Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Hobbit Premiere London - a fan report

I wrote this last night and since I have no time to edit it  , I’ve just underline some things so that you can skip to certain parts  if you want (  because I suppose it might get  too boring for you at times ) 

I am finally going to write about the London Premier of the Hobbit ( 12th of December )  This might be just another story about red carpets for you , but it is a very important story for me .

Back in the day when I watched the Fellowship of the Ring I could only dream about being anywhere near the cast and crew who made it. I have seen all those behind the scene documentaries and as my interested towards the cinema was growing within me , so were the importance of those movies . Peter Jackson is not only the man behind  the LOTR , he is a great inspiration for me because I am someone who wants to be in the film making industry as well .  He is someone I look up to as a person and a film maker.

I did not go to London only for the Premier but since I was going anyway I changed the day of the flight for an earlier one just to be there on the 12th ! The best part was that my best friend was with me ! When we were teenagers, we spent long hours in making LOTR short films . ( I feel old saying this … but I am not old really ) . These were some great times !

I am writing all this just to emphasize on the influence that LOTR had on me ( both as a book and as a movie )

On a Movie Premier one can  have a quick look at the starts they like and maybe get an autograph on a piece of paper , so it is not such a big deal after all …but it is big deal after all! People don't just gather there to scream and shout  - it is about showing appreciation to those who made something you love .  There is something in the human nature that values the physical connection above all. By physical I don’t mean literally touching someone but  just see them with your own eyes. As if the brain needs an extra prove that they are real , as if you get to be part of their world or it is simply curiosity that makes it all so exciting .  It is something I cannot fully explain but as human beings I guess you would know what I mean . I am sure there is a person or a place you want to see with your own eyes , even just for a second .

Of course this event was more than that – it was a celebration of something , a celebration of a long awaited experience !

I loved the Leicester Square !  Such a lovely place ! Cinema on each side of it ! As a movie fan , I really want to live in 5 minutes distance from there ! We went there first on the 11th night and the Bilbo poster was already there but we spotted no fans camping around… maybe some came later , I don’t know . We went home and woke up at 6.30 the following day . We chose to  wear supposingly  warm clothes but we still felt so cold that day!

We arrived at 9.30 and got a number from some security people there who told us to come back at 11.30 h . Meanwhile the square was getting transformed into Middle Earth – posters of the Hobbit were everywhere, a hobbit hole had been built in the middle of the park area , trees were popping out , all green and merry looking , and fences were getting arranged around the what was going to be the red carpet . It was a gloomy , cold day so the green leaves of the fake trees were contrasting  the creepy empty  branches of the real ones .

The security tried to be very organized, arranged us all in line, one after the other by the order of our number . There were people from different parts of UK , but there were also people from other countries . I saw few people dressed as elves , some hobbits and wizards . All ages and all types of people ! It was cool to see so many  LOTR fans . We even spoke to some of them and they were pretty nice .

It was all going well , until they started arranging us along the barriers . They just tried to fill us in  but it was not fair . Instead of first letting us go and fill the first line along the barrier , they were letting us go in by sectors . We ended up in a section where the first row was already taken so we had to be the second one . You can ask why I complain about being the second – it should be still good … well , it is because among LOTR fans there are hobbits and there are elves but there are also trolls!
We got those two very tall young guys in front of us , that were like a wall and we couldn’t see beyond them . I never felt so much like a hobbit before . All around us , there were other girls who were not very tall and we couldn’t see because of those guys . I decided to seek justice and asked one of them if they can move towards the end of the section or maybe let us go in front but he said – “oh , there is no space to move . sorry “ …. Another girl asked them the same but the other one, the more rude one , told her “ no we won’t move , sorry ! “ . They were so rude honestly!!!Not only they didn't move but they refused to do it in a very bad manner.  Both of them  were like 1.80m or 1.90m tall , they could see perfectly from anywhere and also can reach out and take autographs without any problem but they just didn’t want to . Sorry that I complain about this but I need to . Every time I meet such rude people , no matter how often this is , I always feel kind of bad and disappointed .

