01 Dec 2014 - 'The Hobbit : Battle of the Five Armies' World Premiere

I'd never been to a Hobbit premiere, and this was the final one and my last chance.

I missed the 2012 Hobbit premiere because I was in Australia and it was London, then I missed the 2013 Hobbit premiere because I was in London and the premiere was in Berlin. And this time the premiere was on a Monday and people had been camping out from the previous THURSDAY, while I was going to be in (of all countries) Germany until the Sunday evening the night before.

By the way... I've put a shorter version of this premiere journal onto Redbubble

So I got to Leicester Square early on Monday morning, to find that 1,600 wristbands had already been given out for the premiere a day earlier, and the queue for an unknown number of the remainder was over 100 people long at 6:30am. I couldn't stay. By the time I returned at 11am, there were multiple queues numbering some 400 long, and security were turning people away, not even knowing how many wristbands remained ('not enough' was the clear message).

Needless to say, things were looking very grim. Here's how it rather unexpectedly went down.

 

Settle in.. because this is a long one (In my defence : it's a world premiere and this movie features a LOT of dwarves).

Is this 'Red/Green/Blue/Magenta screen thing' yet another way Peter Jackson wants to change the way we experience cinema? Because I'd prefer it if 'making good movies rather than stretching out trilogies' was the primary innovation.

Is this 'Red/Green/Blue/Magenta screen thing' yet another way Peter Jackson wants to change the way we experience cinema? Because I'd prefer it if 'making good movies rather than stretching out trilogies' was the primary innovation.

I found a spot alongside one of 3 separate queues for wristband holders, of whom I was not one. And no, my plan was not to distract my friend Mo (who had #1079) and either subtly steal and remove his wristband... or his arm at the elbow with the small Swiss Army knife. (We're friends... and there are medics nearby to help staunch the blood flow)

I found a spot alongside one of 3 separate queues for wristband holders, of whom I was not one. And no, my plan was not to distract my friend Mo (who had #1079) and either subtly steal and remove his wristband... or his arm at the elbow with the small Swiss Army knife. (We're friends... and there are medics nearby to help staunch the blood flow)

The setup for this premiere is huge, stretching across two full 'arms' emanating from a giant stage. My monopd has a camera with a wide-angle lens on it and I can certainly take photos like this type all evening... but I'm even more hopeful that my angled view of the stage is enough for even better shots.

The setup for this premiere is huge, stretching across two full 'arms' emanating from a giant stage. My monopd has a camera with a wide-angle lens on it and I can certainly take photos like this type all evening... but I'm even more hopeful that my angled view of the stage is enough for even better shots.

A few hours pass and it's now dark, and the crowd where I am has grown considerably. The ones hiding inside the 'nest of umbrellas' stored in a large box that's over 50cm high next to 'Muriel's Kitchen' will be lucky if they're not told to get out. My position is safer than theirs. I'm standing on pavement. Upon which I have placed a step-stool.

A few hours pass and it's now dark, and the crowd where I am has grown considerably. The ones hiding inside the 'nest of umbrellas' stored in a large box that's over 50cm high next to 'Muriel's Kitchen' will be lucky if they're not told to get out. My position is safer than theirs. I'm standing on pavement. Upon which I have placed a step-stool.

I do this for most premieres : draw a small sketch map... but for this one it seems particularly appropriate since Map Porn is a bit of a feature of Lord of the Rings.. My position ('Me!') is at the bottom, about a centimetre in from the middle fold, and then an arrow shows where I am. That white rectangle is a model of a London Bus 'artwork'. For the purpose of scale, a typical full-size premire would be less than half this size.

I do this for most premieres : draw a small sketch map... but for this one it seems particularly appropriate since Map Porn is a bit of a feature of Lord of the Rings.. My position ('Me!') is at the bottom, about a centimetre in from the middle fold, and then an arrow shows where I am. That white rectangle is a model of a London Bus 'artwork'. For the purpose of scale, a typical full-size premire would be less than half this size.

They're saying "OneLastTime" like there's no chance Peter Jackson won't turn The Silmarillion into a nine-volume standalone series, or JJ Abrams will do an Episode VII

They're saying "OneLastTime" like there's no chance Peter Jackson won't turn The Silmarillion into a nine-volume standalone series, or JJ Abrams will do an Episode VII

With DJ Impact having finished providing his own brand of  Rap-Over-Celtic Tunes to warm up the crowd, it's time for our REAL host for this evening, Alex Zane.

