11 Dec - The 'Darkest Hour' UK Premiere

December 11th, 2017.

Some days, especially days when the temperatures hover around the 1-2 degrees celsius range, and also days when you're not really inclined towards standing outside for long hours (especially in order not to get a cold for the third time in a fortnight) you start looking at other ways to photograph a premiere. Original, risky, but almost certainly warmer ways.

Time, in other words, to look at the King of Burgers and buy myself a seat for a couple of hours and see how it goes down:

 For the record, I purchased a coffee, tea, large fries and hot apple pie in order to secure my seat and (I'd like to believe) have nobody ask questions about the big Nikon D4 and 80-200mm lens I had lying on my chair...

For the record, I purchased a coffee, tea, large fries and hot apple pie in order to secure my seat and (I'd like to believe) have nobody ask questions about the big Nikon D4 and 80-200mm lens I had lying on my chair...

 Your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Turn On A Light 4Tha Darkest Hour was on the red carpet to warm up a frozen crowd. However (devastatingly) I was unable to hear any of what I assume were some brilliant rhymes based on the word 'Churchill'.

Your good friend and mine Hakeem Mr Impact and DJ Turn On A Light 4Tha Darkest Hour was on the red carpet to warm up a frozen crowd. However (devastatingly) I was unable to hear any of what I assume were some brilliant rhymes based on the word 'Churchill'.

 This is what a photographers' pen random draw looks like. It's not so much scissors-paper-rock or first-come-first-served as you might think.

This is what a photographers' pen random draw looks like. It's not so much scissors-paper-rock or first-come-first-served as you might think.

 No fans at dropoff sadly meant that long-range photos will be limited (this is a pity mainly because the angle down to the stage is a bit on the extreme side of awesome).

No fans at dropoff sadly meant that long-range photos will be limited (this is a pity mainly because the angle down to the stage is a bit on the extreme side of awesome).

 It's Gary Oldman! He might only have one Oscar nomination to his credit (best actor for   Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy  ), but he's been in movies as far afield as a Hannibal sequel, several Harry Potters and a weird yet entertaining turn as the villain in The Fifth Element.

It's Gary Oldman! He might only have one Oscar nomination to his credit (best actor for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), but he's been in movies as far afield as a Hannibal sequel, several Harry Potters and a weird yet entertaining turn as the villain in The Fifth Element.

  "My hands are cold and your wrists are warm.  I don't see the problem here..."  - Gary Oldman plays Wintson Churchill in the movie.

"My hands are cold and your wrists are warm.  I don't see the problem here..." - Gary Oldman plays Wintson Churchill in the movie.

 I guess it's all worth it for a shot like this, which I couldn't get any other way than sitting where I am, right here, right now, nice and warm, wondering how much of my tea I can leave in my paper cup to ensure I can plausibly say "but I'm still finishing that" if I'm gently encouraged to vacate my seat for other patrons. Who also want a view of the premiere)

I guess it's all worth it for a shot like this, which I couldn't get any other way than sitting where I am, right here, right now, nice and warm, wondering how much of my tea I can leave in my paper cup to ensure I can plausibly say "but I'm still finishing that" if I'm gently encouraged to vacate my seat for other patrons. Who also want a view of the premiere)

 Gary Oldman and Gisele Schmidt... and here's the big problem with my comfortable, warm and interesting vantagepoint : I never considered that the angle I'd be shooting at would be the precise angle that also ensures EVERY photo of Gary Oldman has his eyes blocked by the thick black rims of his glasses.

Gary Oldman and Gisele Schmidt... and here's the big problem with my comfortable, warm and interesting vantagepoint : I never considered that the angle I'd be shooting at would be the precise angle that also ensures EVERY photo of Gary Oldman has his eyes blocked by the thick black rims of his glasses.

 "You know, if you looked up more you might see some fans in Burger King...". Gary Oldman does not look up, he looks out. At, like, the distant future and the infinite horizon and stuff.

"You know, if you looked up more you might see some fans in Burger King...". Gary Oldman does not look up, he looks out. At, like, the distant future and the infinite horizon and stuff.

  "Put a fingerprint on this silk top and I'll have you executed. I'm a Dame, and I can make that happen"  - Dame Kristen Scott plays Clementine Churchill in the film.

"Put a fingerprint on this silk top and I'll have you executed. I'm a Dame, and I can make that happen" - Dame Kristen Scott plays Clementine Churchill in the film.

 The rims of Gary Oldman's glasses are like a well you could lose yourself in, but his eyes? I can't tell.

The rims of Gary Oldman's glasses are like a well you could lose yourself in, but his eyes? I can't tell.

 Gary Oldman in side-profile. I'm fairly certain he has eyes. I just can't tell for sure.

Gary Oldman in side-profile. I'm fairly certain he has eyes. I just can't tell for sure.

