MI6 caught up with author Laurent Bouzereau to talk about the new official book "The Art of James Bond"...

Click here to read part 1.

Laurent Bouzereau Interview (2)
13th October 2006

How did you select the people to feature in the book?
We select people, the team at Eon and Danjaq. Then I picked the people behind the camera firstly, but only people who would see it the film though the eyes of a filmmaker. So that is something we stuck too, and were not going to involve all the actors and actress because that has been done to death.

How did you decide what to include in the book in regards to artwork?
The truth was a question of space in the book, a couple of things I believe I delivered twice the amount of material that was required from me. I think that the text became a lot more important as we saw how rich it was. I remember Keith Snelgrove reading the first draft and say this is all great stuff. I did not want to be responsible for cut it and put the onus on them. I was so happy that they decided not to cut it but to basically dial down the text size, and limit the number of illustrations but I don’t think there were any compromises made.

I was not involved with choosing any of the illustrations, I was involved with early discussion, but the group at Eon handled it. Also Lee and Dave did the captions, that had to happen in parallel to the work I was doing because of the deadline.

There is a quote explaining how hard it was to select the final Die Another Day poster why were none of these concepts shown?
I’m sure there where discussions about lets add more poster work or other illustrations, there already has been the James Bond poster book so in the end lets it became lets show the final product, and maintain the quote that explains to get to that it take hundreds of trials.

You’ve written numerous books in and around the world of film how does The Art of Bond compare to them in your opinion?
This is the best experience I’ve had and I feel that I came up with a concept based on somebody else idea. I stuck to the concept and it worked first time, in my previous works as an author things evolved a lot more and changed making it a much more difficult journey in some cases not to my satisfaction. I feel that because of my experience as a documentary and the fact I had a very very clear idea of how I was going to approach it I felt empowered.

Above: Book jacket artwork.
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How did you go about research and contacting all those involved in the process?
I re-watch the entire series with a notebook, and anything that came up, I thought how interesting, I recorded. Each of them is a hand written notebook about what I think of the film and any questions I wanted to ask. The notebooks became my bible which I carried everywhere. Anytime I had to do an interview I would review the notes.

I tried to watch the movies as if I’ve never watched them before, and asking what would be the question for this scene. If you watch the movies over a week you notice so many of the connections. I know the movies really well and some I watch more then others and I started to appreciate the ones that I didn’t necessarily like as much. I realised that that scenes were really, really, good and better than I remember.

I was able to view them as an audience member, and I did go back and research using some of the books I really admire that coverage the movies. I tried to stay away from doing research and stay focused on just the movies apposed going off on a tangent. For example when you meet Ken Adam it’s overwhelming, he’s worked on so may other great projects other than Bond and written his own books. So you want to come in with a fresh view and I feel the discussions I had with him were.

Are you excited about the forthcoming Bond film Casino Royale? Have you been involved with the Casino Royale DVD?
I really excited about it, more so then I’ve been in a long time because of personal reasons. I was involved with Steven Spielberg ‘Munich’ so I now Daniel Craig, but it’s not like we’re where having beers together or anything! I got to interview him, see him at work and I was on the set when I knew he had auditioned for the movie, even though we didn’t talk about it.

Above: Laurent Bouzereau

I think he is an amazing actor, seeing him work on the set of Munich was a lesson in acting and watching him work, I was like this guy is so amazing, he was real professional on and off screen and I was really impress by him.

I’m really excited about Casino Royale because I think it will be a celebration of Bond, a celebration of acting, a celebration of a lot of things that are consider to be artistic and it totally matches what I was trying to do with this book.

These movies are movies, there not marketing movies they not trying to sell you the latest shaving cream….. (laughter ) - even though it’s part of Bond. I really feel that it’s a celebration of storytelling, a celebration of action and a celebration of the genera. It’s not the other way around, marketing products based on films. When I was on the set in the Bahamas for a few days it was so exciting, I felt there was this incredible energy from everybody and a celebration of what is artistic about the films.

Have you been involved with the Casino Royale DVD?
No I’ve not been involved with it.

Can you tell us what project you are currently working on?
I will tell you what is coming out, in October I believe my DVD on Warren Beatty’s ‘Reds’ is coming out and that is an amazing experience and a DVD people will like. Aside from being involved with the documentary on that, I was involved with the Special Edition of Body Heat that is also out in October. I’ve also done a Stephen King collection for ‘Pet Semetery’ and ‘Dead Zone’ and I believe that is also coming out in October. So October is going to be a big month for me. I’m completing the ‘The Black Dahlia’ for Brian De Palma and ‘Deliverance’ for John Boorman. And there are fifteen others that either I’m pitching, filming, or working on that will be coming soon.

If given the chance to work on the James Bond DVD back catalogue?
John Cork who did the DVD’s has done definitive work, I so admire John’s work but the answer is of course I would love to do them, if they have not been done.

How did you get started in the film/DVD world?
A very long story, but basically I move to America when I was about 18 20 worked in New York in all kinds of areas of the film business for being a PA to working in the art departments for commercials, production companies, marketing working as a publicity for a small independent distributor.

While I was doing all this I was pursuing a career as a journalist for French magazines and also writing books. I got my first book published when I was around 25, about Brian De Palma. I them moved to LA working on future developments for Bette Midler’s companies for about 3 or 4 years. Around that time the Laser Disc business had just started. The Criterion Collection contacted me to work on ‘Carrie’ Laser Disc. I said, I really want to do this so what was a side line/hobby my career the second I was on with Steven Spielberg doing the 1941 Laser Disc, I embrace that field fully and went on from Laser Disc to DVD and hopeful on to the newer formats. That was my journey…

Right: Roger Moore and Lois Chiles on the set of Drax's space station in Moonraker.



When I was in my mid-teens in Paris, Eon where shooting Moonraker at the studios there. My father had nothing to do with the film business, but through the manager of the studio via a lot of phone call and a convoluted story I got to go onto the set for a few days. But it had to be during the week, so I had to miss school for a week. My parents let me call in sick for a week. I got to be on the set of Moonraker, in the sound department (Daniel Brisseau).

They were shooting the scene where Michael Lonsdale was in the space station saying Jaws expel them, during the whole climax.

One story that I would have included in the book but didn’t because it’s my memory is, the first day I got to the studio I sneaked on to the stage and nobody was there I saw Lewis Gilbert on his own look up at the set planning out the shots.

Many thanks to Laurent Bouzereau. Stay tuned to MI6 for further coverage of "The Art of James Bond"

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