Wednesday, 15 February 2012

MY BAFTA EXPERIENCE PART ONE (THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM)

Throughout my growing love for the film industry, one of my main ambitions was to one day travel over to Los Angeles to watch the Oscars. However I knew that wouldn't happen (unless I had the pleasure of working on a top-notch film production in London), and so I decided it would be easier for me to pop down to London to watch the British equivalent to the Oscars; the BAFTAs. In recent years, I had watched the BAFTAs on my TV with great fondness for the awards and the stars attending (as well as being jealous over those screaming spectators getting their opportunity to see their movie heroes), especially the Hollywood heavyweights who normally wouldn't want to make the effort to come in the cold, dreary weather. But this year would be special when it came to Hollywood star power and it had to be a good enough reason for me to make the journey and stand within feet of these artists. Times had been hard for anyone but in my case, it was still an ongoing thing as I write this post and I knew that doing this would give me something to cheer (and boast a bit haha) so my pipe-dream suggestion was about to become a reality.

When one intends to watch a major film awards ceremony, not many people would want to bring their dad along but I am thankful that I did for the reason that the entire trip could have been a complete disaster had it been a companion who hadn't stayed in the English capitol before. My dad had experience of going to London a few times, although I myself hadn't been properly for about 3 years (with the exception of watching my beloved Everton beat Manchester United on penalties at Wembley in the F.A Cup Semi-Final of 2009!). We knew that we'd have to overcome lots of journeys on the tube, get up VERY early on a Sunday morning, battle it out with the locals for wristbands and finally trying to get the best snaps possible. But after much sorting out, our trip was confirmed a few weeks before and the anticipation couldn't have been any higher!

On the Saturday, me and my dad left our affluent area of Meols around 2ish though we both missed seeing Wayne Rooney's two goals against the kopites which was disappointing though hearing the final result at the station made us feel jolly indeed. Even better was the mighty blues defeating the not-so mighty blues of Chelsea 2-0 as our Virgin train raced from Liverpool to Euston Station within a couple of hours to get us to Landan' town for 5pm. After overcoming the tube and getting to our hotel (the Ramada overlooking Hyde Park), we spent our evening looking for the best transport times to head down to the Theatre Royal in the morning but knew that the tube wouldn't be an option as the earliest was 7am which was too risky as we had to queue for our BAFTA wristbands for 8. We did a practise run that evening using the bus service from Queensway to Piccadilly Circus and eventually learnt that 6:39 was the best time to use that service. Having discovered a few weeks earlier that some nutters would queue for the wristbands from the day before, that fear was confirmed when we saw at least 15 people armed with sleeping bags already sat there waiting. It was to be a nervous night for me as the morning beckoned....

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