This past week I took a slightly spontaneous trip to London for the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Quite an incredible experience.
I arrived in London on Wednesday, the day prior to the event. Nothing too exciting really happened that day.
Thursday I arrived at Leicester Square around noon to find that the event was not even completely set up and there were far fewer people than I had expected for the time.
There were already barricades, but the sign on the Odeon was not finished, the red carpet not fully spread out, and large masses of people unbarricaded.
It really seemed to be very unstructured and disorganized at this point, which I did not really understand. With my logic, it seems that since this is the seventh Harry Potter film and probably the umpteenth premiere they have done there, that the staff should really know how to handle it and that everything should have already been decided, arranged, and ready – not the way it was.
Well, I did not walk around too much, but I went over to the large group of people who were not barricaded and started talking to some of them. I decided it was probably a good idea to stay there because they would have to put up the barriers sometime.
So I staid there for hours and it rained a few times – which was greatly unpleasant.
Eventually a person working the event came over to our huge crowd and made us move around and everything was very unclear to us.
Later they finally put up the barricades around us.
In the end I had a pretty good spot – near a corner, one person to my left and about 10 or so in front or me. Not a great place for autographs, but a pretty great view of the stairs leading out of the center of the square – which was completely closed off with fences as there were stages and screens and evidently some interesting activities would take place inside that I would not be able to see.
After standing for about 5 hours, night began to fall, lights began to shine, people began to scream, and stars began to arrive.
The screens I could no longer see showed the movie trailers and perhaps the interviews with the stars, of which I could hear only slightly. It felt like I was an outsider and they didn’t want anyone not inside to know what was happening. I say this because before everything was set up, I could see a screen perfectly through the fence, but after all was said and done, a printed tarp covered the fence all the way around thus blocking our view. Also there were no speakers pointing in our direction. All of this I do not understand.
In any case, I saw people arrive and heard some interviews. It was a cool experience in spite of all the negative aspects. If I ever do this kind of thing again, I would much prefer to be there as the press.