Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bond Birthdays and Start of Quantum - Day 3 of Bond 365

Welcome back! It's Day 3 of Bond 365 and today there are two birthdays and filming official began for one of the Bond films that I have found so far in my ongoing project. 

David Middlemas
Born: January 3, 1919, London
Production Supervisor in Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me

According to IMDB, David Middlemas got his start in British cinema as Second Unit Director and Assistant Director in several films. From 1954 to 1960, Middlemas worked with several actors and a couple of directors that would later work on the James Bond films. Action of the Tiger (1957), Middlemas assisted Terence Young (director of Dr. No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball) with directing duties and worked with Sean Connery and Anthony Dawson (Professor Dent, Dr. No; Ernst Blofeld in From Russia With Love and Thunderball). In addition, Middlemass worked with Bernard Lee (M in several Bond films), Eunice Gayson (Sylvia Trench, Dr. No), Bessie Love (American Guest, OHMSS), George Baker (Sir Hilary Bray, OHMSS), Tsai Chin (Ling, You Only Live Twice; Madame Wu, 2006’s Casino Royale), Curd Jurgens (Karl Stromberg, The Spy Who Loved Me), and Eric Pohlmann (voice of Blofeld, Thunderball). Although not part of the Eon Production’s films, Middlemas also worked with David Niven and Peter Sellers, both who starred in the 1967 comedic version of Casino Royale.

In 1958, while still pulling assisting director duties, Middlemas started managing productions. It was as Production Supervisor that he worked on Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and The Spy Who Loved Me. He was the production supervisor for another film that Ian Fleming wrote – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Middlemas worked with Alexander Knox (American President) and Donald Pleasence (Blofeld) in You Only Live Twice, but he would work with them again on other projects as well. And, he worked with Gert Frobe (Auric Goldfinger, Goldfinger) and director Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever, Live and Let Die).

There wasn’t much on the internet regarding Middlemas’ early years and his career, however there are a few interviews out there. For instance, he was part of The Making of James Bond – 007 (1977), Ken Adam’s Production Films: Thunderball (2006), and a Q&A interview in 007 Issue #13 from June 1983. I haven’t come across that particular issue as yet.

Middlemas passed away in 2001.

Dana Broccoli, second from left with Cubby, the Saltzmans and Sean Connery
Dana Broccoli
Born: January 3, 1922
CafĂ© Martinique Dancer in Thunderball; Woman at St. Mark’s Square in Moonraker

Life started for Dana Natol in New York City where she began a career as an actress and writer. She met and married actor Lewis Wilson and they had a son, Michael, who would go on to become part of the current production team with his half sister, Barbara Broccoli. Dana Wilson followed her husband out to Los Angeles after World War II. She starred in a few roles in the early 1950s alongside her husband, but eventually their marriage ended.

Wilson was focusing on her writing when she met film producer Albert Broccoli. She pitched him a story idea, but it wasn’t the story he was interested in. Real life imitating James and Tracy’s quick nuptials in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Wilson married Broccoli six weeks after meeting, in June 1959. A year later, Barbara, was born.

Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson
The family relocated to London and in 1961, Danjaq was founded by Broccoli and Harry Saltzman. They bought the film rights to all of the James Bond books, including Chity Chity Bang Bang, which would be made into a movie starring Dick Van Dyke in 1968.

Dana Broccoli had a couple of small cameos in Thunderball and Moonraker but her involvement in the franchise changed in 1996 when her husband died. She assumed the role of president. Under her leadership, the franchise released three Pierce Brosnan led Bond films – Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day – prior to her death in 2004.

On Location – Quantum of Solace
First Official Day of Filming

Bond 22, or Quantum of Solace, officially started shooting this day in 2008 with the main unit at Pinewood Studies. However, the second unit had started the prior August at the Palio di Siena horse race that were edited into the chase sequence between Bond and the double agent, Mitchell. Filming took place in six countries that included Italy, Peru, Chile, Panama, and England.

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