16th Oct - the BFI LFF 'Foxcatcher' Premiere

October 16th, 2014.

Well... something bad happened. I got to Leicester Square to learn that owing to the predictable (but underestimated-by-me) consequence of me shooting so many torrential-downpour premieres this London Film Festival (eg. Yesterday), my MOST IMPORTANT lens is broken. It's got condensation inside the lens elements and .... well... this is BAD.

Worse would be not finding out until you're literally at the premiere.

So... that's kind of what happened. Here's how it went down.

*obviously* I don't go to a premiere with just one (1) DSLR... although my decision to go with a long-term interim mobile phone so primitive it doesn't have a camera might have come back to hurt me. Still... it's all on one camera (D700) and one non-zoom prime (50mm f1.8). Shit just got real people. I might start swearing and everything.

*obviously* I don't go to a premiere with just one (1) DSLR... although my decision to go with a long-term interim mobile phone so primitive it doesn't have a camera might have come back to hurt me. Still... it's all on one camera (D700) and one non-zoom prime (50mm f1.8). Shit just got real people. I might start swearing and everything.

Our list for this premiere has only FOUR photos. And to the dismay of a whole bunch of teenage girls to my right, absent from that list was the mighty Channing Tatum. They tried to put a brave face on and say they also liked Steve Carrell and were looking forward to meeting him, but it was hard to be convinced....

Our list for this premiere has only FOUR photos. And to the dismay of a whole bunch of teenage girls to my right, absent from that list was the mighty Channing Tatum. They tried to put a brave face on and say they also liked Steve Carrell and were looking forward to meeting him, but it was hard to be convinced....

This is not one of the four people on The List, however he was recognised as a TV (?) personality (?) from Ireland (?) by the guy from Dublin to my left, who was here desperate to get Steve Carrell to sign an Anchorman poster.

This is not one of the four people on The List, however he was recognised as a TV (?) personality (?) from Ireland (?) by the guy from Dublin to my left, who was here desperate to get Steve Carrell to sign an Anchorman poster.

That blue illuminated dot in the distance is Steve Carrell. It's at distances like this that I reach for my trusty Tamron 70-200mm attached to the sometimes-savvy autofocus of the Pentax it's mounted on and remember that I just found out that the lens makes the world look like it's in perma-fog. Awesome though it is (and it is), a 50mm prime lens doesn't have much reach.

That blue illuminated dot in the distance is Steve Carrell. It's at distances like this that I reach for my trusty Tamron 70-200mm attached to the sometimes-savvy autofocus of the Pentax it's mounted on and remember that I just found out that the lens makes the world look like it's in perma-fog. Awesome though it is (and it is), a 50mm prime lens doesn't have much reach.

On the plus (and also rather awesome side) the silvery-haired SIX-TIME Oscar Nominee (incl. 1x win) Vanessa Redgrave struts down the carpet to be interviewed, and I choose to believe she's brought an entourage / posse of truly spectacular size... alternatively she might just be overtaking slow-moving civilians to her right.

On the plus (and also rather awesome side) the silvery-haired SIX-TIME Oscar Nominee (incl. 1x win) Vanessa Redgrave struts down the carpet to be interviewed, and I choose to believe she's brought an entourage / posse of truly spectacular size... alternatively she might just be overtaking slow-moving civilians to her right.

"Hells no, I ain't signing. I'll be hangin' with mah b1tch-h0s over they-ah". Sorry for the language, but I just lost my #1 lens and I'm still raw. Also : Vanesssa Redgrave came over and signed because she's super-classy and nice.

"Hells no, I ain't signing. I'll be hangin' with mah b1tch-h0s over they-ah". Sorry for the language, but I just lost my #1 lens and I'm still raw. Also : Vanesssa Redgrave came over and signed because she's super-classy and nice.

"I smile like this because I know at least six pressure-points that can incapacitate a fully-grown man. Got a problem with that?". No, ma'am, because I choose to believe it too.

"I smile like this because I know at least six pressure-points that can incapacitate a fully-grown man. Got a problem with that?". No, ma'am, because I choose to believe it too.

"well, standing here in this ill-lit non-carpeted nook behind the mysterious and vaguely chemically-hazardous-looking yellow "H" on the wall behind me reminds me that maybe I'll be treated even better once I get that seventh Oscar Nomination. What do you think?" I say Vanessa Redgrave would win in an arm-wrestle.