With DJ Impact having finished providing his own brand of  Rap-Over-Celtic Tunes to warm up the crowd, it's time for our REAL host for this evening, Alex Zane.

This premiere will also cross live to Wellington, New Zealand, which is having a much smaller premiere. It's morning there, and warm,... whereas in London right now is neither. Also, there's war a-brewing at the Burger King which has a Level 1 that overlooks the stage on the other side. Seems a lot of fans are there and not even slightly interested in  any of the fine (?) culinary choices offered by The King, whose Manager is not amused.

This premiere will also cross live to Wellington, New Zealand, which is having a much smaller premiere. It's morning there, and warm,... whereas in London right now is neither. Also, there's war a-brewing at the Burger King which has a Level 1 that overlooks the stage on the other side. Seems a lot of fans are there and not even slightly interested in  any of the fine (?) culinary choices offered by The King, whose Manager is not amused.

And we're off! This guy is a bit young to be one of the dwarves in this movie. I've been told he's "Bard's Son" which sounds vaguely plausible.. assuming I can remember who this 'Bard' is.

And we're off! This guy is a bit young to be one of the dwarves in this movie. I've been told he's "Bard's Son" which sounds vaguely plausible.. assuming I can remember who this 'Bard' is.

"Hold on a moment... one of my ferrets has gotten loose". Sylvester McCoy plays the earth-loving, weed-smoking Radagast the Brown in all three Hobbit movies.

"Hold on a moment... one of my ferrets has gotten loose". Sylvester McCoy plays the earth-loving, weed-smoking Radagast the Brown in all three Hobbit movies.

"Sure we should look after the environment. The world is ours to share, and not to deny others the joy of. But not Orcs and Goblins. F**k those guys."

"Sure we should look after the environment. The world is ours to share, and not to deny others the joy of. But not Orcs and Goblins. F**k those guys."

"Radagast said WHAT??" Billy Boyd was "Pippin" in the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And apparently sings a song on this movie's soundrack. Wow.. I remember when Enya used to do that. Now I'm saddened that Adele might not get the chance.

"Radagast said WHAT??" Billy Boyd was "Pippin" in the original Lord of the Rings Trilogy. And apparently sings a song on this movie's soundrack. Wow.. I remember when Enya used to do that. Now I'm saddened that Adele might not get the chance.

"Please don't fight over me. I'll answer both your questions ".

"Please don't fight over me. I'll answer both your questions ".

I think there's, like, thirteen Dwarves in this film... but other than the tall one, the old one, the deaf one, the young one, the fat one, the one with the really crazy hair and the one who falls in love with the Nice Elf Lady.... I'm struggling to remember them. I think he's one, though. (edited to add : he's Jed Brophy, who plays "Nori")

I think there's, like, thirteen Dwarves in this film... but other than the tall one, the old one, the deaf one, the young one, the fat one, the one with the really crazy hair and the one who falls in love with the Nice Elf Lady.... I'm struggling to remember them. I think he's one, though. (edited to add : he's Jed Brophy, who plays "Nori")

"I knew it was Jed Brophy... woo!! Nori fan in the house!!!" Despite the cold, and the limited view, crowd morale in my area remains remarkably high.

"I knew it was Jed Brophy... woo!! Nori fan in the house!!!" Despite the cold, and the limited view, crowd morale in my area remains remarkably high.

"I'll give you fourteen guesses at which Dwarf I play in the film". Damn... still not enough when you factor in mistakenly calling them after Snow White dwarves and random names of Ewoks. (edited to add : Adam Brown, who plays "Nori"). Also : background : Burger King Manager in background is clearing the first floor of anyone with a camera.

"I'll give you fourteen guesses at which Dwarf I play in the film". Damn... still not enough when you factor in mistakenly calling them after Snow White dwarves and random names of Ewoks. (edited to add : Adam Brown, who plays "Nori"). Also : background : Burger King Manager in background is clearing the first floor of anyone with a camera.

"No, I'm not Wicket, Chief Chirpa, Sleepy or Doc... ". Fortunately, I can categorically say thatI'm too tired to check exactly which one James Nesbitt plays in the film.

"No, I'm not Wicket, Chief Chirpa, Sleepy or Doc... ". Fortunately, I can categorically say thatI'm too tired to check exactly which one James Nesbitt plays in the film.

