paul feig

17 Sep 2018 - The 'A Simple Favour' UK Premiere

Monday, 17th September 2018.

It’s been a long, LONG time since I last went to a premiere where the lead star was somebody I’d never photographed before and really (REALLY) wanted to. Possibly The Dark Knight Rises and director Christopher Nolan… possibly The Avengers and Scarlett Johansson.

So early morning I dropped by BFI Southbank at 6:30am for a wristband…. and there were no fans, no barriers, no wristbands, no security. So I returned at 11:30am …. and there were still no fans, no barriers, no wristband, no security… but I was given #54 to write on my wrist just in case something happened.

I returned at 3:30pm, expecting nothing…… and here’s how it went down.

3:30pm. The crowd was close 100, and they had wristbands while I did not. But far from being panicked, I felt I had a pretty good spot overlooking the event (no wristband required). After all.. I have three cameras and a combined 20 frames per second.

3:30pm. The crowd was close 100, and they had wristbands while I did not. But far from being panicked, I felt I had a pretty good spot overlooking the event (no wristband required). After all.. I have three cameras and a combined 20 frames per second.

The main object of my… erm…. attention : the lovely Blake Lively. She was in ‘The Shallows’, ‘The Age of Adaline’ and (if you know me well enough to force an admission out of me that I might be more than aware of the show….) ‘Gossip Girl’. AND she’s never been to a London Premiere before EVER.

The main object of my… erm…. attention : the lovely Blake Lively. She was in ‘The Shallows’, ‘The Age of Adaline’ and (if you know me well enough to force an admission out of me that I might be more than aware of the show….) ‘Gossip Girl’. AND she’s never been to a London Premiere before EVER.

The first car arrives and… and… and!!…. and??

The first car arrives and… and… and!!…. and??

It’s not Blake Lively, but it IS director Paul Feig! He directed    ‘The Heat’    (with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy),    ‘Spy’    (with Jason Statham and Melissa McCarthy)… and the Ghostbusters reboot I might not mention.

It’s not Blake Lively, but it IS director Paul Feig! He directed ‘The Heat’ (with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy), ‘Spy’ (with Jason Statham and Melissa McCarthy)… and the Ghostbusters reboot I might not mention.

“No, you can not be as dapper as me. Because if you were as dapper as me, I would no longer be as uniquely dapper, which would mean you would no longer be dapper, and then neither of us would be dapper…. and if so then why did I even bring a freakin’ CANE to this thing!”

“No, you can not be as dapper as me. Because if you were as dapper as me, I would no longer be as uniquely dapper, which would mean you would no longer be dapper, and then neither of us would be dapper…. and if so then why did I even bring a freakin’ CANE to this thing!”

“Ah, I’m kidding. Your t-shirt’s ace, man!”

“Ah, I’m kidding. Your t-shirt’s ace, man!”

“So while I’m accepting your graciously given bluray of some movie, I’m simultaneously pickpocketing the lady to my right” ”That’s your wife, I believe….?” ”And she perfect mark, since she’s not expecting it!”

“So while I’m accepting your graciously given bluray of some movie, I’m simultaneously pickpocketing the lady to my right”
”That’s your wife, I believe….?”
”And she perfect mark, since she’s not expecting it!”

“And now I’ve got your bluray too. And all you’ll remember later on is how well I was dressed. That’s magic.”  It’s currently    London Fashion Week   , and I myself am wearing jeans, a pair of sketchers, and a black t-shirt under a Marks & Spencer suit jacket. I was wearing vintage Raybans earlier, but I took them off to take photos…

“And now I’ve got your bluray too. And all you’ll remember later on is how well I was dressed. That’s magic.” It’s currently London Fashion Week, and I myself am wearing jeans, a pair of sketchers, and a black t-shirt under a Marks & Spencer suit jacket. I was wearing vintage Raybans earlier, but I took them off to take photos…

It’s Stanley Tucci ! He wasn’t at the    premiere for ‘The Children Act’    a few weeks back, but I’ve photographed him now.

It’s Stanley Tucci ! He wasn’t at the premiere for ‘The Children Act’ a few weeks back, but I’ve photographed him now.

“Me? I intend to stand here as long as is necessary to chat up either or both of Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick when they arrive…. are you saying you’d do any different?”

