Monday, May 9, 2016

Captain America: Civil War Blue Carpet Premiere

The excitement of The Huntsman: Winter's War premiere was barely over when fans were all clamouring for the next big fix which was the Captain America: Civil War Blue Carpet Premiere which was to be held at the Marina Bay Sands Skating rink. The video above set both fanboys and fangirls into virtual meltdown mode. It was the event that everyone wanted to go to. In addition to the main event, there would be a four day festival including games and activities that would cap off, pardon the pun, with a fireworks display at the Helix Bridge.

Now unlike Universal Studios, the skating rink is a relatively small area and not that many fans would be able to get up close and personal with the stars. Back in 2014, I scored a pair of passes to the Spiderman event and from experience I knew that if you didn't have a pass, it was highly unlikely you would get to meet the stars.

Organisers so anticipated the magnitude of the event that the skating rink started being prepped a week in advance of the premiere.

A week before the event

Two days before the event

The day of the event.

This time there weren't a slew of competitors than fans could enter to get into the rink. There was an instagram competition in which fans had to pose in their best superhero poses. I sure wasn't going to do that and, anyway, they were only giving passes to the top four entries. 

Since not everyone was into dressing up or posing, the organisers offered the fans alternate ways they could get in on the blue carpet action. You could be one of the top spenders at the Marina Bay Shoppes. And there's no way I could afford to do that. Oh, yes and you could also win blue carpet passes if you were the 88th, 888th, or the 1,888 person to sign up for Marina Bay Sands privilege account. 

And lest I forget Reed Exhibitions were selling Captain America Packages that included one blue carpet pass for $688 or you could even pay $1,288 and that would include a night's stay at Marina Bay Sands. Fans were outraged and their ire even made it to the Straits Times. Never before had fans had to pay to get onto the red, or in this case, blue carpet of a movie premiere. It was totally unprecedented. 

I all but resigned myself to the fact that there was no way that I was going to the event. But then a day before the Blue Carpet, my mum scored me a pass!! Thanks, Mum and to everyone who helped. You know who you are. :) :)

My VIP wristband that gained me access to the blue carpet.

On the day itself,  arrived at MBS at about 1pm and the place was already completely packed. Some fans were disgruntled because there was no clear indication of where they could wait and they had been asked to move several times already. I met JM, who had already attended the press con and was sporting her fan zone wrist band, and Liza who was already staking her claim on her spot.  Fellow Marvel fans Chee and Ray were at the food court surveying the scene and Caroline was waiting for her daughter Jess who had the all important blue carpet passes in her possession. Chee, Ray, Caroline and I met two years ago at the Spiderman red carpet event so this was kind of old hat to us.

My friend Anthony, who had also scored a  VIP pass arrived soon after and we headed off for a bite to eat, but truth be told I could hardly eat anything so I had a drink instead.

The press, the VIP guests and the fanzone pass holders all had to enter via the same area so it began to get really packed and they finally let us into our designated areas at 4:45pm.  Anthony, Caroline, Jess and I made our way to the VIP area and claimed our spots on the barricades right opposite the press pens. The VIP area was relatively empty and we wondered how many people would actually show up.

This is what it looked like before the stars arrived/
From this instagram photo you can see me, Caroline and Jess in the relatively empty VIP area (The section with the tables). Anthony can be seen near one of the tables taking photos.  Let's just say it wouldn't stay that empty for long.

Anthony and me, looking like smurfs.
I also have no idea why they used blue lighting when they had blue carpet. Everyone ended up looking like smurfs. What's also interesting to note is that the DC SuperHero cafe on the top floor was shrouded in black  right before the event. WOW!

Right before the DC Cafe  on the top floor was blacked out in a black shroud.

After about half an hour, hosts Glenn Ong and Stephanie 
Carrington appeared on stage and various cosplayers walked the carpet before taking part in a cosplay competition. 

Having barely eaten, I didn't pay much attention to the competition.  With that portion of the event over, local celebrities walked the blue carpet. And they looked like a bunch of smurfs just like the rest of us.  You know when the local celebs appear that it isn't going to be too much longer before the main stars turn up, so I got my stuff together and braced myself for deafening shrieks from the thousands of fans present.

local celeb Henry Golding.
And sure enough at around 7pm Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and director Joe Russo arrived to be greeted by the strained vocal chords of four floors of fans.

