Take a sneak peek at Factory Entertainment's "Goldfinger" tracking device as its creative director shares the first details with MI6...
Goldfinger Tracking Device Interview
7th October 2012
This is your first device from the Connery era. How did you select the tracking device over all the other great gadgets and props from his tenure?
Well basically we can't really tell you why we chose it just yet... but it will become clear soon enough. Let's just say that in this 50th anniversary year it makes an ideal starting point.... Also a lot of the other Connery era props are no longer around to study, plus many are quite complex or involve brand names or trademarks that cause problems when making replicas. But most importantly, let's not forget it was one of the most memorable gadget props! In the '60s it was literally inconceivable to cinema audiences that somebody or something could be tracked in this way. It's one of the props that helped cement Bond as somebody who had incredible gadgets at his disposal. To a modern audience it seems very ordinary, we use GPS or Sat Nav almost daily for the most mundane things. But when "Goldfinger" came out this was so far beyond cutting edge, it was almost science fiction. This device is 1960s GPS, we can't make a DB5 replica but we can make one of the cool accessories that came with it.
It has been rumoured that the device will have some electronics in, can you shed any more light on this?
Yes, it is fully functional, short of acting like an actual tracking device - and yes we did look at that but there are some thorny legal issues. it does everything the original appeared to do on screen. It makes a beeping sound when armed. It contains a very strong magnet (keep away from credit cards, and magnetic storage media, not to mention pacemakers!) Also the smaller 'gold' coloured homer has been made of a magnetic brass alloy, unlike the original, which was made of solid brass, it will actually stick to the larger one. On the original Desmond Llewellyn simply dropped it on the top and was very careful with slight-of-hand... because as any school science student will tell you Brass is diamagnetic, it has no magnetic properties. Something that apparently everybody on set forgot until they actually stated shooting. In the same geek-vs-real life vein, when Bond places the larger device in Goldfinger's Rolls he would have had to have been very careful to ensure he stuck it to the metal chassis or frame because the body panels were supposed to be gold, which is also diamagnetic and would not attract to a magnet so it would have fallen off and discovered making for a far shorter movie!
As one of the older props, did you find the original?
No, sadly not. It's long gone. Probably acting a as doorstop or paperweight somewhere, due to its weight, if the weight of the replica is anything to go by! But we did find a complete set of blueprints and technical drawings for it in the archive which were almost as good as a the real thing and works of art in themselves. They allowed us to make it 100% accurate.
Many thanks to Barry Eldridge. The replica prop is set to be officially launched tomorrow. Stay tuned to www.factoryent.com for details.