Daniel Craig was in Siena, Italy on Thursday to
witness the filming of the Palio horse race which
in the 22nd James Bond film...
Bond 22 Pre-Production Diary (6)
17th August 2007
reported earlier in the week, a small
production team headed to the Tuscan village of Siena, Italy
on Thursday 16th August 2007 to film some background shots that
will feature in the 22nd James
Bond film. Daniel Craig was also
in attendance, although he merely observed and did not feature
in the filming in any way.
Above: Daniel Craig watches the
action from the Palace Of Elci in a balcony overlooking
"Madonna dell'Assunta Palio di Siena" horse
race which pitches 10 neighborhoods
As the Palio di Siena horse race is only ran
twice a year, cameras traveled to Italy to capture the action
ahead of principal photography, which is scheduled to start in
December. 14 cameras were placed at strategic positions around
the arena but helicopters were banned.
The Palio race will reportedly serve as the
backdrop to key action scenes in the movie, where 007 will chase
the villain through steep and narrow cobbled streets and across
the rooftops on foot, after negotiating Siena's narrow underground
alleys and medieval aqueducts in his Aston Martin. One of the
chase locations will be the 'bottini', a network of tunnels that
run under the city and cannot be visited by the public without
permission. The production team reportedly visited these locations
to collect the necessary information to reconstruct the tunnels
and alleys at Pinewood Studios. The town council have also given
permission for the production team to return between January
to July 2008 to complete location shots involving the cast.
The filming agreement includes a restriction
to not show any violence involving people or animals during the
race, and to treat the event with "full respect". Maurizio
Cenni, the mayor of Siena, said Mr Craig and the Bond film crew
were "very welcome", but the Palio did not need any
extra publicity. "We have imposed extremely rigid restrictions
on the production" he said. "This will allow us to
check the contents and editing afterward, intervening if necessary."
Above: Craig traveled
with girlfriend Satsuki Mitchell to the filming.
Animal rights activists had complained about
the use of the event in Bond 22, claiming it may glamorize the
race which has
caused 50 horses to be killed or put down since 1970. But to
the relief of the Siena authorities, the huge crowd and - presumably
- the film producers, all horses and jockeys survived the dangerous
bareback race. The Times reports that several jockeys were unseated
as horses crashed into the wall at the notoriously tight San
Martino bend, falling beneath the pounding hooves of their rivals.
Miraculously none was hurt. For the record the Palio was won
by the Leocorno (Unicorn) contrada, with Jonathan Bartoletti
riding a ten year old bay called Brento.
Bond 22 is shaping up to be a European adventure,
as MI6 reported last month that location shooting could also
take in an impressive
Opera set in Austria and
a ski sequence. The majority
of filming will take place at Pinewood
Studios in the UK.