Going to a film premiere, in London is usually a completely standard aspect of a cinema fan’s life, the appeal varies between being a tiny part of the media hype to simply being an interested spectator. You are viewed by organizers as part of the marketing process, the conduit of positive star spectacle to be transferred to those who you know ( that are not attending ), who will enjoy the movie too.
I have inheritted a more historical perspective since my ZeFringe parent got invited by a family friend to attend a very regal event ( with sibling-confirmed), a Premiere of a truely ‘English’ movie. Sadly the ‘Pathe News’, recording filmed of the event did not scan over the section of the crowd that subsequently also saw the film inside ‘The Empire’. Fortune smiled upon my ZeFringe at that moment and had a big deja-vu aspect when we both helped ‘Zoe Wanamaker’ and many others at the ‘Save the Rose Theatre’ event back in 1990’s
So why then ‘Jack Reacher’ ?
Mostly because , it has been a high quality series of reading material after that unique ‘Rosie T’ event and knew that the author ‘Lee Child’, wouln’t have appeared in it had the production not treated his material works with empathy.
The second reason has more to do with the author himself, as his prior career dealt directly & indirectly with the marketing aspects for various 1960-1970’s T.V. shows before he chose to emigrate to America. There exists the possibility that coincidental to a few released British series, he may have been sub-contracted and assisted shows that brought my Uncle-In-Law to the broader viewing public recognition. Roughly around the same time I first heard of ‘Glynn Edward’s, professional actor status. A major eye-opener for someone then aged 8, who’d recently done modestly well during the school christmas play.
The third reason, completes a triple link which entails a personal theory I have regarding the origins of the character of ‘Reacher’ and a few martial instructors I’ve met at the SENi conventions within this decade. It’s an obtuse causality so I’d really like to pose the question (see part2), directly to ‘Lee Child’ in person.
This brings us full circle around to my attendance of the ‘Jack Reacher’ European Premiere in 2012, December 10th at the same cinema chain where I’d (+whole surgeing crowd ), gotten to shake hands with ‘Jackie Chan’, in the presence of ‘Chris Tucker’. O.K. I know, many of the readers will say ” Bull! “, but it’s certainly ‘Worth‘ believing this fact. Being 1 of the few British people in the UK to have connected with more than 4 of the ‘Brandon / Bruce Lee’ entourage wouldn’t be enough !? If I add the associations, of attendee’s at the ‘Rosie T’ events that elevation may go beyond double figures.
Anyway, this being the age of the Internet, I’d kept aware of the progress marketing since 10 months before it got scheduled for release, but got really befuddled by it’s omission from 9 days before hand. Specific searches, were not indicating the location, just the date. Now, getting into London, can be a hassle by itself so not having a location is a serious hinderance, even social media didn’t assist. I factored some logistics, and figured the odds were highest if I went 1st to the IMAX, where I re-acquainted myself (‘Rosie T’ visitors ), with ‘ Claudia Winkleman / Mariella Frostrup’ and met new stars during ‘The Ghost Protocol’ Premiere in 2011 – see link:- https://youtu.be/zYfkVKV_zeI ^Youtube.
Better prepared, I was able to get to stroll underneath near my prior work route 1995 (towards Sainsbury’s H.Q.), with several hours to spare. What did I find, large posters for a 3D Dinosaur exhibition (or similar), no activity and worse still, no charge for my Wi-Fi link. Needed to head directly to Trafalgar Square, to ensure I boosted my device should a tube ride become necessary. Extra delays, due the descending temperatures affecting the train connections made a quick stop off to check Leicester Square, highly fortunate! The normal pre-hustle of red carpet guards and workers became apparent, so after a quick glance at the set-up, I headed off for a snack and power-up for 30 minutes.
This could have proved fatal to my chances, as while out of sight .. on mass, nearly 72 people/tourists began to queue near the fountains. Each sporting a tightly sealed security tag. An item I didn’t know existed. Questions to security got me access to the ticket office, and got informed where to collect the item several blocks away, a round trip exceeding 45 minutes . Now being easily 7 degrees in mid-afternoon felt the effort alone would keep me warm and with luck , I’d make it.
Progress achieved, on my return I found the line had grown to 135+ people. My security tag may not (TL?) succeed in achieving full attendee status. So I found a good place to sit and observed the queue/tourists in equal measure. Now, queues are a social oddity of society. In general they inspire irritation for most people especially when dusk is just about to occur. My jacket was doing what it should to keep the weather effect minimal, but it achieved a secondary less savory revelation. Having worn the same at prior Premieres, it made me recognizable to 3 arrogant members of the ‘Greedy-Herberts’ brigade.
Martial experience can do very little on practical basis to prepare you for aspects of ‘Intentional Prejudice’, simply due to being sociable to other crowd line or autograph hunters. Yes, I have a few. But I don’t aim to intimidate anyone to prevent a successful claim, neither do I seek to make the fast buck, which some of the ‘Greedy-Herberts’ do.
