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The best stunts from James Bond: a look behind the scenes

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The best stunts from James Bond
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Location London

F ure bar owner Peter and his regulars it is the night of their lives: James Bond has come by and is playing darts with them! To be more precise, it is Daniel Craig who, here in the small pub 'The Lord Palmerston' in the London borough of Deptford, passes the waiting time between the recordings for the new 'Bond' film. The film production has rented Peter's pub - as an office, cloakroom and warming room for stars and teams. Because the pub is right next to the Greenwich Line, a historic railway line that runs over a brick arched viaduct and was chosen as a location for a very special car scene because of its industrial appearance.

James Bond doesn't drink in this pub Beer, but a fruit juice. His boss 'M' is sitting next door at the pool table. There the make-up artist has spread out with her utensils and takes care of Judi Dench's short hair. A unit manager sets down his radio and asks the stars to go outside into the December night. He looks tense.

Legendary, silver-colored Aston Martin DB5

Temperatures around zero degrees, drizzling rain, freezing asphalt - the worst possible conditions for any film team to stage a night car chase. The film is being shot on the premises of a print shop on Arklow Street, right next to the said viaduct. The film team installed a spotlight over each of the historic arches. Back light, gloomy mood. The scene is short: James Bond walks purposefully towards gate number 7, accompanied by his boss. He pushes the concertina gate open with a jerk - and voilà, there he stands, the legendary, silver-colored Aston Martin DB5, which James Bond has already driven in five films and which has enjoyed cult status since its spectacular appearance in 'Goldfinger'.

For the 50th anniversary of the film, the Aston is even given the license plate from 'Goldfinger': BMT 216A. With his boss 'M' on board, 007 drives out of the garage with screeching tires, turns into Arklow Street and speeds under the railway bridge towards New Cross. According to the script, they both flee London in DB5 to Bond's family home in Scotland. The film team shudders and hopes that the wet road doesn't turn into a sheet of ice after all. Spreading salt is taboo, the aluminum bodythe valuable old-timer would never forgive.

Filmtruck takes the DB5 piggyback

For the following driving shots takes special film truck piggybacking the DB5 - together with Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, cameraman, lighting technician and director. This vehicle then chases through the London night. During the drive, Daniel Craig only has to pretend to be driving the car while talking to Judi Dench. Few of those in the know still know what weapons and tricks Bond's cult car has to offer this time. The responsible stunt coordinator Gary Powell smiles and gives only one tip: 'The Aston Martin in 'Skyfall' corresponds to the one in 'Goldfinger' - everyone can come up with a few ideas.'

Bond fans think of course, immediately to the retractable tire slicer, the ejection seat and the bulletproof rear wall. 'In any case, the DB5 has a real surprise in store in the new film.' Gary Powell leaves it open whether it is a nice or a bad surprise. He and his special effects colleague Chris Corbould are good for some spectacular things: In the 23rd 'Bond' film by the Broccoli /Wilson producer family, they let 007 in a crazy opening scene, first on four, then on two wheels and finally one on rubber chains Chasing villain. For the scene, a fleet of twelve Land Rover Defenders, 15 Audi A5s, dozen VW Beetles and 24 Honda motorcycles were sent to the Turkish locations in Istanbul and Adana.

Location Istanbul

In 2012, 50 years after the first 007 film, James Bond no longer uttered any chauvi sayings about' women at the wheel ', even if they did he's only a passenger in this scene. At the wheel of a gray Land Rover Defender Double Cab Pickup is the attractive colleague Eve (Naomi Harris), who is currently chasing through the narrow streets of Istanbul at breakneck speed. Eve follows the black Audi A5 of the villain Patrice (Ola Rapace) to the spice market and tries to overtake. Exactly at this moment Bond grabs the steering wheel ('May I?'), Jerks the car to the right and rams the Audi so hard that it thunders onto a fountain plinth, tips over on its left side and crashes into a market stall - right in front the New Mosque on the Galata Bridge.

