TOMORROW NEVER DIES
The crucial pre-title snow sequences were shot high in the mountains
of the French Pyrenees, under the supervision of 2nd Unit director
Vic Armstrong, making extensive use of one of the few operational
high altitude airfields in Europe.
Filming took place in January/February to make best use of the
snow and ice. Four Czech L39 Jet Fighters were featured in this
segment - two on the ground and two in the air.
The airport location, in the ski resort of Peyresourde, was situated
on an exposed ridge and completely surrounded by snow-covered
peaks at an altitude of over 5,000 feet. The Unit was based in
the town of Luchon, 14 kilometers down the mountain, an old thermal
bath center which is now a seasonal tourist resort.
The road to the mountain location was opened each morning with
the help of snow ploughs and gritters and a final patrol was back
at base by eight o'clock in the evening. When heavy snow falls
were encountered, a convoy procedure was adopted and no single
vehicle permitted access to the location in these dangerously
Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould remembers: "We
only had six weeks to get that all on the road. We were still
importing weapons and explosives from the UK and America into
France after we started shooting. We had some French pyrotechnics
to keep us going in the meantime but that was how tight it was.
There were a lot of explosions and bullet hits during this sequence
which terminated in a massive cruise missile explosion which involved
a lot of petrol and dynamite - 300 to 400 gallons of gasoline
and several pounds of dynamite."
The Bond Model Unit, under the supervision of John Richardson,
started their seven week shoot on May 26 at Fox Baja Studios at
Rosarito where Twentieth Century Fox had built a 40 acre "studio"
facility for their epic production of "Titanic", directed
by James Cameron.
The ocean front tank is the largest in the world with an area
over 360,000 square feet and is located 3 hours from Los Angeles
and 20 minutes from the US/Mexican border.
Several exciting miniature action scenes were completed here including
the sinking of the British frigate H.M.S. Devonshire and the climactic
battle between Carver's Stealth Boat and H.M.S. Bedford.
Steadfast cooperation from the Royal Navy back in Britain did
not stretch to sinking a fully-equipped missile bearing frigate,
hence the miniature option.
James Bond returns to Thailand for the first time since 1974 when
Cubby Broccoli filmed The Man With the Golden Gun in Bangkok,
Phuket and on a small island off Phang Gna Bay called Ko Phing
Kan, which is now internationally known as 'James Bond Island'
and firmly established on the tourist map.
"We actually prepared to shoot and set the film in Saigon
and Hanoi and also found locations on the Vietnamese border with
China," director Spottiswoode remembers. "They were
all wonderful and remarkable places and we spent a week flying
up and down Vietnam in a helicopter. That was the most interesting
and, finally, the most frustrating because after giving us permission
to shoot in Vietnam they withdrew it.
They got scared that there was too much western influence too
quickly. To have so many foreigners come in on such a high profile
enterprise, they lost heart for a while and felt that it was going
too fast. So, just three weeks before shooting, we have to find
a whole new set of locations...which we did in Thailand."
Because Bangkok is itself not featur
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