Here we are just under a week away from the “Festival of Festivals” now known as the Toronto International Film Festival or tiff for short. Starting on September 6th and taking us to September 16. These ten days transform the city of Toronto like no other festival. It’s not only the stars that come from abroad. I have had the pleasure of meeting so many visitors from all over the world. I love bragging about our city and country. We are the envy of the world, not because of tiff, but because of Canada’s reputation around the globe. There isn’t a day that I am not grateful my parents immigrated here.
What to expect during tiff?
Celebrities, fans and the everyday hustle and bustle of Toronto are only a few things to expect during tiff. Many Torontonians who are not film buffs may get a bit annoyed with the crowded sidewalks and the super busy local eateries. Tuff, this is once a year and only for ten days.
As much as I love tiff-mas, the folks at tiff headquarters have put in place many stupid rules. Some of the rules they claim are for security. Hog wash, anyone who goes to tiff can see, the one of these rules the “Fan Zones” do nothing for security in fact they create hazards. Many of the fan zones are empty because a fan has to wait there for hours to get in. If they wait they will miss the other events happening around the city. What happens is, immediately behind the fan zones is a dangerously crowded sidewalk. I witnesses people with children and infants being squished behind the almost empty fan zone. Disabled Torontonians not being able to navigate through the crowed sidewalks, I saw a guy fall onto a woman in a wheel chair. This never happened before, fans were self-regulating in the same areas perfectly. Fans seeking autographs were in the front and photographers like myself were three to four rows back on our step ladders. Look at the photos below of just how crowded and dangerous this setup is.
Empty “Fan Zone”
Behind the “Fan Zone”
Now that I have once again exposed the nonsense, let’s talk about the real tiff. There is no question that I love collecting my photos of the celebrities that come to town, but my favourite part of tiff is hanging with like minded people sharing our stories and our celebrity captures. Who we saw, how they responded to the fans etc. We wait for hours sometimes to get a glimpse and only seconds to get a photo through hands, heads and oh yeah, those cell phones. So many cell phones.
It’s Emma Stone on the left and Angelina Jolie on the right.
When you finally lock you focus on the subject, then phone comes out of nowhere and blocks your shot.
None of the this fun would be possible without those hard working individuals who volunteer, wrangle, drive, secure and assist the talent.
Always a big thanks to those who protect us fans in the streets.
On top of doing all the work, we photographers use them as stand-ins for the talent. This helps us setup our cameras, because when the talent arrives we don’t have time to set anything up. Unfortunately they also block our shots many times. it’s not your fault, but GET OUT OF THE WAY!!
While we wait, sometimes we shoot strangers. Practice, practice practice.
Providing the soundtrack…
The waiting game can be daunting sometimes.
Then there’s the pay-off
Some of my tiff pals and I
My buddy you prefers to remain anonymous, Seriously Jason?, ooops….
Spiderman. Yes Spiderman is hanging around helping keep us safe. @p3t3rparkour
If you’ve stuck around this long, click links below for the celebrities I shot during tiff 2017
Hope to see you in a few days at tiff 2018