Quantum Of Solace - Taking a Sunday Off from Filming
Sunday, February 10 2008 @ 09:00 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Today the crews filming the new James Bond film "Quantum Of Solace" in Panama took a day off. Filming started in Panama on Thursday and will continue in Panama through 21 February. And again, I remain impressed by the tenacity of the British paparazzi. They've spent the last couple of days doing their thing - working to grab stills and video from perches near the filming sets and in some cases have been giving the local police fits. I heard police officers "detained" one of the guys for more than six hours. They actually took him against his will to the police station and made him stay there all day. He was eventually hauled before a judge and fined for something, and I can't wait to find out for what (because he was not breaking any laws, he just went to change some tapes.) But here's the real kicker - when the police returned his camera and video cassettes he discovered they had used his camera to record over and effectively erase the tapes. Can anyone explain that to me? The Panamanian National Police are now working to protect the sanctity of the production set? What the hell? (more)
Set In Bolivia: The crew filming in Panama is using the buildings of the Panamanian Instituto Nacional de Arte y Cultura (INAC) (National Institute of Arts and Culture) as a filming location. They've turned the building into the "Andean Grand Hotel" for the parts of the movie set in Bolivia. Supposedly someone will try to kill Commander Bond in the elevator of the hotel, and it's a safe bet that the attempt will fail. The crew will be filming here starting tomorrow on Monday and will continue through Wednesday.
Pablo Arosemena's Statue: It's kinda cool to see a multi million dollar film production in Panama, if for no other reason than the raw economics. They are spending a whole lot of money here, which is a good thing all the way around. So what, they close a few streets, make a little noise, blow up some bad guys - who cares? Hopefully they will have a wonderful experience, get all of the shots they need, and the film will be a smashing success. Maybe eventually Panama will draw more and more production companies down. It's all good, baby.
Learn Something New Every Day: Today as I went wandering around the area of the filming (scouting access points for tomorrow) I ran into a tour group getting a lecture from their guide. I have walked right past this plaque at least fifty times and never heard the story. He explained "from this spot Captain Raul Chevalier fired a single cannon against some Colombian ships what were right out there. He only had one cannon, and the Colombian gunboats returned fire. The only guy that was killed in the exchange of gunfire was a Chinese fisherman who was in a boat over that way, and one of the rounds form the Colombian boats got him. Then, when the Colombian gunboats turn away and ran everybody thought they were running from Captain Chevalier and his gun, and they cheered. But what they didn't know at the time was that there were a couple of ships from the US Navy right over there, and the Colombians were actually running away from them..." Chevalier would have made Commander Bond proud, holding his ground, bravely engaging the enemy although greatly out gunned. This spot is located directly behind the INAC building being used as a location for the movie.
Lights, Camera, Don't Steal Anything: Whilst? Dude, is that even a word? Most of the reality of a view into backstage is boring, mundane, routine, and very practical. And, a great deal of the work goes into electrical power and lights. Without proper lighting you can't film a damn thing. And of course the set managers don't want your cell phone going off in the middle of a take, and they don't want you taking anything in the middle of a take either. I mean, it's not that kind of take... I guess they always have problems with a coffee cup used during the filming showing up on eBay or something like that.
Here's The Overview: In case you're not dialed in yet as to what is where. I'm going to wander down there tomorrow, specifically to see if I can get in there. The police basically arrested and illegally wiped clean a videotape, which means the Panamanian National Police are now in effect working for Bond 22 S.A.. Of course, that was with a foreigner who actually came into the country on a tourist visa, who is working in Panama to grab shots of the filming without a work permit. I don't have that problem. Anyway, I want to just go down there to hear the rap. I have no intentions of messing up the filming or causing a disturbance, but it bugs me that they would strong arm the camera man the way they did. So friggin what - let the film crew pay for security and good for them.
Ok, So No Bond Girls Running Around Nekkid' By The Pool: I went, I saw, I shot. Nothing. An empty set, waiting for Monday morning and taking a day off. Of course, I have Sunday's set aside for the day when I can run around with my nifty camera to take pictures of stuff. And if I can't get photos of the Bond Girls next to the pool with their tops off, then I just had to settle for the only bird available. At this point (for the record) the bird in the picture was trying to decide if he wanted to fight me for rights to the wading pool.
Lights On A Crane: It's got to be worth it. Nobody would pay whatever it costs to position this much equipment if it were not necessary. Whatever. I'll be running around for the next few days to try to get some shots of the primary actors. And I swear to God, if I get close enough to one of the Bond girls with a video camera running I've only got one request - "Show Us Your ---- " accent. I was going to say accent. It should make for a great YouTube video. Have a great day, whilst doing nothing, ya'll.
Copyright 2008 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.