You're all aware by now that we offer our creators incredible perks and experiences, bringing the fans closer to Hollywood, and more often than not flying you directly out there! This weekend, Skydance flew out 3 social media influencers to Berlin for the premiere of Terminator Genisys. Since I was in the neighborhood, I got to join the party on behalf of Moviepilot and experience what it's like to be a journalist on the press tour of a major blockbuster.
I'd like to offer my experience as a guide to creators on what it's really like to enter the fast-paced world that is the modern press machine. This was my first experience on the red carpet, interviewing the stars and attending a press conference, so I'll be sharing my expectations versus reality, and hopefully offering you the basics you will need to prepare for such an event, should your name be called next!
Day 1: The Screening
I met the team of social influencers (Steven Weintraub from Collider.com, Peter Sciretta from Slashfilm.com, and fellow Aussie Alicia Malone on behalf of Fandango.com) on Saturday evening for the screening of Terminator: Genisys in 3D.
After the film (no spoilers, but go see it!) we headed back to the hotel to discuss the plan of attack for the following 2 days. I went into it blindly, expecting to share my experience on social media, but not anticipating an opportunity to interview the stars. I was super excited (albeit nervous) to then learn that we had an opportunity to interview one member of the cast each, and I was lucky enough to score a 1 on 1 with Emilia Clarke for the next day.
I went home to prep some questions and freak out (again, I'm as new to this as you!) and came back to the hotel the next day, ready to represent! One thing to note: these guys are professionals, they've interviewed almost every A-Lister you can think of, and they rode into this event like a well-oiled machine. I, on the other hand, felt slightly out of my league, but I asked a lot of questions and got some excellent tips and reassurances.
Day 2: The Junket
I had my interview, grabbed my flash drive (don't EVER forget the flash drive!) and prepared to shudder at the nervous twitch in my voice as I interviewed the Mother of Dragons. Thankfully, it went (relatively) well. At 5pm, we headed to the red carpet to get our spot - it was right up the front; prime position! Alicia (steady as a rock) collected interviews with almost all the talent as they walked over. I was rather content to use this as a learning experience and just do some quick snapping.
Day 3: The Press Conference
The stars answered questions from the press (that's us!) and we got some great new info on upcoming projects!
The Final Leg
The four of us were then lucky enough to secure an hour with the producers, David Ellison and Dana Goldberg, who are currently working on a bunch of other movies ( Jack Reacher 2, [Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation](tag:373501) , Star Trek 3 to name a few).
The experience was incredible; getting an inside look at the people behind Skydance (who produced the movie) was really humbling - the producers David and Dana have the genuine passion for film to match their talent for making them, and it really comes across in this movie.
Emilia Clarke was exceptionally lovely, and as I nervously blurted out that she was my first ever interview, she really went all out to make sure I felt comfortable. Although she had a leg injury and had been doing back-to-back interviews all day (mine was one of her last) she didn't waver for a moment in her enthusiasm and genuine interest in the questions being fired at her.
Expect the unexpected!
The most important lesson you will learn: be prepared for anything! Press tours being as tightly scheduled as they are, the plan can shift at a moment's notice and your 12pm interview might be pushed up an hour, or pushed back 3 hours. Generally these things run really smoothly, but sometimes there can be a lot of waiting in the hotel lobby, eating a variety of deliciously evil danishes and having one too many cups of coffee.
I also had some major internet malfunctions, so couldn't live-tweet as I had intended to on the red carpet. Thankfully the old MP office was around the corner, so I headed back there to my wi-fi safe house and shared my collection on Twitter and Instagram. Problem...terminated.
A Red Carpet can go either way - if you're in a good position, you can get almost all the stars walking directly to you. If a person holding a large camera squeezes in front of you, well... it's a little more difficult. I didn't manage to grab anyone on their way to the screening, but I snapped some pretty sweet pics along the way. And one of myself, for good measure.
All in all, the press experience was one I'd most definitely take on again, and now that I've had the unforgettable opportunity to experience the whole process, I'm prepared and pumped to help YOU guys take on the next one.