Anyway , we tried to ignore them and we were looking at the people who were putting the red carpet . It was a green one actually ! Of course ! ;) 
There was also a stage down the green carpet and above it a screen that showed the Hobbit trailers. The cast was suppose to arrive at 17.15 and it was 12,30 when we first went to the barriers .….so we waited and waited and waited . I felt my feet getting so cold I almost couldn’t’ feel them because of standing at one place .

But as the time passed the excitement and anticipation was growing ! They started to turn on the lights , the sky cleared up and it seemed that there was  a beautiful sunset somewhere beyond the tall buildings . It was almost time !
There were someone who was trying to kind of warm up the audience but I hardly saw him, just heard him talking on the microphone . We were close to the second cinema entrance, kind of in the beginning of the carpet. Next to out section, there were another one, that was empty at first but then some people got in there. I think they were winners of some competition and had a ticket for the Premier so they were all dressed up.

Then , at around 17 something they start coming ! And all went too fast !

I remember Andy Serkis came first but he just passed by very quickly ( he came back later ) .
Then few of the dwarves arrived! At the time I had learn to distinguish them even without make up but I was still confusing their real names . I wanted to learn them before the Premier but I didn’t have time . and here there were – Bombur , Ori , Dwalin ! I think I spotted them first and I was telling my friend – “ look ! look ! here there are !” .  I wanted to call for them but I didn’t remember their real names ! Shame on me , shame on me ! There were walking on the other side of the carpet and signing for fans there . I think the other people from my side also didn’t know their  names because no one called them … but then Bombur came close and someone called “Stephen! “ and he came !!!!! From now on ,  I will never forget that his name is Stephen! He came right in front of us and I abandoned my camera and my attempt to take photos , because I instinctively decided to try to get an autograph . I was kind of climbing on those boys backs many times that night but they never really moved or made way even when they got their autographs so I didn't have  much pity for them . I am just sorry I was waving the paper I had over the other girls heads … I hope I didn’t hit anyway … not that they would even notice ;) .

Stephen looked like a very normal guy without his make-up -  very down-to-earth ,  warm and nice person . I remember that he did looked at me and smiled and he had very nice dark blue eyes. He left very positive and warm impression on me .
And I got my first autograph for the night I was so happy about it ! Then I moved away and pulled my friend forward so that she can also see him.

Let me just say that I didn't go to the premier to hunt autographs but once I was there I kind of wanted to get some just as a memory from that day .

It was a real battle every time and it required a lot of luck as well. Everyone was putting their paper or poster in front of the actors and they were signing whatever they can but not necessary everything. We tried to buy some small poster before the Premier to get it signed  but we couldn’t find one ( all were too big ) so I just drew a Hobbit Hole on my friend note book and this was out weapon of choice. I guess more colorful thing would have been more attractive but we had to improvise besides too colorful of a poster would make the autographs hard to distinguish … I guess. Anyway … more “dwarves” were coming but they were going zig-zag along the carpet and didn’t end up on our side … then Ian McKellen , Cate Blanchett and Martin Freeman arrived almost at the same time ! There was a great excitement amongst our section when we saw them on the other side of the carpet!

Then an extremely sweet moment took place in front of us and it was when Cate and Ian saw each other and hugged and were genuinely happy to meet after some time .
I hardly saw Ian when he came closer to us because the “trolls” blocked me completely but he shook hands with one of them and then moved away. Cate also went to the line few people after us so no chance for autograph from her. But I didn’t care. Just seeing her was enough! She was so beautiful, really! Ian was nice and lovely person – very lovely person! but Cate was beautiful ! Her dress and golden hair, the way she moved and smiled. She looked like some royal figure and had  natural grace. Her beauty was not cold and distant – on the contrary, she was radiant and kind.

