Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug – European premiere, Berlin

…or should I say world premiere-like event? Because it actually seemed bigger than the world premiere in LA. I was so excited when the premiere was announced because I had hoped for something like this, but I never imagined so many actors to come. The date was announced before there were any hints about the guest list. The next step was a short lineup – short, but certainly high quality, since it included Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans and Benedict Cumberbatch. Even only Benedict Cumberbatch had been on this list, I would have come to Berlin, so it was a „must-do“ for me any way.
But eventually there were announced: Peter Jackson, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans, Sylvester McCoy, Mikael Persbrandt, Aidan Turner, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Adam Brown, Graham McTavish, Dean O’Gorman, Ryan Gage, John Bell and Ed Sheeran. Which was already great, but I learned of two more cast members to join the premiere, the day before (while we were trying to catch Benedict at the „12 years a slave“ film presentation): Orlando Bloom (my reaction: :-O :-O :-O) and (while we were standing at the red carpet, at some point during the 10 hours): Andy Serkis.

So my goal was to get Benedict’s autograph (of course), and Peter’s and Orlando’s. They were the three most important because via mail more or less impossible to get. And I wanted to get Ryan Gage’s autograph, he was the fourth actor missing in my collection, and my two letters to him seem to have been lost on their way.

But I take two steps back: I had some vacations days left this year, so everything seemed to work out, when I got ill last Monday, with fever for three days, which made me worry about my plan to go to Berlin. But I was determined to not let this damn cold ruin this one-time-opportunity. And thankfully the cold retreated. Not fully, but enough for me to go.

So I booked my train ticket for Sunday and a few hours after that, Nicole told me that on Sunday evening Benedict would present his movie „12 years a slave“. Obviously, I was thrilled – two chances to get Ben’s autograph… many of you know how I felt that my trying to get Benedict’s autograph was cursed, because neither all of my VV attempts, nor all my tries to get his autograph with help of nice people who were to meet him IP.
And I was relieved because I had booked an early train on Sunday, so I would be able to bring all my stuff to my aunt’s and get there to the film lounge in time.

It was a bit chaotic and I don’t really wanna write a lot about this disappointment, but after approx. 9 hours (which we spent partly in front of a hotel and partly in front of the film lounge) in the cold and for some time also rain, Benedict arrived to this presentation through the back door – and left through the back door. So this was a complete failure.

Well, I like to think positive and thought back to the STiD premiere where we spent hours in front of the hotel without any success one day, and the next day at the premiere was super successful. So I took the failure with Benedict for a good omen (or tried to ;)).

I arrived first (of the 6 or eventually 7 people – Nicole, Katrin and their friends), at 7.40, and the entire first row was already taken. But right then when Andrea and the others came, the barrier had been prolonged towards the street, so we got ourselves places in the first row in a potentially great position, since the actors had to leave the cars on the street and walk all the way to the cinema over this long red carpet, instead of leaving the cars right in front of the „stage“. Those of you who have watched the livestream, you probably saw that the actors walked a short distance, 10 or 15 meters maybe, from the street to the curve after which followed the 100-something meter straight carpet. We were standing right in/behind this interior angle at the beginning of the straight line.

And then we waited and waited and waited… and it rained and rained some more, and it didn’t stop for more than a couple of minutes. We feared that the actors would „run“ straight to the part of the Red carpet with a roof over it. But it was such a big premiere, that it was likely that the actors couldn’t ignore all of these people waiting in the rain for hours.
It was a very drizzly rain, eventually a bit stronger, eventually a bit fainter. It wasn’t as cold as the days before, but I was glad that I was wearing 6 layers of clothing 😀 and I was even more thankful for the big fleece blanket that I had brought (after feeling really cold during the Hunger Games: Catching Fire premiere). So I basically wrapped myself in this blanket, sat on the backpack in which I had brought the blanket, and stayed there for most of the time. And most of the time a) I didn’t really get wet because the blanket prevented it, and b) I wasn’t cold. And I even manage to sleep for a few minutes 😀

