation marks after that if you want?"

"You're Eddie Redmayne"
"Sure"
"I can put more exclamation marks after that if you want?"

That ill-fated bet was going to cost him dearly.

That ill-fated bet was going to cost him dearly.

Really, REALY wants to sell you his *only slightly* used car. Or Wand.

Really, REALY wants to sell you his *only slightly* used car. Or Wand.

"The microphone chooses the interviewer, Alex. And if I understand it correctly, this one didn't choose you"

"The microphone chooses the interviewer, Alex. And if I understand it correctly, this one didn't choose you"

"Damn Niffle ripped off half of the back of my dress, but not to worry...."

"Damn Niffle ripped off half of the back of my dress, but not to worry...."

"You're writing Stephen Hawking fanfic? Sounds.... uh.... awesome?"

"You're writing Stephen Hawking fanfic? Sounds.... uh.... awesome?"

"My lawyer's definitely going to want to talk to you!" - it's JK Rowling! - she's the creator of the whole Harry Potter Universe, as well a the screenwriter for Fantastic Beasts. You might have heard of her even if you're not this event, screaming at her for an autograph or selfie.

"My lawyer's definitely going to want to talk to you!" - it's JK Rowling! - she's the creator of the whole Harry Potter Universe, as well a the screenwriter for Fantastic Beasts. You might have heard of her even if you're not this event, screaming at her for an autograph or selfie.

"And after you're finished with the Harry Potter prequel series" "I'll probably sell the rights to Disney - they're going to own everything in the end anyway"

"And after you're finished with the Harry Potter prequel series"
"I'll probably sell the rights to Disney - they're going to own everything in the end anyway"

"No, I can not lend you "a couple million" for your weird investment idea."

"No, I can not lend you "a couple million" for your weird investment idea."

"What's it like meeting JK Rowling? Ummm... it's okay, I guess?" "Actually I think that's from the pile of questions I'd wanted to ask Eddie Redmayne..."

"What's it like meeting JK Rowling? Ummm... it's okay, I guess?"
"Actually I think that's from the pile of questions I'd wanted to ask Eddie Redmayne..."

David Heyman has produced all the Harry Potter movies and doesn't wear a tie. Well.... at least we have someting in common.

David Heyman has produced all the Harry Potter movies and doesn't wear a tie. Well.... at least we have someting in common.

David Yates directed the last four Harry Potter movies and has apparently committed to directing all five of the planned Fantastic Beats films, kind of making him the Peter Jackson of the JK Rowling-verse. I guess that means neither Christopher Nolan nor Quentin Tarantino will get to direct a JK Rowling film....

David Yates directed the last four Harry Potter movies and has apparently committed to directing all five of the planned Fantastic Beats films, kind of making him the Peter Jackson of the JK Rowling-verse. I guess that means neither Christopher Nolan nor Quentin Tarantino will get to direct a JK Rowling film....

"Eddie Redmayne signed for you guys? Do any of you have a spare? Iwas too shy to ask him on set" - Alison Sudol plays the character of "Queenie Goldstein" in the film.

"Eddie Redmayne signed for you guys? Do any of you have a spare? Iwas too shy to ask him on set" - Alison Sudol plays the character of "Queenie Goldstein" in the film.

"OMG You were in that movie I love!!" "I was in your movie." "That's the one I mean!!!"

"OMG You were in that movie I love!!"
"I was in your movie."
"That's the one I mean!!!"

"David Yates remembers who I am!"

"David Yates remembers who I am!"

And.... oh. Look. It's starting to rain. At a Harry Potter Universe film premiere. In London. I guess it would have been weird any other way.

And.... oh. Look. It's starting to rain. At a Harry Potter Universe film premiere. In London. I guess it would have been weird any other way.

"That's my fourth straight scissors-paper-rock loss on the big stage. Where am I going wrong..."

"That's my fourth straight scissors-paper-rock loss on the big stage. Where am I going wrong..."

"If you're watching this, stop. The effects are awful, the dialogue sounds unscripted and the soundtrack is mostly people shouting "Eddie! Eddie!" - watch our movie instead. The effects are great and the dialogue is by JK Rowling. The screaming we tried to remove in 'post"

"If you're watching this, stop. The effects are awful, the dialogue sounds unscripted and the soundtrack is mostly people shouting "Eddie! Eddie!" - watch our movie instead. The effects are great and the dialogue is by JK Rowling. The screaming we tried to remove in 'post"

"No, I can not sign 'as JK Rowling'. I already tried that and her lawyers politey suggested I stop" - Katherine Waterston had blonder/browner hair when she played Steve Jobs' not-wife and the mother of his not-daughter in the hugely underrated Danny Boyle film "Steve Jobs" whose premiere she wasn't at.