"One day they'll all have universal facial recognition on these things". But what about all the fun you can have with mistaken identities instead?

"One day they'll all have universal facial recognition on these things". But what about all the fun you can have with mistaken identities instead?

"Do I end up with the Nice Elf Lady? Firstly, Peter Jackson will kill me if I say, and secondly I haven't seen the Special Extended Edition that's probably going to be six hours long and might modify what I remember happened"

"Do I end up with the Nice Elf Lady? Firstly, Peter Jackson will kill me if I say, and secondly I haven't seen the Special Extended Edition that's probably going to be six hours long and might modify what I remember happened"

"Am I looking forward to watching the movie? Absolutely.. I can already taste the popcorn. By which I mean : first, second, third and fourth courses of popcorn."

"Am I looking forward to watching the movie? Absolutely.. I can already taste the popcorn. By which I mean : first, second, third and fourth courses of popcorn."

"And then he said : I know it's barely 250 pages long while Lord of the Rings is over 900, but I'm turning it into its own trilogy. I guess we all feel pretty stupid now for laughing back then."

"And then he said : I know it's barely 250 pages long while Lord of the Rings is over 900, but I'm turning it into its own trilogy. I guess we all feel pretty stupid now for laughing back then."

"Yes, yes... I'll sign your Guardians of the Galaxy figurines as well as your Hobbit figurines. I'll sign all your figurines". Lee Pace plays Elf King Thranduil in the movie. albeit with considerably longer (and blonde) hair.. The eye-brows look familar, though.

"Yes, yes... I'll sign your Guardians of the Galaxy figurines as well as your Hobbit figurines. I'll sign all your figurines". Lee Pace plays Elf King Thranduil in the movie. albeit with considerably longer (and blonde) hair.. The eye-brows look familar, though.

"The giant elk horns I was wearing? They were a style choice, and I stand by it. All elves go a little crazy between their 10th and 12th Centuries"   Incidentally : I recommend a toilet break here. This Journal still has a long way to run. But it's a premiere for a Peter Jackson film... so as a form of homage I'm still thinking I might do an Extended Special Edition of this journal with (say) 20% more photos...  

"The giant elk horns I was wearing? They were a style choice, and I stand by it. All elves go a little crazy between their 10th and 12th Centuries"

 

Incidentally : I recommend a toilet break here. This Journal still has a long way to run. But it's a premiere for a Peter Jackson film... so as a form of homage I'm still thinking I might do an Extended Special Edition of this journal with (say) 20% more photos...

 

Next on stage : Manu Bennett, who plays the white orc Azog the Defiler.. "What does a 'Defiler' do? Well... with the rise of the paper-less office, I do a whole lot less of the Defiling and a lot more of Desending of De Emails! HAahahahahaha!....... why is nobody laughing, Alex?"

Next on stage : Manu Bennett, who plays the white orc Azog the Defiler..
"What does a 'Defiler' do? Well... with the rise of the paper-less office, I do a whole lot less of the Defiling and a lot more of Desending of De Emails! HAahahahahaha!....... why is nobody laughing, Alex?"

Next up, I've made eye-contact with Philippa Boyens, who is a writer and producer of the film (and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which she won an Oscar for adapting)

Next up, I've made eye-contact with Philippa Boyens, who is a writer and producer of the film (and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, for which she won an Oscar for adapting)

"Please stop going on about how we adapted one book into three movies. You forget... the movie "Battleship (2012)" was adapted from a board game...".

"Please stop going on about how we adapted one book into three movies. You forget... the movie "Battleship (2012)" was adapted from a board game...".

"So if they call you Bard in the movie, is it fair to assume that we can expect a musical number from you in this final chapter?" Luke Evans is next on stage, and in contrast to a 3hr movie, I can handle a 3- or 4- disc soundtrack album..

"So if they call you Bard in the movie, is it fair to assume that we can expect a musical number from you in this final chapter?" Luke Evans is next on stage, and in contrast to a 3hr movie, I can handle a 3- or 4- disc soundtrack album..

"Interpretive At Gesture album maybe..."

"Interpretive At Gesture album maybe..."

OMG I think the crowd knows the 'lyrics' to the single from that  hand gesture album.

OMG I think the crowd knows the 'lyrics' to the single from that  hand gesture album.

