Due to loading times only a few of the total 84 photographs I took at the Star Trek Into Darkness Premiere are shown below. Chose from the sub galleries below to see more photographs. Clicking on any of the shown thumbs gets you to the respective subgallery.
London (England), May 2nd, 2013
It's been quite some time since I have been at a movie premiere and thus the upcoming Star Trek premiere raised my interest. The only decision to be made was where to attend; London or Berlin? My choice fell on London since naturally more cast attends the London premieres than the ones in Berlin and I figured Benedict Cumberbatch would at least be in London.
Both locations have their advantages and disadvantages. Where London requires being up early to get a spot, they after all do not have those brutally violent EBay autograph hunters pushing fans to the barriers without regard for life and soul you have in Berlin. The Tourist premiere at Berlin comes to mind where Johnny Depp's personal bodyguards rescued me and my glasses but that is a different story to tell.
London, so it was. I arrived in the early evening hours the day before the premiere and found myself all alone in front of the Empire cinema in Leicester Square; time enough to check out the newly refurbished place and to determine where to spend the night waiting. I opted for sitting opposite the cinema....Well and became so frozen (extremely unfriendly wind) and bored that I started a "Sherlock" location tour on foot; over to Chinatown, then to Shaftsbury Avenue also checking out what was in the theatres. And while at it I discovered that my normal overnight accommodation had been closed. Oh dear, that meant spending the entire night, the following day and another night outside until I had to catch the bus in the wee hours of the morning to get to Stansted airport. Something I had sworn to never do again after the X-Files premiere in 2008.
I did my shopping at Boots to cover the basic needs of food and beverages for the upcoming hours and ran into an English Champion's league (that is football, not American football) fan on the checkout counter. Since two German teams were in the final at Wembley he told me that he would definitely keep his fingers crossed for the Bavarian team. LOL, football can unite and divide the world.
Then I checked out the prices of the Radisson hotel in Leicester Square at around 1 am. The friendly but quite reserved clerk looked at me as if I had come from outer space when I asked him for the prices of single rooms. Not very good at concealing what he was thinking right then and there I told him not to judge me because of my looks. Would you go to a film premiere camping out in high heels and evening gown? He laughed and gave me the prices which I must say are affordable, certainly not cheap but also not so high priced it would kill me.
Some more walking until 5 am when I discovered that on one edge of the Leicester Square garden fans had been gathering which I had missed before. So I walked up and got in line. Quite organised every hour or so one of the upfront fans came with a marker and put the number you were in line in on your hand; nice! Wonderful proof you were there at that spot and the security people played along. They checked the numbers when they let the fans into the area opposite the cinema. No chance for passerby or queue-jumpers to squeeze in ignoring the ones that had been waiting for almost twenty hours; like that large group of Italian Benedict Cumberbatch fans.
And that is something that obviously has been changed. The entire area in front of the cinema was closed off so that the workers could set up everything for the premiere in all calmness without being disturbed by fans. At certain times in the morning security came and put a stamp beside the number, marking you as approved to be let into the closed off area and to order the disordered queue of waiting fans so other people could at least pass. This is ingenious and ensures that not too many fans are crammed into a too tight spot. There were about four rows behind me; absolutely nice making the outside overnight stay so more worthwhile and relaxed when you know you do not have to defend your spot.
When let in I chose a spot opposite the Empire entrance, something I had done before and which was always a good place to take pictures from before. I also had a good angle to take shots from the set up elevated interview area. All set and having made new friends I went to a truly needed toilet break where Max caught me. Now, Max is from Wales and I had run into him at various premieres before; at one we two were even let into the cinema to see the film. It is good to know that some things never change. He, too, takes pictures and stood right at the beginning of the fan mile.
There was a big screen where we could follow the arriving actors on their path up to the cinema. The professional photographers were completely banned from the cinema spot and took their pictures right where the actors were let out of the cars. Only television was placed opposite the fans alongside the red (well white) carpet. Beside me stood an autograph collector who had beautiful drawings of the cast which gave me the opportunity to get some really great photographs.
The entire cast was game for giving a lot of autographs, only poor Benedict Cumberbatch was so sought after by the media that he got dragged left, right, back and forth by three handlers. To be honest, I admire the man's patience because I would have certainly exploded in anger at some point. With the exception of Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana and Benedict Cumberbatch everyone came to our spot and signed. The three were dragged off about twenty fans before me to get onto the interviewing stage, then directly into the cinema. Nonetheless I had the opportunity to get pictures. Courage under gap I'd say. I used every gap through arms, security and camera beam I could find, damn my shortness. Right in front of me it was just too funny to observe when a handler with brush in hand made Mr. Cumberbatch all pretty to do the interviews. If you go by his face he had a similar reaction as I had (<-- see left photo proof). That is also a first, something I have never seen before happening which made me really laugh.
At some point a group of black suits screaming security came running up the carpet and I turned to my neighbour asking what was up. He pointed to the screen and much of the security horror Chris Pine had discovered that behind the admitted fans were more fans in the Leicester Square Garden. So he bypassed our row, climbed over the cables and the rest of technology and happily started writing at the garden's fence. You've got to love the man for just doing that.
Just like Orlando Bloom at the first Pirates London premiere Benedict Cumberbatch had been in almost constant movement, so most of the photos turned out a bit blurred. But as usual three times a charm. I am a patient person, so the next premiere will see if I can do better.
The next premiere? Well, that should be of course "The Hobbit", once they announce where it takes place in Europe. The Hobbit will be a challenge in itself; camping out in the winter is one thing but there is also no daylight, which means I have to stop breathing (the use of a monopod is highly in question; no space for that) every time I take a picture since I make it a habit not to take pictures with a flash so I do not blind the actors and not breathing makes my hands calm for a long exposure time.
In the end I made it to the bus at 4am the next day, dead, but happy. So, Hobbit, come along. But before December there are two more conventions and I shall be on a TV series set around October / November. I don't know whether I shall be allowed to take pictures on the set and if, I am absolutely certain I can only post them after the series has aired next year.