When it was getting closer to the show time, we got nervous because it kept raining… and there wasn’t any wizard, at least not greater than the Brown, to stop this „deluge“ 🙂 But of course, we were mistaken. It only rained until the raining stopped: We had forgotten that Peter Jackson was the greatest wizard! Okay, maybe the raining didn’t fully stop, when he arrived (first, with Martin Freeman), but from that point on, it was so faint that it wasn’t gonna ruin our photos and autographs, until the last actors reached the press area. 🙂

„Funny“ enough, I totally missed Martin Freeman who was one of the first. Why? Because I only saw James Nesbitt and a few steps behind him his daughters (who play Bard’s daughters in the movie), and not at all Martin, who apparently was just between them.
They were more or less running towards the press area and didn’t give any autographs, promised to come back later but of course they only went back half way, so we didn’t get any of these four. I would have loved to get the autographs of Peggy and Mary Nesbitt, so it really is a pity. But there wasn’t much time to be annoyed (and then we still had hope that they would actually come back).
I don’t know in what order the rest of the actors came, so just a few „episodes“ that stood out (almost random order):

  • When Dean O’Gorman came to my spot, for some reason he didn’t have any pen. Andy Serkis was standing right next to him and had just signed my photo, and when Dean asked if anybody had a pen, I just said „Andy!“ (and because noone else had a pen in that moment, Andy gave him his pen to sign.
  • When Adam Brown signed my photo (of him, Jed and Mark at HobbitCon), I asked him if he remembered and he laughed, affirmed that and asked me if I would come to HobbitCon next year 🙂 Of course I will 😉
  • When Richard Armitage came around the corner onto the long straight, he was, for one moment, stunned by the length of the carpet and all these fans waiting there. I don’t know anymore whether I could hear him or just read his lips, and if he said „wow!“ or „oh my god!“, but he did, pausing for a moment, before taking on the masses 🙂
  • I think it’s weird how many people didn’t know the actors. Why go to a premiere if you don’t even bother looking them up? One time it was really „funny“, when some guy behind me held out a photo to sign for Ryan Gage… but it was a photo of Aidan Turner! I hadn’t seen it before, otherwise I maybe would have told him that that wasn’t Aidan, but only heard when Ryan told him „That’s not me.“
    And a few moments later he saw my photo and told me: „This is me. You should show it to that guy.“ And he signed it (which was great because he was the 3rd of the Hobbit people missing in my collection til then, whose autograph I got at this premiere. After that, he even took a photo of us 🙂 Such a nice guy! And very handsome 😉
  • Aidan Turner reached for my photo to hold it while signing it and since I was holding it too (beneath the photo, so he didn’t see it), he actually grabbed my fingers and with a pitying tone he told me that my fingers were freezing cold. Yup, that happens ;D
  • It was pretty chaotic to figure out who would come next because as I explained, we were standing in/behind that bend, and some actors first signed on „our“ side of the red carpet and then changed to the shorter other side, and then back to our side to continue their way on the red carpet, and others came from the shorter other side and then changed to our side. So it was a bit tricky to figure out who was next. And at some point, Ken Stott was coming our way pretty slowly, and right behind him Benedict Cumberbatch (who had already signed for a while on the short other side and then changed back but started in the beginning on our side so we had lost sight of him for several minutes). Now, Ken Stott was slowly signing and Benedict was catching up… and Ken Stott first looked at every photo and commented now and then, so he just started signing for me and Benedict already was signing next to him…. I was SO afraid that Ben would skip a few to continue ahead, and it was so close that I actually wanted to pull back my photo while Ken was signing *lol*
  • but luckily he finished just in time and Benedict signed for me. And not just the usual „BC 2013 x“, but I had somewhat of an unusual photo (of him doing mocap of Smaug), so he wrote more on the photo. My heart was pouncing and I was stunned. Still am. I’m so happy that the curse was finally broken and I finally got his autograph 🙂
    If I decipher it correctly, it says „Don’t try this at home!“ 😀

So, a resume:
I did not get: Ed Sheeran (who apparently only signed Hobbit posters and not the photo of him, and I didn’t react quick enough to hold out the Hobbit poster I had. Sylvester McCoy (whom I didn’t even see), Martin Freeman (see above), James Nesbitt and his daughters (:(), and Katie Jackson (I wasn’t sure if the girl following Peter was Katie… although I had prepared a collage for her, and for the Nesbitt girls, because I had thought that they would maybe accompany their dads). Such a pity, especially regarding the three girls. BUT

