The 2019 BFI Luminous Gala

October 1st, 2019.

The BFI Luminous Gala is held every two years, and in the prior two years it was held in the stately grandeur of Guildhall, in the City of London itself. This year, however, it was at the Camden Roundhouse.

And, oh, did it rain.

Here’s how it went down.

We take up the action around 5pm - unlike prior years I didn’t make my way to the venue immediately to secure a good spot : the rain had been torrential and I decided to hold back, thinking perhaps those there before me might have been swept away by the deluge.

We take up the action around 5pm - unlike prior years I didn’t make my way to the venue immediately to secure a good spot : the rain had been torrential and I decided to hold back, thinking perhaps those there before me might have been swept away by the deluge.

The prior photo showed the outdoor posing area that the paparazzi were to have used, but due to more heavy rain being forecast, all the paparazzi were moved INDOORS, meaning that I/we had the outdoor posing area totally for ourselves… that’s if anyone was insane enough to slow down, let alone pause, let alone STOP to pose or sign for us.

The prior photo showed the outdoor posing area that the paparazzi were to have used, but due to more heavy rain being forecast, all the paparazzi were moved INDOORS, meaning that I/we had the outdoor posing area totally for ourselves… that’s if anyone was insane enough to slow down, let alone pause, let alone STOP to pose or sign for us.

The only other way to take photos of the event : into the indoor VIP Paparazzi area, through an open door, above and around bald heads and flash units…..  …and if I’m making this all sound really sexy and glamorous, remember to really experience it properly you need to have a backpack that weighs a large percentage of your total bodyweight, a 3kg camera in one hand and a large umbrella in the other, and another 1kg camera around your neck, in rain, and in wind. So if you own a tiny violin, please play it for me. I’m having FUN here.

The only other way to take photos of the event : into the indoor VIP Paparazzi area, through an open door, above and around bald heads and flash units…..

…and if I’m making this all sound really sexy and glamorous, remember to really experience it properly you need to have a backpack that weighs a large percentage of your total bodyweight, a 3kg camera in one hand and a large umbrella in the other, and another 1kg camera around your neck, in rain, and in wind. So if you own a tiny violin, please play it for me. I’m having FUN here.

Still…. They have started arriving,  whoever ‘They’ might be.  nb. IWC Schaffhausen is a watch brand. You can’t afford them. But if you CAN afford them, please message me about sponsoring this website.

Still…. They have started arriving, whoever ‘They’ might be.
nb. IWC Schaffhausen is a watch brand. You can’t afford them. But if you CAN afford them, please message me about sponsoring this website.

Our first arrivals are not known to me, but I do know a red dress (coat?) when I see one.

Our first arrivals are not known to me, but I do know a red dress (coat?) when I see one.

In kind of an interesting development, the few photographers I’m around have managed to collectively create enough critical mass to induce somebody to POSE for us at the outdoor posing board! As stated, I don’t know who this is… and let’s face it, this almost certainly won’t work if Scarlett Johansson shows up, partly because she hates me specifically… and partly because she is not attending this event.

In kind of an interesting development, the few photographers I’m around have managed to collectively create enough critical mass to induce somebody to POSE for us at the outdoor posing board! As stated, I don’t know who this is… and let’s face it, this almost certainly won’t work if Scarlett Johansson shows up, partly because she hates me specifically… and partly because she is not attending this event.

I don’t know who this is, but if he’s good enough for professional photographers to photograph inside where it’s dry, I’ll point The Nikon ‘that way’ and take a few shots through the closed glass doors as well. No problem.

I don’t know who this is, but if he’s good enough for professional photographers to photograph inside where it’s dry, I’ll point The Nikon ‘that way’ and take a few shots through the closed glass doors as well. No problem.

Jonathan Ross, through glass, and red light. I know there’s a Prop Store Auction happening right now at BFI Imax… I wonder if in 10 or 20 years this photo and its undendiable artistry (and weird white balance) might qualify for inclusion. If it doesn’t… well it’ll still be drier than it is out here where I’m taking it.