Anthony Mackie on the blue carpet. It was impossible to get a
good shot.
They signed autographs and posed for selfies with fans who had strategically positioned themselves on the outskirts of the rink before making their way to the fanzone and VIP areas. I had brought some of my books for all of them but I knew that it  would be tough to give them my books given the situation.

Anthony Mackie was the first to show up in our section, he signed for some further up the carpet, talked to press, then he jumped into the press pen and walked to the food court to meet the masses of fans who didn't have blue carpet passes. I tried to get his minder to get him to come over, but she refused and instead she said she would give my book to him. I'm not sure if she ever did.

Joe Russo was next and he signed an illustration that my illustrator had done and that was to be presented to Sebastian Stan.  Stan 
was next and I lucky enough to get him to sign an autograph for a young fan that I had met as well as one for myself. Then he posed for a selfie with Anthony and me. I was also able to pass him a copy of The Lion Dance as a souvenir.

Sebastian signing for me ©Gettyimages

Found this photo on instagram. You can see me just about to give Sebastian the book.

Sebastian Stan autographed magazine cover

It seem quite a while before Evans appeared on the carpet. I had a copy of A Day with the Duchess that I wanted to pass to him for his  nephew Miles and I wanted to tell him I hoped Miles 'Wiked' it, but  again who knew what the situation was going to be wike. I mean like.

After a premature announcement that Evans was on the blue carpet,  and a few moments of uncertainty on the part of the hosts, Evans arrived surrounded my a phalanx of security. Fans screamed, shrieked, yelled, you name it. Arms stretched out with phones and sharpies, all hoping to get that all important selfie or autograph but Evans breezed past them, smiling, waving and looking a tad anxious and uncertain. It didn't look like he was going to stop or sign at all. Then when he  was about 10 feet away he stopped and starting signing. "Chris! Chris!" I yelled holding out my Captain America Civil War hardback book. The cover was too  glossy and I didn't want his autograph to smudge, so opened it up and hoped Chris would sign it. Chris signed the fastest autographs I have ever seen anyone sign. And with all the shoving it was impossible to get a good photo.

See what I mean?
The worrying thing at that point was that he was skipping quite a lot of people. Finally he was within arm's length and I held out my book. He was about to sign for me when someone held a Captain America Shield over my head, obscuring me from his view. Chris signed the shield and then looked at me and smiled and signed my book. "Chris!" I heard Anthony yell and he got his photo signed too! 

Chris signing my book for me. (I'm in the cap on the left)

Done signing my book he gets ready to sign for Anthony (top left)
The much sought-after Chris Evans autograph

Chris signed two more autographs before he placed the cap back on the sharpie. Caroline and Jess couldn't get an autograph as the shield wielding fan behind us blocked them as Chris stood right in front of them. Done with signing, he moved over to the press pen of star struck journalists who  wasted no time in getting their own selfies as they were forbidden from asking for selfies and autographs during the press junket. 

Guess who's behind Chris's right shoulder

When all four stars took to the stage, a forest of arms sprung into the air with cell phones dangling like the first blossoms of spring. I was too exhausted to hold my camera above my head so I cornered a server for a burger slider and a much needed Coca Cola.

The stars bantered with the crowd. Posed for a selfie with one lucky fan. Met the children's beneficiaries of Marina Bay Sands and were presented with specially commissioned pieces of Superhero Art, one of which was done by my illustrator Soefara.

With the blue carpet portion of the event over, we were ushered up to the Mastercard Theatre for the screening of Captain: America Civil War. Free popcorn and coke for everyone!! It was one of the best Marvel Movies I've ever seen and ranks alongside Guardians of the Galaxy and Antman as one of my all time faves. The movie let out at almost 11pm. Though completely exhausted, Anthony and I both felt it was a pretty great day. Thanks again, Mum!

Though I didn't get to give my books to Chris or Joe Russo or meet Anthony Mackie, hopefully one day I'll be able to do so. Who knows they may even want to do something with my books. Wishful thinking I know and I'm not going to hold my breath. But you never know.

Autographed Shield on Display at the Captain America Festival

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