I got – and this is the most wonderful result for me:

(I uploaded the full scans to the Hobbit page (LotR -> Hobbit) – I’ll gladly send you the password if you ask for it ;))

Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch

Orlando Bloom

Orlando Bloom

Peter Jackson

Peter Jackson

Richard Armitage (2x, one on my favourite Thorin poster and one on my favourite North & South pic)

Richard Armitage5 Richard Armitage6

Adam Brown

Adam Brown2

Evangeline Lilly

Evangeline Lilly4

Luke Evans

Luke Evans7

Dean O’Gorman

Dean O'Gorman3

Aidan Turner (on the same pic)

Aidan Turner6

John Bell (2x. He’s a funny and very kind kid – and he was wearing a kilt :D)

John Bell2 John Bell3

Ryan Gage

Ryan Gage

Andy Serkis

Andy Serkis3

Ken Stott

Ken Stott4

Graham McTavish

Graham McTavish4

Mikael Persbrandt

Mikael Persbrandt3


It was so worth the trip and the wait!

Oh, PS: Again, I managed to grab one of those banners (the ones on the barriers, I’m afraid not the nicer ones on the poles). 😉
PPS: A general note: It was a very „quiet“ premiere, which I thought was great. Of course people can scream and yell the actors’ names, but at the Catching Fire premiere some girls really screeched like crazy… that was not at all nice for the ears, almost unbearable (without putting ones fingers in ones ears) but literally cringeworthy. This one was different and I think this is also much nicer for the actors. At least we didn’t hear that much shrieking.


Hunger Games – Catching Fire premiere

Again, a very short post, but I wanted to show my successes. I’m very pleased and content with the autographs I got. It was worth the wait!

First I got Elizabeth Banks (on a character photo and a photo with the movie symbol… like a poster but not a poster but a 8×10 photo ;)), then the producer, Nina Jacobson (on the “poster”), then Josh Hutcherson (on a collage of my favourite scene of the trailer, Katniss and Peeta at the parade) – generally, he signed SO much and took photos with so many fans! He was actually adorable… I didn’t think he was so short! -, then Liam Hemsworth (only on the poster pic :/ not on a character pic) and finally Jennifer Lawrence (on the collage that Josh had signed). She also signed a lot, didn’t take photos tough, because she rather wanted to sign as much as possible.

After that I went to the back door and to our surprise Josh signed a lot more and took more photos there, for probably 10 minutes or so. The others had already gone. I got another autograph (on the poster pic), and a photo with him. 🙂

So it was a really successful evening!

Catching Fire-kasudjaioshdu

The movie “poster” (8×10 pic) with autographs of Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Nina Jacobson and Elizabeth Banks

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson

Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks

You can see the full scans in the Hunger Games section (Other movies -> Hunger Games)

Star Trek into Darkness premiere (Berlin)

Photos of the actors are at the bottom of this blog entry, the scans of the autographs integrated in the text. If you want to see the full scans, just comment here or send me an email (Fantasy-autographs@gmx.de – you need to write something expressive as subject, otherwise the spam filter will eat your mail), and I’ll send you the password.

