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Gordon Mccallum (Behind The Scenes)

By: Anders Frejdh
Gordon McCallum Norman Wanstall

From one Academy Award® winner to another. FSWL supporter Norman Wanstall remembers working with Gordon McCallum, or just Mac to those who knew him, a legend within the film industry.

"Mac was a brilliant technician and a perfectionist but could soon lose his cool if things weren’t going the way he wanted. His temper was legendary although it was usually brought on when he wasn’t reaching his own high standards rather than it being directed at another technician.

When Peter Hunt promoted me to Sound Effects Editor on Dr. No (1962) it was a huge challenge and I was naturally nervous about working with Mac. As it turned out we got off to a very amusing start. When editor Peter Hunt had completed his first rough-cut he showed it in a viewing theatre and Mac and his crew were invited. When I returned to my cutting room after the viewing there was a tap on my door, and when I opened it Mac was standing there looking very sheepish and asked humbly - “When can we start?” I was totally stunned that this powerful man had taken the trouble to come to my room, but Mac could see that Dr. No offered many opportunities for creative sound-effects and he couldn’t wait to get started.

Mac loved the Bond films from the very start and in his opinion they were “what film-making is all about.” He loved the fact that they offered the opportunity for sound to actually contribute to the film rather than simply compliment it.

Long before the final dubbing session began we sat together and created the sound for the silenced pistol, the electronic sliding doors, the rushing water in the escape tunnel, Doctor No crushing the metal idol and the electronic lift in Doctor No’s apartment. We worked as a very close team and that’s how we remained when we worked on the Bonds that followed."

Editor's note:
Our sincere thanks to Norman Wanstall for his contribution of working with Gordon McCallum.

Check out Gordon McCallum's profile on IMDB for more information about his career in films.

James Bond Filmography:
1962: Dr. No (dubbing mixer)
1963: From Russia with Love (dubbing mixer)
1964: Goldfinger (1964) (dubbing mixer)
1965: Thunderball (1965) (dubbing mixer)
1967: You Only Live Twice (dubbing mixer)
1969: On Her Majesty's Secret Service (dubbing mixer)
1971: Diamonds Are Forever (dubbing mixer)
1977: The Spy Who Loved Me (dubbing mixer)
1979: Moonraker (1979) (chief re-recording mixer)
1981: For Your Eyes Only (chief re-recording mixer)
1983: Octopussy (1983) (chief re-recording mixer)

Photo above:
Gordon McCallum and Norman Wanstall after a BAFTA dinner with British Oscar winners. © Norman Wanstall. All rights reserved.

This article written and published by Anders Frejdh in May 2014.



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Founder & Managing Editor: Anders Frejdh