“Me? I intend to stand here as long as is necessary to chat up either or both of Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick when they arrive…. are you saying you’d do any different?”

“Is the grumpy dude behind me in frame? He is? Outstanding!”  I gotta be honest, I don’t generally get nervous when I’m photographing insanely good-looking actresses (otherwise I’d have to have quit in shame after my first premiere, which Charlize Theron attended). But… I kinda want eye-contact. Is that wrong? Please tell me it’s not wrong.

“Is the grumpy dude behind me in frame? He is? Outstanding!”
I gotta be honest, I don’t generally get nervous when I’m photographing insanely good-looking actresses (otherwise I’d have to have quit in shame after my first premiere, which Charlize Theron attended). But… I kinda want eye-contact. Is that wrong? Please tell me it’s not wrong.

“You’re all going to have to get this girl’s cellphone if you want this group shot…”  Blake Lively does mass-selfies!

“You’re all going to have to get this girl’s cellphone if you want this group shot…”
Blake Lively does mass-selfies!

It’s about this time that the part of my brain that isn’t determining by feel whether my autofocus is catching focus, or the limiter on the lens zoom has slipped, or the AF/MF lever has gotten loose again wonders how extreme this angle I’ve chosen is, and what the likelihood is that Blake Lively will at any point look up at a 45 degree angle to provide eye-contact.

It’s about this time that the part of my brain that isn’t determining by feel whether my autofocus is catching focus, or the limiter on the lens zoom has slipped, or the AF/MF lever has gotten loose again wonders how extreme this angle I’ve chosen is, and what the likelihood is that Blake Lively will at any point look up at a 45 degree angle to provide eye-contact.

In other, and rather surprising news, Blake Lively will all but use calligraphy to transcribe your school essay answers for you. If you ask nicely.

In other, and rather surprising news, Blake Lively will all but use calligraphy to transcribe your school essay answers for you. If you ask nicely.

“Okay. Time to look stylish. Am I looking stylish?”  - I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think Blake Lively isn’t merely wearing a TIE, but that TIE has a TIE-PIN.

“Okay. Time to look stylish. Am I looking stylish?” - I don’t want to alarm anyone, but I think Blake Lively isn’t merely wearing a TIE, but that TIE has a TIE-PIN.

Blake Lively also has a lady who holds an additional satin-y jacket just in case she needs some variation in stylishness. I did bring my LA Dodgers baseball cap to this premiere… but I’m also currently not wearing it.

Blake Lively also has a lady who holds an additional satin-y jacket just in case she needs some variation in stylishness. I did bring my LA Dodgers baseball cap to this premiere… but I’m also currently not wearing it.

“You’re right it’s a really cute puppy and you should totally adopt it. And if the opinion of just one hollywood starlet makes any difference, tweet me and I’ll tell your Mom I said it was okay”

“You’re right it’s a really cute puppy and you should totally adopt it. And if the opinion of just one hollywood starlet makes any difference, tweet me and I’ll tell your Mom I said it was okay”

It’s Eye-Contact… and I think she likes me. And look, I know she’s married to Deadpool and all, but I think between the two (or, if need be, the three) of us… we can make this work.

It’s Eye-Contact… and I think she likes me. And look, I know she’s married to Deadpool and all, but I think between the two (or, if need be, the three) of us… we can make this work.

“Eye contact? Puppy endorsements? Bluray thefts? Stanley Tucci? What on earth else have I missed!?”  - Anna Kendrick is also in this movie (and its poster) and if there’s less of her in this journal than there should be, it’s because I have photographed her at such premieres as    “Drinking Buddies”    and    “The Accountant”    with Ben Affleck.

“Eye contact? Puppy endorsements? Bluray thefts? Stanley Tucci? What on earth else have I missed!?” - Anna Kendrick is also in this movie (and its poster) and if there’s less of her in this journal than there should be, it’s because I have photographed her at such premieres as “Drinking Buddies” and “The Accountant” with Ben Affleck.

“I… I… like that thing you’re wearing. What is that?” ”It’s a white t-shirt” ”Right… right….”

“I… I… like that thing you’re wearing. What is that?”
”It’s a white t-shirt”
”Right… right….”

