Behind the stunts of Spectre, along with why nobody does the item better than Bond

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016 - autos, cars, motoring, news

Source : Behind the stunts of Spectre, along with why nobody does the item better than Bond

What makes Bond films different through everything else? All the stunts are done for real, as we find out in Rome


through the moment the plane settles on the tarmac at Fiumicino, you sense something is actually going on. Rome is actually excited, on edge, disrupted by the huge volume of visitors, vans, cameras, helicopters, cars along with noise. Everyone knows. James Bond is actually in town.

Rome has made Bond welcome. We hear few complaints about the 4km stretch of the River Tiber which is actually closed, guarded by 250 security staff, while a 350-person crew get on with the job of generating the item all happen, closing dozens of streets as they do so. The city is actually chaotic as I close in on the set to see some of those responsible for the upheaval.

Neil Layton works for Effects Warehouse, which, as the name suggests, ensures which modern movies are as spectacular as audiences demand. He has arrived in Rome straight through the set of 
the latest Star Wars film to get 
stuck into Spectre. 

Layton is actually used to prepping stunt cars, yet with vehicles as special as the Aston Martin DB10 along with the Jaguar C-X75, there are unique problems. “The hardest thing about This particular is actually which both the Jag along with Aston are bespoke,” he says. “Everything is actually bespoke. The cars aren’t difficult – more the timescales along with getting hold of them from the first place.”

Ahead of filming, Layton had little to work with. “The DB10s 
were still being built,” he explains. “So Aston gave us a mule car to practise with from the meantime. the item was a widened, lengthened V8 Vantage, which we had on track, so we had an idea of what they were going to drive like.” This particular allowed Layton’s team to feed back into the production process.

“We had four along that has a half months’ talking to Aston Martin to get the cars ready for the shoot,” says Layton. “Some of the modifications are done during production along with some are done post. So all the cars have full roll cages along with fire extinguisher systems when they arrive, yet there are loads of bits we do when we get the cars.”

Once the cars arrive, they are put into batches, depending on what 
they are needed to do. The cars used for the close-up work, for instance, have relatively little done to them, yet some get very serious modification to satisfy the requirements of filming, as well as those of the driver. “The cars always get improvements made,” says Layton. “We set them up so they drive like we need them to.”

Piloting the Aston for Spectre is actually triple British Rally Championship winner Mark Higgins, along with his feedback is actually vital for fine-tuning 
the cars to ensure they are ready for Rome. He admits there are few similarities between his fresh job along with his old one, yet he enjoys the challenge nonetheless.

“With rallying, you hold the different surfaces. You’ve tarmac along with gravel,” Higgins explains. “Here, we’ve got cobbles, changing weather along with so on, yet the item’s not which similar at all. Here, you do the same things again along with again to get them right. In rallying, you do something once along with hopefully you do the item well.”

Read our drive from the Aston Martin DB10

Because there is actually little time to practise on set, planning is actually paramount. The evidence of This particular exactitude is actually evident everywhere. Despite shooting at night, with no camera from the auto, Higgins is actually in a full Bond tuxedo. He’s even wearing the correct Omega Seamaster watch that has a Nato strap. “They’ll want This particular back,” he says, smiling.

He explains which such detail pervades everything which is actually done on set. “We work truly closely with our stunt co-ordinator to plan everything,” he says. “He’ll have ideas. We’ll have run-throughs with the cars so you know what the item is actually going to feel like when you are on those actual cobbles, yet you don’t get much actual rehearsal. Once the road is actually closed off, you get maybe a couple of runs up along with down to see what the item is actually like, yet which’s the item, truly. 
I mean, you can practise on the cobbles at Millbrook [proving ground], yet the item’s not the same. the 1st time you know what the item is actually like is actually when you get here.”

As well as ensuring the drivers are happy with the balance of the auto, the camera mounting positions along with so on need to be set up to keep the director happy. The most modified along with flexible of all the vehicles on set are the ‘pod’ cars.

“The pod cars have a full set of driver controls on the roof so you can have an actor or camera inside the auto as the item’s moving,” says Layton. “The steering along with brakes are fully piped into the auto’s systems, yet the throttle is actually a fly-by-wire arrangement especially built due to This particular job.”

Not all of the solutions are so high-tech, though. A huge set of rear-view mirrors is actually attached to one pod for a specific scene. “The mirrors are pretty big because there’s a high-speed reverse sequence along with Mark needed to see where he was going. They look like Mickey Mouse’s ears,” says Layton, “yet they work.”

Higgins says driving the pod cars needs extra concentration. As well as the high seating position, he has to make allowances for the remote controls. “The hydraulic steering works well,” he says, “yet there is actually no self-centring action. the item feels very different through the regular car.”

The some other big issue, of course, is actually the cameras. “You’ve got some other cars around you, yet quite often, with the auto rigged up, you’re aware of the camera on the front of the auto. You’ve got no vision.”

Such limitations make car set-up crucial. Layton says: “The extra weight makes a difference. There are loads of rigs, sump guards, reinforced front grilles… yet we need to change the spring rates depending on the set-up to make sure the cars drive properly.”

Asked what the hardest modification has been, Layton pauses. “The flame thrower,” he says. “Sam [Mendes, the director] came to us pretty late with which one. the item all works, though. the item has to. With Bond, everything is actually done for real.”

Doing things properly means the cars take a lot of abuse. Layton explains: “They took off on the steps, landed on the steps through about four feet up along with just kept taking the item.” Higgins is actually impressed at how well the cars have coped. “We’re doing things six along with seven times along with I think we’ve had a pipe come off once. which’s not bad when you think the cars are taking off along with crashing into the ground.”

Pushed on whether there have been any some other problems, Layton admits which an impact on one Aston caused an unexpected lifting of the vast clamshell bonnet, yet the item was quickly sorted that has a combination of bonnet pins along with gaffer tape. “We made sure the item didn’t happen the next time around,” Higgins says. 

Noise levels start to rise as we get nearer to the cameras rolling. Layton along with Higgins get ready to go to work, indicating a spot a mile or so downriver as the best place for me to see the night shoot drama. I watch for the next couple of hours as a seamless chase through the streets of Rome is actually painstakingly pieced together frame by fiery frame.

As well as cameras along the roads, a helicopter shadows each of the runs, hovering mere metres above the murk of the Tiber. If two supercars aren’t dramatic enough, a matt black Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG that has a huge boom camera joins in briefly, driving just metres through the chase across the slippery cobbled walkway. We later find out which the $1.3 million Merc has been shipped over through Los Angeles specifically for Spectre because “the item’s the best tool for the job”. Another corner being left conspicuously uncut.

Without giving too much away, the sight of two rare cars howling down the dimly lit towpath of the Tiber at 80mph, separated by 15ft 
of flame, is actually hairs-on-the-back-of-your neck stuff. the item’s hard to imagine which when spliced into a coherent whole, the final edit will be any 
less spectacular.

After a couple of hours of action, the major work of the night is actually over. The chase helicopter climbs high above the ancient city along with chops off into the night along with crowds dissipate, sensing the fun is actually over for the night. Layton is actually walking nearby, chatting into the radio. I ask how successful the night’s work has been. He says the item has been a long shift yet is actually pleased with how things have gone.

“the item’s always difficult, yet there is actually a pride to working on a Bond film which you get through little else,” he says. ‘‘You know everything which you see on screen is actually real. The only CGI used is actually for hiding boom arms along with little details. the item could all be done in CGI, yet the item’s not. Because the item’s Bond.” 

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Source: Behind the stunts of Spectre, along with why nobody does the item better than Bond

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