Jonathan Ross, through glass, and red light. I know there’s a Prop Store Auction happening right now at BFI Imax… I wonder if in 10 or 20 years this photo and its undendiable artistry (and weird white balance) might qualify for inclusion. If it doesn’t… well it’ll still be drier than it is out here where I’m taking it.

“They’re paying HOW much for that monstrous sofa Queen Amidala sat on in Star Wars The Phantom Menace??”  - I believe it sold for £8000, prior to auctioneers’ fees.

“They’re paying HOW much for that monstrous sofa Queen Amidala sat on in Star Wars The Phantom Menace??” - I believe it sold for £8000, prior to auctioneers’ fees.

“And you promise to buy the DVD when it gets released?”  Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote got a premiere at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, though sadly I was unable to attend it.

“And you promise to buy the DVD when it gets released?” Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote got a premiere at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, though sadly I was unable to attend it.

“You saw The Phantom Thread? How wonderful… or are you just talking about your wardrobe on anygiven day?”  - Lesley Manville was Oscar nominated for her role in that… and she also played the Fairy ‘Flittle’ in the live action film ‘Maleficent’ whose sequel is getting a premiere during (but not in association with) London Film Festival.

“You saw The Phantom Thread? How wonderful… or are you just talking about your wardrobe on anygiven day?” - Lesley Manville was Oscar nominated for her role in that… and she also played the Fairy ‘Flittle’ in the live action film ‘Maleficent’ whose sequel is getting a premiere during (but not in association with) London Film Festival.

“That direction is hardly specific. I mean… eventually if I keep going I’m going to hit water. This IS an island, you know”  Emily Beecham’s filmography is very long and I recognise little of it, except she played ‘Karen’ in the zombie film ‘28 Days Later’

“That direction is hardly specific. I mean… eventually if I keep going I’m going to hit water. This IS an island, you know” Emily Beecham’s filmography is very long and I recognise little of it, except she played ‘Karen’ in the zombie film ‘28 Days Later’

Emily Beecham. She seems nice, actually. (And I should note I photographed her on the Nikon, which has street credibility; and not the Pentax, which garners more sympathy and puzzlement)

Emily Beecham. She seems nice, actually. (And I should note I photographed her on the Nikon, which has street credibility; and not the Pentax, which garners more sympathy and puzzlement)

“I’m almost certain I don’t want to know what your interpretation of ‘High Rise’ is, bruv”  - Director Ben Wheatley has had several BFI London Film Festival film premieres - including    ‘High Rise’    and    ‘Free Fire’   .

“I’m almost certain I don’t want to know what your interpretation of ‘High Rise’ is, bruv” - Director Ben Wheatley has had several BFI London Film Festival film premieres - including ‘High Rise’ and ‘Free Fire’.

I don’t know who this (or ‘these’) are, but if I can describe somebody’s expression as “insouciant” you can be fairly sure I’ll include their photo in a journal somehow. Also, I’m pretty sure this isn’t real fur. it’s probably made of Soy or Gluten or something.

I don’t know who this (or ‘these’) are, but if I can describe somebody’s expression as “insouciant” you can be fairly sure I’ll include their photo in a journal somehow. Also, I’m pretty sure this isn’t real fur. it’s probably made of Soy or Gluten or something.

“But what if I GENUINELY feel like eating Taco Bell, and not whatever weird opulent fare they’re serving up inside?”  - Dev Patel is set to attend tomorrow’s BFI London Festival opening of ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’, and was also at the prior    BFI LFF premiere for ‘Lion’.

“But what if I GENUINELY feel like eating Taco Bell, and not whatever weird opulent fare they’re serving up inside?” - Dev Patel is set to attend tomorrow’s BFI London Festival opening of ‘The Personal History of David Copperfield’, and was also at the prior BFI LFF premiere for ‘Lion’.

