Friday, September 24, 2010

Toronto International Film Fest 2010 (TIFF)

 This was my busiest year yet for TIFF, I covered 24 red carpet galas and I finally made it to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's 'In Style' Party. For years friends have been trying to convince me to go to the HFPA party but I always declined. This year was a week of many late nights, so I figured why not one more. It was worth it, as I managed to see a lot of new young actors/actresses who I admit I didn't know until I looked them up in IMDB. There were a few bigger name attendees which I would have missed due to scheduling conflicts (couldn't be at two red carpet events at the same time). Picked up Ryan Reynolds, Bill Pulman, Charlotte Rampling, Jim Broadbent and Harvey Weinstein who appeared to be running things at the party.

 This year TIFF was trying to move more festival activities from uptown (Yorkville) to the downtown area around their new headquarters "The Bell Lightbox". The Lightbox  was used for free screenings of older award winning movies and a few special events including a mavericks session with Ed Norton interviewing Bruce Springsteen. I hope this place continues to be used for side events only, as it doesn't appear to be a fan friendly venue for a gala  screenings.

 Another location that was popular for TIFF was the Elgin or Winter garden theater. Most of the bigger names were scheduled there for some reason? This is a very nice theater inside but it's a tough venue for fans trying to get a glimpse of a celeb or worse a photo. I only went there once and was so put off by the TIFF people running the carpet I never returned. I missed some of my favorites like De Niro and Eastwood, but didn't want to gamble getting no photos for my time spent waiting around. TIFF touts itself as being fan friendly, this location is anything but.

 Like every year the guest list contained some never before seen talent (for me at least) and a few repeats from previous years. Met a few new Oscar winners including Robert Redford, surprisingly there are no fans in Bob's world he just doesn't see them I guess? Other new winners for me were Helen Miren, Marion Cotillard, Ben Affleck and Kevin Kline. I was also able to update a few more winners with better images like two time winner Kevin Spacey who I met years ago in my P&S camera days. Nine Oscar winners in total a pretty good year. The real stand outs this year were Sam Worthington who couldn't have done more with the fans, spent forever signing autographs and taking pictures with anyone who asked. Also Milan Akerman who is a natural stunner, very very pretty, unlike some when checking the images there isn't a ton of makeup with this young actress simply WOW!!

I also got a chance to talk to producer David Alexanian who was involved with Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boormen's Long Way Round / Long Way Down TV series. Some of the best Television you'll ever see,  if you like adventure and travel. Asked him if they are planning to do another trip, and he confirmed Ewan's last statement on the Long Way Down series "See you in South America". It seems the boys are starting their next adventure next summer (2011), Long Way Up appears to be a go, I can hardly wait!!

 Had fun with the usual group of friends I've made over the years, it sure makes the time between photo shoots pass quicker when you have a gang of people to share stories with and compare schedules and guest lists. It seems more and more people are attracted to the rail by the red carpet each year, and more time has to be spent holding on to the precious real estate in the front row. I found that there was very little pushing going on this year, except maybe for "The Town" debut. Even then once the lady behind me figured out she wasn't getting between a friend and me she soon left to try and elbow her way in elsewhere.

 The rail is a tricky place you never really know where a celeb is going to choose to sign some autographs. To get an image it comes down to luck and being able to find a clearing between the heads of security guards, body guards, TIFF volunteers and carpet organizers,  carpet camera crews, the celebs' PR people and the rest of their entourage and the people we call "Money" the producers who often hang around the carpet. Once you find a hole, your camera also has to function properly. You must balance shutter speed, aperture and ISO and more often than not you rely on your flash going off properly. I find it very strange how often the 1/250th of a second I picked to take a photo is exactly timed with another photographers decision and our two flashes multiply and wipe out any hope for either of us getting a usable image. But that too is the fun of this type of photography, timing is often everything. Like the photo of Kelly Lynch who I'd ask to look over her shoulder and she winked at me while doing so, one of my favorite images of the year. 

No comments:

Post a Comment