Premier of Real Steel in Toronto

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

At TIFF, Hugh Jackman did not show up for the movie, Butter. It left many fans disappointed. So when I hear that Hugh Jackman will be coming to town for the premier of Real Steel, I’m definitely in.

On the day of the premier, I’m not sure where the red carpet will be. Outside? I see that’s where the lineup is for ticket holders. I see some photographers but no red carpet. I hang out at Second Cup for half an hour and then decide to go back to the theatre. When I see a media person go inside with a ladder, I follow him up the escalator. There it is – the red carpet! I ask security if I can stay and he says it’s fine. There are already a few people, but no large crowd. They’re from Michigan and took time off after scouting for tickets online and scoring through an inside person for the premier. Fantastic, I think to myself. No large crowd yet and I have a front row view. That is until organizers cord off a section for the media and place markers for them. Great. I certainly cannot pass as a media person this time around because I did not contact them of my presence in advance. All I can do is smile to them and pretend I know what I’m doing with my super duper nice Nikon D7000. I do get a chance to meet Andria Case. If only I can trade places with her to do interviews.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

The first person down the red carpet is Kevin Durand. I’ve never heard of him but I’m sure I’ve seen him in other movies. I check on IMBd later and see that a.) he’s a Canadian and b.) he’s in the movies I Am Number Four, X-men: Wolverine and in T.V. show such as Lost and The Outer Limits. Looking at his career, I have to wonder about how old he is. What? We’re about the same age. He’s definitely tall and definitely handsome. His tallness helps since I have to take pictures over people’s heads.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Next on the red carpet is George Chuvalo – another Canadian. He’s never been knocked down in 93 professional fights. He did fight Mohammed Ali twice and lost. However, Ali says this of Chuvalo, “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought.” (Wikipedia).

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

This story is getting better as I do more research on the actors in the movie. Dakota Goyo is another Canadian who plays Max in the movie. He started his acting career at the age of five. He plays young Thor in the movie Thor as well as being on television for such shows as Murdoch Mysteries and The Listener. While being interviewed, I get this one shot of him between the elbows of people.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Director Shawn Levy – you’re the best. Thanks for noticing my frustrations as I try to photograph you! (Note to self – do not use flash if I’m that close to people. It makes the photos look washed out and famous people probably don’t appreciate it.) You were in 21 Jump Street? Holy cow! I used to watch that show. (Okay, I’m showing my age. Johnny Depp was in that show also). Shawn Levy has also directed movies such as the Pink Panther and Cheaper by the Dozen.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Finally, Hugh Jackman makes his way and there is a fuss all around us. He is definitely better looking in real life. By now, I’m being crushed by some inconsiderate people who want his attention. Later when the promotors announce the next person on the red carpet, I see Mark Bocek’s name. Could it be? Someone in the media asks who he is and I say martial artist. He automati-cally says MMA fighter. Well okay, the reason I know Mark Bocek is because we both used to train at Kombat Arts Training Academy. I’m not currently training there at this time and neither is Mark Bocek. It’s great to see him though. Sorry for the last picture not being clear. It’s very difficult when everyone is rushing to get a photo of Hugh Jackman. This photo below was taken underneath someone’s elbow.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

And finally, if I ever get a chance to see Hugh Jackman again, I would like my Wolverine snowboard to be signed.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

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TIFF: On the Red Carpet for the movie……

GOON

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

In the past, I’ve been trying to photograph famous people during these TIFF events. I don’t normally put much thought into it and hang out at Yorkville. Yes, I’ve seen pictures where people have been successful at photographing said famous people coming out of the Four Seasons or the Hazelton Hotel. In my case, it’s never during the time I’m there. I’m not the patient type. When I get there, I feel like I need to be somewhere else. Then I don’t leave for a while thinking the moment I leave, someone famous will come out and I miss the opportunity.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

This year, I’ve changed my approach and decide to pick and choose red carpet events that feature the stars I want to see. Okay, I fumble up by missing the red carpet for George Clooney & Ryan Gosling’s movie The Ides of March and U2’s movie From the Sky Down.

I head out to the center of Toronto’s universe – Yonge and Dundas Square – and hang out for the afternoon. Then I take a walk around to Ryerson University where it’s one of the locations for TIFF movies. I turn the corner from Church Street to Gerrard Street and see a lot of people lined up for the movie Goon. At this point, I have a decision to make – keep walking and head to Yorkville, or stick around and find out who shows up for the red carpet. Seeing my failure to photograph anyone famous at Yorkville, I decide to stay. Besides, I’m already here. There is not a large crowd thankfully. If you have seen my previous post, you know my issues with crowds and not being able to see anything.

