“Friends With Benefits” New York Premiere Ziegfeld Theatre Theater New York City – 7/18
Greetings everyone and welcome back to “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. My latest celebrity adventures took me back to the city where I was born. After doing Red Carpets in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, last month marked my return to New York City for the “Friends With Benefits” premiere.
New York City was one of the final stops on a cross country trip that started in san Francisco on July 3rd. After traveling over 4,000 miles in a car I was happy to get to a place where I knew where I was. As I tried to figure out how to walk to the Ziegfeld Theater. Finally I realized I needed to take a cab. Just my luck that the one cab I get into the driver has no idea where the theater was. After getting the address from my phone, I was finally on my way. As the cab pulled up to the theater I saw a familiar site, across the street from the Ziegfeld Theatre.
There in a much smaller area compared to LA there were fans lined up with personal signs to the stars.Of course for this film, the major attraction for the ladies was Justin Timberlake. However I was really looking forward to photographing former “That 70”s star Mila Kunis. After checking out the fan area, I then looked for a carpet but didn’t see one. I found my way to a closed off area that was full of photographers and videographers. I then sat there waiting to be checked in. Finally as usual, I was one of the last ones called.
I finally started to head for the carpet which happened to be Black with a black background. I then noticed we were in a closed in tent (normally used in LA if it’s raining) which felt like it was 150 degrees. By the time I got inside all the spots on the floor and on a bench were taken. After searching for every inch I ended up having to put my step stool behind a second row of photographers. To make matters worse the only spot I could find was in front of a light. The carpet opened up with some New York society people. Then I noticed a tall skinny guy trying to walk through the press line with out stopping. I noticed it was former New York Mets and Yankees star Darryl Strawberry.
After about 45 minutes we got word that JT had arrived. I got ready and started to make the best out of my lighting problems. The photographers were yelling and screaming to get eye contact with Justin. I had to scream over the two rows of photographers to get his attention finally yelling “Bring Some of that Sexy back to the back row”. I Ended up getting an interesting shot out of it. About 15 minutes later Mila Kunis arrived and dazzled the carpet.
One of the biggest surprises for me was how great Jenna Elfman looked. Another actress who I was really looking forward to photographing was Emma Stone. She arrived late and walked through the carpet quickly. She was also wearing something that just didn’t suit her. In the end it was a great experience shooting a premiere in New York. I just saw the film this week and surprisingly liked it a lot and recommend it.
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Los Angeles Premiere – Fan Area – 7/28/2011
Originally I had high hopes for this premiere. I had just worked the “Mr. Poppers Penguins” premiere the previous month. I did get a save this date notice from 20th Century Fox but ended up finding out the day before that I would not have carpet access. I decided to hang out in the fan area with hundreds of other fans. I knew that James Franco was on Jimmy Kimmel Live that night. But what I didn’t know till the night before was Lady GaGa was having a live free performance Block Party on the next block. After waiting a couple hours I started to Tweet on Twitter. I ended up Tweeting with James Franco News and 20th Century Fox’s @apeswillrise Tweets.
Finally stars started to arrive at the premiere. However due to the fact that they were running behind only Freida Pinto, Andy Serkis, and Harry Potter co- star Tom Felton. My friend who was in line getting ready to go into the premiere so I had to make a decision to see the flick or hopefully get some pictures of James Franco.
In the end I decided to wait to see James. Like out of a scene in “The Wizard of Oz” Mr. Franco appeared on the carpet out of nowhere. A publicist came to the crowd area and took some homemade signs. I knew at that point he was not visiting the fan section. There were a lot of disappointed fans some who waited over 5 hours. But I’m sure if the premiere wasn’t running behind he would have stopped by. James has always been more than accommodating when it comes to his fans. I’m hoping that by the time “Oz” comes out that I’ll have official credentials for it.
The best part of this evening was seeing the look on the faces of the US Sailors, who got into the premiere. They were so excited bragging to other fellow Sailors about who they saw. They reminded me of little kids on a playground. Thumbs up to the studio for letting them in.
Thanks for joining me on this edition of “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. For more celebrity photos and coverage follow me on Twitter: @Jonathanshensa or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.shensa