Chances are, if you are a film fan worth his or her salt, you'll have heard all about Empire's Big Screen, and if you haven't yet, you'll probably want to read on and find out why you need to be there next year.

After all, one of the biggest film mags in the world has got to put on a show worth reading about, right?  

Fuckin' right!

FHM, (just like any ordinary media-consuming chap), loves films very much. But probably not as much as Empire, this we concede. But, to prove how much we love films to Empire (and to try blag as much cool shit as  possible), we decided to go along and have the Hollywood experience all for ourselves. A bit like like proper film journalists, but taking the whole thing a lot less seriously.  

Did it work? Did we connect with Hollywood on an emotional and authentic level? Dunno, though we did see fucking STORMTROOPERS (who it seems, grew tired of our unbroken and endless barrage of Star Wars quotations).Yet, there was much more than this at Big Screen. Much more. Read on!

 
stormtrooper aiming at fhm
Stormtrooper tried to kill FHM...again

See, to get the most of Big Screen,  what you need to do is camp out by the 02 for 4 days, staying late and rising early, just to be sure that you are at the front of every line. FHM is sure that nobody did this and that such an idea is ridiculous at best. Alternatively what you really need is a time machine. 

That's right, a fucking time machine.

Because, with a time machine you could go back to watch the UK premiere of Cowboys and Aliens, again and again. Or you could have as many Q&As with clever film directors as you wanted. They'd answer your every question, eventually. It'd be a bit like Groundhog Day, but with less suicide, and instead of becoming an ice sculpting concert pianist, who nabs every lady in the town, you'd probably just go off and make your own film. And it'd be a really bloody good film too.

Unfortunately, FHM is much better at talking nonsense than inventing time machines, so we'll do our best to tell you about what we saw and leave the time machines to Wired or something. 

fhm time machine
FHM doesn't know much about time machines. But we're pretty sure they look exactly like this.

Shut up now FHM, tell me what happened. 

OK, so the premise of Big Screen is that it is basically a film festival. This entails cramming an impossible number of screenings, exhibitions, celebrity Q&As and cinematic showcases into a few days, then watching people freak out as they try to do everything at once. And freak out they do. We certainly did. In true cinematic fashion... 

Picture FHM in your mind now, alternately weeping at opportunities lost through poor time management and experiencing the joy of some of the cinematic miracles we got to be a part of. And all bollocking aside, there was some really, really good stuff there.

Because FHM tried so hard to see as much of it as possible, and FHM failed miserably. Yup, there was that much stuff.

Some of the most anticipated Big Screen events where the various UK premieres of big up and coming films. These included Fright Night, which was hosted by David Tennant (who was in it, innit). What this actually meant was that David t sort of flew in at breakneck speed, gave an insanely animated speech about the film and then, just as quickly, flew out the door, leaving the audience pleasantly amused yet slightly disappointed. Like one of those ninjas who appears suddenly and then disappears in a smoke cloud, kinda cool, yet ultimately dissapointing. 

david tennant speaking on microphone
FHM managed to capture the 3 seconds that David stood still for

Other fantastic things worth seeing where what Empire called Q&A. Simple really, they were opportunities to speak to  leading figures in Hollywood, and find out how they do what they do. FHM was particularly humbled by a chance to listen to the legendary Roland Emmrich giving a Q&A on his new film about the myth of Shakespeare, Anonymous. This is the man who brought the world Independence Day, Stargate, Godzilla etc. So, him: goddamn hero of cinema  

Other stuff that we wanted to see and people we wanted to meet (fuck you again, time!) included Jason Momoa attending the UK premiere of Conan, an interview with The Muppets (yes, the actual Muppets), and being in the presence of the one and only Steven Spielberg. Now you understand the tears, yes?

 
roland emmerich seated and giving interview
Roland Emmerich. Good at making films, good at jazz hands.

Now then FHM, declare what was shit.

Of course, not everything goes right, and Big Screen had its fair share of hiccups. Like granny after one too many glasses of Barbadillo Cream on New Year's.  

To be fair, these hiccups weren't really down to Empire (or granny), more down to the people running the cinemas, and the busy, busy lives of the various celebrities scheduled to chat with us . Most of them still did a public Q&A, but these ALL HAPPENED TO BE TIMED FOR WHEN WE WERE ELSEWHERE. Fucks sake. 

Similarly, the organisers of the screenings made some particularly shite mistakes in planning. FHM, was in the 'press line' (either a great or terrible thing, depending on the event) and we got messed around pretty severely. What's that mean? Lots of queuing and unfulfilled promises.

Now, as you know, FHM is very forgiving and loveable character, so nobody's going to get any angry reviews, but some of these other film bloggers standing beside us in those lines may be spitting vitriol right now. The kind of vitriol that only a pro film critic can spit. We dread to think.

Now then FHM, a neat, concise summary of the pros and cons...

Sure. Asides from some planning SNAFUs at the screenings by Cineworld, and some film types being too busy to actually show up for press meetings, the whole thing was awesome. Like bathing in Hollywood juices. Again, Empire does us proud and FHM plots new ways to upstage them at our next 100 Sexiest... 

It was absolutely bloody brilliant. So, be seeing you next year then?