20 Aug - The Maze Runner : event

August 20th, 2014.

I am much more of a fan of the well-oiled spontaneity of a London Red Carpet premiere than I am of having  "Meet the Filmmakers" event at The Apple Store, but I am a fan of movies, and the advantage is that they're well run, well moderated, and you get to hear as well as see your favourite (or not-yet-favourite) filmstars and filmmakers. And that's a good thing.

And even though you have to make reservations well in advance and even then the event fills up quickly, and even a reservation doesn't guarantee you a seat even when you get there AN HOUR BEFOREHAND..... it's a thing. And even if they can't at any given moment articulate what kind of camera is allowed at the event (is it no DSLRs? no zoom? no professional equipment? no interchangeable lenses?...), it's still good.

Here's how this one went down.

I arrived about an hour beforehand, and if you think this qualifies me for a seat (or even a spot in the first two rows) for an event with this young cast, you are deluded, good sir (madam). And, as per The Prophecy, the role of "dome haired girl who always sits or stands in front of me at an event like this" will be played by a real dome-haired girl who is standing in front of me at this event.

I arrived about an hour beforehand, and if you think this qualifies me for a seat (or even a spot in the first two rows) for an event with this young cast, you are deluded, good sir (madam). And, as per The Prophecy, the role of "dome haired girl who always sits or stands in front of me at an event like this" will be played by a real dome-haired girl who is standing in front of me at this event.

For the Daniel Radcliffe event, I arrived over an hour beforehand and didn't get a seat. This time I arrived an hour beforehand and didn't get a spot in the first two rows. And I was of the lucky people who wasn't in the 4th-18th standing rows. Given that Apple almost certainly has the funds to buy London outright, isn't it about time they at least converted all of Regent Street into a theatre so that they can host these events?

For the Daniel Radcliffe event, I arrived over an hour beforehand and didn't get a seat. This time I arrived an hour beforehand and didn't get a spot in the first two rows. And I was of the lucky people who wasn't in the 4th-18th standing rows. Given that Apple almost certainly has the funds to buy London outright, isn't it about time they at least converted all of Regent Street into a theatre so that they can host these events?

"You may be wondering why I'm sitting here, by myself, next to five empty seats. Well, it's just this thing I like to do, and if security doesn't stop me I'm going to keep doing it"

"You may be wondering why I'm sitting here, by myself, next to five empty seats. Well, it's just this thing I like to do, and if security doesn't stop me I'm going to keep doing it"

Our young cast (plus director) have arrived, and from left to right they are : Director Wes Ball; and actors Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, and Dylan O'Brien.  Plus our host, whose name I believe is "Craig"

Our young cast (plus director) have arrived, and from left to right they are : Director Wes Ball; and actors Will Poulter, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kaya Scodelario, and Dylan O'Brien.  Plus our host, whose name I believe is "Craig"

Will Poulter, currently mimicking car driving on an invisible playstation controller, won the Bafta Rising Star award this year and is exceedingly friendly (for now, until he either goes Christian Bale or Shia LaBeouf, or hopefully stays himself). He's best known (probably) for being a young kid in the Narnia films, but I thought he was excellent in both "We're the Millars" and the surprisingly excellent "Wild Bill"

Will Poulter, currently mimicking car driving on an invisible playstation controller, won the Bafta Rising Star award this year and is exceedingly friendly (for now, until he either goes Christian Bale or Shia LaBeouf, or hopefully stays himself). He's best known (probably) for being a young kid in the Narnia films, but I thought he was excellent in both "We're the Millars" and the surprisingly excellent "Wild Bill"

Director Wes Ball is somewhat of a first time director, but his checked-shirt choice is excellent, his well-worn cap is an excellent Directors Trademark... plus apparently he had the entire film mapped out diagrammatically and hand-drawn, and cast two of the actors just from reading the book. (not because he thought it'd make teen girls scream, in other words)

Director Wes Ball is somewhat of a first time director, but his checked-shirt choice is excellent, his well-worn cap is an excellent Directors Trademark... plus apparently he had the entire film mapped out diagrammatically and hand-drawn, and cast two of the actors just from reading the book. (not because he thought it'd make teen girls scream, in other words)

