23 Feb - The 'Beauty and the Beast' premiere you have when you're not having a 'Beauty and the Beast' premiere

February 23rd, 2017.

So for the third time in as many premieres for their movies, the diversified multimedia behemoth that is Disney (2015 Revenues : $US52billion) decided not to have a premiere for one of their movies. First it was Doctor Strange last year, which to be fair was from one of their minor studios called MARVEL, that had a screening without a premiere. The second was an obscure entry into the little known STAR WARS FRANCHISE called "Rogue One", so no harm no foul there. And now for the third time, the little struggling studio is re-making their own public domain appropriation of well known fairy tales in live action form with BEAUTY and the BEAST.

To be fair, when the event was listed as a 'Launch' and the venue as 'Central London - Embargoed', it made sense to presume Disney didn't want me, or fans in general to be at the Odeon Leicester Square, hoping for something to go down.

Here's what went down:

Two hours to go, and instead of a heaving premiere with filled pens, we have sixteen barriers against a wall, some marketing people with a ludicrously convoluted "free" competition on spurious Beauty & The Beast grounds, and all the signage being for the decidedly Family Unfriendly "Fifty Shades Darker". ... it certainly has all the hallmarks of yet another great Disney Event!

Two hours to go, and instead of a heaving premiere with filled pens, we have sixteen barriers against a wall, some marketing people with a ludicrously convoluted "free" competition on spurious Beauty & The Beast grounds, and all the signage being for the decidedly Family Unfriendly "Fifty Shades Darker". ... it certainly has all the hallmarks of yet another great Disney Event!

It's an hour before the screening is set to start, and a huge crowd has gathered for the mere rumour that against all evidence (like lack of carpet, lack of wristbands, lack of outdoor media and security telling us nobody's coming) a premiere might be going on. We're all fools, but of the optimistic kind!

It's an hour before the screening is set to start, and a huge crowd has gathered for the mere rumour that against all evidence (like lack of carpet, lack of wristbands, lack of outdoor media and security telling us nobody's coming) a premiere might be going on. We're all fools, but of the optimistic kind!

There are four Paparazzi inside the Odeon Foyer (far less than you'd assume for a cast that includes Emma Watson, Ian McKellen and the director of Twilight) and there is a List featuring none of the cast. It's looking grim, but crowd spirits remain high. Mostly because by huddling against the blistering wind, we're all keeping warmer than we would be on our own.

There are four Paparazzi inside the Odeon Foyer (far less than you'd assume for a cast that includes Emma Watson, Ian McKellen and the director of Twilight) and there is a List featuring none of the cast. It's looking grim, but crowd spirits remain high. Mostly because by huddling against the blistering wind, we're all keeping warmer than we would be on our own.

You know... it's all fun and games until kids show up who will be crushed not to be able to see Emma Watson and Dan Stevens and Luke Evans, let alone get an autograph or picture. Well done, Disney. You know that your target market is the PARENTS of these kids. And they're at work right now.

You know... it's all fun and games until kids show up who will be crushed not to be able to see Emma Watson and Dan Stevens and Luke Evans, let alone get an autograph or picture. Well done, Disney. You know that your target market is the PARENTS of these kids. And they're at work right now.

In fairness to Disney, having poor peasants look at their social betters and dreaming of joining them one day is part and parcel of the dreams that the company sells. And also, Disney doesn't hate these people as long as they end up buying tickets to see the movie, and later buy the DVD, the soundtrack and the merchandise.

In fairness to Disney, having poor peasants look at their social betters and dreaming of joining them one day is part and parcel of the dreams that the company sells. And also, Disney doesn't hate these people as long as they end up buying tickets to see the movie, and later buy the DVD, the soundtrack and the merchandise.

We have an actual celebrity! It's Philip Schofield, and outside of seeming to recall his daughter shamelessly flirting with me at a premiere years ago (which I'm not entirely sure I'm lying about), I don't know much about him.

We have an actual celebrity! It's Philip Schofield, and outside of seeming to recall his daughter shamelessly flirting with me at a premiere years ago (which I'm not entirely sure I'm lying about), I don't know much about him.

It's Ronan Keating!! Apparently there's an upcoming premiere (a 'real' premiere I mean) that he's set to attend, so I'll save quirky commentary for photos presumably less quirky than this.

It's Ronan Keating!! Apparently there's an upcoming premiere (a 'real' premiere I mean) that he's set to attend, so I'll save quirky commentary for photos presumably less quirky than this.

"I don't know what you're complaining about. Disney loves ME! As long as I keep blogging positive things about everything Disney-related, I'll keep getting free tickets to stuff!". Ah... that's possibly where I've been going so very wrong.....is it too late to say that I loved 'Zootopia'? (it was actually very good!)

"I don't know what you're complaining about. Disney loves ME! As long as I keep blogging positive things about everything Disney-related, I'll keep getting free tickets to stuff!". Ah... that's possibly where I've been going so very wrong.....is it too late to say that I loved 'Zootopia'? (it was actually very good!)

