19 Oct - the BFI LFF Closing Gala 'Fury' Premiere

October 19th, 2014.

So, it's finally over for another year : the BFI London Film Festival and its one-a-day smorgasbord of small, smaller and occasionally disarmingly large and/or rainy and/or crowded premieres. I only signed off for three days - two of those for separate unrelated Film Composer events (a Hans Zimmer concert and a Patrick Doyle Screentalk), and one because I was tiiiiiired (yesterday. sorry, fans of Viggo Mortensen). Still... one day left, and one giant premiere.

I knew I was going to have to get in early, and even then I'd have no guarantee of success.

Here's how it went down

Let's just say I got up early enough to catch a train where late-night revellers from the prior evening in London were still doing things like this

Let's just say I got up early enough to catch a train where late-night revellers from the prior evening in London were still doing things like this

A mere 10 hours later, and with the number 65 on my wrist (or 59 if you read it upsidedown) I had my spot, right next to the stairs leading to the stage on which (I hoped) all the stars would be interviewed. It wasn't quite the 'reward' I was potentially 'entitled' to - I didn't get a front row spot facing the carpet, and to my left were a whole bunch of teen girls with numbers in the 200s and 300s.

A mere 10 hours later, and with the number 65 on my wrist (or 59 if you read it upsidedown) I had my spot, right next to the stairs leading to the stage on which (I hoped) all the stars would be interviewed. It wasn't quite the 'reward' I was potentially 'entitled' to - I didn't get a front row spot facing the carpet, and to my left were a whole bunch of teen girls with numbers in the 200s and 300s.

It was a big red carpet, stretching further to the right and with barriers extending further than that... PLUS the centre of Leicester Square was also packed. But my finger's hardly on the pulse of today's youth (not least of which the screaming girls next to me) - were they here for Brad Pitt? Shia LaBeouf? Logan Lerman? (if you said Logan, you're closest to the mark - screams from his fans were probably the loudest when they were called out)

It was a big red carpet, stretching further to the right and with barriers extending further than that... PLUS the centre of Leicester Square was also packed. But my finger's hardly on the pulse of today's youth (not least of which the screaming girls next to me) - were they here for Brad Pitt? Shia LaBeouf? Logan Lerman? (if you said Logan, you're closest to the mark - screams from his fans were probably the loudest when they were called out)

Here's today's list. And yes, I may have have framed it rather salaciously in this instance.

Here's today's list. And yes, I may have have framed it rather salaciously in this instance.

The thigh, legs and short dress (and list) belonged to this lady, who I will not objectify based on a random assortment of body parts (and ownership of a list)... although perhaps I already have. She's pretty though... (... this premiere featured an almost entirely male cast, so there's plenty of opportunities for objectification of the male form, if I can get around to recognising or bothering to photograph it)

The thigh, legs and short dress (and list) belonged to this lady, who I will not objectify based on a random assortment of body parts (and ownership of a list)... although perhaps I already have. She's pretty though... (... this premiere featured an almost entirely male cast, so there's plenty of opportunities for objectification of the male form, if I can get around to recognising or bothering to photograph it)

Wow. The person or people who owned these striking portraits with in a rather remote and late-opening public pen. Also, rumours were that Angelina Jolie would NOT be joining her husband on the red carpet this time.

Wow. The person or people who owned these striking portraits with in a rather remote and late-opening public pen. Also, rumours were that Angelina Jolie would NOT be joining her husband on the red carpet this time.

After about an hour of loud music that was a bit too contemporary (and rock'n'pop) to fit in with the World War II theme of the film, the stars finally began to arrive.

My spot is not along the main pen running alongside the Red Carpet, rather it faces the stage, and shooting over my shoulder requires balance and space I don't really have, even if the red carpet momentarily clears enough for me to photograph into the interview pens. This is Jon Bernthal facing vaguely forward, flanked by Michael Pena and Logan Lerman.

My spot is not along the main pen running alongside the Red Carpet, rather it faces the stage, and shooting over my shoulder requires balance and space I don't really have, even if the red carpet momentarily clears enough for me to photograph into the interview pens. This is Jon Bernthal facing vaguely forward, flanked by Michael Pena and Logan Lerman.

