Bond Week: Book Review - Bond on Set: Filming Quantum of Solace
by Alex Billington
November 14, 2008
To wrap up our Bond Week coverage, we present our review of the phenomenal behind-the-scenes book "Bond on Set: Filming Quantum of Solace." I've always been a big fan of coffee table books and other movie memorabilia, so for a die-hard James Bond fan, finding something that looked this good to go along with an amazing movie itself was already an exciting prospect. However, once you take a look inside of this book and get a sense of what it was like to step on to the actual set while shooting Quantum of Solace, you won't want ever want to walk away from it again. To say I love this book, frankly, is an understatement. "Bond on Set" is a visually stunning look at the behind-the-scenes world of James Bond and is a must for any real Bond fan. In addition to some commentary, we've got a few photos from inside to share.
All of the photos were shot by Greg Williams, who is somewhat of an "secret weapon" in Hollywood. This is actually his third James Bond book - he did one like this for Die Another Day and Casino Royale before. Something about this one specifically, though, and it's very gritty black and white cover shot, seems unlike anything else I've ever seen before and I just had to pick it up. In addition to Williams' beautiful photos, the book features some commentary from director Marc Forster, who explains the production process for the film and a detailed story about each location and each shoot. The foreword was written by franchise producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson and speaks lavishly about Williams, with whom they've worked with on a total of four Bond films.
The book spans a total of ten locations: Carrara, Italy; Pinewood, England; Sienna, Italy; London, England; Bregenz, Austria; Panama City, Panama; Cobija, Chile; Baquedano, Chile; Aldershot, England; and the Atacama Desert, Chile. As we've covered before (including in our interview with Marc Forster), what makes the James Bond franchise (and this film especially) so great is that they actually shoot at these exotic locations. Seeing what it's like to actually do this and turn out a great Bond film in the end is quite exhilarating. You can listen to Marc Forster or Daniel Craig talk about it all day, but actually seeing their work captured in photos is comparable to nothing else. And for that alone, this book is worth it.
While there are hundreds of great behind-the-scenes shots, what really makes this book stand out are the very intimate portraits that Williams captures of all the actors and the crew. You'll see Daniel Craig like you've never seen him, as well as Olga Kurylenko, Gemma Arterton, and Giancarlo Giannini all captured in wonderfully candid photos. Even if you're interested in the life of celebrities and the work of an actor, "Bond on Set" gives you plenty to soak up for hours on end. It's a book I'm sure many will find themselves revisiting quite often, because once you look at Williams' photos, you won't ever forget them.
I'm speaking very highly of "Bond on Set" because I really do love this book. It hasn't been further than arm's reach since I bought it a few weeks ago. And I know I'll be referencing it quite a bit whenever I need some inspiration of my own. If you enjoyed Quantum of Solace at all, then there's no question, you need to get this book. It's well worth the $14.96 that it costs on Amazon, or slightly more if you pick it up in store. If you need any more convincing, take a quick look at any of the photos from the book that we've featured here. These aren't even the best ones - they're just a small sampling of what you'll find inside one of the Best bond books to date. And if you're a big James Bond fan like me, there shouldn't be any hesitation - this should already be ordered and on its way to you by now.