"What's going on?" "Can't say?" "Who's showing up?" "Can't say" "Is there anything you can say?" "Yes...  Leonardo DiCaprio probably isn't showing up" "Why... is he in this movie?" "Can't say"

"What's going on?"
"Can't say?"
"Who's showing up?"
"Can't say"
"Is there anything you can say?"
"Yes...  Leonardo DiCaprio probably isn't showing up"
"Why... is he in this movie?"
"Can't say"

I get the feeling that if I want the kind of access I'd need to take photos at closed / restricted events like this, I should probably befriend somebody like her. That, and possibly not write articles about how I walked out of Disney/Marvel movies like Civil War, and how much I disliked the cowardice of Disney's The Force Awakens.... and generally how much I dislike Disney outside of their animated stuff.

I get the feeling that if I want the kind of access I'd need to take photos at closed / restricted events like this, I should probably befriend somebody like her. That, and possibly not write articles about how I walked out of Disney/Marvel movies like Civil War, and how much I disliked the cowardice of Disney's The Force Awakens.... and generally how much I dislike Disney outside of their animated stuff.

A car pulls up! And out steps...... !!!!!! Nobody related to this movie. It's great drama but with minimal payoff outside the cathartic.

A car pulls up! And out steps...... !!!!!! Nobody related to this movie. It's great drama but with minimal payoff outside the cathartic.

What's actually kind of heartbreaking is that every one of these people are looking and pointing their cameras the wrong way, because everything that is going to happen will happen inside and out of their field of view.

What's actually kind of heartbreaking is that every one of these people are looking and pointing their cameras the wrong way, because everything that is going to happen will happen inside and out of their field of view.

"Just kowtow to the might of Disney's awesomeness already, and you could be in here with us!!" -yeah, I'll keep my dignity for now, thanks.

"Just kowtow to the might of Disney's awesomeness already, and you could be in here with us!!" -yeah, I'll keep my dignity for now, thanks.

So basically, the main reason I stayed where I was in spite of the evidence that the screening had started, and that nobody would be coming, and that they'd closed the doors of the Odeon, was that therewere still professional photographers inside, who while few in number, were still at their posts. Clearly they were convinced it was worth staying, and since they get paid for their work, they were backing their money with their time. In other words, if they weren't moving, I wasn't moving.

And, amazingly, at 7:30pm, there was movement from behind the screening room doors.

There's movement from inside the cinema, the photographers get ready, and out walks : Luke Evans! I last photographed him at the 2017 Baftas a few weeks ago and I have just enough motivation to go onto imdb.com to find out he plays Gaston in the film.

There's movement from inside the cinema, the photographers get ready, and out walks : Luke Evans! I last photographed him at the 2017 Baftas a few weeks ago and I have just enough motivation to go onto imdb.com to find out he plays Gaston in the film.

I'm a pretty big fan of actress Emma Thompson (who I photographed much better at premieres like Walking on Sunshine and Men in Black III), but my spiritual equivalent at this premiere is the lady on the right, whose unimpressed expression pretty much grimly mirrors mine towards Disney right now.

I'm a pretty big fan of actress Emma Thompson (who I photographed much better at premieres like Walking on Sunshine and Men in Black III), but my spiritual equivalent at this premiere is the lady on the right, whose unimpressed expression pretty much grimly mirrors mine towards Disney right now.

The wonderful Ian McKellen joins the throng, but the small space where the full cast is about to assemble is swamped by security, attendants, PAs and generally anyone who can block people from outside getting photos of what's happening inside. It's almost like I'm not supposed to be here (I'm pretty slow at catching onto subtle hints...)

The wonderful Ian McKellen joins the throng, but the small space where the full cast is about to assemble is swamped by security, attendants, PAs and generally anyone who can block people from outside getting photos of what's happening inside. It's almost like I'm not supposed to be here (I'm pretty slow at catching onto subtle hints...)

Bill Condon is probably (still) best known for directing the two concluding halves of the Twilight Breaking Dawn saga, showing that obviously the ability to direct a human girl falling in love with an animal is a good thing to have on your resume.

Bill Condon is probably (still) best known for directing the two concluding halves of the Twilight Breaking Dawn saga, showing that obviously the ability to direct a human girl falling in love with an animal is a good thing to have on your resume.

Emma Watson has appeared, and it seems that the screams from the crowd outside (the vast VAST majority of whom can not even see her) alone are enough to create a concussion wave I'm having difficulting holding my camera steady through.

Emma Watson has appeared, and it seems that the screams from the crowd outside (the vast VAST majority of whom can not even see her) alone are enough to create a concussion wave I'm having difficulting holding my camera steady through.

I don't know who the kid is, and/but talented though he might be, I'm concerned that the entire cast and crew have somewhat folded themselves around Emma Watson in some kind of photography-proof protective cordon. I try to remember that much as it might seem like it, Disney (and by extension the universe) doesn't know enough about me to care enough to hate me, and this is just random bad luck.