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, at left, is nominally best known to anyone above a certain age who watches Game of Thrones for playing the character Jojen Reed in ten episodes. However, even though I love GoT, my mental age is much, much younger so I'm *HUGELY* excited that he's the voice of Ferb in the truly cool Disney Cartoon "Phineas and Ferb"

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, at left, is nominally best known to anyone above a certain age who watches Game of Thrones for playing the character Jojen Reed in ten episodes. However, even though I love GoT, my mental age is much, much younger so I'm *HUGELY* excited that he's the voice of Ferb in the truly cool Disney Cartoon "Phineas and Ferb"

Doesn't want to admit that he cast Thomas Brodie-Sangster more for being Ferb in Phineas and Ferb than for being in Game of Thrones.

Doesn't want to admit that he cast Thomas Brodie-Sangster more for being Ferb in Phineas and Ferb than for being in Game of Thrones.

Kaya Scodlario at right has the enviable task of being the only female in the cast (she nobly looked at her goodlooking costars and admitted that it was less onerous than you might expect). She's best known for being in the British TV series Skins from 2007-2013. I remember her mostly because she was one of the people I photographed at the premiere of "Tormented", the premiere which had BY FAR the most views of any Redbubble journal... even more than the ones with Tom Hiddleston in attendance.

Kaya Scodlario at right has the enviable task of being the only female in the cast (she nobly looked at her goodlooking costars and admitted that it was less onerous than you might expect). She's best known for being in the British TV series Skins from 2007-2013. I remember her mostly because she was one of the people I photographed at the premiere of "Tormented", the premiere which had BY FAR the most views of any Redbubble journal... even more than the ones with Tom Hiddleston in attendance.

"So while you guys go on with how much you enjoyed the filming and how great your co-stars were, me and Wes over here have started our own Rap Band. So beat that...."

"So while you guys go on with how much you enjoyed the filming and how great your co-stars were, me and Wes over here have started our own Rap Band. So beat that...."

"You gotta, like... lose yourself in, you know... the moment because.. you own that. And you gotta never let it go.." As long as everyone here's too young (or too uncool) to remember Eminem's 8-Mile he might get away with it. Also, they're here to promote the movie. It looks decent. I meanwhile am including the Apple Logo in every shot and not cloning it out because I don't want to cause any trouble with the company that owns my image and voice in all forms of media in perpetuity because I attended an event for a movie I'm not in the key demographic of.

"You gotta, like... lose yourself in, you know... the moment because.. you own that. And you gotta never let it go.." As long as everyone here's too young (or too uncool) to remember Eminem's 8-Mile he might get away with it. Also, they're here to promote the movie. It looks decent.

I meanwhile am including the Apple Logo in every shot and not cloning it out because I don't want to cause any trouble with the company that owns my image and voice in all forms of media in perpetuity because I attended an event for a movie I'm not in the key demographic of.

"We can start our own band based on my ability to play the nose-flute. It's alternative but in a, like, cool way" Dylan Thomas, the guy with the baseball cap, got the loudest cheers from the assembled primarily teenage females in the crowd (though it was a close call - nobody in this cast is unpopular).

"We can start our own band based on my ability to play the nose-flute. It's alternative but in a, like, cool way" Dylan Thomas, the guy with the baseball cap, got the loudest cheers from the assembled primarily teenage females in the crowd (though it was a close call - nobody in this cast is unpopular).

"What do you mean you're quitting the band, WES? I printed up T-SHIRTS and everything, WES..."

"What do you mean you're quitting the band, WES? I printed up T-SHIRTS and everything, WES..."

"My hair? It's so spectacularly cool I need to cover it up lest it make everyone's self-esteem plummet" I dunno... I'm not the most hirsuite of guys, but in a world where Jason Statham exists and he dates supermodels, I'll take the chance even if most won't.

"My hair? It's so spectacularly cool I need to cover it up lest it make everyone's self-esteem plummet" I dunno... I'm not the most hirsuite of guys, but in a world where Jason Statham exists and he dates supermodels, I'll take the chance even if most won't.

What the event looks like to a pro. I note that it's not Apple equipment. Frankly, I hope they buy out Pentax before they buy out Canon...

