A lineup of Eon crew, past and present: Peter Lamont, Anthony Waye, Vic Armstrong, Alan Tomkins, Terry Bamber.
By Dave Worrall
Photos by Mark Mawston (Copyright 2011, all rights reserved)
highlight of yesterday's Bondstars Christmas party at Pinewood Studios was an
on-stage talk by Alan Church, who worked with Maurice Binder on many of the
James Bond film title sequences. Alan showed the 120+ audience a DVD of behind
the scenes footage of Binder filming the titles for Licence To KIll, detailing how he filmed a scantily-clad model
dancing around and firing a gun. It was fascinating to see Binder directing
every move with attention to detail, using a wind machine, filming with
slow-motion cameras, and even painting out skin blemish's on the model's body!
Jenny Hanley emcees the Mastermind contest event.
to this, organizer Gareth Owen interviewed past crew members on stage,
including stunt arranger and second unit director Vic Armstrong and producer
Anthony Waye. Guests in attendanceincluded Margaret Nolan, Shane Rimmer, Britt Ekland, John Moreno, Tom
Chadbon, Keith Hampshire, Peter Lamont, Pavel Douglas, Doug Robinson, Tom So
(who auctioned off on stage a Casino
Royale crew jacket he donated for charity), and Beatrice Libert, who played
one of Drax's girls in Moonraker, to
name but a few.
Attendees watching the on-stage activities in the ballroom.
in the afternoon Michael Chance performed a portion of his one-man show; 'The
Man With The Golden Pen', and On Her Majesty's Secret Service actress Jenny Hanley hosted the Bondstars
Mastermind Quiz, which was very entertaining, especially when 2nd unit
production manager Terry Bamber took to the stage (unaware it was a set-up by
the organizers), who had to answer ten questions whereby the sometimes embarrassing answers were inevitably about himself! As usual, Terry was a great sport and went with the flow with everyone clapping and
roaring with laughter, which pretty much summed up the mood of the entire day - a load of fun.
The BBC is reporting that 31 year old actor Ben Wishaw will play the gadgets master "Q" in the next James Bond film Skyfall. The report hasn't been officially confirmed by Eon Productions. If true, Wishaw would follow in the footsteps of actors Peter Burton, Desmond Llewelyn, Alec McCowan and John Cleese, all of whom provided 007 with his state of the art weaponry and gadgets. Wishaw would be the youngest actor to play the role. The character would be returning to the series following his absence in the two Daniel Craig Bond movies. Click here for more
Three photographs by photographer David Hurn showing actress Shirley Eaton being gilded in paint for Goldfinger have sold at auction for £2,580. The price is considered to be quite high since the photographs themselves have been widely printed over the decades. For more click here
Sir Roger Moore returns to television on December 3 in a Hallmark Hall of Fame family movie, A Princess for Christmas (see photo above). Sir Roger also reflected recently on James Bond films past and present: he's a big fan of Daniel Craig and acknowledges that if he had to do as many stunts during his tenure as 007, "I would have been dead after the first movie!" He also says the 1977 flick The Spy Who Loved Me was the most fun to film. For more click here
The first photos have surfaced from Skyfall and they show an unshaven Daniel Craig filming in Trafalgar Square. Not much can be diagnosed from them, but for Bond fans any glimpse of the new film is welcome. Click here for more
James Bond's Rolex watch from the 1973 film Live and Let Die has sold at a Christies auction for $198,000. The watch featured prominently in the movie, which marked Roger Moore's debut as 007. The Rolex had been fitted out by Q Branch with a number of gadgets: it could act as a super strong magnet and contained a buzz saw that Bond uses to save his life when he finds himself in a deathtrap. For more click here
A line-up of Eon greats at the National History Museum in 2002, where Syd was promoting his autobiography. (L to R): Ken Adam, Syd Cain, Peter Lamont and Michael G. Wilson. (Photo copyright Dave Worrall. All rights reserved).
