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Oscar winners interviewed at the Bond in Motion exhibit in London

By: Frank Anderson
Published:
2015-03-31
Bond in Motion London event
FSWL contributor Frank Anderson reports from the anniversary event for Bond in Motion in London's Covent Garden with no less than three Oscar® winners in attendance.

From Sweden with Love was invited to mark the first anniversary of BOND IN MOTION at the London Film Museum, the museum hosted a weekend of Bond-themed celebration on the 21st and 22nd March 2015. Distinguished Bond film crew and contributors held open Q&A sessions in the museum throughout the weekend. Speakers included production designer Peter Lamont who worked on 18 Bond adventures, Lindy Hemming, fashion designer who worked on GoldenEye through to Casino Royale (2006) and John Richardson (also honorary guest at FSWL's 10th anniversary weekend in Stockholm last year), SFX supervisor on nine Bond movies. The official Aston Martin Owners Club also descended on the Covent Garden Piazza outside the exhibition for the weekend with over 30 vehicles from the past to the present on display.

The Q&A sessions were chaired by Ian Freer from Empire Magazine and included questions from the audience.

John Richardson - John presented a number of movie stills from each of the many Bond films that he provided his SFX expertise on and talked the audience through the intricate and clever tricks taken to create the illusion of scale and realism. This was followed by some general Q&A.

John Richardson Bond in Motion London
One of the joys of doing a Bond movie is you get to travel, what are the places that stick in your head?
[JR:] Well Bond has taken me all all around the world - India, Bahamas, South America and all over the USA, the list is pretty endless, you name it and we've been there.

Has CGI reduced the amount of time spent on special effects?
[JR:] CGI has made a lot of changes. I think it's a wonderful tool if used properly, but it shouldn't be used as a crutch and sometimes I think there is a lack of forethought and that really we should do a scene for real and then use the CGI to enhance it. We've lost a lot of the magic for people because now anyone with a computer can make their own effects - you can do it on your iPhone! So you go and see Spider-Man and you know it's all CGI and that it's a couple of guys sitting in front of a computer fiddling with pixels. The fun has gone out of it, but more importantly the reality has gone.

Is there a SFX sequence that you are particularly proud of?
[JR:] My favorite sequence from all of the Bond movies I've worked on was the opening scene from Octopussy (1983) with the jet. The sequence shows all the different genres of special and visual effects - models, explosions etc.

Lindy Hemming

Lindy Hemming Bond in Motion London
How did you come to work on Bond?
[LH:] Barbara Broccoli is one of those people who spend a lot of time looking for new technicians and she had seen my work on The Krays and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Bond had been off the screen for a while, what were your thoughts on how Bond should look in a new era?
[LH:] I watched a few of the earlier Bond films to see how they had looked and my real feeling was that we had to update Bond (Pierce Brosnan). Bond was a spy who should be able to move very smoothly amongst business people and politicians. Elegance, sophisticated tailoring and not be amusing in any way.

Is there a Bond film you hadn't worked on that you would liked to have worked on, and if so, what what would you have done differently?
[LH:] I don't think that I would have done anything differently but I think Skyfall (2012) was a fantastic film and I would have loved to have done it. I really like George Lazenby and I actually think that his tailoring is almost the best tailoring of all the films. He was a model anyway and looks wonderful in the film.

Why did you switch Bond's watch from Rolex to Omega?
[LH:] I chose Omega watches because in my youth I had known through my father marine, Navy and RAF [Royal Air Force] types and therefore I knew that by the eighties, Rolex was no longer an accurate make for Bond because in the eighties Rolex had now become the watch of bankers. So Omega, in particular the diving watch which gave them the edge and also I liked the fact that they had a watch with a blue face as I've always associated in my own mind Bond with blue which crossed over when looking at dressing Bond.

What was your thinking around the blue suit at the end of Casino Royale?
[LH:] I designed it, it was made by Brioni and we decided to rethink how the Bond suit should look. I think up to this point the short suit style hadn't been used by Bond.

Is there a logic to why you think Bond should wear blue?
[LH:] Blue suits and blue shirts I think do something on film, they shine the light up on you, a generous glow.

Peter Lamont

Peter Lamont Bond in Motion London
Peter Lamont Peter reminisced on some of his time during eighteen Bond movies and having worked with all six Bond actors and captivated the audience with anecdotes and insight into the world of designing Bond. The following is a small flavour.

"I got a call one day to see if I wanted to help out on Goldfinger (1964). So one Monday morning there I was to meet Ken Adam who I'd never met, but I knew him by reputation. He came in at 10 o'clock, gave me a large folder of stuff that he'd photographed at the real Fort Knox in the USA and said we are going to build it. At that time the plan was to build it in Portugal. Over the next month, we worked on it, I drew it up, modelled and priced it. Then Ken looked over my shoulder and said okay, let's get it up to the estimator. Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman said yeah build it! Finally it was decided not to build it in Portugal and instead we got permission to go into Black Park (forest near Pinewood) and build it there. At the end Harry said to me to go and have a holiday and then we'll start other things. So I did and when I came back we did Thunderball (1965) - and that was the start of my relationship with Bond."

What are your memories of working on the new Bond at the time, On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)?
[PL:] "I was at Pinewood [Studios] working on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang just as it was running down and I knew Peter Hunt very well having worked with him a number of times. I remember being there for some of the tests and saw George [Lazenby] in action and there was no doubt that George was going to be the one, no doubt at all. I remember Peter told me at the end of the film speaking about George was that his only regret was re-voicing him."

Editor's note:
Due to popular demand the London Film Museum will remain dedicated to Bond in Motion until further notice. It will see new exhibits added in 2015, including vehicles from the latest Bond adventure, SPECTRE.

Written by Frank Anderson © 2015 From Sweden with Love

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