Arriving in Venice
September 26, 2006I was talking last time about our ebullient Executive Producer, Callum McDougall. Our other Executive Producer, Tony Waye, was considerably less cheerful in Lake Como, not because of his temperament, but because of what he was working on at that time.
He filled me in during a brief visit to the lakeside set before going back to Venice, our next stop. Tony ("Anthony" if you are reading the film credits) is a veteran of many Bond films going back 25 years to FOR YOUR EYES ONLY and as such, often gets some of the trickier jobs. You'll recall it was he who was doing the underwater unit work with Ivana Milicevic in the Bahamas. This new job sounds just as attractive in the abstract and even more complicated in reality. He is doing a helicopter shot of the SPIRIT 54, Bond's yacht, arriving in Venice. The route across the lagoon there is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world so getting the shot right has proved to be interesting.
As he explains it,
"The approach we needed was in one of the shipping lanes and because the yacht has a very deep keel, 2.2 metres, we had to have fairly deep water but we also needed a southeast wind and we needed the sun on an angle on the building. So you wanted the the best of all worlds."
Unfortunately what they got instead was Croatian customs problems and extremely severe weather. The yacht had been loaded onto a ship and travelled all the way from the Bahamas where it had featured in earlier scenes. It then got held up in Split for a couple of vital days while Tony and his crew stood by. When it finally arrived, they got an afternoon of shooting done before the weather socked in completely. But did they get the shot? If you've seen the trailer, you'll have had a glimpse of the answer.
This hasn't been Tony's only problem with this location. Venice is, of course, a beautiful city but a logistical nightmare for film-makers.
"Everything has to go by boat or you walk. So you've got to first of all train the crew how to get to their location each day. Very complicated. We've had maps drawn of how to get to the location. But I think they make things even more complicated."
Instead he has come up with a novel way of directing the crew.
"What I'm going to try and do is say - you walk out of the hotel, turn left. And you head for Prada and turn left at Prada and turn right at Gucci and left at Brioni because I think people will take more notice of the shops than they will of the street signs".
Well, even if we don't make it to the set, at least we'll be well dressed!
Until next time,