"well, standing here in this ill-lit non-carpeted nook behind the mysterious and vaguely chemically-hazardous-looking yellow "H" on the wall behind me reminds me that maybe I'll be treated even better once I get that seventh Oscar Nomination. What do you think?" I say Vanessa Redgrave would win in an arm-wrestle.

If you can pull your focus away from the blurry girls young enough to be your daughter, the man in the background of this particular lens I'm using is director Bennett Miller, who got an Oscar nomination for directing the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Capote (2006)" and whose follow-up film "Moneyball (2011)" with Brad Pitt was in my opinion even better.

If you can pull your focus away from the blurry girls young enough to be your daughter, the man in the background of this particular lens I'm using is director Bennett Miller, who got an Oscar nomination for directing the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Capote (2006)" and whose follow-up film "Moneyball (2011)" with Brad Pitt was in my opinion even better.

Random female on the Red Carpet. She's not in this movie, but crucially she's at a great range for me to take photos, and until director Bennett Miller gets interviewed, Steve Carrell heads towards our part of the crowd, or Sienna Miller arrives she'll tide me over.

Random female on the Red Carpet. She's not in this movie, but crucially she's at a great range for me to take photos, and until director Bennett Miller gets interviewed, Steve Carrell heads towards our part of the crowd, or Sienna Miller arrives she'll tide me over.

"But if that lens is broken and/or un-usable, how will he use to take photos at tomorrow's TWO premieres and Sunday's Gala-closing "Fury" premiere? I feel so sorry for him. " I feel so sorry for me too.

"But if that lens is broken and/or un-usable, how will he use to take photos at tomorrow's TWO premieres and Sunday's Gala-closing "Fury" premiere? I feel so sorry for him. " I feel so sorry for me too.

"Still... I'll try to go on in a spirit of optimism and determination". Hmpf. Easy for him to say, his last movie got a Palm D'Or nomination for best film AND won him the best director award at Cannes this year. Meanwhile, my premiere for yesterday's "Whiplash", at which my lens broke in the service of photographing J.K.Simmons, has had views numbering what I will optimistically exaggerate as "low double digits"

"Still... I'll try to go on in a spirit of optimism and determination". Hmpf. Easy for him to say, his last movie got a Palm D'Or nomination for best film AND won him the best director award at Cannes this year. Meanwhile, my premiere for yesterday's "Whiplash", at which my lens broke in the service of photographing J.K.Simmons, has had views numbering what I will optimistically exaggerate as "low double digits"

Oh, but there is one other thing I didn't mention. Purely on a random whim, I brought my little GoPro to this event. And while its zoom is even worse than the Nikon's.... as well as the megapixels.... and the autofocus... and the range... and the low-light capability. The point is : it shows both a small picture of Steve Carrell and they guy to my right who was desperate to get his poster signed. Sadly, it wasn't. It was that kind of day.

Oh, but there is one other thing I didn't mention. Purely on a random whim, I brought my little GoPro to this event. And while its zoom is even worse than the Nikon's.... as well as the megapixels.... and the autofocus... and the range... and the low-light capability. The point is : it shows both a small picture of Steve Carrell and they guy to my right who was desperate to get his poster signed. Sadly, it wasn't. It was that kind of day.

Another shot... even closer. This GoPro has possibilities. And since I have it in a waterproof casing at all times, it could yet be the ULTIMATE camera of final resort.

Another shot... even closer. This GoPro has possibilities. And since I have it in a waterproof casing at all times, it could yet be the ULTIMATE camera of final resort.

Excitingly, Steve Carrell has moved into the range of the slightly more robust and capable full-frame Nikon...

Excitingly, Steve Carrell has moved into the range of the slightly more robust and capable full-frame Nikon...

... where he is promptly blocked by a PA chatting up the pretty girl with The List from earlier. I'm not really sure... ordinarily I'd fantasize about throwing something, but all I've got handy is my GoPro and while it'd survive the impact, I kind of need in its crucial capacity of taking photos.

... where he is promptly blocked by a PA chatting up the pretty girl with The List from earlier. I'm not really sure... ordinarily I'd fantasize about throwing something, but all I've got handy is my GoPro and while it'd survive the impact, I kind of need in its crucial capacity of taking photos.

Still... on the Awesome side, the beautiful Sienna Miller has taken up a spot on the Red Carpet, facing in my direction, to be interviewed....

Still... on the Awesome side, the beautiful Sienna Miller has taken up a spot on the Red Carpet, facing in my direction, to be interviewed....

