It was only at the very last minute that the client decided to support the sound effects with music, so from the very beginning the plan was to create the Bond theme using only sound design. Therefore, the most challenging aspect of the job was making sure that the narrative was structured to allow for this.
The original script was very different from where we ended up, as it was one of those ideas that evolved as we went along, especially as the music was so tied into the story structure.
To add to the pressure, Barbara Broccoli (who owns the film rights to Bond) was also involved in the approval process from script stage through to final edit, but it really helped that she was excited about the concept and how we were approaching the Bond theme in a totally original way.
The most complicated part of the process was the planning in pre-production, working out exactly how the story would unfold and where all of the sounds would come from to make up the tune.
The first thing I did was to make a cut down of the track with my editor, Mark Edinoff. This music edit was important to get right as it then became the foundation for everything else. For example, it dictated that the hero had to exit the bar 20 seconds into the story for the door opening/tray impact to hit the percussive moment when the main theme kicks in. This was tricky from a story telling point of view, as we needed to establish the hero, the girl, their connection, that she was with a guy she didn’t want to be with, the drink, and also introduce the music through their dialogue.
Basically, it was a lot to get in from a story telling point of view and I don’t think that it had fully dawned on the agency how fast paced everything had to be until I had cut my storyboard to the music and could show them how much we had to get in.
I worked on the sound design with Anthony at Factory from the very beginning of the project, and at a very early stage he gave me a simplified version of our music edit played on piano. Mark and I used this to create a very simple animatic with my storyboard, (see Related Content), which really helped to give us much more accurate breakdown for timing. You can see that the final film barely deviates at all from this, as everything was so locked into the music, so we didn’t have the same flexibility you’d have on a normal project. You couldn’t change one element without unravelling everything else.
A lot of the details in the chase scene were introduced at treatment stage, as we wanted to introduce moments where we get to see our hero’s Bond-like ingenuity. For example, I introduced the boat crossing scene as a subtle nod to when Roger Moore runs across the alligators in Live and Let Die, and the motor bike sliding stunt was a reference to the same stunt in ‘Never Say Never Again’.
However, we were also trying to create a tone that was inspired by Bond, but without trying to emulate the films. We wanted there to be an ordinariness about our guy that anyone could relate to, by subverting some of the Bond-isms, like the bit where you think he’s going to get the Aston Martin, but drives away on a moped instead.
The stunts were a lot of fun to shoot and were all achieved in-camera. Obviously there was quite a lot of wire rigs for the post house Finish to remove, but we had a really great young actor from Liverpool who was incredibly keen and happy to be suspended over the river for a couple of hours as we shot the rowing-boat scene.
The biggest problem that we had when shooting the chase scenes came from the fact that all of the vehicles that I had chosen (the baddie’s Golf, and the moped) were all pretty old and they kept breaking down. The most worrying occasion happened when the Golf’s engine failed just before the jump through the truck. Luckily we had a back-up vehicle and managed to get the shot, but it did build the tension and create a pretty nervy atmosphere.
Agency: Publicis Conseil
Agency Producer:Timothe Rosenberg
Agency Producer: Guillaume Delmas
Chief Creative Officer: Anne De Maupeou
Creative Director: Steve O’leary
Copywriter: Antonin Jacquot
Art Director: Philippe D’orgeville
Production: Sonny Ph
Director: Guy Manwaring
Director Of Photography: Jan Velicky
Producer: Amy Appleton
Producer: Constance Guillou
Music, Soundtrack Production: Wam/Schmooze
Sound Production: Anthony Moore And Jon Clarke @ Factory
Music Production: Sean Atherton
Agency Post Producer: Antoine Daubert
Music Production: Sian Rogers