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DIE ANOTHER DAY

About The Special Effects
The scope of a Bond film is so large, the second unit becomes very important to realizing the team's vision. Second unit director Vic Armstrong is one of the most sought-after directors of action sequences in the industry, and was responsible for the high-speed boat chase up the Thames in The World Is Not Enough and the motorcycle-helicopter chase over the rooftops of Bangkok in Tomorrow Never Dies.

One of Armstrong's many high-octane sequences in Die Another Day is the remarkable car chase between Bond's Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and the Zao's Jaguar XKR over the ice fields of Iceland.

"The ice chase sequence was amazing," Armstrong says. "We were shooting at a lake on the west coast of Iceland, right in the middle of the North Atlantic at the end of the largest glacier in Europe, so there's an incredible variation in weather conditions. It's never sunny for more than four consecutive days – certainly not in the winter.

"Because of adverse weather conditions," he continues, "the lake had no ice on it. It just wasn't freezing. Then we received a sudden message saying Iceland had started to freeze. There were 7 or 8 inches of ice. It was going to be okay. They dammed it up for us, which accelerated the icing-up progress.

"It was the coldest winter there in living memory, but also the best weather. Everything froze solid – then the sun came out. For three weeks we had beautiful weather that melted all the snow off the icebergs and revealed a vivid blue. There were so many different blues. It was phenomenal.

"The whole sequence flows in a continuous movement – it's like a ballet. I wanted to get big wide shots, like Lawrence of Arabia or Stagecoach. I've been in the Grand Canyon, I've been all over the world, but to wake up to that scene every morning was truly breathtaking.

"It took two weeks to shoot the car chase and then another week to film a skidoo chase and dragster chase on a glacier – still in beautiful weather. We shot the final scenes and, as we descended, it clouded over. The next day you couldn't have walked on the ice let alone take a car on it – it was melting. We were amazingly lucky."

Peter Lamont has worked in the art department on seventeen Bond movies. The sets for Die Another Day keep with the magnificent Bond sets of the past, especially Graves' Ice Palace, constructed on the famous 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios.

At first, the Ice Palace was only to house a few key scenes, but once the filmmakers saw the models of the set they decided to expand their plans. Lamont says, "Tamahori came up with the idea of staging a car chase in the Ice Palace featuring the Aston Martin and the Jaguar, with Zao trying to prevent Bond from rescuing Jinx from a sinking compartment.

"We had to beef up the structure to make it secure," continues Lamont. "We built a composite of the drowning room that sank into a tank beneath the set, and we constructed two upward ramps so you could drive around to your heart's content within the Palace. None of that was part of the initial plan. There were also hundreds of meters of water hoses as part of the structure. An enormous amount of water was required.

"All the departments involved with the set worked as a team. It was quite miraculous that we got everything ready in time. I started putting the set together in

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