During the post production process on "Quantum of Solace", director Marc Forster took time out from cutting the picture to chat about 007...

Production Diary (39)
14th September 2008

Long after 007 actor Daniel Craig and his co-stars had finished filming "Quantum of Solace", Marc Forster and the production team were spending long hours in the cutting-room to put the together the post production edit and effects of the 22nd James Bond adventure. Recently, the director took time out from his busy schedule to chat about his vision for the film and the post-production process.

Forster presented his first cut of the picture to the studios and producers in late August and was feeling the pressure to meet deadline. "I have way too little time to edit.  We wrapped the movie just a few weeks ago and I'm basically editing right now for another week or so. Then I show it to Michael and Barbara at a little preview screening and then I have another week to cut," the German-born director explained frankly.

"So I have, like, five or six weeks to edit the whole movie. Normally, I've had 14 weeks for any of my films so far. Six weeks for this film is crazy."


"I wish we would have more time to craft the film properly. For instance, with "The Dark Knight" Christopher Nolan had a year to cut his movie, to work on the visual effects, to reflect. I don't have that time and so compromises have to be made."

The director stipulated that living up to the success and popularity of "Casino Royale" was one of the biggest challenges. "You take on Bond, and you work within that framework of Bond. You know, you have the girls, the cars, the history, the millions of fans. "Casino Royale" has been such a huge success, and audiences always have higher expectations. So there is incredible pressure you are under because you have to create something as a follow-up to "Casino Royale". And that sort of pressure excited me."

One of the advantages of working on a 007 picture is the scale of production and a close-nit, experienced team. "I'm used to making movies for between $20 million and $40m with total creative control," said Forster. "If I'm going to do a commercial film, it may as well be Bond because I'm not dealing with a studio, I'm dealing with [the producers]. They promised me, and they have kept to their word so far, to fight for my creative vision. I'm thankful for that. But let's see what happens when I show them the first cut."

"Making a movie for $200 million is a completely different scale, but at the same time you still have to watch the budget and make creative cuts to keep it in that range. You go to so many locations, six or seven countries. We've been to Austria, England, Mexico, Panama, Chile! Making it work when you're constantly travelling with a crew and keeping it on schedule - and we wrapped on time - is pretty miraculous."

Whilst Marc Forster has a definitive vision for the production and the experience to make it all happen, the director admits there are certain things every good 007 flick must include. Forster commented that the lakeside Tosca sequence, in which Bond arrives tuxedo clad, is one such piece. Forster describes this sequence as, "very Bond".

Forster says that the tone for the 21st Bond picture is somewhat set by its predecessor, but like any good director, he would definitely be putting his own slant on the film: "I had to set my own tone and own visual tone for "Quantum Of Solace". So I didn't want to get too married to [Casino Royale] because I felt like I still have to put my stamp on it and visualise it the way I feel it should be right to the character. And also, the movie starts where the last one ended."


There are some key differences between "Royale" and "Solace" Forster says, "I feel Bond is in a very different place now because it's the first time he experienced love and he lost someone. And now we take off from this point where he experienced that loss. And what really does it mean for Bond also to lose someone as he himself takes other people's lives? And it makes him psychologically more vulnerable, and out of that vulnerability the main theme, the center of the film, for me was trust. What can you trust? And what does trust really mean if you love someone?"


And what will make "Quantum of Solace" groundbreaking? "There's an airplane sequence that's a real cat-and-mouse game. I think it's really breathtaking and a lot of fun, said Forster enthusiastically. "Another scene is the finale of a foot chase in Vienna during which they crash into a cathedral and there's a fight. I really like that sequence; I feel I haven't seen it in any film before."

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Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon Productions), QUANTUM OF SOLACE was released in the UK on October 31st 2008 and is directed by Marc Forster. Principal photography started on January 3rd 2008 at Pinewood Studios and around the UK, and foreign locations including Italy, Panama, Chile, Peru and Austria. Paul Haggis completed the script based on a first draft screenplay developed by regular scribes Neal Purvis & Robert Wade, with later polish by Joshua Zetumer. The story is a direct continuation of the events of Casino Royale. 007 faces off against villains Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene), Anatole Taubman (Elvis) and Joaquin Cosío (General Medrano). Olga Kurylenko (Camille) and Gemma Arterton (MI6 Agent Fields) play the Bond Girls. Dame Judi Dench (M), Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis) reprise their roles as Bond's allies. It is British actor Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond, following his debut film Casino Royale released November 16th 2006.