What the event looks like to a pro. I note that it's not Apple equipment. Frankly, I hope they buy out Pentax before they buy out Canon...

From time to time they showed clips from the film, and I'll be honest it doesn't look bad! The leads don't get their shirts off nearly as much as they did in Twilight, the threat seems more immediate than the 1hour leadup to each Hunger Games, it looks like they have a coherence that Percy Jackson &the Blahblahs lacked, and I'm not even going to dignify Mortal Instruments with a mention. I don't know what else the kids are watching these days except possibly Divergent, and that just sounds awful.

From time to time they showed clips from the film, and I'll be honest it doesn't look bad! The leads don't get their shirts off nearly as much as they did in Twilight, the threat seems more immediate than the 1hour leadup to each Hunger Games, it looks like they have a coherence that Percy Jackson &the Blahblahs lacked, and I'm not even going to dignify Mortal Instruments with a mention. I don't know what else the kids are watching these days except possibly Divergent, and that just sounds awful.

When the lights are off and clips are played, side-bets on 'teen franchise comparison frequency' are settled.

When the lights are off and clips are played, side-bets on 'teen franchise comparison frequency' are settled.

Auditioned for Iron Man, was told was too young. Auditioned for The Hulk, was told he was too emotional. Auditioned for Teen Wolf, was told that was a movie from the 1980s starring Michael J Fox. Then they turned it into a TV series anyway, and cast him in it.

Auditioned for Iron Man, was told was too young. Auditioned for The Hulk, was told he was too emotional. Auditioned for Teen Wolf, was told that was a movie from the 1980s starring Michael J Fox. Then they turned it into a TV series anyway, and cast him in it.

With about ten minutes to go, they opened the floor to questions from the crowd, whom I was pleased to say didn't descend to the level of asking one of the guys to marry them, or tell them how cute they are (because the latter isn't even a question). Meanwhile, I haven't seen this kind of configuration and body language since high-school quizzes.

With about ten minutes to go, they opened the floor to questions from the crowd, whom I was pleased to say didn't descend to the level of asking one of the guys to marry them, or tell them how cute they are (because the latter isn't even a question). Meanwhile, I haven't seen this kind of configuration and body language since high-school quizzes.

We in the audience all swore never to reveal the question that was asked that provided such differing (yet non-extreme) facial expressions from the Panel.

We in the audience all swore never to reveal the question that was asked that provided such differing (yet non-extreme) facial expressions from the Panel.

"You've all read the books, you were always going to watch the film... so realistically this has failed as a promotion to win over any new fans from outside demographics... " yeah. they should crack down on letting fans go to these things, and only allow cynically undecided people.

"You've all read the books, you were always going to watch the film... so realistically this has failed as a promotion to win over any new fans from outside demographics... " yeah. they should crack down on letting fans go to these things, and only allow cynically undecided people.

"Thanks for the love, thanks for the bottled water, and thank you Apple - you guys totally rock". Totally.

"Thanks for the love, thanks for the bottled water, and thank you Apple - you guys totally rock". Totally.

Knight to Queen's bishop? What a dumb move. Somebody thought it, and I'm not saying who. Also, I'm being crushed by dozens of girls swarming to the exit corridor to grab one last desperate, squealing, iphone photo of one of the allegedly cute guys.

Knight to Queen's bishop? What a dumb move. Somebody thought it, and I'm not saying who. Also, I'm being crushed by dozens of girls swarming to the exit corridor to grab one last desperate, squealing, iphone photo of one of the allegedly cute guys.

"The lady wants your hand. I mean... I assume she'll let you keep it but it's your call, bro".

"The lady wants your hand. I mean... I assume she'll let you keep it but it's your call, bro".

So.. that was an event, and in the absence of an actual PREMIERE I'll take events. However, if Apple are interested in feedback (and I doubt they are) - these events are becoming far too overcrowded because Apple are allowing them to be oversubscribed, and the capacity of certain fans to literally queue for hours is ensuring that anybody not actually unemployed can not possibly get a seat, or increasingly even a decent spot.

Admittedly this was a particularly young, popular and (apparently) good-looking cast, as well as a particularly large group. It's the kind of gathering that calls for a premiere (which indeed one of the crowd asked about - and the response was they'd love to come back and have one).

Until next time!

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