If I can't shoot him from an extreme distance, it soon becomes clear that if anything I'm a bit too close to the main stage to use my primary portrait lens. Here again is Jon Bernthal, best known for being in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the television show The Walking Dead, and having his name screamed by the teen girls to my left.

If I can't shoot him from an extreme distance, it soon becomes clear that if anything I'm a bit too close to the main stage to use my primary portrait lens. Here again is Jon Bernthal, best known for being in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), the television show The Walking Dead, and having his name screamed by the teen girls to my left.

"Your adulation is appreciated, and, I personally believe, well-founded. I totally rock. Vote 1 Jon Bernthal.... who is me. Thank you"

"Your adulation is appreciated, and, I personally believe, well-founded. I totally rock. Vote 1 Jon Bernthal.... who is me. Thank you"

Our next arrival was actually somewhat of a late arrival, but next up to be interviewed on stage, and I'll be honest I'm having a hard time deciding whether I like the dress or her name better : "Alicia Von Rittberg"

Our next arrival was actually somewhat of a late arrival, but next up to be interviewed on stage, and I'll be honest I'm having a hard time deciding whether I like the dress or her name better : "Alicia Von Rittberg"

Alicia Von Rittberg departs the stage, where I did photograph her but even I have limits (minor, self-imposed) to what photos I'll publish on this site when people are oriented a certain way at a certain elevation on a stage I'm next to. Even the screaming girls to my left were momentarily quiet, making me like Alicia Von Rittberg even more.

Alicia Von Rittberg departs the stage, where I did photograph her but even I have limits (minor, self-imposed) to what photos I'll publish on this site when people are oriented a certain way at a certain elevation on a stage I'm next to. Even the screaming girls to my left were momentarily quiet, making me like Alicia Von Rittberg even more.

"I regret nothing!". Me neither!

"I regret nothing!". Me neither!

I'm a big fan of Michael Peña (slightly less than I'm now a new fan of Alicia Von Rittberg who I only just met, though) - I recognise him as far back as the underrated and fun Nic Cage "Gone in Sixty Seconds (1999)".

I'm a big fan of Michael Peña (slightly less than I'm now a new fan of Alicia Von Rittberg who I only just met, though) - I recognise him as far back as the underrated and fun Nic Cage "Gone in Sixty Seconds (1999)".

My view of the stage, as taken by my GoPro. So obviously when I wasn't being shoved and pushed by the teens to my left, I was pretty optimistic.

My view of the stage, as taken by my GoPro. So obviously when I wasn't being shoved and pushed by the teens to my left, I was pretty optimistic.

"I just wanna throw a bit of thanks out to my fellow Mexicanos on the westside... whether that be of Mexico, The USA or even Germany like this guy". Thanks, man. Appreciate the shout-out

"I just wanna throw a bit of thanks out to my fellow Mexicanos on the westside... whether that be of Mexico, The USA or even Germany like this guy". Thanks, man. Appreciate the shout-out

"Crash, Babel, The Lincoln Lawyer, End Of Watch, Gangster Squad, Battle Los Angeles.... nah, if I had to do a sequel it'd be to Gone in Sixty Seconds". Longer gaps between original and sequel have existed, but right now I can only think of Tron (1982)

"Crash, Babel, The Lincoln Lawyer, End Of Watch, Gangster Squad, Battle Los Angeles.... nah, if I had to do a sequel it'd be to Gone in Sixty Seconds". Longer gaps between original and sequel have existed, but right now I can only think of Tron (1982)

"Shia LeBeouf's beard was amazing to work with. And Shia himself was good, too". David Ayer is the director of this film, and his filmography includes the (I think) excellent End Of Watch (2012) which he wrote and directed, the very impressive Training Day (which he was the screenwriter for) and... well... he also wrote the first Fast & The Furious movie. Insofar as that had a writer, rather than notes where Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez would growl.

