MI6 reports from Bregenz, where the "Quantum of Solace" production has been filming at Festival House and the "Tosca" floating opera stage...

Production Diary (29)
5th May 2008

Bonding In Bregenz
"When we saw that, we said: this is Bond! We have to shoot here", said Callum McDougall, Executive Producer of "Quantum of Solace", at a press conference on Friday that kicked off the filming on the "Tosca" opera stage.

Above Left: Executive Producer Callum McDougall (right)
Above Right: Franz Salzmann, Commercial Director of the Bregenz Festival (right)

Scriptwriters Neal Purvis and Robert Wade had the initial inspiration to shoot part of the 22nd James Bond film at the Seebühne (floating opera stage) in Bregenz, noting it's unique appearance and special atmosphere. Back in July last year, producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster took in one of the last performances of "Tosca" that season. More visits followed before the final "go" was given in February. McDougall told reporters that 007 himself, Daniel Craig, was impressed by the lakeside stage.

"Quantum of Solace" director Marc Forster said the opera stage eye "was a metaphor for the James Bond series and is therefore a very good setting for this film. I am very pleased to be here. The lake and surroundings are beautiful. I hope the weather plays - I hope it rains!" Shooting in Bregenz began on April 30th and will run through May 9th.

McDougall said that working in Bregenz was "great fun" and the collaboration between the production and the Festival organizers worked perfectly, also noting the tremendous support they had received throughout Austria. When asked if Bond might head back to the country in a future film, McDougall enthusiastically said "no doubt", and that Vienna has a "whiff of death" about it - perfect for a 007 adventure.

Preparations for filming at the location began in March, but very little was changed to the stage and its surrounding buildings. Forster limited the alterations to include a footbridge to link the stage to the grandstand. Bond will make use of this as he dashes through the opera performance and into the crowd.


Stunt rehearsals began on April 29th, with a small team practicing a controlled fall off the glass-faced forecourt building (pictured above right). In the film, a goon will be seen plummeting 12m to the ground after being shot off the edge of the roof.

A car pursuit was shot in the nearby town of Feldkirch in the evenings of Tuesday and Wednesday, with Bond seen behind the wheel of a Volvo. Anatole Taubman, who plays henchman Elvis in the film, also filmed car scenes arriving at the event. Both Bond and his adversary will be dressed in tuxedos for the action sequence.

Above: Daniel Craig and Anatole Taubman are filmed driving to the opera (shot in Feldkirch)

Filming on Thursday 1st May started with shots in the festival house foyer, and scenes of cars arriving adorned with licence plates from countries such as Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, the United Kingdom and Dubai. Around 100 prestige vehicles were used for the shoot. Filming with Daniel Craig began at 2:00pm on interior shots. Exterior scenes showcasing the arrival of guests were shot from 5:00pm until 9:15pm.

Above: The press gather to witness the arrival of extras for the filming at Festival House

Back in the town of Bregenz, a street party was held on Friday 2nd May for locals to celebrate the arrival of 007. A casino was constructed in the square, complete with Bond cars, chandeliers, and mini-bars. The casino ran the length of the pedestrianised area, and visitors were encouraged to dress in evening wear to enjoy the games of roulette, poker and blackjack.

Above: The town of Bregenz celebrated the arrival of Bond with a 007-themed street festival, including a collection of Aston Martin cars, a casino, and stunt men abseiling down buildings.

From Saturday 3rd May to Thursday 8th May, exhibitions honoring the Bond series are being held at the State Theatre and the Casino in the Kornmarket. Exhibits include props and costumes from the 21 films to date. The local Metro cinema will host screenings of "Dr No" (1962) and "Casino Royale" (2006) on Friday 9th May.

Philipp Himmelmann, Director of the Bregenz Festival, said that "Tosca" and Bond were working well together, citing the interplay between the opera and the final film. Some scenes of the opera would be preformed around 40 times during the shoot. Franz Salzmann, Commercial Director of the Bregenz Festival, said that Bond bringing people to the opera for the first time was "a good sign". Salzmann added that if the production leave behind some props and costumes, a Bond exhibit may be set up at Festival House for future tourists.

Above: The crew arrives at the floating stage (left), extras in evening wear prepare for the shoot.

According to McDougall, around 1,500 extras will be used for shooting at the lakeside stage from Sunday. The opera scenes will filmed over four nights. The production returns to Pinewood Studios in England on Friday 9th May.