13 Mar - The 'A Wrinkle in Time' European Premiere

March 13th, 2018.

Well, I won't lie. This premiere wasn't the calmest and most effortless premiere to photograph. That's because after many premieres at the BFI Imax, where I was allowed to shoot unmolested from the roundabout overlooking events ('Wrath of the Titans', 'What to Expect When You're Expecting', 'Mission Impossible : Rogue Nation', and 'X-Men Apocalypse' among them), today I/we were approached by Security staff just prior to the premiere while we were standing there, that we unequivocally were not allowed to be standing where we were.

But is that true? Whether security has jurisdiction of public land overlooking an event, or whether they can only make such judgements if somebody is likely to impede or disturb an event is of course an excellent dinner-party conversation.... but in the moment you're confronted by security whose point of view on the matter appears very much weighted against harmless photography, all of the sparkling wit and flowing champagne of that excellent dinner party seems very distant.

Here's how it went down:

 This is the view from where I am. It's a the half-metre wide, raised sidewalk surrounding the roundabout that skirts the BFI Imax. And in every case prior to today, Security staff have been up on the roundabout only to ensure that nobody is doing anything really stupid, like leaving luggage on the road (I've seen it happen)

This is the view from where I am. It's a the half-metre wide, raised sidewalk surrounding the roundabout that skirts the BFI Imax. And in every case prior to today, Security staff have been up on the roundabout only to ensure that nobody is doing anything really stupid, like leaving luggage on the road (I've seen it happen)

 The buckets on the carpet are a nice touch, though I believe they are not meant to be ornamental in nature. And in other news, security is now threatening not to just remove us, but ban us from future premieres if we persist in our presence here. Or, anecdotally, even worse consequences than that....

The buckets on the carpet are a nice touch, though I believe they are not meant to be ornamental in nature. And in other news, security is now threatening not to just remove us, but ban us from future premieres if we persist in our presence here. Or, anecdotally, even worse consequences than that....

It was at this point that I left the roundabout and went downstairs and calmly asked security whether I could use my wristband to gain a spot in a pen. I was told that pens were full (which seemed at odds with observations I had made from my upstairs vantagepoint, which revealed numerous small pens whose crowds were only one-deep). So..... trapped with the option of going home and photographing nothing, or staying and still photographing nothing, I decided to wait until just as the premiere started ... and the to return to my spot on the roundabout to see what would happen.

 Ava DuVernay directed this film, as well as the excellent (and Oscar-nominated) 'Selma (2014)'. And in other, unrelated news, there are now FOUR Security staff on the roundabout (and about a dozen civilians like me with their cameras / mobile phones) and their attitude to us is somewhat of a mixture of frosty, tolerant, 'why-can't-you-make-this-easy-for-us-but-perhaps-just-maybe-we-won't-call-the-police-to-have-you-removed', and (I'd like to think) ' actually the view up here IS pretty good and you don't seem like you're planning to do anything stupid up here   - don't make us regret this kindness or we'll make you regret this kindness ' ... it's a kind uneasy of truce, but who knows about repercussions.

Ava DuVernay directed this film, as well as the excellent (and Oscar-nominated) 'Selma (2014)'. And in other, unrelated news, there are now FOUR Security staff on the roundabout (and about a dozen civilians like me with their cameras / mobile phones) and their attitude to us is somewhat of a mixture of frosty, tolerant, 'why-can't-you-make-this-easy-for-us-but-perhaps-just-maybe-we-won't-call-the-police-to-have-you-removed', and (I'd like to think) 'actually the view up here IS pretty good and you don't seem like you're planning to do anything stupid up here - don't make us regret this kindness or we'll make you regret this kindness' ... it's a kind uneasy of truce, but who knows about repercussions.

 And... yeah... of all premieres, it seems the 'Hill I Choose To Die On' is a DISNEY premiere for a movie starring Oprah Winfrey. Who knew? Even Ava DuVernay can't understand it. Why not a Fincher premiere? A Spielberg premiere? Or the premiere of one of those Avatar sequels we keep getting promised?

And... yeah... of all premieres, it seems the 'Hill I Choose To Die On' is a DISNEY premiere for a movie starring Oprah Winfrey. Who knew? Even Ava DuVernay can't understand it. Why not a Fincher premiere? A Spielberg premiere? Or the premiere of one of those Avatar sequels we keep getting promised?

