Greetings everyone and welcome to my latest entertainment blog for “The Outsiders Guide to the Inside of Hollywood”. This is the third and final blog, from my last trip to Los Angeles. As some as you already know, this is a different kind of blog. I write this blog as a Celebrity Event Photographer, who is also a lifelong film fan, and an aspiring screenwriter. What makes my blog different from others, is that I write from my personal experiences covering these events. Today I will be taking you on the red carpet for the Los Angeles premieres, of “The Vow” and “This Means War”. I will also be sharing my experiences hanging out in the fan area before the “Wanderlust” premiere and during and after with autograph and seekers.
“The Vow” Los Angeles Premiere – 2012-02-06 – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
As I started walking on Hollywood Boulevard, I started to feel like I had come full circle. My first premiere I ever photographed was at the Chinese theatre back in 2009, for “G. I Joe”. The film starred “The Vow’s” and “21 Jump Street’s” Channing Tatum. Having my first carpet premier alone would be tough enough without being out gunned by other photographers. This was only my third job for a wire service I was working with. I had just covered the Mad Men season 3 premiere, at the much smaller venue the Directors Guild of America. For my music friends out there, it’s like having your first gig at Madison Square Garden. I was the last one called to the carpet and ended up with a really bad spot where many of the actors walked right past me. As I walked away from the other photographers I ran into Channing on the street as he was going to sign more autographs for his fans. I asked for a picture and I took out my point and shoot and got an exclusive shot. That’s right I said point and shoot. I didn’t get my Nikon D5000 camera till March 2010. So when I had the chance to photograph Channing on a carpet made me see how far I had come. However the problem with applying for premieres, on my own without my agency doing it, always means my name is at the bottom of the list.
After name after name was called close to the end of the list my name was called. I walked down the photographers pit and couldn’t find a spot in the second row. Unfortunately, that means being stuck in the third row shooting over two rows of photographers some standing on ladders. I do realize I’ve only been doing professional jobs for 3 years, and can’t complain about my placement. As I started to set up an older photographer named Russ approached me. The photographer told me I shouldn’t try and shoot from the third row. I explained that I’ve done it on more occasions than I care to remember. He ended up asking someone he knew to let me in to an area in the second row. I thanked him. It made the difference and the shoot turned out well thanks to him.
The first person to hit “The Vow” carpet was a familiar face, teen star Bella Thorne. Bella looked amazing and truly has grown up in front of my eyes. She also knows how to walk a carpet, which a number of our younger actors out there could learn from her. Another pair of sisters who, have also grown up before my eyes over the past two years. They may not have Kardashian in their name, but what Kylie and Kendall Jenner, do have is a beautiful and classy look. They really know how to light up a red carpet. They seem to have a certain look that I feel will keep them working in the industry for a long time. Another newcomer who just looked stunning on the carpet was ABC’s “Revenge” co star Christa B. Allen who plays Charlotte on the hit show. Finally we started getting arrivals for actors in the movie.
Channing Tatum, arrived dressed in a classic blur suit signed autographs for fans before walking the carpet with his wife, actress, Jenna Dewan-Tatum. The final actor to arrive was the films female lead Rachel McAdams. Being a guy and never seeing “The Notebook”, they only thing I really knew about Rachel besides seeing her in Sherlock Holmes and Mean Girls was that she shared a name with my sister. To my surprise Rachel, had long wavy blond hair, dressed in a light blue dress with a long silver necklace. She was absolutely stunning and owned the red carpet. After taking pictures together as a cast and director, Channing and Rachel took pictures with the family that inspired the film before heading into the theater for the premiere.
“This Means War” Premiere – 2012-02-08 – Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
As I headed back to the Chinese Theatre, for the second time in 48 hours I arrived at the carpet. I immediately saw that the photo section was much smaller than the other night. Once again, I applied on my own, and was one of the last names called. Unfortunately there was no space anywhere. I ended up squeezing into a small area at the end of the carpet. As I started to set up another taller photographer who appeared to be foreign in the second row decided he was going to use a step stool. That totally blocked my area. I kindly asked him to leave a space open for me to shoot. I’ve done this several times myself. It’s about respect for other photographers. He said he would try to. That ended up being a total lie. Not only did he not leave me any shooting room but he pointed and used his hands to get the actors attention for him. By far he is is the “King of All Douchebags”. Not wanting to get into a fight that would get me blacklisted I had to make the best of the situation.
I was really excited to photograph Chris Pine and Tom Hardy for the first time. The person I was looking forward to the most was Reese Witherspoon. NBC T. V. star Whitney Cummings, was there to support “Chelsea Lately” and the film’s co star Chelsea Handler. Christa B. Allen, was also back at the Chinese Theatre showing a more conservative look with her dress and her hair brushed back. Star Trek’s Chris Pine looked like he was in an add for a clothing store wearing a suit with a purple shirt and tie.Tom Hardy also looked great and was sporting a full beard look. In the end, the star of the evening and the carpet was Reese, who looked absolutely glowing.
“Wanderlust” Premiere – 2-16 – 2012 – Mann Village Theatre Westwood, CA
The evening before I went to Arizona, to cover the premiere weekend of “Dorothy and the Witches of Oz”, I decided to try to cover the new Jennifer Aniston film “Wanderlust”. I couldn’t get credentials but ended up going down a few hours early and hanging out in the fan section. After about two hours of talking to fans from all over the country the stars started to arrive. We were set up directly across the street from the Village Theatre (LA Confidential theater) in Westwood. The good thing about premieres here unlike in Hollywood, they close off the street, which gives more incentive for the actors to come across the street and sign autographs.
The premiere started with the usually early arrivals of lesser known actors and models. The first person I noticed from across the street was from “The Office” Kate Flannery. Paul Rudd was the fist major star of the film to arrive at the premiere. As his car pulled up he got out and started to sign autographs for fans. He seems like an actor who really loves his fans. He walked an entire line of fans, as he got to my area it was a crowd frenzy. I did get a shot of him close up (like directly in front of me). At the same time this madness was going on, Jennifer Aniston arrived. She did make it across the street but not in my direction. I ended up getting a couple of shots of her from across the street. After the director and a few more co stars signed autographs, I decided to go to Starbucks and wait till the film was over to get some departing pictures.
I started off waiting with some professional autograph seekers. What I mean by professional is these collectors are trying to sell the autographs they get on everything from posters to pictures and more. I carry around portfolios with thousands of pictures of different actors. Also waiting were a small group of loyal fans hoping to get a picture taken with the actors. About 5 minutes before the film was to let out a black haired women walked on the opposite side of us. Screams of Courtney. She turned around and waved for a second. I saw it was one of Jen’s friends on and off the screen Courtney Cox. A few minutes later Jen and co star / boyfriend Justin Theroux left and headed to their window. Finally as the crowd came out director David Wain, Ken Marino, and Malin Akerman signed autographs for the fans.
After spending at least 6 hours trying to get my shots, I headed back to the Valley to upload not one but two different assignments for my wire service. I ended up pulling an all nighter and driving to Arizona for a premiere later that night. Just another normal week in my life.