MI6 caught up with the team behind the James Bond
figure series at Sideshow Collectibles recently to
find out more about the creative process...
Sideshow Interview - Character & Costume
20th October 2004
MI6 caught up with the team behind the James Bond figure series
Collectibles recently to find out more about the creative
process. In this part, Mat Falls - Director of 3D, Heath Hammond
- Supervisor of Product Development and Tom Gilliland - Creative
Director, give insight into how the figures and costumes are designed.
How did you land the James Bond deal?
TG: We have always been on the lookout for an archive license
with a well-established fan base. The Bond Property was an obvious
choice for us as we are all fans of the ‘super spy’.
We went through a few rounds of introduction with the licensor
and shared our vision of making a true and authentic figure collectible
line for the Bond Characters. As portrait sculpture is one of
our trademarks we were also able to demonstrate that with these
figures we would not merely suggest a character’s likeness,
like many previous products, but in fact achieve a portrait that
resembled the character completely.
Above: Darth works on Bond's head.
In the development lifecycle of the figures, what is usually
the most difficult aspect?
MF: It's usually the approval process. This is when the figure
and packaging in their various stages go to the licensor, then
ultimately to Barbara Broccoli herself. That's nail-biting time.
So many elements have to pass muster. If it doesn't satisfy the
licensors, we hear about it. By and large it has been a good experience.
Not a lot of Bond figures had been done until now, so there was
a learning curve for both parties. I think we've worked out any
issues and look forward to a great approval process with them.
Working on a reduced scale must present unique challenges
when creating the master figure. Can you tell us how you have
over come these issues?
TG: Fortunately the entire design team has a broad background
in working in miniature through either the film or model kit industries.
This has oriented us to the small scale making the challenge much
Above: Anthony paints Bond's gun.
What has been the most complex costume you've created
in the Bond series? The Dr. No figure comes with the radiation
suit. How was this conceived? How many revisions where needed
until the final version was created?
TG: The Dr. No Costume proved to be a major challenge and
it was finally mastered by designer Charles Nohai. The most
difficult aspects were obviously the clear environmental
suit and the helmet or head portion was a real trick. It
was most certainly the biggest 1/6 Bond costume challenge
Who creates the accessories and how do you incorporate
the accessory with the costume? How do you ensure they fit
with the character?
TG: The entire development team contributes to the design
decisions made on each character. There are so many facets
a figure can take on, that the multiple perspectives prove
helpful. We review each film as a group and make all our
calls based on the original film source. Everything from
their shoes, socks, wristwatches, guns, and gadgets is carefully
thought out for its authenticity, relevance to the particular
film, and its function to the character.
Above: Dr. No's environmental suit
was the trickiest costume to create for the series so far.
Dr. No Figures
Throughout a Bond film, there are many costume changes.
How do you decide which character look to use? Once chosen, how
do you select materials to emulate the look from the film?
TG: We make these decisions by art committee as well. Usually
we are looking for the costume that best typifies the film. Sometimes
in the event that we are redoing a character like the current
Brosnan from GoldenEye, we look for a radically different approach
than the original Tuxedo representation. The Design and Fabrication
artists collaborate on choosing fabric that best captures the
colour and feel of the original fabric. Authenticity is our Number
One guide. We make our design choices to accommodate this as best
Above: Jared works on Bond's boot.
How long does the design life cycle for costumes take? Does
this vary depending upon the individual figures?
TG: It definitely depends on the character. Some come more easily
Have you changed the process of clothing design as the line
TG: Basically, as we log successes on previous products we just
push the envelope one step further. We have added pockets that
function and other material features that were not present on
earlier figures in the line.
Stay tuned to MI6 for part two where we talk
to Mat Falls about figure design and sculpting...
Pierce Brosnan `GoldenEye`
Sideshow Figure - MI6 Review
Thanks to all at Sideshow Collectibles.
Images courtesy Sideshow Collectibles. Bond materials © Danjaq
and United Artists. Bond trademarks Danjaq.