There the film people have set up their own market, strictly shielded from the real hustle and bustle of the lively city. The gesticulating traders are stuntmen, the tourists are cast. There is also no other marble fountain at this point. Art director Neal Callow designed it in such a way that there is space underneath a two-ton steel ramp that is anchored in the historic pavement.

Land Rover Defender rams Audi A5

First, the stunt team ('second unit') turns the ram of the Defender from variousAngles. Everyone involved is on standby, stunt coordinator Gary Powell, who is arming himself against the Turkish sun with dark sports sunglasses and a football shirt, holds out his thumb. The unit manager yells 'Watch out! Three - two - one - action!' The cameras are running. The Land Rover and the Audi really accelerate, the Defender barely evades a market stall, pulls to the right and - thump - crashes into the left flank of the A5. Pigeons flutter up in fright, dealers flee, the cars come to a stop after a few meters with screeching tires. 'And cut it!' After just five seconds, it's all over.

The unit manager blows the whistle three times - the signal for everyone involved that the scene is in the can. The Audi stunt driver gets out and there are five small adhesive dots above and below his eyes - help markings for digital post-processing when the 'real' eye area of ​​actor Ola Rapace is copied into the recording in the trick studio. It is not for nothing that cameraman Roger Deakins is shooting the new 'Bond' completely with digital cameras. In the next scene, the tilting of the Audi, the stunt people almost bite their teeth: the driver thunders twice too quickly over the well ramp, so that his car overturns and lands on the roof - an expensive mistake, because it has to be done again a brand new A5 must be prepared. Everything will look very smooth on the cinema screen: After the swipe by Bond, the Audi lifts off briefly thanks to the ski jump at the fountain, tips over to the left and slides - leaning against the Land Rover driving parallel - across the market square until it finally enters a booth with tin dishes cracks.

Stunt driver steers Defender from the car roof

As soon as the main actors Daniel Craig and Naomi Harris Sitting in the Land Rover for the close-ups, the car seems to be steered by magic. The explanation: A dragster-like cockpit made of metal pipes is mounted on the car roof, in which stunt driver Ben Collins is enthroned. It is he who controls the car from up there, with his own gearshift, extended clutch and brake - and of course outside of the camera image. Because the center of gravity moves dangerously upwards through the cage construction, the suspension is tightened and additional weights are mounted on the underbody. In addition, the Land Rover is equipped with wide special wheels that make it look like a golf caddy.

After the car crash, the hunt on motorcycles continues: over the roofs of Istanbul, to a railway bridge, from there - with somersault - on a moving train that has loaded a delivery of VW Beetle and a crawler excavator. Bond escapes into the cab of the excavator, after a grazing shot pulls the shovel arm across the wagon and sweeps two VW Beetles from the loading area. They tumble like dead beetles on the path next to themthe track, right in front of Agent Eve's speeding Land Rover. Originally, instead of the Beetle, historical VW Beetles were supposed to fall off the train - but the production did not find enough vehicles to destroy.

Audi and VW -Models are destroyed with relish

According to Gary Powell, it was not intentional in 'Skyfall' that cars from the Volkswagen Group were destroyed with relish for James Bond (Audi, Beetle). Is that really a coincidence? The lavish 'car deal' with the producers was not made this time by Aston Martin or even Volkswagen, but by Jaguar /Land Rover. The car manufacturer made a total of 70 vehicles available for use in front of and behind the cameras. For example, Bond's boss 'M' is chauffeured through London in the long version of the Jaguar flagship XJ, and MI6 agents drive a Range Rover Vogue TDV8.

Even if the agent in Her Majesty's Secret Service already works with many makes of car flirted: For the 50th anniversary he returns ruefully to 'good old England' and remains patriotically loyal to the companies that still build their cars at least in England. The Queen, a big 007 fan since the Summer Olympics, will be satisfied.

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