12th Oct - The 'Kung Fu Jungle' World Premiere

October 12th, 2014.

Despite the rain, I made it in to London today for not one but two premieres for the BFI London Film Festival - I left before the third one because even I have limits to how much water I'm willing to have drain into me, my clothes and my camera equipment.

The more interesting of the two : a world premiere for the Chinese Movie 'Kung Fu Jungle' starring Donnie Yen.

Here's how it went down:

"Thanks Jake. You take me to all the nicest places". Leicester Square premieres wouldn't be my first choice for a hot date. Best case scenario, it merely rains. Worst case scenario, I get to look inferior and unmanly when compared against the likes of Jeremy Renner, Benedict Cumberbatch and in this case Donnie Yen.

"Thanks Jake. You take me to all the nicest places". Leicester Square premieres wouldn't be my first choice for a hot date. Best case scenario, it merely rains. Worst case scenario, I get to look inferior and unmanly when compared against the likes of Jeremy Renner, Benedict Cumberbatch and in this case Donnie Yen.

In a bit of a rare situation, I was able to take in a premiere at one cinema in Leicester Square (The Odeon West End), walk to the other for the second premiere (here the Empire), and finally walk back to the first for a THIRD premiere. Although that one looked so wet and miserable I elected to head home instead.

In a bit of a rare situation, I was able to take in a premiere at one cinema in Leicester Square (The Odeon West End), walk to the other for the second premiere (here the Empire), and finally walk back to the first for a THIRD premiere. Although that one looked so wet and miserable I elected to head home instead.

My first spot seemed to be about 70% 'view of umbrellas', 25% 'view of security guards' and the rest mostly raincoats and wet hair. (I hope I've established the glitz and glamour of the occasion adequately)

My first spot seemed to be about 70% 'view of umbrellas', 25% 'view of security guards' and the rest mostly raincoats and wet hair. (I hope I've established the glitz and glamour of the occasion adequately)

I switched my position to a location that had less views of security and more of umbrellas, directly behind the media who'd hopefully provide me with front-on views of the stars (Sadly, this was not to be - the stars elected not to get wet by never moving out of the covered area)

I switched my position to a location that had less views of security and more of umbrellas, directly behind the media who'd hopefully provide me with front-on views of the stars (Sadly, this was not to be - the stars elected not to get wet by never moving out of the covered area)

"Have you seen 'Gone Girl'? It totally rocks!!" Teddy Chan directed this film and wants to know where exactly his umbrella is. I'm currently wearing a beanie and its ability to absorb much more water is looking a little bit dicey. And 'Gone Girl' does indeed totally rock.

"Have you seen 'Gone Girl'? It totally rocks!!" Teddy Chan directed this film and wants to know where exactly his umbrella is. I'm currently wearing a beanie and its ability to absorb much more water is looking a little bit dicey. And 'Gone Girl' does indeed totally rock.

Our stars have now arrived, and you're probably thinking "Dude, what's with the crappy autofocus??" and overall you'd be correct, but in this case I was actually shooting THROUGH a plastic umbrella held aloft by a media crew.

Our stars have now arrived, and you're probably thinking "Dude, what's with the crappy autofocus??" and overall you'd be correct, but in this case I was actually shooting THROUGH a plastic umbrella held aloft by a media crew.

I can't remember the next time I wanted an umbrella raised about 5cm, or for me to be about half a metre shorter. (I'd also wish for more hair and a more sunny outlook on life if I felt wishing it would make a difference).

I can't remember the next time I wanted an umbrella raised about 5cm, or for me to be about half a metre shorter. (I'd also wish for more hair and a more sunny outlook on life if I felt wishing it would make a difference).

Amazingly I'm not half a metre shorter, nor do I have more hair or a sudden optimistic disposition. However, an umbrella has been raised about ten centimetres and I've now photographed Donnie Yen. Excitingly, I now feel I've accomplished more today than merely get soaking wet!

Amazingly I'm not half a metre shorter, nor do I have more hair or a sudden optimistic disposition. However, an umbrella has been raised about ten centimetres and I've now photographed Donnie Yen. Excitingly, I now feel I've accomplished more today than merely get soaking wet!

A quick look at Donnie Yen's filmography reveals he's won Action Choreography awards across numerous festivals in years including 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008. He also won a 'Most Charismatic Actor' award at the 2009 Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers, which is a rather intriguingly specific and complimentary award to hand out..

A quick look at Donnie Yen's filmography reveals he's won Action Choreography awards across numerous festivals in years including 2003, 2004, 2006, and 2008. He also won a 'Most Charismatic Actor' award at the 2009 Hong Kong Society of Cinematographers, which is a rather intriguingly specific and complimentary award to hand out..