Richard Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield (aka. the one dwarf I can remember the name of right now) in the movie. Although his wispy long perm, face beard and sword/axe are no longer on him so he effectively doesn't look much like himself. Plus he doesn't wear a tie in this movie... I don't think anybody in middle earth does..

Richard Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield (aka. the one dwarf I can remember the name of right now) in the movie. Although his wispy long perm, face beard and sword/axe are no longer on him so he effectively doesn't look much like himself. Plus he doesn't wear a tie in this movie... I don't think anybody in middle earth does..

Alex : "Sure I've got a ton of questions to ask Richard, but I'm really close to a high score on this game right now..."

Alex : "Sure I've got a ton of questions to ask Richard, but I'm really close to a high score on this game right now..."

How much longer can this journal get? Yeah... I'm sorry about that. It's a world premiere and an all-star-cast kind of thing, though... (I'm off to make a tea myself..)

We return, and since JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth only apparently contains about four or five women for every ten thousand male charcters, it's a pretty rare gift to have one of them (Evangeline Lilly, who plays 'Tauriel') on stage.

We return, and since JRR Tolkein's Middle Earth only apparently contains about four or five women for every ten thousand male charcters, it's a pretty rare gift to have one of them (Evangeline Lilly, who plays 'Tauriel') on stage.

"No... keep going. It's quite bewitching what you're doing" It's Evangeline Lilly!

"No... keep going. It's quite bewitching what you're doing" It's Evangeline Lilly!

I've made a connection with Evangeline Lilly! (maybe!) And I didn't have to proclaim my slightly embarrassing but nonetheless sincere adult love for the Hugh Jackman boxing movie "Real Steel" (which she was in) either!

I've made a connection with Evangeline Lilly! (maybe!) And I didn't have to proclaim my slightly embarrassing but nonetheless sincere adult love for the Hugh Jackman boxing movie "Real Steel" (which she was in) either!

"I got my first real six-string / bought it at the five-and-dime... I forget how the rest of it goes, but I can do a pretty mean air guitar solo..."  Also.. they've announced the arrival of Benedict Cumberbatch so that's probably the screaming you're hearing along with the cool air guitar riffs.

"I got my first real six-string / bought it at the five-and-dime... I forget how the rest of it goes, but I can do a pretty mean air guitar solo..."  Also.. they've announced the arrival of Benedict Cumberbatch so that's probably the screaming you're hearing along with the cool air guitar riffs.

Martin Freeman is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's all right with that.

Martin Freeman is not Benedict Cumberbatch, but he's all right with that.

"What's this movie trilogy called.... specifically? Oh, I'm sure it's got a really impressive name. I just forgot what it is"

"What's this movie trilogy called.... specifically? Oh, I'm sure it's got a really impressive name. I just forgot what it is"

"So.. the One Ring. Do you have it on you?" "I don't know what you're talking about"

"So.. the One Ring. Do you have it on you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about"

"I know you cn't tell me anything about how this movie ends... but your old self was narrating this story in the future at the start of this film... so I'm guessing you survive?"

"I know you cn't tell me anything about how this movie ends... but your old self was narrating this story in the future at the start of this film... so I'm guessing you survive?"

"No need to call a cab... I'm signalling for an Eagle"

"No need to call a cab... I'm signalling for an Eagle"

It's Gandalf!! Ian McKellen is by far the best dressed man on stage so far . Alex Zane looks miffed.

It's Gandalf!! Ian McKellen is by far the best dressed man on stage so far . Alex Zane looks miffed.

"Two Oscar nominations, but neither for the six Lord of the Rings films or the four (five?) films I played Magneto? It boggles the mind".

"Two Oscar nominations, but neither for the six Lord of the Rings films or the four (five?) films I played Magneto? It boggles the mind".

Eye-contact / approval from Evangeline Lilly and now a blown air-kiss from Gandalf? It's been quite the day since I failed to even get  wristband to this crazy World Premiere. A glare of disdain from Sherlock would round out my day nicely.

Eye-contact / approval from Evangeline Lilly and now a blown air-kiss from Gandalf? It's been quite the day since I failed to even get  wristband to this crazy World Premiere. A glare of disdain from Sherlock would round out my day nicely.

"The tie. I must have it. Violently or otherwise, it shall be mine". Stephen Fry plays the Master of Laketown in the film. He and the tie are both pretty awesome.

"The tie. I must have it. Violently or otherwise, it shall be mine". Stephen Fry plays the Master of Laketown in the film. He and the tie are both pretty awesome.