After the disappointment of the Berlinale (which, I have to admit, was still successful, considering I got three nice autographs, so in retrospect I’m pretty content with that), I had thought I wouldn’t want to go to another movie event, but as it so happened, I wanted to take two days off work anyways after finishing the next edition of the journal I work for, and Wednesday was a holiday in Germany, so taking off Monday and Tuesday was pretty perfect. Plus I had collected enough points with Deutsche Bahn that I could have one ride for free and the other for a reduced fee, so it didn’t cost me much.
So even when it was clear that Benedict Cumberbatch wasn’t going to attend the German Star Trek into Darkness premiere, I still wanted to go, especially to see Zach in person, and to get Simon Pegg’s autograph.I already got Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto via mail (and the latter also through a wonderful person whom I can’t thank enough for that! *waves at Lindsay*). But of course I wasn’t gonna miss this opportunity to see still one of my favourite actors (I guess if there had been a second, Cumberbatch, that would have been an overkill ;)).
I arrived on Saturday because there had been a photocall announced for Sunday, 14 o’clock, in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Sunday morning Nicole sent me a short message that they moved the location and shortly after told me, where. Assuming it would still be at the same time, I went there only to learn a few minutes later that they had also changed the time and the photocall already happened at 10:30 in the morning. Since I didn’t have much else to do – of course I could have visited a few spots in Berlin, but I knew then in which hotel the actors were and there still was the chance to see them, as they had spent quite a lot of time outside on Saturday. Yes, I was so crazy to spent 5 or 6 hours in front of this hotel, going back and forth between the main entrance and the back door. But I didn’t see a glimpse of the actors. I learned later that Simon came out to give a few autographs and that Alice Eve came out for an interview and also signed a bit, but of course at these points I was at the back entrance, so I didn’t see them. The last bit of time I spent at the front entrance and missed a chance to see Zach. Somehow he managed to slip into the hotel right under everybody’s noses. He wore a cap which shadowed his face so only a few people recognized him, but too late, and most of us didn’t even see him because we were distracted for a second by something else.
Well, what an unsuccessful day – but weirdly enough I wasn’t disappointed at all. I had talked with a nice person half the time and it was sunny, and a nice day to spend outside, so somehow there was no disappointment. Also I had succeeded to leave my letters to Simon and Alice and Zoe at the reception, so maybe these would bring success.

But of course I hoped that the next day would be better, regarding autographs. Since I’m too green in IP collecting, I asked Nicole’s friends if I could accompany them on Monday, and thankfully they agreed. They planned to go there early, 11 o’clock in the morning already, to make sure that we’d get good spots. I set out for that direction at 10:30 but decided to give the hotel another try. So I stood there – this time completely alone – when a car with the Star Trek premiere logo arrived. I got excited, because the people who got out, didn’t enter the hotel but stood there as if they waited for something, or rather, of course, someone. And in fact a few minutes later more cars with the logo arrived and Alice Eve and Simon Pegg got out. Fortunately for me two autograph hunters (no, I don’t like dealers, but in this moment they had their use) were there, because I wouldn’t have recognized Alice Eve 😀 and two other people held up Simon Pegg, so I got Alice’s autograph first and then reached Simon in time before he could enter the hotel and got his signature as well.

Alice Eve3 Simon Pegg

Alice had signed on the wrong page: I had put the photo into a note book and instead of signing the photo she signed the blank page and stated afterwards that she didn’t notice the photo *lol* oh well, but it was a start, and a good one too, considering that these two were the two of the five cast members attending, whom I didn’t have yet.
When there were no more cars coming and the other two people said that they had driven behind the cars and that they all started together, it was clear that the other actors had entered the hotel via the back entrance, so I left for the Sonycenter to claim my spot at the fence where the others were already standing. 😉
I leave out the next 7 ½ hours because it was mainly boring, waiting waiting waiting. Oh, and annoying… it’s incredible how annoying some people can be. There was one person in particular who wouldn’t stop talking. I’m glad I a) brought a book and b) my music, so I could put in my earwigs and try to drown out the brainless drivel with that. Not always successful, but partly.
The only interesting thing was when some people prepared the fences etc, and put these large STiD premiere banners on the metal fences, and I asked one of them, if we could get one these things after the show, and he said he didn’t know, because some of them would be used for the aftershow party, but we should ask again when they detach these things after the show.

Then the cast came. Well, first came some “celebrities” (with big “”)… one can’t even say they’re B-list celebrities, they must be Z-list celebrities which nobody knew. But then, finally, JJ Abrams. He got out of the car and right to one of the “studios” they had build (one of these big white bridge imitations), to be interviewed. And then, of course, he went to the farthest end of the fences and began to write autographs and make photos. That was the most incredible thing. Not only of him, but the entire cast attending: they were SUPER patient. But JJ was exceptional. He must have spent 1-1 ½ hours signing autographs and taking picture, with and for everybody who asked. Wow. But they all took their time. I lost my sense of time but I guess all actors spent 40 minutes outside. Of course, with a few minutes for the press, but they signed a lot!
First to arrive was… uhm, good question. I think it was Zoe, but I’m not sure. [edit: no, according to my photos Zach came first, but I’m really not certain if Alice maybe was there before… I lost track] Zoe, as everybody of the cast, went to the other side of the black carpet first and we were really worried, but as I said and probably will say again, they signed so much and took their time.
The first to come to us, was Zoe and she signed my 8×10 picture of Kirk, Spock and Uhura.

