It would seem London is once again popular amongst film makers as a location with the likes of of Captain America, X-Men and the forthcoming Batman film gracing our capital. The latest and perhaps the most well known name amongst the next series of film shoots is that of a certain character you may have heard of – James Bond. Bond 23 or Skyfall as it now known (following the official launch at a press conference on Thursday 3 Nov) will be shot Pinewood, Scotland, Turkey, China and London.
Fortunately we were in the right place at the right time for the filming in London as we were reliably informed that shooting would take place in the Smithfield area of London throughout Saturday 5 November. So with camera in hand and prayers made that we would see leading cast members in all sorts of action packed scenes we headed to an area of London rather popular with film makers. Smithfield itself has been seen in many films over the years including Johnny English (car chase scene), Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason (where she gets splashed on the way to see Mark Darcy at his chambers), The End of the Affair (when Julianne Moore walks through the rain to the church) and of course countless films have been made in St Bartholomew the Great Church in the heart of Smithfield (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Sherlock 1, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, etc).
The film unit started setting up shooting around the entrance to the Smithfield car park at West Smithfield at about 5am. There was a big buzz because it was the first day of filming on location and it was pretty easy to see the likes of Dame Judi Dench (M), Sam Mendes and some other characters milling around getting ready for scenes shot throughout the day. Daniel Craig only made an appearance towards the end of the day.
*SPOILER ALERT* The NCP car park was turned into the entrance of Mi6 with guards standing outside awaiting the arrival and exit of several cars with none other than Bond played by Daniel Craig and M played by Judi Dench. From our conversations with crew members it would seem this was the entrance to some kind of Mi6 medical laboratory but we’ll have to see when it hits the big screen in late 2012.
Countless takes were filmed from various angles of cars coming and going into the Mi6 complex. For cast and crew who’d been up since the very early hours it wasn’t quite the excitement people might expect to be associated with Bond as with all film making there is alot of waiting around (in the cold) and repetition of takes to give them plenty of material for the final edit. As the day developed passers by and paparazzi cottoned on to the filming so crowds started to develop but nothing could stop or distract the James Bond juggernaut from rolling on. *SPOILER FINISH*
With many scenes shot and darkness approaching it was a lovely insight into how a Bond film is made on location. For more info and behind the scenes video shots and a tour of the location at Smithfield find out more on our James Bond London Tour in 2012.
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