Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Seaweed is Always Greener on Day 15 of Bond 365

It’s Friday Eve and I am ready for the weekend – how about you? Today’s post title comes from the song “Under The Sea” in honor of Day 15 of Bond 365…

Lamar Boren
Lamar Boren
Passed Away on January 15, 1986
Underwater Cameraman for Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker

Lamar Boren was the expert underwater cameraman during the 60s and beyond. He worked on several television series in which water sequences were a central aspect of the show, such as Sea Hunt (1958-1961), Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color (1964-1968), and Flipper (1966-1967). I can remember watching the latter series in syndication as a child and being in awe. However, Boren work on Thunderball, where much of it was shot in the Bahamas, is quite impressive and must have taken quite a bit of time for Ricou Browning, who had worked on Creature From the Black Lagoon (1954), to choreograph.

Wikipedia reports that the budget was $9 million and that seems low for all of the underwater work that was shot, especially since working on location, the crew encountered some issues and limitations. For instance, you might notice how clear the water was for some of the scenes. Many of the scenes had to be shot when the tides were lower to avoid sharks. There were also shots completed at deeper depths, in particular the shots in which the atomic bombs were being removed from the sunken bomber. Interestingly, stuntman Bill Cummings demanded an extra £250 ($6400 adjusted for inflation) to double for Largo’s sidekick Quist, who you may remember was dropped into the pool of sharks.

Boren, at work

I was surprised, but Boren worked on several “land” oriented shows as well. For instance, he worked on Then Came Bronson (1969-1970) a show that incorporated motorcycles and starred Michael Parks. The Rockford Files (1974-1976) that starred James Garner as a private investigator was a very popular show, typically featuring a car chase at some point. Other projects included Project U.F.O. (1978) and Vegas (1979).

I pulled both of the Boren photos included in this post from the Weeki Wachee Mermaids website, which has several photos that were taken on the set of Mermaids and the Pirates, a show that Boren worked on in the 1960s. The photos provide a behind-the-scenes look at Boren and others at work.

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