Zoe Saldana4

After that, Zachary, who also signed the cast shot and, without me asking for it, the character pic (Spock in the volcano) which was right beneath the cast photo and jutted just a bit under it. Awesome 🙂

Zachary Quinto5 Zachary Quinto6

I asked him if I could get a picture with him and I got one. Don’t have it yet, so I’m not sure, but I think I look terrible on it (more terrible than usual ;( ) Such a shame!
After that, Chris signed the cast pic as well, so I had reached my main goal. I tried to get his sig on the character pic (Kirk running through these red plants) as well, but didn’t. Oh well, I really don’t care, I’m more than happy about the pic with three signatures.

Chris Pine2

Alice Eve also signed and this time I only held the picture in front of her, not the note book. She signed and even personalized it. Very nice.

Alice Eve

Simon Pegg then stopped signing a few people before us, promised to come back after the interview he had to do, but when he came back, he started signing a few people before us in the other direction and didn’t come back to us. And JJ Abrams? He was still busy somewhere on the black carpet and it took him another 15 minutes to get to us. Of course he signed for us as well and took a picture (or rather he had employed one of the security guys to take all the pictures) 😀

JJ Abrams

Then the actors did a bit for the press and the fans who stood between the press and the cinema entrance, and we decided to go to the back entrance of the cinema, and the security guys let us in and wait there behind the fence, where the actors were about to go up on the balcony. After waiting a bit, they came by us, one by one. First, I think, Alice, then Simon (both signed the small 6×4 pictures I still had), then Zoe, who signed the big character pic for me (Uhura standing there with a gun). [edit: wrong again… apparently it was too exciting to recall it correctly. According to my photos, Zoe came before Alice].

Alice Eve2 Simon Pegg2 Zoe Saldana3

Of course then I hoped to get Chris’ autograph on the character poster as well, but he stopped signing right in front of me. Pity, but I really can’t be disappointed, not even a bit. This evening went way too great!
And then Zach again (or actually Zach before Chris, I think). He also signed another small pic for me and I managed to take a pic, which I think is beyond cute – the last of the Zach photos at the bottom of this post :D).

Zachary Quinto7

After that we also managed to get Bryan Burk, the producer’s autograph. He signed the same pic for me which  JJ already had signed. So I really got everybody 🙂

Bryan Burk

We went to where they had parked their cars but there they got in without signing again and as I said, I can’t be disappointed about that and I’m not. This evening was super great. And there was gonna be an additional bonus for me: We went back to the black carpet, where the fences were being built back, and we saw that five girls just got these big banners. That was all, but then I asked the man whom I had asked before, to remember that, and apparently he did, so he said he didn’t have more for now, but we should wait. He did a big traraaa out of it and while the others gave up, I guess I was persistent enough and actually got one of the two more banners he came back with.
Isn’t that great? I guess the corridor between my bedroom and my living room will get a new outfit for a while 😀 [edit: *lol* nope… my corridor is way too small. I guess I’ll put it in my living room for a while then]

So you see, it was an absolutely successful adventure for me.
I only wish, Benedict Cumberbatch had been there too. I.MUST.GET.HIS.AUTOGRAPH! *sigh*

But now the photos:

DSC_8353b DSC_8383b DSC_8389b DSC_8398b DSC_8403b DSC_8407b DSC_8412b DSC_8416b DSC_8427b DSC_8431b DSC_8437b DSC_8438b DSC_8445b DSC_8449b DSC_8455b DSC_8457b DSC_8460b DSC_8481b DSC_8492b DSC_8497b DSC_8501b DSC_8505b DSC_8506b

(the envelope you see there is for a 8×10 pic, so you can imagine, how big this banner is)