I don't know who the kid is, and/but talented though he might be, I'm concerned that the entire cast and crew have somewhat folded themselves around Emma Watson in some kind of photography-proof protective cordon. I try to remember that much as it might seem like it, Disney (and by extension the universe) doesn't know enough about me to care enough to hate me, and this is just random bad luck.

My mind draws a blank as to who this is. I think it's because even when converted into black'n'white, the thin scarf he's wearing is quite magnificent.

My mind draws a blank as to who this is. I think it's because even when converted into black'n'white, the thin scarf he's wearing is quite magnificent.

"Come on! Let's make this photoshoot sexier! I saw posters for Fifty Shades Darker outside!"

"Come on! Let's make this photoshoot sexier! I saw posters for Fifty Shades Darker outside!"

"Protect Belle! At all costs!! Oh, wait I'm the villain this film.... forget her, let's all go for pizza!!"

"Protect Belle! At all costs!! Oh, wait I'm the villain this film.... forget her, let's all go for pizza!!"

"I can run a pretty mean D on all the outdoor photographers, but I'm not handling snipers from elevated positions. I draw the line at that". Ian McKellen, along with being Gandalf across all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, was also in the quirky but enjoyable "Mr Holmes", directed by Bill Condon.

"I can run a pretty mean D on all the outdoor photographers, but I'm not handling snipers from elevated positions. I draw the line at that". Ian McKellen, along with being Gandalf across all the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films, was also in the quirky but enjoyable "Mr Holmes", directed by Bill Condon.

What do you know. I've snapped Emma Watson. So... you know.... I guess I win... something?

What do you know. I've snapped Emma Watson. So... you know.... I guess I win... something?

There's something about this photo I kind of like. The expression is natural, the pose is natural, the movement around her is frozen nicely.... And I'm going to be repeating my mantra "Blurry, therefore Art" until even I'm fully convinced by my repetition.

There's something about this photo I kind of like. The expression is natural, the pose is natural, the movement around her is frozen nicely.... And I'm going to be repeating my mantra "Blurry, therefore Art" until even I'm fully convinced by my repetition.

I'm also going to claim that high-ISO and staggering amount of shadow recovery necessitated by shooting through glass in low light is an artistic statement. (I sure am glad I've previously photographed Emma Watson at such events as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", "My Week With Marilyn" and more recently Darren Aronofsky' "Noah".)

I'm also going to claim that high-ISO and staggering amount of shadow recovery necessitated by shooting through glass in low light is an artistic statement.
(I sure am glad I've previously photographed Emma Watson at such events as "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", "My Week With Marilyn" and more recently Darren Aronofsky' "Noah".)

"I like the dress..... it's not for sale?"

"I like the dress..... it's not for sale?"

"Where did the rest of the cast suddenly go? Did I hear somebody say they were going for Pizza??"

"Where did the rest of the cast suddenly go? Did I hear somebody say they were going for Pizza??"

Whenever a beautiful actress and I make eye-contact, I usually imply that the camera between us is somehow not present, and the memory of an intimate moment shared between us somehow turns up as a photo. But this look between Emma Watson and I suggests that if we're ever crossing paths in a dark alleyway, I should be very concerned.

Whenever a beautiful actress and I make eye-contact, I usually imply that the camera between us is somehow not present, and the memory of an intimate moment shared between us somehow turns up as a photo. But this look between Emma Watson and I suggests that if we're ever crossing paths in a dark alleyway, I should be very concerned.

I really like this photo. Forgetting all the people in the way and spoiling the background... this is a good shot. Everything about the moment is right, and it's only everything about the event, the and the circumstances that is wrong. (I might disable comments in this journal just to ensure no dissenting views are posted!)

I really like this photo. Forgetting all the people in the way and spoiling the background... this is a good shot. Everything about the moment is right, and it's only everything about the event, the and the circumstances that is wrong. (I might disable comments in this journal just to ensure no dissenting views are posted!)

Why sure, Disney. I'd love to give you more of my money in exchange for you remaking your own movies with slight variations.

Why sure, Disney. I'd love to give you more of my money in exchange for you remaking your own movies with slight variations.

So... that was that. I came away with something, but I also came away with having seen yet another event that showcased the huge gulf between the multibillion dollar all-encompassing business side of Disney and the part where they actually want to celebrate their releases with fans. To clarify, I'm not for one moment saying Disney *owes* fans a premiere. It doesn't. But if it's flying everyone to London, putting them up at hotels, driving them to cinemas to introduce the movie, and having them photographed in the foyer.... but STILL NOT having a premiere, then it seems very clear that the one ingredient that Disney does not want to have access to what's going on is anyone who is non-paying, non-competition-winning, non-blogging, and not directly-promoting, person with no benefit to Disney.

So if you're not helping to fuel that, then you're not really welcome. Screw you, Disney. But hey, I'm just some whiny guy. I got a couple of photos for my Archive of Movie Premieres. I didn't lose out too much.

Until next time!!

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