04 December, 2008

UK Premiere- Report

I’ve just come back from the Twilight premiere in Leicester Square and it was certainly an experience. It was a week of ‘yes you can go, no you can’t, yes you can, no you can’t’ and finally the people from Nokia pulled through and got me into the thick of things. I found out Tuesday night that I was able to go, and Wednesday morning I was on a train to London. I met up with Robbie and Steph from Nokia around 3:30, we chatted and discussed what was expected of me (to take photos and video using the new Nokia 6220 phone as well as do a few livestream videos with Robbie during the event) and what I was hoping to get out of the evening. They were both extremely laid back, lots of fun, and very positive about the whole experience. Neither of them knew anything about Twilight, so I tried to forewarn them what they were getting into, and yet when we left the pub to head over to the premiere they were somehow shocked at the fact that we could hear the screams from three blocks away. I had to bite my tongue to stop from saying “I told you so.”

The crowds were immense and manic! The enthusiasm was all that I would expect of Twilight fans. It was a slightly different feel than the Breaking Dawn release at the Nokia theater in NYC in August, because that was like a giant party with all of the fans celebrating together and this was more of a fierce competition of who was the bigger Twilight fan, who could push to the front, scream the loudest, and who could see Rob first, but it was still brilliant. There were vampires, signs, chants of “We want Rob!” and “Twilight!” and the crowd overflowed the barriers security had placed there.
The Twilight poster was huge on the Vue theater and TWILIGHT spelled out twice in the Twilight font in blue neon lights on either side of Rob and Kristen’s photo. Oddly enough there wasn’t a red carpet, it was a black carpet, but it was very appropriate for the Twilight décor. There weren’t vampires or Volturi running around, but there were four hired models, two male and two female, wearing all white and with sparkles on their faces who escorted Kristen and Rob down the carpet. It was a bit cheesy, but effective. They certainly made Rob and Kristen, both wearing all black, stand out from their stark whiteness, and it added some glamour to the presentation, but I wanted to get them a coat or a cup of tea... it was FREEZING! And the vampire/model girls were only wearing white, silk dresses. They’re probably still thawing out their toes!

We spoke to a few of the contest winners (video of two of them here) who were pumped and electric about the premiere, got our tickets and headed over to the theater.

Robbie and I were escorted into the meet and greet pen (don’t you love how it’s called a pen? And it really was a pen… we were packed in there like cattle) where we tried fairly successfully to gain the attention of Catherine, Rob and Kristen. It was only the three of them there (which also kind of surprised me; I figured the producers or perhaps a few more cast members would appear... I wonder how that decision is made), so the three of them bore the entire brunt of the media and the mania, but they handled it well.

They walked down (with the white, sparkly models), did an interview at the end of the carpet, walked back to the beginning of the carpet (with the white, sparkly models), and then worked their way down the crowds, press, and meet and greet areas. They were running late so sadly no one got a lot of time to interview, take pictures etc, but it was so cold I can’t say that I minded all that much. We were able to see them, observe the mania and then move inside.

To be honest, I was slightly frustrated with the whole premiere process. It’s impossible to get their whole attention, you only have a few seconds to get the question out, it’s probably a question they’ve heard 100 times so they're already bored with it, there are a thousand people screaming their name, flashbulbs going off everywhere, and their handlers are constantly moving them along so it never feels like anyone is accomplishing anything. It’s just a lot of skimming the surface. I suppose that’s the point of premieres- just to have some mania, stir up some attention and get people to recognize the name Twilight; it’s not a forum for in-depth info sharing. Hmm… I think this will be a blog entry in the future as I hash through the many elements of movie premieres.

I also found it odd because the last time I saw Rob it was 3am on the last day of shooting in Oregon, we were freezing and hovering around a propane heater on set and swapping ridiculous life stories... just being normal human beings, and in this situation it was like a circus. He was on parade, escorted around... it wasn't bad by any means, it's another facet of an actor's job to do a film as well as the publicity, it's just interesting to see the different sides of one role; the actor, the person, the icon etc. It's the real person versus the 'reel' person (i.e. the character they portray or the iconic figure that they represent). I certainly enjoy the creation part, the development and the filming process more, but this is still an essential part of the overall process.

Anyway…. we were then escorted inside where there was nothing but Twilight posters on every surface. It was great. It really set the scene that something big was happening, and it was happening here. Rob/Edward’s golden eyes were staring us down all over the cinema. On each seat was a black goodie bag with a copy of Twilight inside, two red apples (cute), shampoo (sadly it doesn’t smell of strawberries), Vitamin water and candy, and the MTV Twilight video was playing- the one that introduced the Cullens and talked about the translation of the book to the film. Then the lights went down, and a man from E1 came out (the film’sUK distributor) and said his thanks and introduced Catherine, Rob and Kristen. Catherine said how stoked she was, and how cold she was, and then she gave the mic to Rob. As he took it a girl yelled “Bite me!” at him and he told her with a chuckle and a crooked smile to talk to his manager and then he’d consider it. He said he was glad to be back in London and with “real people” which everyone laughed at, and then they all left (Kristen didn’t say anything) and the film began!