Good news for my "Blurry, Therefore Art" portfolio. One of these days if I ever have a second Art Exhibition somehow, I definitely intend to sell these pieces for much more than my regular, mundane, in-focus works.

Good news for my "Blurry, Therefore Art" portfolio. One of these days if I ever have a second Art Exhibition somehow, I definitely intend to sell these pieces for much more than my regular, mundane, in-focus works.

"If you can tell me the native-language title of even ONE of my movies, I'll even dedicate this autograph to whoever you want". My favourite Donnie Yeng film is "Hero (2002)" which I watched while on holiday in Hong Kong. I had to go to imdb though to find out that it's called "Ying xiong".. which Google Translate weirdly seems to think is English.

"If you can tell me the native-language title of even ONE of my movies, I'll even dedicate this autograph to whoever you want". My favourite Donnie Yeng film is "Hero (2002)" which I watched while on holiday in Hong Kong. I had to go to imdb though to find out that it's called "Ying xiong".. which Google Translate weirdly seems to think is English.

Our heroes pose again and I manage to snap a few more shots between heads, umbrellas, raindrops and a slowly faltering Pentax autofocus that seems to draw no great distinction between human faces and water particles.

Our heroes pose again and I manage to snap a few more shots between heads, umbrellas, raindrops and a slowly faltering Pentax autofocus that seems to draw no great distinction between human faces and water particles.

Cecilia Wang, imdb eventually informs me, is Donnie Yen's wife. I don't usually make it a habit to photograph 'civilians' at premieres, but I want to celebrate one of the more in-focus shots I managed during the half-hour.

Cecilia Wang, imdb eventually informs me, is Donnie Yen's wife. I don't usually make it a habit to photograph 'civilians' at premieres, but I want to celebrate one of the more in-focus shots I managed during the half-hour.

Most of Donnie Yen's acting awards (as distinct from fight choreography awards) come from his portrayal of Yip Man in the movie of that man. Rather amazingly, I've also seen that movie.... but I didn't like it as much as "Hero". (I'm sure Donnie Yen doesn't care at all as long as he can stay dry)

Most of Donnie Yen's acting awards (as distinct from fight choreography awards) come from his portrayal of Yip Man in the movie of that man. Rather amazingly, I've also seen that movie.... but I didn't like it as much as "Hero". (I'm sure Donnie Yen doesn't care at all as long as he can stay dry)

"The shirt? Oh, it's real. Unless you're working off Google Translate, in which case I have no idea what you just asked"

"The shirt? Oh, it's real. Unless you're working off Google Translate, in which case I have no idea what you just asked"

I will concede that I have not seen any movie in Bing Bai / Michelle Bai's filmography... but of all of them "The Viral Factor (2012)" has the coolest poster.

I will concede that I have not seen any movie in Bing Bai / Michelle Bai's filmography... but of all of them "The Viral Factor (2012)" has the coolest poster.

Needs more rain, needs more flash. Otherwise, I think it's pretty close to "blurry AND confusing, therefore TWICE as Art" status.

Needs more rain, needs more flash. Otherwise, I think it's pretty close to "blurry AND confusing, therefore TWICE as Art" status.

Teddy Chan, background : "Back when Beijing had the Olympics, I heard it rumoured that we blew up any clouds in the sky that threatened rain. You didn't think of that?" I... wish we'd thought of that.

Teddy Chan, background : "Back when Beijing had the Olympics, I heard it rumoured that we blew up any clouds in the sky that threatened rain. You didn't think of that?" I... wish we'd thought of that.

"You don't have to blow up clouds if you don't want to... it's just an option"

"You don't have to blow up clouds if you don't want to... it's just an option"

"Please sign something! Anything! I'll even take a high-five! Or a polite nod.... damnit, I'll take eye-contact....!!" Or failing that, ignore me completely but make it obvious that you're doing so.

"Please sign something! Anything! I'll even take a high-five! Or a polite nod.... damnit, I'll take eye-contact....!!"
Or failing that, ignore me completely but make it obvious that you're doing so.

So... that was a rare foreign language world premiere in London, which is pretty great. The rain and crowds were a challenge, but I ended up doing okay -- so if you ever want to hire me for your Torrential Downpour Corporate Event Or Other Important Thing, send me an email at the contact address below. But please don't send me any body-part enlargement pill advertisements....

Until next time!

oh, and it's another one for "The Archive of Movie Premieres" the link to which is Here

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