The old adage goes that you can't judge a book by its cover. In the parlance of my old Jersey City neighborhood, "Well, here goes your proof." The Bond on Set books by photographer Greg Williams are becoming a most welcome tradition. This impressive hardback is the best in the line, offering superb insights into the filming of the 007 blockbuster Skyfall. Williams captures not only the incredible hard work and diverse team of talented people concentrating on bringing this big budget film to the screen, but he also lets us see those behind the scenes moments of levity that show there is much joy in movie-making- in particular on an Eon production where so many cast and crew members consider each other part of an extended family. There are wonderful shots of producer Michael Wilson hugging Dame Judi Dench, the team members meeting for a pre-production conference in a very unglamorous bare room at Pinewood Studios, Daniel Craig and Javier Bardem living everyone's dream of sliding down the escalator barrier in the London underground and director Sam Mendes valiantly bringing all the disparate elements of a Bond production together as a coherent whole.
The book covers the entire process of making of the film in stunning color photographs. The only downside is the drab cover which doesn't do justice in the slightest to the dynamic content of this book. The main photo is a dismal B&W shot of Bond holding a shotgun, making one think a more appropriate title might be "Hunting Tips from Daniel Craig". Considering this is the most stylish and fashion conscious of Craig's three 007 movies, you have to wonder what the thought process was behind burying these aspects in marketing the book. Aside from, that this is a "must-have" for anyone who has ever admired the long-ignored contributions of still photographers on film sets. Williams does a magnificent job of showing us the magic behind Skyfall. The book does contain many spoilers, such as the secret behind Albert Finney's character, but chances are that if you are tempted to buy this book, you've probably seen the film numerous times.