6th Oct 2019 - The BFI LFF 'Marriage Story' Premiere

October 6th, 2019.

Today was one of those days where the full stupidity of spending a day where you get up at 7:30am to put your name on a List at 9:00am to get a wristband at 10:30am to return to a venue by 2:30pm to be let into a public pen by 3:30pm for a premiere starting at close to 6:30pm where you take photos as crap as the ones I got with basically professional equipment becomes worth seriously evaluating.

Because this one was pretty crap. Here’s how it went down:

We’re 5 days in, with 7 days to go… and the electronic marquee at the front of the Odeon Leicester Square is feeling the strain possibly even more than I am…

We’re 5 days in, with 7 days to go… and the electronic marquee at the front of the Odeon Leicester Square is feeling the strain possibly even more than I am…

“Miss Johansson regrets that she is unable to be here to personally show her disdain for you all…”

“Miss Johansson regrets that she is unable to be here to personally show her disdain for you all…”

I’ve been told by Dealers In The Know that Adam Driver, strongly declines to sign Star Wars merchandise. Sadly, without spoiling too much, he didn’t get more than halfway down the line of the public pen before he ceased signing altogether and went indoors…

I’ve been told by Dealers In The Know that Adam Driver, strongly declines to sign Star Wars merchandise. Sadly, without spoiling too much, he didn’t get more than halfway down the line of the public pen before he ceased signing altogether and went indoors…

A car has arrived, and for the avoidance of doubt, every person on the carpet right now APPARENTLY MUST BE THERE - none of them are guests, none of them are stars, and none of them are ticket holders… they are just security, attendants, PAs, and organisers.  Are this many required, or are they literally put there to block views and (say) make sure that only official photographers are able to take photos? Only your sense of paranoia can say for sure.

A car has arrived, and for the avoidance of doubt, every person on the carpet right now APPARENTLY MUST BE THERE - none of them are guests, none of them are stars, and none of them are ticket holders… they are just security, attendants, PAs, and organisers.

Are this many required, or are they literally put there to block views and (say) make sure that only official photographers are able to take photos? Only your sense of paranoia can say for sure.

David Heyman is the producer of hundreds of films made in the UK and USA so I have photographed him many times. It seems fitting then that he is the only arrival from the film for whom the crowd parts….

David Heyman is the producer of hundreds of films made in the UK and USA so I have photographed him many times. It seems fitting then that he is the only arrival from the film for whom the crowd parts….

The on-carpet flotilla of uselessness in humanity parts just slightly for me to photograph Laura Dern. She’s best known for being in a David Lynch film, a Jurassic Park film, and for having purple hair and wearing a ballgown as a fleet admiral in that scifi series that’s recently gone off the rails. (In my subjective opinion).

The on-carpet flotilla of uselessness in humanity parts just slightly for me to photograph Laura Dern. She’s best known for being in a David Lynch film, a Jurassic Park film, and for having purple hair and wearing a ballgown as a fleet admiral in that scifi series that’s recently gone off the rails.
(In my subjective opinion).

“Admiral Holdo was a hero of the rebellion, damnit!”  - Admiral Holdo’s ballgown was pretty fantastic, certainly. And when your incompetence has killed 90% of your small Resistance, then killing yourself in a physics-defying act is probably the least you could do.  Anyway, I’m over it. Apparently.

“Admiral Holdo was a hero of the rebellion, damnit!” - Admiral Holdo’s ballgown was pretty fantastic, certainly. And when your incompetence has killed 90% of your small Resistance, then killing yourself in a physics-defying act is probably the least you could do. Anyway, I’m over it. Apparently.

“What’s that? They need me inside?” ”That’s not what I said, Sir” ”Okay, I’ll head in right away!”” ”That’s not what—” ”It’s as good as done.. I’m already on my way in”  This is literally the only photo of Ray Liotta looking ‘forward’ that I was able ot take : that fat-necked lady in the foreground, a ticket-holder simply stood there without moving (except to move to the left at the same time Liotta did). The other three were blurred by fat-neck-lady.

“What’s that? They need me inside?”
”That’s not what I said, Sir”
”Okay, I’ll head in right away!””
”That’s not what—”
”It’s as good as done.. I’m already on my way in”

This is literally the only photo of Ray Liotta looking ‘forward’ that I was able ot take : that fat-necked lady in the foreground, a ticket-holder simply stood there without moving (except to move to the left at the same time Liotta did). The other three were blurred by fat-neck-lady.

“Mr Liotta will not be turning around again. Possibly ever. Deal with this and your life going forward will be a lot easier”

“Mr Liotta will not be turning around again. Possibly ever. Deal with this and your life going forward will be a lot easier”

I’m already a pessimist by nature, and (other than that one lucky Laura Dern photo) I think I can see how the wind is blowing, or threatening to blow, at this premiere. Hence… I figure I’d better get the longest long-range shot of Adam Driver I can get… just in case that’s ALL I can get. Fortunately, I photographed him yesterday at    the premiere of “The Report”

I’m already a pessimist by nature, and (other than that one lucky Laura Dern photo) I think I can see how the wind is blowing, or threatening to blow, at this premiere. Hence… I figure I’d better get the longest long-range shot of Adam Driver I can get… just in case that’s ALL I can get. Fortunately, I photographed him yesterday at the premiere of “The Report”

Meanwhile, this is as good a photo of Noah Baumbach, the director of this film, as I was able to take on the carpet. I don’t believe he signed, let alone acknowledged, the crowd. Well… you’re only promoting a movie. Either you’ve deduced that this particular crowd of autograph dealers aren’t here for you, or you don’t care. Either way, you’re probably right.