  "The suit of the guy next to me is fantastic for the autofocus systems on most cameras. Feel free to use him for that"

"The suit of the guy next to me is fantastic for the autofocus systems on most cameras. Feel free to use him for that"

  "Hey, sorry about the delay. We stopped to take photos in Charlie Chaplin Walk, but couldn't make it around all the dumpsters and effluent"  - the premiere's main draw Oprah Winfrey has arrived! And Charlie Chaplin's Walk - the road leading to the BFI Imax that cars take to dispense guests arriving by car - is a disgrace to the name of the man.

"Hey, sorry about the delay. We stopped to take photos in Charlie Chaplin Walk, but couldn't make it around all the dumpsters and effluent" - the premiere's main draw Oprah Winfrey has arrived! And Charlie Chaplin's Walk - the road leading to the BFI Imax that cars take to dispense guests arriving by car - is a disgrace to the name of the man.

  "It's not that we don't believe you.... but we're just rechecking imdb, ma'am..."  - Storm Reid is (Oprah Winfrey's signifcant presence aside) credited on imdb.com as this movie's lead.

"It's not that we don't believe you.... but we're just rechecking imdb, ma'am..." - Storm Reid is (Oprah Winfrey's signifcant presence aside) credited on imdb.com as this movie's lead.

  "All of a sudden perhaps I'm wondering whether one or both of us should have tried to co-ordinate dresses..."  Storm Reid's pink dress is an amazing contrast against the crowd and carpet

"All of a sudden perhaps I'm wondering whether one or both of us should have tried to co-ordinate dresses..." Storm Reid's pink dress is an amazing contrast against the crowd and carpet

  "I hereby authorise anyone I'm waving at or in the direction or elevation of, to remain where they are and enjoy this premiere"  - Oprah Winfrey might have said that, and some are suggesting she's a serious possibility of running for office, so I'm saying what I think she might have said hoping it might carry some weight even if she didn't say it but vaguely indicated it.

"I hereby authorise anyone I'm waving at or in the direction or elevation of, to remain where they are and enjoy this premiere" - Oprah Winfrey might have said that, and some are suggesting she's a serious possibility of running for office, so I'm saying what I think she might have said hoping it might carry some weight even if she didn't say it but vaguely indicated it.

  "And none of you are using mobile phones to photograph me? I'm honoured."

"And none of you are using mobile phones to photograph me? I'm honoured."

  "Y'all are very brave to be up there. And security are true gentlemen who are making the right and proper and noble call. Also..... remember that I'm here to promote a movie, so if you're going to misquote me at least mention that"

"Y'all are very brave to be up there. And security are true gentlemen who are making the right and proper and noble call. Also..... remember that I'm here to promote a movie, so if you're going to misquote me at least mention that"

  "Sorry about being late. We thought Charlie Chaplin's walk was a tourist attraction so we stopped for some photos and then we were overcome with the smell and... well, most of us made it out safely"  - somebody really should clean out that roadway. That, or stop calling it after a screen legend and pioneer who deserves better than to have THAT street named after him

"Sorry about being late. We thought Charlie Chaplin's walk was a tourist attraction so we stopped for some photos and then we were overcome with the smell and... well, most of us made it out safely" - somebody really should clean out that roadway. That, or stop calling it after a screen legend and pioneer who deserves better than to have THAT street named after him

  "We're just warning you that depending on where and how you stand in front of the backing board, it might read 'A Wrinkle' which won't look good in tomorrow's newspapers...."

"We're just warning you that depending on where and how you stand in front of the backing board, it might read 'A Wrinkle' which won't look good in tomorrow's newspapers...."

  "wait... let me just shuffle over a bit"

"wait... let me just shuffle over a bit"

  "Hey, y'all. Thanks for coming."  Let's be honest, having people standing at the roundabout makes the whole thing look more colosseum-like and awesome for the stars arriving at the event, who will bring tales of London's glory and grandeur back to Hollywood, USA.

"Hey, y'all. Thanks for coming." Let's be honest, having people standing at the roundabout makes the whole thing look more colosseum-like and awesome for the stars arriving at the event, who will bring tales of London's glory and grandeur back to Hollywood, USA.