I’ll review the film fully in the next bajillion posts…there are so many angles I want to analyze, that I’ll be doing it in installments. I’ll start with a general review that I’ll have up certainly before the week/end is out, and then I’ll probably do weekly installments analyzing different aspects of the film like the editing, music, lighting, characterization etc…. but for now I’ll just say that I’m pleased. There’s lots to discuss, many things that I wonder about and question, but that’s my job as a film student. Overall, I’m very pleased with it though.

After the film, Robbie and I had a drink in the theater's bar that was fully kitted out with Twilight photos and posters, and spoke to a number of people about their reactions to the film. Most were thrilled to the point of ecstasy to see their visions in real life, of course there were things that they didn't like and my favorite comment on adaptations, "It wasn't how I pictured it..." It can be hard to remember that this is just how Catherine Hardwicke, the producers and their team (which includes Stephenie Meyer) pictured it. It's not the be-all end-all. It's one interpretation that we are invited to view.

Okay, I've a ton more pictures and video, but I was using three different devices to capture stuff, so all of the media will be up as soon as I can get it up, but that’s enough for now… if I start thinking about my reaction to the film I’ll be here for hours and as it’s 1am and I still have the photos from at least one camera to upload, so I’m going to end there for the evening.

Stay tuned for more; the brief review, and then analysis and tearing apart portion of the program is soon to follow.

Addition: This is what I saw as I was walking into Euston Station in London. Twilight is totally taking over my life and following me everywhere :)

UPDATE: My Webshots can be viewed HERE

Rob on GMTV the next morning. Dawson's Creek with fangs? Really? Sigh...

Rob's BBC Interview

Link to the Telegraph's video of the Black Carpet Coverage with a couple of nice interviews with Rob, Kristen and Catherine... but for the love of Pete I wish they'd stop asking Rob if he has a girlfriend...


Lauren said...

Thank you for sharing! I loved reading about your experience, and look forward to reading future posts!


Anonymous said...

Ahh! Awesome, can't wait to hear more! Sounds like a whirlwind, amazing experience. So glad you got there and got to see the movie.
-Sarah, your sister

Karla said...

Hi Maggie!
Love your coverage. I imagine the experience was simultaneously exhilarating and annoying. Especially since your experience in Oregon was on a much more intimate level.
I am eagerly awaiting your film analysis. I walked out of the theatre disappointed upon my first viewing, but enjoyed it much more seeing it a second and third time. I took me multiple viewings to understand exactly what the production team was trying to accomplish (tone of film, plot line, etc.), but I then I finally "got it."
Will you consider do a pre-production film analysis of New Moon on your blog? I would love to hear your thoughts, expectations about what will need to be changed/altered in the production process of NM. And your thoughts on what should be improved upon production-wise from "Twilight" to "New Moon."
I think Summit should hire you as a consultant for NM!

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I discovered your blog off of the Lexicon web page and I found it truley comforting. Let me explain...I have read all the books dozens of times and was beyond thrilled to see the movie. Once I did, I hate to admit it but I was so disappointed. So, I have been battling myself with whether or not to have a "go see it" attitude. I want to support Stephanie Meyer and these books all I can. After reading your posts on the movie from a different perspective I was relieved in a way. I saw a different way of looking at it. By not comparing it to the book, I was able to enjoy the movie the second time I saw it. Thanks so much for the input.

On another note, I am looking forward to New Moon. I did read an interview on Catherine where she stated that if she is asked to direct NM she would like to take it more from Edwards POV rather than Bella's. I was wondering what your thoughts would be? Do you think she is saying that b/c Robert has become the main focus and they would like to keep it that way? Or b/c from a movie production side, the movie version would make more sense that way? Just curious....thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, can't wait to hear the rest! And I'm really hoping you got some pictures of the white sparkley models.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting. I can't wait for your discussion of the film. It was so interesting to hear what happens 'inside' the premier. Fans get to see all the excitement outside, but never know what happens in the movie theatre itself. Thanks for the look inside!

Tessa Talk said...

Soooooo happy to have found your blog again!!! Somehow I [silly me] lost it along the way. It's safely in Favorite Places now though, and I look forward to returning.

Both for your present entries. And to go over your entries, from when you followed the making of 'Twilight.'

So wish someone would be doing the same, with the making of 'New Moon.' If anyone knows of such a blog, please share the info.

Tessa Talk

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