Meanwhile, this is as good a photo of Noah Baumbach, the director of this film, as I was able to take on the carpet. I don’t believe he signed, let alone acknowledged, the crowd. Well… you’re only promoting a movie. Either you’ve deduced that this particular crowd of autograph dealers aren’t here for you, or you don’t care. Either way, you’re probably right.

“Hey, wait! You do know that I’m going to be in the next Jurassic World sequel, right?”  Yes, I’m aware. Hope you negotiated a huge pay packet and swanky worldwide global tour in exchange for 90 seconds of screentime like Jeff Goldblum did in the last one.

“Hey, wait! You do know that I’m going to be in the next Jurassic World sequel, right?”
Yes, I’m aware. Hope you negotiated a huge pay packet and swanky worldwide global tour in exchange for 90 seconds of screentime like Jeff Goldblum did in the last one.

Random, and pretty, and possibly the friendliest of all the stars here today (even though she has nothing to do with ‘Marriage Story’) - AND she’s dual Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig! (she was Oscar nominated for both writing and directing the Saoirse Ronan movie ‘Lady Bird’) - and I’ve never photographed her prior to this!

Random, and pretty, and possibly the friendliest of all the stars here today (even though she has nothing to do with ‘Marriage Story’) - AND she’s dual Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig! (she was Oscar nominated for both writing and directing the Saoirse Ronan movie ‘Lady Bird’) - and I’ve never photographed her prior to this!

“You know the rules… I don’t sign ‘Twilight’ merchandise. Mainly because I wasn’t in those films, but also on principle.”

“You know the rules… I don’t sign ‘Twilight’ merchandise. Mainly because I wasn’t in those films, but also on principle.”

Adam Driver and I share a connection. It’s quickly broken and we both moved on with our lives, richer for it.

Adam Driver and I share a connection. It’s quickly broken and we both moved on with our lives, richer for it.

Adam Driver might not sign a lot, might not do ANY interviews, and might have quasi-disowned Star Wars, but I’d like him even if he did only one of those three things. I’m not saying which one.

Adam Driver might not sign a lot, might not do ANY interviews, and might have quasi-disowned Star Wars, but I’d like him even if he did only one of those three things. I’m not saying which one.

Good news if you believe in fate and inevitability : the crowds of photographers inside have briefly parted to reveal the one person in the cast and crew I would not have minded not photographing. (With apologies to David Heyman, the person in the cast who it would probably be most useful to have as a friend)

Good news if you believe in fate and inevitability : the crowds of photographers inside have briefly parted to reveal the one person in the cast and crew I would not have minded not photographing. (With apologies to David Heyman, the person in the cast who it would probably be most useful to have as a friend)

Ray Liotta, pondering life after this premiere. Me? I’m going straight to the tube, praying to Ba’al that maybe just maybe my train line doesn’t have another meltdown, heating up leftovers while photoediting with a random unrelated movie playing in the background…. and pondering my life after this premiere as well.

Ray Liotta, pondering life after this premiere. Me? I’m going straight to the tube, praying to Ba’al that maybe just maybe my train line doesn’t have another meltdown, heating up leftovers while photoediting with a random unrelated movie playing in the background…. and pondering my life after this premiere as well.

Cute blonde texting girl has the right idea : stay oblivious to all surroundings, look pretty, and keep texting.

Cute blonde texting girl has the right idea : stay oblivious to all surroundings, look pretty, and keep texting.

The cast departs. And my ability to convert this notion into an amusing comment is limited.

The cast departs. And my ability to convert this notion into an amusing comment is limited.

“If you wanted a high-five, this is as close as you’re getting”

“If you wanted a high-five, this is as close as you’re getting”

“I’m using you as a human shield, Laura. Hope you don’t mind…”  Will I ever get to photograph Ray Liotta again? (Will it crush me at a fundamental level if I don’t?). It’s hard to say.

“I’m using you as a human shield, Laura. Hope you don’t mind…” Will I ever get to photograph Ray Liotta again? (Will it crush me at a fundamental level if I don’t?). It’s hard to say.

Noah Baumbach, showing the exuberant excesses that require dozens of on-carpet security to effectively contain. And my Nikon, bless it, decided to focus on the blue dress of the lady next to him. The Nikon doesn’t usually make such errors, so I can only assume it was making a deliberate point, a point with which I agree. This premiere blows, and I want out.

Noah Baumbach, showing the exuberant excesses that require dozens of on-carpet security to effectively contain. And my Nikon, bless it, decided to focus on the blue dress of the lady next to him. The Nikon doesn’t usually make such errors, so I can only assume it was making a deliberate point, a point with which I agree. This premiere blows, and I want out.

So.. that was that. Sorry for the downbeat commentary, but honestly usually I can see the funny side of this hobby… today I can’t. Feel free to promote your movies however you want, Hollywood, I have no problem with the notion that an artist is not answerable to his or her public - an artist is only answerable to themselves.

But if you’re promoting your art? Maybe try to … I dunno… act like you want to be there? Get your actors to… erm…. ACT like they’re having a good time?

Maybe tomorrow will be more fun. Who knows.

+1 for the archive, … and for once, I don’t care if you follow me on facebook or twitter or not.