By Lee Pfeiffer
Syd Cain, the respected art director and production designer, has died at age 93. Syd's death is a personal loss to many of us at Cinema Retro who considered him a friend. His remarkable career included a long association with the James Bond films. He began on the very first film, Dr. No, in 1962 as art director, working with the legendary production designer Ken Adam. When Adam wasn't available for the second film, From Russia With Love, Syd took over for the art direction and production design duties. Syd was billed as the production designer for the 1969 Bond classic On Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1969, playing a crucial role in the design of the Piz Gloria sets that served as the Alpine HQ of Blofeld. He would return to the fold several years later as Supervising Art Director for Roger Moore's debut as 007 in Live and Let Die (1973). Cain also did other films for Bond producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman including the Eon Productions comedy Call Me Bwana and the Saltzman-produced Harry Palmer thriller Billion Dollar Brain. In the 1950s he also worked for Broccoli and his former partner Irving Allen and their Warwick Films company.
Other major films that Cain served as art director or production designer for include Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Road to Hong Kong, Lolita, Farenheit 451 and Bond director Peter Hunt's Shout at the Devil. Cain also had a long association with producer Euan Lloyd, working with him on The Wild Geese, Who Dares Wins and Wild Geese II. In 1995, Cain renewed his association with the Bond franchise, designing storyboards for the 1995 blockbuster GoldenEye.
Cain remained active in his later years, attending many Bond-themed events. On a personal note, I recall having him appear as a surprise guest at an event I was holding at Pinewood Studios in the late 1990s. Syd was shocked and humbled at the degree of interest attendees had in his work and he kept them spellbound when he unveiled a portfolio of some of his original storyboards. In 2002, Dave Worrall and I had the honor of assisting Syd with writing his autobiography, Not Forgetting James Bond, which we also published. It was fascinating to read his first-hand comments about the making of the 007 series. As with many alumni from Eon-produced films, the company always maintained reverence for his work and legacy and invited Syd to high profile events relating to the world of Bond. We join them in mourning his passing.
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from MI6 Confidential magazine:
(London, UK, November 10th 2011)
MI6 Confidential, the full-colour magazine celebrating theworld of James Bond 007, returns with its twelfth issue.
The waiting is over. James Bond 23 is in production. Skyfall is coming... MI6 Confidential attended the official press conference in London to gather the intel and soak up the atmosphere. As well as the 50th anniversary in 2012, Skyfall will mark the longest gap between 007 adventures without a change of actor in the leading role. Will the extra time crafting the script, organizing the crew, scouting the locations and assembling the cast pay off? Rounding out Issue #12 of MI6 Confidential - the leading James Bond magazine - is an analysis of The Spy Who Loved Me script history, a look at the publicity hype of Diamonds Are Forever in the USA, and how Kingsley Amis' fascination with 007 lead to his one-off continuation novel 'Colonel Sun'.
Featured in this issue: • Bond With A Capital B - Complete coverage of the Skyfall press conference in London • Skyfall Timeline - Tracking all the pre-production rumours and milestones • Selling Diamonds - How marketing helped Bond re-conquer American audiences • From SPECTRE To Stromberg - The evolution of The Spy Who Loved Me shooting script • Bonding With Kingsley Amis - A look back at the author's career and fascination with 007 • The Genesis of Colonel Sun - How the first 007 continuation novel came about • Agent Under Fire - A look back at the best-selling game 2001 game from Electronic Arts • The Bond Connection - Designing the anti-Bond period piece Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Issue #12 is now shipping around the world.
Author Quentin Rowan, who writes under the name Q.R. Markham, has a new spy novel out: Assassin of Secrets. The book was already on sale when when astute James Bond fans discovered that Rowan had engaged in wholesale plagiarism of novels by James Bond authors John Gardner and Cinema Retro's own Raymond Benson. Other prominent authors were also plagiarized by Rowan. The book was pulled from shelves by the publishers in America and the UK and refunds will be offered to all hapless readers who purchased the it. For more click here
Cinema Retro's Dave Worrall provides some further perspectives on the news about the new James Bond film SkyFall:
Years to the day Sean Connery was announced to play the character of James Bond
in Eon Productions' Dr. No, Sony held
a press conference today to officially announce the start of production on the
23rd film in the series of OO7 big-screen adventures.
in the ballroom of The Corinthia Hotel, central London, the event kicked off at
11:45am with the James Bond theme being played (we hope this means a return on-screen
too, as it was sadly lacking from the first two Daniel Craig Bond films) as
producer Michael G. Wilson walked on stage to announce the 23rd film in the
series is to be titled SkyFall. Joining
him on stage, director Sam Mendes confirmed the cast:Craig, Dame
Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Berenice Marlohe, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, Albert Finney
and Ben Wishaw. All but Wishaw, Finney and Fiennes were present at the press conference and appeared on stage, along with
producer Barbara Broccoli.
will include Shanghai, Istanbul and Scotland - with filming due to start this
afternoon in the Whitehall area, hence the location for the press conference.
