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:
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.
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?