MI6 caught up with photographer Harry Myers to talk
about and his years covering
the James Bond premieres.
Harry Myers Interview
8th February 2009
How did you become associated with James
Bond, and was photography always a passion?
No it wasn't, it was when I was 14 - during the
war. My brother and my uncle worked in Fleet Street printing,
so I went and helped.
I wanted to get into Fleet Street, so I went to look for a job
and I joined a photographic news agency. It was called "London
News Agency" - which packed up 1953. I worked for them for
18 years and I learnt the trade from them.
I soon became an assistant sales manager, and
then I was in the dark room for quite a while and when I was
about 17, they
made me a photographer. They sent me out for a couple of assignments
and from there I didn't look back. The first things I used to
do in those days - I had quite a good memory for names and places
- I started photographing society and from that I progressed
to doing film premieres. I went on doing more and more film premieres,
there were lots of them in those days. Then, in the '60s, I photographed
Cubby Broccoli and we became quite friendly and that's how I
became involved in all the Bond films.
In those days Cubby was in partnership with called Irving
Allen and together they produced some war films with a few big
premieres. I remember Cubby tried to interest Irving Allen in
making the Bond films but he wasn't at all interested. So then
he looked for other people and ended up with Harry Saltzman.
Eventually the partnership broke up and Irving Allen went back
to the States and started working on the "Our Man Flint" series,
I think Columbia put them out.
How many of the Bond premieres have you covered and which
has been the most memorable?
I covered all of them except the last couple - which my
family covered. My son has taken over for me, so between
us we've covered all the Bond premieres,
except for one which they didn't have a premiere for. The most memorable one,
I suppose, was the one that Charles and Diana went to, "The Living Daylights".
It was the first film premiere she'd ever been to. It was quite successful
really and I got some good pictures out of that.
Which of the Bond premieres do you think enjoyed the highest
level of excitement and anticipation amongst the crowd?
Well I think "Moonraker" was the one because of that exterior shot
with the Moonraker in front of the Odeon at Leicester Square.
Can you recall and funny or off-camera moments that have
happened at premieres over the years?
Roger and his wife and Michael Caine and his wife were there and Roger started
playing with the rope barrier - he was quite suggestive with it and got a lot
of laughter. Of course, Roger was always tongue in cheek, natural and very
Do you think there is any correlation between how the night
of the premiere goes and how ultimately successful the film
is at the box office?
I think it relates quite well, you know. That's the nature of film premieres.
The last one, "Casino Royale" was quite an event. They had the whole
of Leicester Square lit up and I must take my hat off to EON Productions for
Top: Roger Moore and Barbara Bach
inside the Odeon cinema on premiere
night for "The Spy Who Loved Me".
Above: Cubby Broccoli introduces Barbara Bach to Princess Anne as Roger
Moore looks on.
They had three theatres playing the film. It was quite something.
I went along as a guest because my son Scott was the official
photographer on that one. There were over 4,000 people there
and they'd generated so much publicity - it must have taken a
lot of organising. There's so many things to think about when
doing this sort of thing.
One of the main instigators of it all
is Barbara Broccoli. I think she's marvelous! They all very
professional. I took photographs
at Barbara's sixth birthday party. I've known her a long time
and she's a lovely woman.
Of all the premieres you've been to which do you have
the fondest memories of?
That is a good question. I suppose one of the best ones
was in 1946, "A
Matter of Life and Death" - it was my first job after the war and I was
only 18 years old, but it was amazing the number of people who turned up on
the night. Very little police presence, even though the King and Queen were
there. As well as the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's wife. Nothing
to do with Bond, and I don't think Cubby was even in the country - I think
he came over in the '50s.
Tell us a little about your new book Pictures
And Premieres. How did it come about?
The book contains about 300 photographs, going back to 1946. Lots of lots of
pictures from over the years. Many of the ones in colour are pictures my son
had taken. He's taken over my role as many of the film company's official photographers.
He's doing a great job. Gareth Owen and John Willis are good friends of mine.
They've written all of my adventures in the film industry and lots and lots
of movie stars such as John Wayne.
Amazon UK (Hardback)
And Premieres - Preview
All photographs by Harry Myers.