"Shia LeBeouf's beard was amazing to work with. And Shia himself was good, too". David Ayer is the director of this film, and his filmography includes the (I think) excellent End Of Watch (2012) which he wrote and directed, the very impressive Training Day (which he was the screenwriter for) and... well... he also wrote the first Fast & The Furious movie. Insofar as that had a writer, rather than notes where Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez would growl.

Next up to be interviewed, young Logan Lerman waits for his director to finish being interviewed, and the teen girls to my right go into writhing paroxysms of hysteria the likes of which I probably haven't seen since the movie World War Z, coincidentally starring Brad Pitt, who has arrived and is being interviewed over <indicates> there in the distance.

Next up to be interviewed, young Logan Lerman waits for his director to finish being interviewed, and the teen girls to my right go into writhing paroxysms of hysteria the likes of which I probably haven't seen since the movie World War Z, coincidentally starring Brad Pitt, who has arrived and is being interviewed over <indicates> there in the distance.

"I couldn't hear that... could you repeat the question? Or rather, could you sign it or write it down because that screaming is really really loud"

"I couldn't hear that... could you repeat the question? Or rather, could you sign it or write it down because that screaming is really really loud"

"Nope... still not hearing you. Maybe if you tweeted my assistant back in LA and she texted me what you're asking...?" Semaphore via nautical flags would be my suggestion.

"Nope... still not hearing you. Maybe if you tweeted my assistant back in LA and she texted me what you're asking...?" Semaphore via nautical flags would be my suggestion.

I just want to pause here a little and get on my soapbox briefly (feel free to skip this) but in the past I have called the autograph dealers "scum", whose presence infects premieres with the kind of money-driven aggression that can make them very unpleasant unless they voluntarily sequester themselves at the drop-off point where chances of getting signatures are greatest.

However, I have discovered a new form of much greater aggression, and surprisingly it comes in the form of teenage girls at premieres. Their response to anyone with the vaguest modicum of fame verges on the hysterical and sees them mercilessly barge, shove, wriggle and claw their way forward without any hesitation. What's worse, they act safe in the knowledge that in any confrontation between them and an adult male will automatically see the male considered the aggressor. It's appalling. I wish I had pepper spray handy...

(If you're a teen girl reading this, you're obviously exempt from this criticism. I'm sure you and your friends are all exemplary vanguards of a great new generation)

But I guess my advice is : stay away from smelly unwashed homeless autograph dealers if you can.... but DEFINITELY steer clear of teenage girls anywhere near Logan Lerman.

We resume....

Good news : Shia LaBeouf's beard has brought the actor himself as its date for this event. The fact that the teenage girls are still screaming and shoving relentlessly may safely be inferred.

Good news : Shia LaBeouf's beard has brought the actor himself as its date for this event. The fact that the teenage girls are still screaming and shoving relentlessly may safely be inferred.

"Is my beard real? What do you think -- of course not!"

"Is my beard real? What do you think -- of course not!"

"I just want to... want to..... reach out and...." "Please don't"

"I just want to... want to..... reach out and...."
"Please don't"

"Baaaby... sure I'm drunk... but if I kissed you right now, do you think you could find Logan Lerman and kiss him? I think that would be almost like me kissing him. Also... is that beard real?"

"Baaaby... sure I'm drunk... but if I kissed you right now, do you think you could find Logan Lerman and kiss him? I think that would be almost like me kissing him. Also... is that beard real?"

"I think Voldermort was misunderstood, is all. We were all just kids, making mistakes...." Jason Isaacs played the villainous Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. And to think, I only photographed Professor Snape one premiere ago (and Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter himself - will be in Leicester Square tomorrow for the movie "Horns")

"I think Voldermort was misunderstood, is all. We were all just kids, making mistakes...." Jason Isaacs played the villainous Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. And to think, I only photographed Professor Snape one premiere ago (and Daniel Radcliffe - Harry Potter himself - will be in Leicester Square tomorrow for the movie "Horns")

At this point, interviewer Edith Bowman left the stage, and somebody called out "Aren't you going to interview Brad Pitt up there?" And she said... no.

Oh.