"Just stop complaining about the one-book-three-movies-thing and watch this film. What are you going to watch instead? Transformers? Divergent? Those aren't in cinemas anymore, people."

"Just stop complaining about the one-book-three-movies-thing and watch this film. What are you going to watch instead? Transformers? Divergent? Those aren't in cinemas anymore, people."

The noise of the crowd Redoubles yet again, and...

Murderous glare from Benedict Cumberbatch? Yes, but sadly not aimed at me. I'll keep trying.

Murderous glare from Benedict Cumberbatch? Yes, but sadly not aimed at me. I'll keep trying.

Air-High-Five with Benedict Cumberbatch!

Air-High-Five with Benedict Cumberbatch!

Alex :"The ladiez... they don't scream that much for me, Benedict. Where am I going wrong?"

Alex :"The ladiez... they don't scream that much for me, Benedict. Where am I going wrong?"

"The fact that I'm both the voice of Smaug and The Necromancer isn't so much a spoiler as it is taken from the cast listning from imdb.com, Alex".

"The fact that I'm both the voice of Smaug and The Necromancer isn't so much a spoiler as it is taken from the cast listning from imdb.com, Alex".

"However, the fact that Andy Serkis both plays Gollum AND is second-unit director for these films is almost certainly worthy of further investigation..."

"However, the fact that Andy Serkis both plays Gollum AND is second-unit director for these films is almost certainly worthy of further investigation..."

"Good luck with getting girls to scream at you. I find that it's not so much about getting them to start as it is pleding for them to stop..."

"Good luck with getting girls to scream at you. I find that it's not so much about getting them to start as it is pleding for them to stop..."

Is this premiere journal EVER going to end?? Even I'm beginning to hope so. I'm holding out for Director Peter Jackson, obviously. But first..

"Check it out. That guy rocks." Who, me? But I didn't like more than about 40% of the Pirates of the Caribbean .... saga. But I guess that could make me cool to Orlando Bloom.

"Check it out. That guy rocks." Who, me? But I didn't like more than about 40% of the Pirates of the Caribbean .... saga. But I guess that could make me cool to Orlando Bloom.

"Sure I dream of Keira Knightley. That pun works better read aloud than written, though" I'm so very tired.

"Sure I dream of Keira Knightley. That pun works better read aloud than written, though" I'm so very tired.

Last person on stage.. I promise...!

It's Peter Jackson! I was so eager to get the monopod inot the air that I missed the part where he waved at our section of the crowd. D'oh.

It's Peter Jackson! I was so eager to get the monopod inot the air that I missed the part where he waved at our section of the crowd. D'oh.

In lieu of waving, Sir Peter Jackson elects to glower at me instead. He's entitled to that... I may have in the past called these movies a cynical (albeit well crafted) cash-grab from the studio and all involved.... to some extent.

In lieu of waving, Sir Peter Jackson elects to glower at me instead. He's entitled to that... I may have in the past called these movies a cynical (albeit well crafted) cash-grab from the studio and all involved.... to some extent.

"Those summer niiiiiights / Tell me more ... tell me MORE... ". Ah, those summer nights... in London. In Winter. I can't feel my legs. Could be the cold... could be the emotion of the moment.

"Those summer niiiiiights / Tell me more ... tell me MORE... ". Ah, those summer nights... in London. In Winter. I can't feel my legs. Could be the cold... could be the emotion of the moment.

"Honestly, when it's all said and done, the Box Set of all the films will be no wider than about this. Of course, we'ere talking without any packaging... just the discs lodged tightly against each other. I'm thinking somewhere around 70-80, with a total runtime of six or seven months."

"Honestly, when it's all said and done, the Box Set of all the films will be no wider than about this. Of course, we'ere talking without any packaging... just the discs lodged tightly against each other. I'm thinking somewhere around 70-80, with a total runtime of six or seven months."

So... that was that.

I'd taken about 700% more photos than I thought I'd be able to post when I first faced the calamity of effectivley being 2000th in line for a premiere I coudn't even get into.

So I kind of dodged a bullet there. That is if you think this kind of hobby and/or film is important in any way. And to me.. it kind of is. Plus it's another entry into "The Archive of Movie Premieres' - the first and only Lord of the Rings related one.

Until next time!

ps. If you want to know whenever I post a new premiere journal, feel free to follow me on twitter @berndt2_photo or on facebook by clicking here