"No, I can not sign 'as JK Rowling'. I already tried that and her lawyers politey suggested I stop" - Katherine Waterston had blonder/browner hair when she played Steve Jobs' not-wife and the mother of his not-daughter in the hugely underrated Danny Boyle film "Steve Jobs" whose premiere she wasn't at.

"What's this petition for? Oh, who cares... I'm in"

"What's this petition for? Oh, who cares... I'm in"

"The first six questions are about your amazing midriff... but most of them aren't actually questions. And some of them I wrote"

"The first six questions are about your amazing midriff... but most of them aren't actually questions. And some of them I wrote"

"You're now the kind of person important enough to have somebody stand behind them holding an umbrella when it rains. What's that feel like? I wouldn't know...."

"You're now the kind of person important enough to have somebody stand behind them holding an umbrella when it rains. What's that feel like? I wouldn't know...."

With Katherine Waterston's interview finished, the last cast member left the stage and a short time later we could see the cast assembled in the distance to pose as a group. This is the best I could do shooting high-and-blind. And that's how it ended.....(or did it)

With Katherine Waterston's interview finished, the last cast member left the stage and a short time later we could see the cast assembled in the distance to pose as a group. This is the best I could do shooting high-and-blind. And that's how it ended.....(or did it)

Rather than let us leave the pen, security told us in about five minutes the cast would return to assemble on the main stage. I'm all for getting home early from a premiere, but this was worth staying for, even involuntarily.

"It's raining, Jerry. Why is it raining? Who do I need to pay off to get it to stop?"

"It's raining, Jerry. Why is it raining? Who do I need to pay off to get it to stop?"

Four years ago I photographed JK Rowling posing with her 'leading man' - Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe. Four years later....it's Eddie Redmayne. The world keeps turning.... and in other news, it is still raining, precisely as was not forecast by the best meteorologists in the business today, using the most high-tech magic 8-balls and goat entrails on the market today.

Four years ago I photographed JK Rowling posing with her 'leading man' - Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe. Four years later....it's Eddie Redmayne. The world keeps turning.... and in other news, it is still raining, precisely as was not forecast by the best meteorologists in the business today, using the most high-tech magic 8-balls and goat entrails on the market today.

"I don't care what my net worth is compared to yours, Eddie. You lost that poker game and I expect to be paid what I'm owed"

"I don't care what my net worth is compared to yours, Eddie. You lost that poker game and I expect to be paid what I'm owed"

My spot for the group shot is awesome, but the weather is not. And yet that tartan umbrella is quite lovely.

My spot for the group shot is awesome, but the weather is not. And yet that tartan umbrella is quite lovely.

"... and I just want to thank you all for coming here, and I assume paying to watch the movie. I appreciate the many millions this will add to my net worth, but I want to assure you it pales in comparison to how much Eddie Redmayne owes me from several ill-conceived double-or-nothing bets in on-set Texas Hold-em"

"... and I just want to thank you all for coming here, and I assume paying to watch the movie. I appreciate the many millions this will add to my net worth, but I want to assure you it pales in comparison to how much Eddie Redmayne owes me from several ill-conceived double-or-nothing bets in on-set Texas Hold-em"

"If anyone wants to take me on, I'll text you my online poker handle. Bring it"

"If anyone wants to take me on, I'll text you my online poker handle. Bring it"

"That's about it. Might go home now, if you don't mind"

"That's about it. Might go home now, if you don't mind"

And so that was that. I'm pretty tired right now, so apologies for spelling mistakes and any blandness in commentary. But if nothing else, it was a fun premiere to add to the Archive of Premieres, where it joins the short-but-sweet "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" premiere from 2009, the gargantuan "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part2" premiere, and this year's "wait... what do you mean Harry Potter is still popular?" "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" theatre launch premiere.

And I'm actually looking forward to watching this movie (and anticipating the James Newton Howard soundtrack)

Until next time!

PS> if you ever want to know when I post a new premiere journal, feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or twitter at @berndt2_photo. You can also share this journal, comment below, or congratulate me for having just having had my Australian Residency confirmed (I'm Strayan no matter where I sit or what my passport says)