Water For Elephants London Premiere - Westfield London

Yesterday saw the long, anticipated London premiere for ‘Water for Elephants’ starring the very petit Reese Witherspoon and our very own Robert Pattinson. Beautifully staged at Westfield London in the atrium, it was like standing in the audience of a real circus. There were two tent-like stands and a great big podium in the middle where evidently the host would be standing. They also put on a show with loads of lifts and women bending their bodies into positions that even the most flexible Barbie doll couldn’t do. The evening was very successful, with T4 presenter Rick Edwards hosting the premiere and making every girl want to pee in their pants as he called Pattinson to the podium first.

With such a high profiled star such as “R-Patz” and two huge A-list actors such as Witherspoon and Christopher Waltz (not to mention, the very talented director Francis Lawrence), some might think going to a film premiere is suicide, a death defining stunt, risking every single bone in your body to try and get a good picture or something signed by the stars. To be honest it can be sometimes. But if everyone had some sort of a code, something to follow so everyone’s on the same thinking level whilst at the premiere without even saying a word, premiere’s would be very enjoyable for the those scared to come out and watch their favourites pass by. It would also make it easier for the stars that are willing to give the time to their fans and squeeze in a picture or two. Though the ‘Water for Elephants’ premiere went quite smoothly, it occurred to me that, there is a way around having a great time at a film premiere and successfully getting great pictures and maybe even an autograph, which brings me to my next point.

I’ve been to a few premieres in my short lifespan and they’re all quite similar. For someone who is about 5 foot 5 inches tall, I’ve witnessed and noted the elements in having a successful premiere experience. So listen up closely, as I am about to reveal my techniques, and my guide, which will now become your guide, on how to survive a film premiere.

When and where?

The first obvious thing to do is find out in advance when and where the premiere will be. The worst thing in the world is to plan the day before. Find out at least a couple of weeks in advance (a month would do) and keep checking to make sure the time and place hasn’t changed. You wouldn’t want to miss the premiere because you went to the wrong area.


Try not to go alone. Going with someone else or even a group is much better. We are humans with only 2 hands. You’ve got a better chance at getting something signed or even better pictures that are not blurred when there is more than one camera. At least by the end of it, you can share your photos with each other.

Also think about the timing. If you are an impatient person, you won’t be the very first person there. You don’t have to be to be successful. Going a few hours before the event is perfectly fine, just don’t arrive an hour before. Give it at least 2 or 3 hours before the premiere starts to get a good spot. This also depends on who will be turning up at the premiere. If they are huge stars such as the Angelina Jolie, Brad Pit, type (you get the idea) then it is a must you get there as early as you can. Also if it’s a high profiled star like Pattinson, someone you know there will be loads of people, especially young people (those are the savages)… yes get there early!

Bring something useful

If you want to get an autograph, make sure you bring a permanent marker. A biro won’t write on everything, permanent markers mean it will not rub off, especially if you intend on getting a glossy magazine signed. Sometimes the stars bring their own pens, but not always, so come prepared. If it’s something dark you want to get signed, bring a permanent silver, or gold marker.

Try not to bring a tiny notepad to get signed. Stars want a nice big canvas that they can just quickly sign instead of concentrating on trying to sign within a tiny space. Books, magazines, posters, photos, clothes, you can bring anything to get signed, just make sure you have the correct pen that can be used to sign your material. Also if it’s not on a hard surface, make sure you bring something the actor can lean on to write on your stuff. It makes life much easier and your autograph will come out more clearly.

Sometimes at premieres, photos or posters are handed out so you can get them signed, but this is not always the case. So don’t rely on that, but it’s a possibility.

If you love the camera and want to get noticed, bring a sign. The camera loves signs about the stars and will take pictures and videos of those with them. The crazier and more creative the sign, the more you’ll get noticed.

Picking a spot

When you’ve arrived, picking a spot can be one of the hardest decisions. You want to make sure you have a good spot for pictures, also enough room where you are almost guaranteed an autograph (depending how generous the actor is). If you are under 5 foot 7 inches, you are considered short at events like this, so make sure when choosing a spot, try to find the emptiest area, (this is based on the fact that you’ve arrived early) stand behind someone who is about your height or shorter and there is a gap where your arm is able to stretch when going in for the kill (getting an autograph).

If you are with a huge group, try to split up into pairs and get different spots, you’ll be increasing your chances. It’s more fun too. If you’re by yourself, try to makes friends with those around you, and apologize in advance/let the person in front of you know that when the stars come out, they may get squashed because of those behind you. It’s a great conversation starter. This is also the time to test out your camera to get the best possible pictures you can. Take a few snaps of the area; check out when you may need to use the zoom function and so on.

Dress code is also very important. People with long, light hair not tied back can be annoying to both yourself and the person. Also those with big bags on their backs can be a strain. So it’s best to think about others, don’t bring a huge bag that will get in the way, if you do, keep it by your feet on the floor or in your hand. If we all work together, it will be great. Dress for the weather, but bare in mind, it will get a little heated as more people arrive and you begin to get a little squashed in the crowed.

When they arrive

When the stars arrive, it will be loud and there will be lots of movement. This is where you get your cameras, pens and merchandise ready. Some stars don’t like to go over to the loudest, pushing and shoving section, so try to keep it calm. Accept that there will be some pushing and shoving from behind you, so don’t get too over heated about the situation, everyone is trying to get something out of the trip.

Stick your arm out; don’t expect the stars to be stretching over to sign your stuff. If you got something signed, shout thank you, you may get a response. Hang around, you don’t know who may just pop up.


If you are intending on securing one of the big posters that are usually attached to the barriers, get there early enough so you can secure a spot right behind one. When the time is right, and the premiere is over, you’ll be able take it off. This is something I haven’t achieved yet, but is a goal!

It is truly a great experience going to a premiere. The atmosphere gives you a great buzz and to see the stars in the flesh is excellent. Following these simple steps makes the ride even better. Think of the whole thing as a mission. With loads of premieres coming up in the summer like ‘Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows part 2’ and Twilight’s ‘Breaking Dawn’ in November, this guide will defiantly come in handy. Expect a lot (this is an understatement) of young screaming fans.

Good luck and stay safe! Maybe, I’ll see you here there.