One Direction Film Premiere: the fans who couldn’t get in

  • One Direction Film Premiere

    Hands up, I’m not a teenage girl, I’m not a fan of One Direction and readers of this blog know I prefer my men a little more mature in years.  My readers also know I’ve recently covered the two rock film premieres featuring Status Quo.  So I thought it would be deliciously contrary to add the One Direction film premiere to my work.

    I’ll also admit that until I covered this event I knew very little about this boy band.  I made a spur of the moment decision to go after listening to a news item on Radio 4’s Today Programme.  What intrigued me was the detail that this group were created by their fans from a TV competition rather than being discovered in clubs like The Beatles.  One Direction were not winners of the X Factor; they had come third.  But the girls knew better than the Judges and had given them their current global success.  As a photographer I was looking forward to seeing an event that was well supported by fans and in contrast to my two Quo films.

    Leicester Square at 4.15pm

    Before I arrived there I had wondered if I would be able to get in to Leicester Square because I’d heard an announcement requesting fans to stay away.  I had no trouble entering the square but what a disappointment that was.  The fans were hidden, corralled into an enclosure behind giant fences.  I could hear them screaming and music playing.  But what was I going to photograph?  It felt like a disaster.

    There were a few hundred fans outside the enclosure and they were standing along one side watching the top of a giant screen and trying to photograph it.  So I joined them and took this picture of the fans inside the giant cattle pen.  This was the best shot I would get of them!

    Leicester Square, London

    One Direction Film Premiere, Leicester Square, London

    It was still early and this was all there was to see. Inside the enclosure I could hear an MC talking to the hysterical female horde interspersed with music.  Shots of the girls inside were continuously shown on the screen and each time they saw themselves they screamed.  All the girls outside could do were to stand on tip toes and watch, feeling left out.  This shot below captures those feelings exactly.

    Seconds after I took this shot the girl on the right was crying with emotion of event.

    Seconds after I took this shot the girl on the right was crying with emotion of event.

    I love this shot because although autofocus has let me down, you can still see how young and fragile these teens are.  They really wanted to be inside that fence.

    And then there were the cool girls like these two. I was captivated by the face of the girl with the hat but when I downloaded the pictures I noticed the tickets they were holding.  They were going to get in!  You can see that in the face of her friend.

    Those cards in their hands must be tickets to the premiere.

    Those cards in their hands must be tickets to the premiere.

    One Direction Film Premiere: Success!  Discovering my story of the event

    I’m not a Directioner and after 45 minutes of snapping the watchers who included girls and women, boys and men, I went home. I realised that I wouldn’t get any decent arrival pictures of the stars.  And anyway, the Press always get the best shots.

    Unlike the two Status Quo premieres where I’d had prime vantage points I wasn’t sure what I’d captured with my pictures.  I went on line and made myself even more miserable looking at official photos of the fans inside the enclosure.  But looking again at my pictures I saw what the official shots don’t capture.  That yearning to be one of the chosen few which I saw in so many young faces.  We all want to special.  And they were in stark contrast to the cool girls who didn’t need to camp over night to attend.

    I’m really excited by this week’s gallery which captures something different from the official pictures.  I hope you enjoy them and do click on a picture for a better view in gallery mode.

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