"Buddy, can I grab that microphone?" Instead of being interviewed, Brad Pitt gave a quick shout-out to the fans in Leicester Square. He then did more media interviews and then returned to signing autographs. But... but... my spot next to the stage was.... RIGHT NEXT TO THE STAGE. The one he would now not be interviewed on.

"Buddy, can I grab that microphone?" Instead of being interviewed, Brad Pitt gave a quick shout-out to the fans in Leicester Square. He then did more media interviews and then returned to signing autographs. But... but... my spot next to the stage was.... RIGHT NEXT TO THE STAGE. The one he would now not be interviewed on.

Brad Pitt and I share a moment, but it wasn't enough for me to get an autograph on a photo I'd taken at the Baftas in 2012 when we shared a slightly different but somewhat related moment.

Brad Pitt and I share a moment, but it wasn't enough for me to get an autograph on a photo I'd taken at the Baftas in 2012 when we shared a slightly different but somewhat related moment.

Brad Pitt signs near my area. Either that or I've just taken a screen-grab from the movie 'World War Z' the zombie movie he starred in and whose premiere I *just* missed.

Brad Pitt signs near my area. Either that or I've just taken a screen-grab from the movie 'World War Z' the zombie movie he starred in and whose premiere I *just* missed.

Brad Pitt does a few more interviews, the crush of the teen girls behind and to the side and behind me has reduced to breathable levels, and the guy in the background of this shot really REALLY wants to take that photo with his iPad.

Brad Pitt does a few more interviews, the crush of the teen girls behind and to the side and behind me has reduced to breathable levels, and the guy in the background of this shot really REALLY wants to take that photo with his iPad.

"But Brad! You can't leave us! What if there's a zombie outbreak?" The first thing I'd think about doing is killing the girls next to me. Because I think they'd have even less moral scruples as zombies than they do as human beings.

"But Brad! You can't leave us! What if there's a zombie outbreak?" The first thing I'd think about doing is killing the girls next to me. Because I think they'd have even less moral scruples as zombies than they do as human beings.

Brad Pitt heads indoors to do photos and introduce the film, but promises to return and sign some more. And because he's effectively a AAA-lister, his promise does have some plausibility. But will he stay inside for the full 134min runtime, or leave earlier? I'm betting (also hoping) the latter.

Brad Pitt heads indoors to do photos and introduce the film, but promises to return and sign some more. And because he's effectively a AAA-lister, his promise does have some plausibility. But will he stay inside for the full 134min runtime, or leave earlier? I'm betting (also hoping) the latter.

About 10-15mins later, the stars begin to exit. Jason Isaacs has either been summoned by the dark lord, or is heading to the afterparty (or both, if Voldemort is at the afterparty)

About 10-15mins later, the stars begin to exit. Jason Isaacs has either been summoned by the dark lord, or is heading to the afterparty (or both, if Voldemort is at the afterparty)

"Worst popcorn ever, right?" Jon Bernthal exits next, followed by Michael Peña.

"Worst popcorn ever, right?" Jon Bernthal exits next, followed by Michael Peña.

David Ayer Staredown!! Seems like I won't be getting a Brad Pitt autograph OR the five dollars David Ayer owes me

David Ayer Staredown!! Seems like I won't be getting a Brad Pitt autograph OR the five dollars David Ayer owes me

"I know I earn tens of millions of dollars per movie, but obviously I don't carry it on me, for precisely the reason you might expect" True to his word, though, Brad Pitt did sign in the far reaches. I do believe the dude with the large Brad Pitt Art got it signed (not sure if he also signed the Angelina Jolie one...)

"I know I earn tens of millions of dollars per movie, but obviously I don't carry it on me, for precisely the reason you might expect" True to his word, though, Brad Pitt did sign in the far reaches. I do believe the dude with the large Brad Pitt Art got it signed (not sure if he also signed the Angelina Jolie one...)

Didn't get the autograph, but glad I stayed til the end.

Didn't get the autograph, but glad I stayed til the end.

So.. that's the end of BFI London Film Festival for 2014 and another movie for The Archive of Movie Premieres which resides Here. Regular Premieres are scheduled to resume..... tomorrow, weirdly.

Until then!

By the way, 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.