  "I can try to get him to turn around... but it'll cost you."  I dunno... the Burger King corporation already got a fair bit of my money this evening. Besides, I have photographed Gary Oldman at such events as   the premiere for the Robocop remake   (does anybody remember that?) and   a previous Empire Movie Awards  .

"I can try to get him to turn around... but it'll cost you." I dunno... the Burger King corporation already got a fair bit of my money this evening. Besides, I have photographed Gary Oldman at such events as the premiere for the Robocop remake (does anybody remember that?) and a previous Empire Movie Awards.

  "If I were to call tonight very 'Chur-chilly', would we get thrown out of this event?"  - probably not, but it wouldn't be undeserved.

"If I were to call tonight very 'Chur-chilly', would we get thrown out of this event?" - probably not, but it wouldn't be undeserved.

 Success... is something I've now defined as photographing part of one of Gary Oldman's two eyes.

Success... is something I've now defined as photographing part of one of Gary Oldman's two eyes.

 Randolph Churchill stands at right... but Gary Oldman, like that urban myth about some animals not having the ability to look up.... appears not to have the ability to look up. If he's accomplished all he has without that skill, them more props to him.

Randolph Churchill stands at right... but Gary Oldman, like that urban myth about some animals not having the ability to look up.... appears not to have the ability to look up. If he's accomplished all he has without that skill, them more props to him.

 In other news : Lily James has arrived (to the great relief of the Germans sitting nearby, who I think had plans to go to Harrods but didn't want to leave yet) - I most recently photographed her this year at   the premiere of "Baby Driver"   but was also in such films/premieres as   'Pride & Prejudice & Zombies'   and Disney's live   action version of 'Cinderella'

In other news : Lily James has arrived (to the great relief of the Germans sitting nearby, who I think had plans to go to Harrods but didn't want to leave yet) - I most recently photographed her this year at the premiere of "Baby Driver" but was also in such films/premieres as 'Pride & Prejudice & Zombies' and Disney's live action version of 'Cinderella'

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Lily James 5

Lily James with no, one or two hands on hips, and even one view partially blocked by lighting rig scaffolding : I do try to cater to every whim in these journals.

 Samuel West has been in such movies as Notting Hill (1999) (he played 'Anna's Co-star') and the wretched Van Helsing (2004) (he was Dr Frankenstein, and his creation was possibly the only sympathetic character in the movie)

Samuel West has been in such movies as Notting Hill (1999) (he played 'Anna's Co-star') and the wretched Van Helsing (2004) (he was Dr Frankenstein, and his creation was possibly the only sympathetic character in the movie)

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lily james

Above : Lily James layers up... meanwhile amongs the crowds in Burger King the temperature has seen me remove THREE layers of clothing. For what it's worth, I've still got another two layers before I'm definitely going to be asked to leave (and if that happens it's cold enough that I'll be needing those layers again...)

  "Does Gary Oldman have eyes? What kind of a question is that?? I mean... I think he does.... actually I'm pretty sure he does"  Joe Wright directed this film and has directed such other films as the Keira Knightley-led "Pride & Prejudice" (the one sadly featuring no zombies, but I did quite like that version too), and the pretty brilliant "Atonement"

"Does Gary Oldman have eyes? What kind of a question is that?? I mean... I think he does.... actually I'm pretty sure he does" Joe Wright directed this film and has directed such other films as the Keira Knightley-led "Pride & Prejudice" (the one sadly featuring no zombies, but I did quite like that version too), and the pretty brilliant "Atonement"

  "Can't the autofocus on your camera go any faster?"

"Can't the autofocus on your camera go any faster?"

  "If I'm going to have to personalise those photos, your names had better be really short.... I really wanna go inside now"

"If I'm going to have to personalise those photos, your names had better be really short.... I really wanna go inside now"

  "I signed the last couple as Gary Oldman and I don't think they noticed!"

"I signed the last couple as Gary Oldman and I don't think they noticed!"

 Laura Bailey. That's all I've got - I'm already on my way out.

Laura Bailey. That's all I've got - I'm already on my way out.

So.... that was that. If I'm honest, I'm going to call it a noble failure. It's not a bad space to gawk from, but as a vantagepoint from which to take decent photos in this configuration the stage is too close, the media at too far an angle, and specifically at this premiere the dropoff provided no fans for arrivals to interact with.But it's good to try new things, and take risks, and see what happens. Especially on premieres where you can 'afford' to play and mess up.

And in any event it's still another for the Archive of Movie premieres.

Tomorrow, for example, it'll be all phaser set to 'conservative' for the last premiere of the year. It's for a small film you probably haven't heard of....

 Until next time!

Until next time!

ps. if you ever want to know ehen I post one of these journals feel free to follow me on facebook at 'premieresdotco', or on twitter at 'berndt2_photo'