.... until she's blocked by Awesome Moustache Guy, who at the last few premieres had merely awesomely been displaying his one-month-early Mo without blocking views of actresses. I'd throw something, but Francis is borrowing my otherwise useless K3 with its vaguely okay 40mm pancake lens. And as noted, I need the GoPro. And whatever else, the Moustache is frikkin' amazing.

.... until she's blocked by Awesome Moustache Guy, who at the last few premieres had merely awesomely been displaying his one-month-early Mo without blocking views of actresses. I'd throw something, but Francis is borrowing my otherwise useless K3 with its vaguely okay 40mm pancake lens. And as noted, I need the GoPro. And whatever else, the Moustache is frikkin' amazing.

Sienna Miller's look of disbelief and disdain sees Awesome Moustache Guy scuttle sideways about a meter. Between her and Vanessa Redgrave, you could easily harass and intimidate a small-to-medium sized town. And be both stunning-looking and classy while doing so.

Sienna Miller's look of disbelief and disdain sees Awesome Moustache Guy scuttle sideways about a meter. Between her and Vanessa Redgrave, you could easily harass and intimidate a small-to-medium sized town. And be both stunning-looking and classy while doing so.

For all of three frames at 5fps, Steve Carrell regarded our part of the crowd with about the same regard as Sienna Miller did Amazing Moustache Guy moments ago.

For all of three frames at 5fps, Steve Carrell regarded our part of the crowd with about the same regard as Sienna Miller did Amazing Moustache Guy moments ago.

"I just wanna know what the "H" on the yellow sign stands for, Bob. Come back to me when you know, or don't come back"

"I just wanna know what the "H" on the yellow sign stands for, Bob. Come back to me when you know, or don't come back"

I only recently photographed Sienna Miller a bit over a week ago at the "Effie Grey" premiere... but I would certainly not be averse to photographing her at more premieres, whether it's movies she's in, or whether she just attends, John Hurt-like, because she got an invite.

I only recently photographed Sienna Miller a bit over a week ago at the "Effie Grey" premiere... but I would certainly not be averse to photographing her at more premieres, whether it's movies she's in, or whether she just attends, John Hurt-like, because she got an invite.

I had the GoPro taking one photo every half-second and in my other hand while I concentrated on using the Nikon, hoping that the wide angle would prove some interesting views taken purely by happy accident. This? Might be one of those.

I had the GoPro taking one photo every half-second and in my other hand while I concentrated on using the Nikon, hoping that the wide angle would prove some interesting views taken purely by happy accident. This? Might be one of those.

"If that guy were to start a Kickstarter campaign for a new Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens, I'd totally make sure to contribute". And I'd make sure to let you.

"If that guy were to start a Kickstarter campaign for a new Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens, I'd totally make sure to contribute". And I'd make sure to let you.

"I love your dress. But don't worry, you don't have to demean us both by complimenting mine, which is obviously not as nice" "But it is warmer...." "Yes, it certainly is"

"I love your dress. But don't worry, you don't have to demean us both by complimenting mine, which is obviously not as nice"
"But it is warmer...."
"Yes, it certainly is"

And one more photo from the GoPro. By no means the worst photo I've taken at a premiere.

And one more photo from the GoPro. By no means the worst photo I've taken at a premiere.

So... that was another one. It was frustrating, it was disheartening... it'll probably be both expensive and inconvenient to try to find a replacement for the Tamron, and it almost certainly won't be solved in time for tomorrows, or in any case Sunday's or Monday's premieres.

But there are worse emergencies, like my laundry and the pile of dishes in my sink back at the apartment. By which I mean - which Bentley to be driven home in, and whether I should invite Charlize Theron up to St Albans on Saturday or wait until next week when London Film Festival is over.

Until next time! (ie. Tomorrow) when I'll complain about how I miss my lens and how inferior my kit-lens replacement is (ironically... it's waterproof).

UPDATE : IT APPEARS THE LENS IS OKAY. I UNSCREWED OFF THE FRONT ELEMENT/CAP, WIPED AND DRIED IT AND LET IT REST... THIS MORNING IT WAS UNFOGGY. MIGHT HAVE A BIT OF LIFE IN IT YET (WOOHOO)

Either way, it's another movie for my "Archive of Movie Premieres". Feel free to take a look, feel free to follow me on Twitter @Berndt2_photo, or drop me a comment or email or the like.