 Awesomely, I've only just checked imdb.com and learned that Mindy Kaling was the voice of 'Disgust' in Disney/Pixar's 'Inside Out' ! She's also in 'A Wrinkle in Time', but I haven't watched this movie yet while I HAVE watched Disney/Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Awesomely, I've only just checked imdb.com and learned that Mindy Kaling was the voice of 'Disgust' in Disney/Pixar's 'Inside Out' ! She's also in 'A Wrinkle in Time', but I haven't watched this movie yet while I HAVE watched Disney/Pixar's 'Inside Out'

  "Actually I really want to know whether the two guys taking parallel vertical video of me on their mobile phones will stitch the footage into a 3D stereoscopic clip, because I'd like to see that"

"Actually I really want to know whether the two guys taking parallel vertical video of me on their mobile phones will stitch the footage into a 3D stereoscopic clip, because I'd like to see that"

  "It's not about the photo in front, it's about the photo behind it that you're going to move the front one aside to get me to sign"  - I actually have no evidence that this was the case, but I'd believe it.

"It's not about the photo in front, it's about the photo behind it that you're going to move the front one aside to get me to sign" - I actually have no evidence that this was the case, but I'd believe it.

  "Sleeves? Where I'm going, I don't need SLEEVES".  Winter's almost over. Nobody needs sleeves.

"Sleeves? Where I'm going, I don't need SLEEVES". Winter's almost over. Nobody needs sleeves.

 Owner of shiny green dress : Vick Hope.

Owner of shiny green dress : Vick Hope.

  "Well, the contract looks legit. Maybe I'll sign it and see what happens..."  that's pretty much how I approach every revision to Apple / Microsoft / Firefox terms of service. Or to put it another way : you can't own my firstborn, because I don't have any kids.

"Well, the contract looks legit. Maybe I'll sign it and see what happens..." that's pretty much how I approach every revision to Apple / Microsoft / Firefox terms of service. Or to put it another way : you can't own my firstborn, because I don't have any kids.

  "That woman has her hand on me and is dragging me away. No, I'm not telling her to stop - I'm just putting it out there so you know"

"That woman has her hand on me and is dragging me away. No, I'm not telling her to stop - I'm just putting it out there so you know"

  "Somebody kidnapped Oprah? Well, I guess theoreticall this is why it's vitally important that as many security staff are on the red or blue carpet as possible at all times, and not distracted by issues of lesser importance"  Hypothetically, I mean.

"Somebody kidnapped Oprah? Well, I guess theoreticall this is why it's vitally important that as many security staff are on the red or blue carpet as possible at all times, and not distracted by issues of lesser importance" Hypothetically, I mean.

 Although wireimage.com helpfully informs me that this is Nathalie Emmanuel, devastatingly they have no photo of her that shows the full narrative of her T-Shirt. If anyone knows, please contact me : it could be important.

Although wireimage.com helpfully informs me that this is Nathalie Emmanuel, devastatingly they have no photo of her that shows the full narrative of her T-Shirt. If anyone knows, please contact me : it could be important.

  "I don't know exactly what you people behind me are plotting, but I can hear most of the details and three people in the crowd are recording it"

"I don't know exactly what you people behind me are plotting, but I can hear most of the details and three people in the crowd are recording it"

  "I'd love to stay and sign more things, but even more than that I'd love to go inside and grab some freeness and see the movie in a comfortable chair and hang out with my famous friends"

"I'd love to stay and sign more things, but even more than that I'd love to go inside and grab some freeness and see the movie in a comfortable chair and hang out with my famous friends"

  "I'll let you know if Oprah is okay, if what you say is true about her being kidnapped. But I might not come outside to say it, just follow me on twitter."

"I'll let you know if Oprah is okay, if what you say is true about her being kidnapped. But I might not come outside to say it, just follow me on twitter."

So... that was that. I'm not used to being confronted by Security at premieres who are adamant that they have the power to move me, and additionally have the power to make me regret it if they're called on the possibility that they DON'T have the power to move me. What I do is just a hobby, and it shouldn't come down to ego and power and laws.... it's just meant to be fun. I'm glad that Security in the end appeared to come to a more enlightened and tolerant view of my/our presence where we were...... clearly we didn't mean any harm and I think ultimately they saw that. (Maybe it also helped that the three of us white guys were eventually joined by some women who were excitedly eager to see and photograph Oprah who would have probably been crushed to have been turned away!)

Until (I dearly hope) next time?

Feel free to follow me on Facebook and/or on Twitter in the hope that there IS a next time, or commiserate with me by checking out my archive of premieres.