I find myself a little spot at the end of the red carpet. Little did I know this is where the stars would pass by to get to the theatre. It turns out to be a great spot. And so, with very little knowledge of this movie except that the ad looks funny and it’s about hockey, I wait.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Slowly but surely they come, and here is the first one. I hear the crowd yell for George, though I don’t think it is. I hear that he’s a boxer and they’re right. I later ask my brother if he knows who this guy is and he says Lennox Lewis. I Google search his image and sure enough they match! Lennox Lewis!?! I should have asked for his autograph. He still signed autographs even though people are calling him George.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Next, Kim Coates from Entourage walks the red carpet. I’ve heard of the show and never watched it before. Like the X Files, Desperate Housewives, Glee, or Heroes, I’ll eventually come around to watching Entourage and liking it. It doesn’t matter if I miss the first season or whatever. I’ll figure out what’s happening.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

David Paetkau is next on the red carpet after a bunch of people we all don’t know pass through. He is a Canadian actor who has been on shows like Flashpoint, Dexter, Supernatural and Smallville. I only know of his name because someone asked for his autograph and called out his name. Like many of the others I see on the red carpet, he seems like a humble guy.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Allison Pill, however, doesn’t stop for any autographs and just walks on through. I look through her profile on IMDb and don’t know much of her work except CSI (one episode), Pillars of the Earth mini series and Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

I didn’t know Jay Baruchel either and relied on others to call his name out. According to IMDb, he’s a Canadian and has done shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark? He also signs plenty of autographs.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

And finally…..
wait for it….
wait for it…..
wait for it….
the most recognizable on this red carpet……

Seann William Scott!

Most famous as Stifler on American Pie. He signed a lot of autographs and didn’t have any attitude about it. He’s smiling while he does it. Then kindly tells people he needs to get to the theatre. I’m glad to have seen him and all the others. I never would have thought I’d get this opportunity much less even have good photos to post. After I leave, I talk to a girl promoting the Movie network at a shuttle bus station at Yonge and Dundas for TIFF ticket holders. I tell her who I saw and show her all the pictures. She is like me. We don’t put much importance on famous people. However, when I show her Seann William Scott, she starts going on about how funny he is and he’s a nice guy. I made her day and I’m glad.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

People Watching

Taking photography at Ryerson University, my final project is based on how comfortable I am taking photographs in public and of people. Most of the photographs posted here are from festivals. How comfortable am I in taking pictures of others? It depends. In a festival situation, there are so many other photographers. It’s easy when so many others are doing the same thing. On two occasions, I’m mistaken for a journalist or media person. I blended in well and got many great photographs. Some of the challenges I faced are massive crowds and accessibility to some of the acts. If I felt uncomfortable, I usually take a picture when a person least expects it. For the most part, if I asked, people said yes. The best part about this project is capturing the excitement and expression of what summer should be.

MMVA – June 19, 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

So I didn’t catch many of the superstars that walked the red carpet. I realized that if I were to do this event again, plan ahead and get a wrist band or media pass. (BTW, I found out to get a media pass for TIFF – Toronto International Film Festival – it starts at $350 for some access to $850 for private screenings, exclusive parties and other events. Next year, I say, when I have the money.) The best part about scoping the scene is finding the best spot to catch the stars aside from the red carpet.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


I finally found the sweet spot around the corner where the limos pulled up prior to the red carpet and all the young, screaming fans yelling at the stars to roll down their windows. Bruno Mars did. Disappointed that I came a little too late to this section. I did manage to get a photo of Colin Ferrell.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

As I observed later on the difference between media with a pass and paparazzi – media has a special section; paparazzi are outside that. They’re all screaming at the stars to turn around so they can get a good shot. I suppose if I intend on becoming a blog photojournalist – whether through the right channels or as a paparazzi – I should learn to yell and know the names of famous people.

Aboriginal Day and Summer Solstice – June 21, 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Early morning at Yonge and Dundas Square, Natives begin the festival with a prayer of thanks by an elder. Then, the audience is introduced to traditional music and dance and a Ragalia of costumes as natives of different tribes parade across the stage. This was very captivating and everyone is intrigued. We all can’t take our eyes off. We are even asked to come closer to the stage to get a better look. Some of the highlights is colourfulness of the costumes and the energy of the dances. Young and old participate in this ceremony.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Scotiabank Caribbean Parade – July 31, 2011

This festival celebrates Caribbean culture and features Island music (Calypso, Soca, Reggae, Hip Hop, Chutney, Steel Pan and Brass Bands), food and many women clad in nothing more than feathers, bikinis and plenty of glitter. There are men, of course, but they’re a little more dressed up (thankfully!) This event attracts millions of people every year to watch and take photos of the revelry. This is my second time watching the parade. I decided that I wasn’t going to get second best photos and went right into the parade route instead of being a bystander on the side. This event will be forever referred to as Caribana.

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

NXNE (North By Northeast) – June 11 to 17, 2011

This event celebrates music and features old and new acts. The night I attended, I have no idea who was playing on the Friday evening but they were phenomenal. I’m not really into punk rock but I can appreciate live music. My challenge – accessibility to stage and dealing with large crowds. I later saw many people leave a secured area in front of the stage with their cameras. How did they get access? It’s also my first time witnessing body surfing. (I don’t get out much and it’s not normally my scene.) At first, I had no idea what security were doing. Then I realized they’re catching and pulling people out of the crowds.

Mississauga Waterfront Festival – June 17 to 19, 2011

At the Lakefront Promenade © Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

Mississauga’s Waterfront Festival celebrates summer with music, rides, games and entertainment. It is held in the beautiful Port Credit area. Mostly catering to families with small children, I have honestly never attended this festival. To be fair, I haven’t attended many events like NXNE either prior to this assignment. This said, it has opened my eyes to what could be out there. I didn’t stay long at the waterfront festival. I was about ready to leave when I saw the most exciting thing for children (and adults who wanted to jump in given the opportunity.)

© Grecel Nepomuce 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011


© Grecel Nepomuceno 2011

And Finally….a scene on what nightlife is like in Toronto. This photo was taken at the corner of Yonge and Dundas with my camera on a tripod and a long exposure.