“I put a promising career in basketball on hold for that film…”  Maryam D'Abo played the Bond Girl in the Timothy Dalton led ‘The Living Daylights’. And one should also never underestimate her wingspan.

“I put a promising career in basketball on hold for that film…”
Maryam D'Abo played the Bond Girl in the Timothy Dalton led ‘The Living Daylights’. And one should also never underestimate her wingspan.

“Oh, come on… that’s surely NOT the best photo you found?”  Nathalie Emmanuel is probably best known for playing the role of Missandei in Game of Thrones, though I last photographed her at the    premiere of the live-action ‘The Lion King’    earlier this year.

“Oh, come on… that’s surely NOT the best photo you found?” Nathalie Emmanuel is probably best known for playing the role of Missandei in Game of Thrones, though I last photographed her at the premiere of the live-action ‘The Lion King’ earlier this year.

“Fine. if you have to pronounce it ‘My Sundae’ then go ahead”

“Fine. if you have to pronounce it ‘My Sundae’ then go ahead”

“Those people out there are standing there in the rain, and I still can’t figure out why”  It’s probably something lodged between ‘weirdness’, ‘obsession’ and ‘inertia’. And Tuppence Middleton was most recently in (and at the premiere of) the    “Downton Abbey”    movie.

“Those people out there are standing there in the rain, and I still can’t figure out why” It’s probably something lodged between ‘weirdness’, ‘obsession’ and ‘inertia’. And Tuppence Middleton was most recently in (and at the premiere of) the “Downton Abbey” movie.

Gemma Arterton actually stopped to pause. I might actually plausibly be a photographer!!! (or it’s my friend next to me, who has a larger camera and more impressive flash… but still….I might plausibly be standing NEXT TO a plausible photographer!)

Gemma Arterton actually stopped to pause. I might actually plausibly be a photographer!!!
(or it’s my friend next to me, who has a larger camera and more impressive flash… but still….I might plausibly be standing NEXT TO a plausible photographer!)

Gemma Arterton provides a more conventionally pretty pose for the VIP Paparazzi… but I can’t help but feel it lacks a certain sense of fun that the prior photograph has. Or maybe it’s just really late and the effects of that German pear schnapps I’m mixing with Tensing Energy drink are starting to combine.

Gemma Arterton provides a more conventionally pretty pose for the VIP Paparazzi… but I can’t help but feel it lacks a certain sense of fun that the prior photograph has. Or maybe it’s just really late and the effects of that German pear schnapps I’m mixing with Tensing Energy drink are starting to combine.

“I actually can’t hand out knighthoods. I couldn’t then, I couldn’t NOW, and on top of all that I don’t know you and yet somehow I still suspect you don’t desrve it” > you mean they don’t give out knighthoods for standing out in the rain for no easily communicable reason? it’s Sarah Ferguson - the former Duchess of York!

“I actually can’t hand out knighthoods. I couldn’t then, I couldn’t NOW, and on top of all that I don’t know you and yet somehow I still suspect you don’t desrve it”> you mean they don’t give out knighthoods for standing out in the rain for no easily communicable reason? it’s Sarah Ferguson - the former Duchess of York!

“I don’t know how to best articulate my concern that you might scrape some of the gold leaf off this jacket… except to say I don’t trust any of you.”  Joan Collins is somebody I’ve only EVER photographed at BFI Luminous - I think I photographed her in    2015    and    2017   . (it’s late, and who honestly has time to check?)

“I don’t know how to best articulate my concern that you might scrape some of the gold leaf off this jacket… except to say I don’t trust any of you.” Joan Collins is somebody I’ve only EVER photographed at BFI Luminous - I think I photographed her in 2015 and 2017. (it’s late, and who honestly has time to check?)

Probably my favourite shot of the night - long range from a far, FAR barrier behind a lighting rig…. I might have taken more shots from there,but with the increasing wind, those barriers were knocked down more than twice. it’s Hugh Grant!!