Naomie Harris, who has already spent two months training for her role, will
play field agent Eve - apparently not Moneypenny as reported by tabloids in the past.
There was no mention of Jeffrey Wright reprising his Felix Leiter role. The only thing this writer finds strange is the fact that
Bernice Marlohe is playing a character called Severin, which is the name of the
villain in Jeffrey Deaver's new Bond novel 'Carte Blanche'.
The official SkyFall logo unveiled
in response to internet rumours, stated the film's budget will be similar to Quantum Of Solace, have a storyline
similar in pace to Casino Royale
(much-welcomed here at Retro) but still have plenty of action to please the
fans. He also hinted that he would return to direct another, "if this goes
well." Barbara Broccoli and Daniel Craig (sporting a beard) also confirmed
the star would return for Bond 24.
the technical side, regulars Alexander Witt (2nd unit director), Dennis Gassner
(production designer), Gary Powell (stunt co-ordinator), Chris Corbould (SFX
supervisor) and Steve Begg (visual effects supervisor) - all who have worked on
individually (or both) Casino Royale
and Quantum of Solace. New to the
team is iconic and veteran film maker Roger Deakins (director of photography), with
Stuart Baird returning as editor. Baird was editor on Casino Royale - thank God he's been brought back after the awful,
quick-fire editing on Quantum Of Solace!
However, there has been no mention of long-time composer David Arnold being
hired to score this outing.
The storyline is being kept close to the
producer's chests, although it appears an integral part highlights problems in
M's past. Several characters names are still to be revealed, hinting that
Blofeld may make a long-awaited return, as has been rumoured. We hope so - and
no, we would not expect a contemporary interpretation of the character would find him to be bald, have a scar on his face, and stroking a
white cat! It seems that Austin Powers and Dr. Evil have made it impossible to seriously relate to the traditional vision of the legendary Bond villain. If Blofeld turns out to be a returning character, then perhaps we'll also see the return of SPECTRE as well. (It appears that the Quantum crime organization will not be part of the new film's storyline.)
a cast and crew to die for, SkyFall
could be the best Bond ever, and whilst we appreciate Sam Mendes will want to
bring a new-look to the series - and we don't doubt he will do a good job - all
we ask is he put the gun barrel sequence back at the beginning. I will
guarantee it will get a standing ovation at the premiere if he does.
Javier Bardem, who will play a villain in the film, with Daniel Craig.
By Lee Pfeiffer
Here's one rumor the tabloids got right: the new James Bond film, now shooting in London, will indeed be titled SkyFall. At a major press conference held on the same date that Sean Connery had originally been announced as James Bond so many years ago, Eon Productions introduced the cast members and crew to the media. Director Sam Mendes dispelled some media rumors such as the fact that the budget has been dramatically cut. He confirmed the film will have the same budget as Quantum Of Solace. He also said the title has an "emotional meaning" in the film but would not reveal what it is. Mendes also dissed rumors that the film will be short on action. He praised the screenwriters and said the script is "fantastic". Daniel Craig dismissed other rumors that this will be his last Bond film, virtually guaranteeing he will star in the film after this one. Judi Dench's M will be a key role in this film and we're told that her character's past will come back to haunt her. It was also hinted that some key character's names were not revealed because they would be familiar to audiences, which may give credence to rumors that Blofeld will return to the series for the first time since Diamonds Are Forever om 1971 (if you don't count the non-Eon film Never Say Never Again in 1983).For full coverage visit the MI 6 HQ web site by clicking here
Perhaps stung by criticism that Quantum Of Solace contained too many action sequences, Oscar winning director Sam Mendes, who is helming the new 007 film, is said to be intentionally limiting the amount of mayhem in the movie. Instead Mendes is planning to make this the kind of Bond film that, like Casino Royale, will win over critics as well as fans. For more click here