Blake Lively. Further comments pending once I stop being distracted by the photos of Blake Lively my camera seems to have somehow taken while I was holding it, being distracted by Blake Lively.

Blake Lively. Further comments pending once I stop being distracted by the photos of Blake Lively my camera seems to have somehow taken while I was holding it, being distracted by Blake Lively.

While my brain is still reeling from the circular reasoning chain of the prior comment, I appear to have gotten more eye-contact and a HALF-SMILE from Blake Lively! …. and you know, a man could compose epic poems about half-smiles from Blake Lively… and they’d probably be awful, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be sincere.

While my brain is still reeling from the circular reasoning chain of the prior comment, I appear to have gotten more eye-contact and a HALF-SMILE from Blake Lively! …. and you know, a man could compose epic poems about half-smiles from Blake Lively… and they’d probably be awful, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be sincere.

“OMG you’re so much smaller than we remember!”

“OMG you’re so much smaller than we remember!”

“Excuse me, little gir… oh. Wait. You’re the lady on the poster. My mistake. ”

“Excuse me, little gir… oh. Wait. You’re the lady on the poster. My mistake.

“And, oh, how we laughed. I don’t remember specifically why, but it felt great. You should all try it”

“And, oh, how we laughed. I don’t remember specifically why, but it felt great. You should all try it”

“This is starting to hurt. You security people just going to stand here while this goes on??”

“This is starting to hurt. You security people just going to stand here while this goes on??”

“Well… yeah…. sure I feel better now, more limber and in less pain, thanks to her expert ministrations. But that doesn’t mean you guys shoulda stood there while it happened”

“Well… yeah…. sure I feel better now, more limber and in less pain, thanks to her expert ministrations. But that doesn’t mean you guys shoulda stood there while it happened”

“High-five? At this distance? Well, if you think you can manage it….”

“High-five? At this distance? Well, if you think you can manage it….”

“A High-TEN?? I realise i’m not here in London all that often, but you guys sure are confident!”

“A High-TEN?? I realise i’m not here in London all that often, but you guys sure are confident!”

“Sure I’ll admit ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ was no ‘Pitch Perfect 1’, but this angle is hardly the way to force me to watch it in order to prove your point….”

“Sure I’ll admit ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ was no ‘Pitch Perfect 1’, but this angle is hardly the way to force me to watch it in order to prove your point….”

“If I say that, yes, that burnt piece of toast does appear to have the face of Rebel Wilson, will you allow me to move on and chat to the rest of these people?”

“If I say that, yes, that burnt piece of toast does appear to have the face of Rebel Wilson, will you allow me to move on and chat to the rest of these people?”

“Shell-shocked isn’t the word. Confused is better”

“Shell-shocked isn’t the word. Confused is better”

Not only did Blake Lively stay out to do more selfies and sign, she even grabbed one dude’s SLR to do a selfie with him - THAT GUY COULDA BEEN ME!!… I mean, I’m on a footbridge up two flights of stairs and the Nikon has a 200mm lens that needs a minimum 90cm for focussing distance… but what’s the impediment, here, really?

Not only did Blake Lively stay out to do more selfies and sign, she even grabbed one dude’s SLR to do a selfie with him - THAT GUY COULDA BEEN ME!!… I mean, I’m on a footbridge up two flights of stairs and the Nikon has a 200mm lens that needs a minimum 90cm for focussing distance… but what’s the impediment, here, really?

“No, thanks : I brought my own!”

“No, thanks : I brought my own!”

And… well… I gotta be honest, I think this might be my favourite premiere of the year (although Ready Player One, Mamma Mia2 , Mission Impossible Fallout and the mighty The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then The Bigfoot all had their charms). The crowd was cool, the dealers were distant, the stars were gorgeous and/or well dressed (and/or Stanley Tucci). And that happens pretty rarely. AND it’s a +1 for the Archive of Movie Premieres. AND it was good enough thatI opened a bottle of my favourite (and achingly difficult to acquire) vodka to celebrate (Saaremaa Rabarber (rhubarb) Vodka).

And hey, even if it probably won’t be quite as good…. until next time!

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals, +/- the fawning over an attractive lady(ies), feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or on twitter at berndt2_photo.