Probably my favourite shot of the night - long range from a far, FAR barrier behind a lighting rig…. I might have taken more shots from there,but with the increasing wind, those barriers were knocked down more than twice. it’s Hugh Grant!!

And then it started raining REALLY hard.

And then it started raining REALLY hard.

Taron Egerton shows a mixture of sympathy and smugness at being inside, adored, young and good looking…. as against we, the crazy people standing outside. And…. I’m…. not going to say he isn’t mostly entirely correct in his attitude.

Taron Egerton shows a mixture of sympathy and smugness at being inside, adored, young and good looking…. as against we, the crazy people standing outside. And…. I’m…. not going to say he isn’t mostly entirely correct in his attitude.

Taron Egerton is winning this battle of wits and wills… and maybe it’s the fact that he’s wearing a tuxedo and I’m wearing a khaki green t-shirt under a black ski jacket, but I’m not going to contest this. And that Robin Hood (2018) movie he was in… was actually kind of hilarious in a good way.

Taron Egerton is winning this battle of wits and wills… and maybe it’s the fact that he’s wearing a tuxedo and I’m wearing a khaki green t-shirt under a black ski jacket, but I’m not going to contest this. And that Robin Hood (2018) movie he was in… was actually kind of hilarious in a good way.

“Somebody somewhere is reading a lot more into the subtext of this event than I’m comfortable with” - after significant difficulty in photographing him at such premiers as    Eddie the Eagle    (back in the day)    ‘Kingsman : The Golden Circle’    and    ‘Rocketman’,    I’m actually doing fairly well here.

“Somebody somewhere is reading a lot more into the subtext of this event than I’m comfortable with”- after significant difficulty in photographing him at such premiers as Eddie the Eagle (back in the day) ‘Kingsman : The Golden Circle’ and ‘Rocketman’, I’m actually doing fairly well here.

And then the wind picked up further…. and I never thought I’d live to see the day when some bona fide autograph dealers left an event due to weather…but I saw it happen today.

And then the wind picked up further…. and I never thought I’d live to see the day when some bona fide autograph dealers left an event due to weather…but I saw it happen today.

“Hi… what’re you doing outside on a night like this… and more to the point WHY?”  Michael G Wilson is a producer of James Bond films, and he’s asking the same valid question many might ask of us on this night.

“Hi… what’re you doing outside on a night like this… and more to the point WHY?”
Michael G Wilson is a producer of James Bond films, and he’s asking the same valid question many might ask of us on this night.

“Y’all are crazy. I’m in awe… but I’m also not stopping. peace out!!”  Director Edgar Wright came, saw, and took a pretty accurate measure of the environment he found himself in. by this time the barriers behind me had been knocked down a fourth time by the gusting wind, and even I was looking at the nearest tube station, afraid of the kind of rail carnage it would deliver me to.

“Y’all are crazy. I’m in awe… but I’m also not stopping. peace out!!”
Director Edgar Wright came, saw, and took a pretty accurate measure of the environment he found himself in. by this time the barriers behind me had been knocked down a fourth time by the gusting wind, and even I was looking at the nearest tube station, afraid of the kind of rail carnage it would deliver me to.

“I dont accept anything from the likes of you…or at least your hairstyle. And if that means getting waterlogged, then damnit it’s the hill I’m willing to die to defend”.  I don’t know who this is, but I like the conviction.

“I dont accept anything from the likes of you…or at least your hairstyle. And if that means getting waterlogged, then damnit it’s the hill I’m willing to die to defend”.
I don’t know who this is, but I like the conviction.

And so … that was that. At that point, I headed off, found my usual train delayed by about 50% of its typcal arrival interval, and the slow train I got on instead was delayed by close to 100% of its travel time.]

Remember : this is England. Whether rain, or hail, or snow, or sleet, or shine, or Tuesday…. the fucking trains will never work. I mean… I mean… it’s all the EU’s fault. And immigrants. And signalling problems, And trackwork. Just keep paying.

2 days of this down, 12 to go… and my mental state is already set.

Until next time!

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