They are a unique breed of individuals who take great lengths to get numerous autographs ( also at substantial overhead cost ), which appears to be their only valid excuse for acting like jerks to their colleagues and the tourist public at large. One, made a distasteful effort while at ‘The Ghost Protocol’ event that a guard nearly got physical about and I was a direct ‘witness’. Who now was being given more than a few intense ‘words‘ about shared between his companions at this event.
Over the next 20minutes, of gradual dimming light I could see a gradual progress of having ‘Warning-words’ spread about my being the numpty who’d blocked his ‘bargeing‘ attempt at making his quota to nearly half the signature hunters within different sections of the queue. Each making their own assessments of their own ability to stop me achieving a signature at this event. An intimidating stare alone from someone with direct intent can be more than enough to unsettle most people, but as they were ahead of me in the queue (most), I saw no reason to be overly fussed, but my frequency of neck rolls got raised just for counter-effect.
It appeared to calm the more neutral of the glares due most not having comparative deltoids. The primary ‘Greedy-Herberts’, group also noticed and over the last half hour phase, one by one the group faded to become a single guy looking after their equipment. I refreshed my whistle and ate a snack. Life of the tourists passing by was un-interrupted, some others grabbed a nearby seat and being elderly and chatty, began to get nostalgic about movies they’d previously attended. All very amiable, I shared a few of my own too. It got my mind back to task at hand, figuring out where along the barriers it was most likely to get a good view at ‘Jack Reacher’.
My focus mellowed, enough not to care that 2 of their group returned with hot drinks stacked.
I didn’t do the math’s, and easy error.
Activity started near the security manned point at the front end, I heard people begin to edge forward from behind to get visual confirmation, which continued sporadically. Until a pair of guys asked for details just behind my shoulder adjacently aligned to the queue. The foremost man was of similar age, not recognizable and appeared of regular level interest. The man behind just obscured and silent. Then the security guards opened the access barrier. The forward sections all starting to bunch and shunt ahead. I prepared my items, taking my time as being so far back in queue wasn’t going to cause me any issues. I was fully resolved to leave the whole matter to fate.
The trigger was almost naturally organic to the situation, a guard came back to the middle uttering that access to the premiere was being reviewed ( reconsidered), upon questioning by those ahead, responding with saying ” That it was likely only the first 50 into the access pen would guarantee the chance to see the film”. I wasn’t flustered in the least, began to match strides with those directly ahead. But those ahead, and several others had different idea, which led to the entire remaining queue start a miss-aligned dash towards the access point. I had to increase stride just to keep pace, but up ahead there was a kurt prompt from a now hidden voice, and then they made their move.
Concealed within the quickly trotting crowd, the ‘blocker’ bounded forward around my flank, directly ahead across my approach line, and the ‘sweeper’ attacked from my 5 O’clock. The queue had separated behind me, they’d created a tight artificial ‘Box-Up’ and performed a very passable rushing ‘Rear leg sweep’ Karate style. Having some prior Judo/Karate training it is a recognizable modified version (example below),of ‘Ashi-Barai’.
While I succeeded ( to their dismay ), in retaining my balance, the next few staccado steps to avoid others in the queue ( whom could’ve been seriously injured if I’d fallen ), ensured that both my assailants disappeared to join their companions ahead. They gave a few nervous glances behind, but were soon surrounded by a protective temporary crowd. I was relegated to the end of the queue.
Now, I had one new advantage, for the next entering-phase at barrier pens. I would know exactly who I’d need to deal with if we got placed together. It’s not under individual visitor control, fortunately for the ‘Greedy-Herberts’.
The security guards directed our section to a more northern position. Safely separated, for the remainder of the night as the chills grew with each dropping degree of darkness. I was able to console myself that the ‘Illusion-retaliation’ now from their blind-side would really twist their melons. How much more (see Jack Reacher finale), apt to the ending of the movie premiere could I ask for.
Well, shucks I did alright. I could happily tweet and perform subtle martial techniques to keep calm, warmer and stress free Qi-Gong at 75% etc..,
They may’ve gotten a few autograph’s, but all 40+ of our section got personally smiled upon by ‘Tom Hardy’, ‘David Hayes’ and ‘Tom Cruise’ himself. Plus ( after lengthy delay at ~2 degree’s), those with security tags all got to see the movie too. I’ve kept the snack pack from the event as proof, it’s already into its frozen 3rd year, and in perfect condition. “Natch”.
Oh there’s also this ‘YouTube’ piece., enjoy ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2txGyPQUSdg
PS. Those who liked this, can stay tuned! *Subscribe*, as ‘Part 2 = 2016’, due when I’ve updated a YouTube *Rewatch-list.