We didn’t have much time to look after Ian and Cate because Mr Bilbo Baggins himself, the Martin came to us! It might almost seem that he is very cool about everything that is happening but he was also moved by the madness of it all, I think. Amanda was with him that night and she looked great in her long dark dress. They look really good together . But when he came to us , she was not there . Someone asked him something and he made one of his typical face expressions and I caught myself just standing and looking at him . Then I decided I should get the autograph ! And I did ! Because he spent enough time there to sign for us and to take photo with some people and all .  He is actually a nicer person than he gives himself credit to be . He spent a lot of time on the carpet and tried to sign as many autographs as he could and he agreed to take photos with so many fans. As if he tried to show the same appreciation to all those who came to greet him , as they have shown by staying hours in the cold to wait for him .
He is not tall at all , as you might know , but he is very elegant and he is more handsome in real life I think . He had something on his skin so that it looked flawless. What made the strongest impressions on me , were his eyes – they are this deep dark blue color that I found really beautiful. Seen by afar , he might look just as an ordinary guy but when you are closer around him , you can sense that he is not all that ordinary at all . He bring some distinguish presents with him … as they all do btw .

Here is maybe the time to make a general remark about all the actors from this movie. When you see them from close distance , they are nothing more than normal people , wearing normal clothes . They are all dressed up , of course, but there is nothing alien or supernatural about them . I was expecting that when I finally see them in real life  I will get to think of them as less special … but it happened the contrary ! I think of them as someone special more than ever ! You might ask why . It is simple . Yes , they are normal , they are made of flesh and bone as everyone else . But they have some sparkle in them , that you don’t encounter everyday . They have presence , charm and some charisma that one can notice immediately . I don’t say that all actors or only actors have it  . But if you just meet Richard Armitage on a friends’ dinner party , he will leave an impression on you , no matter if you know who he is or not . It is a quality that some people posses. I have met other people like that in my life – someone who you do remember even if you’ve met just for a short time.   Probably is that kind of charisma that helps those actors’ performances’ have the  impact and the credibility that they have demonstrated not only in the Hobbit , but in other movies I have seen them in . The camera catches the truth more that we realize.  

Now , back to the Premier !
Andy Serkis came back to sign for the fans but I just got a glimpse of his smiling head in between the shoulders of those “troll” boys . He seems so energetic not only that night but also on other premiers that I have seen videos from ! How you do that , Andy !

He then went away very quickly . I am a little confused in my head about the exact order of who I saw before who but or he was before Richard or after … anyway both of them are in the same fog of impressions.

So Richard ( Thorin ) was making his way towards us as he kept walking along the other side of  the green carpet . Many people around me were calling for him so at the end he came to us ! I was very happy to see him , because my interested towards him has grown a lot for the past 2 months . He was very elegant and handsome, kind to everyone. I managed to get a “R” sing from him on my notebook but I was above all happy to have just seen him from so close! To all his fangirls – yes , he is as charming as you think he is ;) ! I really didn’t want him to leave but of course he did …

Later I spotted some other of the dwarves but they didn’t came to us and then Kili ( Aiden Turner )  appeared ! He stayed for so long ( or it seemed so ) cause one girl asked him to take a picture with him and he said “sure! “  but I could clearly see how her friend’s hands were shaking while holding the camera and trying to take the picture so it took her few moments until she got that picture down .  I guess that the photo was very “emotional” and blurry but at least the girl got a hug from Aiden. He just waited patiently for the photo to be taken with a nice smile on his face. He is also very good looking and  cute person.

After that He appeared – Sir Peter Jackson! He is so small ! True hobbit ! His hair was flying in all directions and we could see him going around and I even took a short video of him because we couldn’t get an autograph – we were blocked by those boys again and since he was so small it was neither possible for him to notice us nor for us to reach him . Anyway – we did see him ;) . 
My friend really wanted to shake his hand but it was not remotely possible.

After that , we though that everyone from the cast had arrived , so my friend when to the nearby coffee place to get warmer but I already didn’t  feel my feet anyway so I stayed there to look at the screen and I tried to listen to the interviews with the cast .

