Stars Shine Bright at the 34th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival – Part 1

Greetings everyone and welcome to this edition of “The Outsiders Guide To the Inside of Hollywood”, is solely about one of my favorite film festivals the 34th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival. Last year as some of you know, I attended last years festival as a patron and got to meet James Franco and be one of the first people in California to screen “127 Hours”. I also got to ask Annette Bening a question at a Q & A during her Tribute. What I love so much about this festival, besides their always amazing lineup are there Q & A, spotlights and other various tributes. You really get the learn the story behind film making.

In March of last year,  I started to do events with the California Film Institute, based in San Rafael.  So when it came time to apply for credentials this year I was hoping to be able to cover a number of events. With help from the Marketing and 
Communications Manager my credential request was approved.

34th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival – Opening Night “Albert Nobb’s” Screening and Q & A with Glenn Close

Originally I had won tickets to one of the opening night films “Jeff Who Lives At Home”, but was asked the day before about covering a Q & A and screening of the film “Albert Nobbs” with Glenn Close. Even though i wanted to see the other film, I knew that Glenn could possibly be nominated for several awards this year from the buzz I had already heard about the film. I got to the theater and saw lines of people waiting for different screenings. I found my way to the check in area in the space that was converted to a lounge for the festival. Because the California Film Institute is a Non profit a lot of people there are volunteers. The festival also has many films playing in different theaters and in this case different cities. I met my contact person who was at one of the other locations. I was told to wait out in front for Glenn who would be arriving shortly. I got to the location and was joined by another young photographer. After a few minutes we saw the drop off car arrive. There were a number of people waiting to go into a movie who also saw this. As the area got more crowded a few autograph seekers showed up. Then as the car was about to stop in front of the theater it kept going. Feeling like we just been “Punked “, we realized she was going in through a private area. We then went inside where Glenn was standing outside the doors to the theater. Her publicist informed us that there were too many photos at a reception before and we could only shoot a few from the Q & A. Disappointed but figuring out something was better than nothing I proceeded to do that. I’ve worked for and was even a child actor, so I know how draining that can be when your going from one event to the other in possibly even different countries at one time. The film was really well acted and directed and in my opinion will get Glenn her 6th Oscar Nomination. Her transformation into the character was amazing and reminded me of “Victor Victoria”. http://www.imdb.com/video/imdb/vi1358863897/

After the film I headed to the opening night party at the Mill Valley Community Center. Really liked this venue and had a great time meeting and photographing the guests.

Tribute to Glenn Close & “Like Crazy” Screening & Q & A

My assignment on night 2 of the festival was a “Like Crazy” screening with the director Drake Doremus and stars Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones. About 2 hours before my call time I was asked if I wanted to cover the Glenn Close Tribute Red Carpet in San Rafael before going to Mill Valley for the “Just Crazy” Q & A. Knowing that the shots I got of Glenn the previous night weren’t good enough I was stoked to be able to do both. Glenn looked amazing on the carpet. I then ran back to mill Valley and was able to cover the  Q & A,  and got exclusive shots with Anton and Felicity both looked stunning. I have a strong feeling we will be seeing a lot more from both these actors in the future. looking forward to seeing it when it comes out next month. http://www.likecrazy.com/

New Movies Lab Active Cinema: Can A Movie Make A Difference – Panel & “The Real Rocky” & “Right To Play” Screenings

A day after driving to Monterey, to register voters at a Furthur concert for http://www.headcount.org, and even without sleep, I was ready for day 3 of the festival. I was covering two sports documentaries from ESPN’s 30 for 3o series. As I got to the theater and went in the lounge I was asked to take pictures of New Movies Lab Active Cinema: Can A Movie Make A Difference – Panel, with a number of Industry professions including “The Lady” star Michelle Yeoh. During the first film right to play I saw a staff member looking for someone in the theater. thinking it might be me I looked at the person. She wanted me to go back upstairs and take some shots after the panel was done. I ended up getting some close ups and ran into an elderly husband and wife who I met at last years festival. It was a nice moment they were excited to see that I was an official photographer with the festival this year. After these shoots I ran into my car and drove to Mountain View to photograph an Incubus concert.

Raiders of the Lost Ark 30th Anniversary Screening

This event was a lot of fun. Seeing all the parents taking their kids to see the film for the first time on the big screen, made me remember when I first saw the film in Yonkers as a kid. members of the Institute dressed up like characters from the film. A costume contest for all ages and a trivia contest were help before the screening. After the screening there was a slide show, Q & A, and Autograph signing with some of the creatures of the film. Not knowing what the filmmakers looked like I started off taking pictures of people in the lobby. I was looking for kids and people who were dressed up to take some atmosphere pictures. The kids were adorable in their Indiana Jones costumes. After looking through my pictures I noticed someone who looked familiar. After getting home and downloading my pictures I noticed I had two shots of a father and young son. I realized it was Sean Penn. I knew that I had a decision to make. After another sleepless night, I decided to live by my rule, and not submit pictures of kids that are not walking a Red Carpet. After all, my ultimate goal is to work with actors and not piss them off. Turned out to be a good decision. After speaking with someone at the Institute the next day, I knew I made the right choice. When it comes down to it , I’m a celebrity event Photographer. “Johnny Paparazzi”, is a character in my screenplay “Wilshire Mafia” not me.

Thanks for joining me for Part 1 of 34th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival. My next Blog, will include “My Week with Marilyn” (with the films director), Ezra Miller, Elizabeth Olsen Spotlights, and the World Premiere of “A Few Best Men”.

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About Jonathanshensa

I'm a Celebrity Event Photographer, producer and Screenwriter. I also worked with promoting bands and spent 5 years in music management. In my younger days, I was also an Actor, News reporter, DJ, and have worked at Talent, and Management companies. I love the mass media but also love to talk about everyday topics. I want to have a positive and creative impact on the entertainment business. http://jonathan-scott-shensa-photography.net/
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