I saw Bernard Hill (Théoden ) , few more of the dwarves and other  familiar faces passing by but they didn’t stop by us . The people in the section next to us went away to get to their seats in the cinema. All those people who have came to the premier but were not in the movie business and were not used to all this carpet events , were really pleased to be there . You can distinguished them easily , because no matter the nice clothes they had the same sparkle in their eyes as a kid who has just entered Disneyland . They were both excited and intimidated to walk down that green carpet. I think there were having a great time that night !

At that point Dominic and Billy Boyd showed up ! Merry and Pippin always together !!!
Billy came to us and he asked us “ Do you know where is Dom “ and we all said as one “Over there ! “ . I love Billy Boyd ! He is such a sweet heart ! Everyone was saying “ Billy we missed you ! “ . He went away but then Dominic came and I got kind of closer to the fence so I actually got an autograph from him. He was smiling at us and I even didn’t have time to think about all the times I was watching him and Billy joking around at the behind the scenes documentaries. It was like meeting some old friends! This is how I felt seeing those two !
I remember Dom tweeted before that he is going to  come to the Premier in London and for a joke I twitted him back saying “ See you there ! “ .. well , I did see him there after all !

After that I was kind of out of space . I was tired but I didn’t realized it . I didn’t want to go anywhere so I kept watching the people coming down the carpet . Then some police showed up and I remembered that Prince William was suppose to come us well  ( probably I should call him the Duke of Cambridge now  but I still call him Prince William by habit ) . He passed by us in his black expensive car and I could see the big smile on his face , while sitting comfortably on the back seat . He is a big man indeed !

After he entered the cinema , we could see him on the screen  greeting some people inside  . At that point most people started to go away . I was about to go find my friend but then I saw that the security was giving away to the fans , the big posters that were hanging along the barriers . I thought it might be hopeless for me to get one of those but I decided to try . It seemed that only the “Thorin” of the security guards – one very important looking guard  , was the one who had the authority to decide to whom to give them . There were almost none left when I ventured towards the already empting other side of the section and used my secret mind force (also known as “ pure luck “ ) to call one of the guards . There was one poster left on our side and I had my hand on it and asked the guard to give it to me .
It is kind of broken anyway . Can I take it ! Please ! “ . My magic worked cause he gave it to me telling me that I am not very lucky because this one was broken but  I felt very lucky nevertheless ! Thank you , anonymous security guy !  

This poster thing was HUGE ! It was more of a panel rather than a poster and it was , I think , 2-3 meters long and one meter large … I hardly walked with it but my friend saw me and came to help me . I wanted to go around and take photos and hang out there for like one more hour , but my friend was not feeling that well , so we decided to go back home .
We took that enormous poster with us and few people were smiling at us on the way or asked us where did we took it from. Probably they thought we stole it from somewhere . We appeared to be fine buglers , that is for sure . I was tempted to turn and tell those people  how we claimed the cinema wall like real ninjas to take the posters but there were no time for fooling around .
We even entered the tube with it and it all was going well until the moment we were going out of there and the draught at the exit broke the panel in two pieces . No problem – it was easier to carry . And it was broken already as I told you .
My theory is that Peter Jackson broke it while leaning on it to sign autograph. My friend is not really convinced that this is what had happened it but I kind of like to joke about it ;) .
We decided to leave half of that poster in her room in London and the other half – the broken one I took and I broke into even more pieces . I will put them all together and it will stay on my wall back home!

This is impossibly long post about something very simple but I am mostly writing it for myself so that I can keep somewhere a piece of memory about this event . I am not really an autograph person so I was there mostly to see the cast and crew and be part of the event ! But having those autograph that I have is a great piece of memory and I so happy about them ! I will try to keep them safe ! ;) Not that I will ever forget it ! It was a really cool experience!
Thank you again , all those people who have created the The Hobbit !

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