Tag Archives: Aston Martin

Editor Thoughts: future of product placement

Today we inaugurate a new column, Editor Thoughts. In this column we will discuss the most various Bond related themes, no news but only reflections. And we start with one of the most debated movie subjects, one of the most followed for Bond fans: the product placement.

As we all know, bond has a particular history with product placement. Not always (almost never) a brand is requested by producer to pay to be included in the movie. In fact, they often ask the brand to create a comarketing campaign to advertise the new movie. That is the case of CocaCola in Skyfall, or Aston Martin in SPECTRE.

But what can we expect to happen in the next installment due to arrive in the theaters in the fall of 2019? Probably we will see some changes, while some brands will remain pillars in the Bond franchise. We surely will have Omega on board (they just presented a new Bond inspired watch, but we won’t see it in the movie) probably with a dive watch of the Seamaster series and with one of the ’57 riedition, Seamaster or Railmaster (you can see them in the image below, alongside the third Omega’s battle horse, the Seamaster).

Omega 1957 Trilogy (source: omegawatches.com)
Omega 1957 Trilogy (source: omegawatches.com)

Also for the car, we should be pretty locked. We can expect Aston Martin to continue its lifelong journey with James Bond, with a new model expected to be developed specially for 007, as the DB10 was. We also expect to see (again) the DB5 on stage, seeing how SPECTRE ended. We can also expect the “brand extension” relationship to continue, with Jaguar and Range Rover onboard too. Nothing new from this side.

Changes could come from 007 clothing. For the last 3 movies, beginning with Quantum of Solace, lead costume brand for Daniel Craig was Tom Ford, with both Louise Frogley (Quantum of Solace, here you can find a very good article from our good friend of jamesbondlifestyle) and Jany Temime (Skyfall, SPECTRE) working with the american brand to adapt the collections, both elegant and casual, for the spy purposes. With them, a lot of other brands were involved during last movies, like Barbour, Matchless, N.Peal, Sunspel, just to mention some.

Jany Temime with some SPECTRE costumes (source:dailyrecord)
Jany Temime with some SPECTRE costumes (source:dailyrecord)

The choice of what brand to use is strictly related to the choice of the Costume Designer. If EON will remain faithful with the direction they’ve taken, that I personally love, I can clearly see Miss Temime returning, along with Tom Ford. If they will go down a different route, we could experience some major changes: a lot of fashion brand would love to get in the mix with Bond, and maybe a fresh new italian style could be good for the show. We’ll see.

What will almost certainly change is the technological stuff. Ever since Sony was in charge of distributing Bond movies, we saw MI6 agents and staff with smartphones, laptops, even cameras, provided by the japanese producer. Since, as we all know too well, the distribution contract expired with SPECTRE, and since all the indications point to a change of direction, we can all expect 007 to change his smartphone very soon.

What could happen now? We all know that Daniel Craig seems to like Samsung for his character, and I can definitely see Bond handling a Galaxy S8. In general terms, Samsung produces quite stilish phones, that can suits well in a movie like this.

Of course, talking about this, we have to mention Apple, but honestly i can’t see them spending big money on something like this at the moment, so I think MI6 will continue to buy in Asia.

To close, we have that one piece of furniture that will never grow old and will be there with him, whoever he is portraing him, and wherever he is going: the Walther PPK will always be in James Bond’s holster.

For every curiosity you could have on products seen in James Bond’s movies, I can only redirect you to the most equipped and specialized website on the matter, James Bond Lifestyle, you will appreciate it a lot. Have fun!

 

Bond 25: what we know (and what we expect)

Bond 25 was unexpectedly (for the most) announced yesterday evening on all the 007’s social media account. The press release was short and didn’t contain so many info, but we did a little digging and, based on speculations an common sense (that’s all we have at this point folks), we arrived at the following conclusions:

  • Purvis and Wade will return as the screenwriters (ok this was quite simple): they will write a Bond movie for the seventh time. The started working on the francise at the end of two decades ago, on The World Is Not Enough and, even with ups and downs, they put the pens on all the screenplays from there to today.
  • Craig is (almost certainly) set to return. Early this month rumors surfaced that, after the sadly too famous comment (I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists) when he was asked if he was going to wear the tuxedo one more time, Daniel Craig had set up his mind, and was going to sign at least for one more. Last night, also The New York Times broke the story that two internal sources confirmed the Liverpool-born actor was returning for his fifth outing as 007.
  • All the “side cast” is returning: this assumption is based on the one above: if Craig is returning, he is doing it to close his story line in a big way, and he is going to have his squires beside him. Fiennes, Harris, Whishaw, Kinnear, Seydoux probably even Waltz and Bellucci will star in the movie.
  • We most certainly won’t have a back to back story: every time a new Bond movie is announced, the story of a two-part movie to be shoot togheter starts spreading. We know that a Bond movie needs a long preparation time, a long shooting time, and a lot of efforts from all the parts involved. Maybe it needs way to much of all these things to have to movies properly shot as they should, and we know Broccoli and Wilson want to make this right
  • Broccoli and Wilson are not ready to pass the baton. They are probably in the prime of their careers as producers. Their play, The Kid Stays in the Picture, based on Robert Evans book, is having a very good ride and it seems it is set to be brought to USA, they are set to produce a non-007 spy movie starring Blake Lively, The Rhythm Section, based on Mark Burnell’s novel.
  • Nolan won’t be the director. As he stated multiple times,evend in the last days, he would love to do a Bond movie but, as for all his project, he has to have the complete control of the creation phase, something he doesn’t have today, with a storyline set, a decided actor, and an arc that is going to be closed. It’s far more probable we will see him directing Bond 26, with an actor he will decide (he stated Tom Hardy, on of his faithful stars, would be a perfect Bond, and we agree), a story he and his brother will write, and a decided number of movies (3 perhaps?) to be shot in a not so long time arc. the only possibility to see him on Bond 25, is that Broccoli and Wilson are giving him the possibility to close this cycle and open a new one with the next movies.
  • We will have a new distributor. The deal with Sony expired with SPECTRE, so we can expect a very fierce auction to secure the rights to distribute the next installment. Annapuna and Warner Bros were rumored to be in the mix, and the latter would hint once more to a Nolan nod, since they distributed his movies, including the currently-in-theaters Dunkirk.
  • We will have new cars, new watch, new suits, new gadgets. As we all know, every Bond movie is also a marketing opportunity. Every brand involved wants to maximize the commercial effort he makes to have the double 0 seven licence. So expect a lot of new merchandising to come out.

But most important of all, we know have a countdown running, we now are 836 days away from the next Bond movie!

Exciting times are coming!

Bond for Business

What does it mean to be a Bond film’s marketing partner?

It certainly means a lot of money. While it is reported that EON, the production company run by Barbara Broccoli and M doesn’t seem to be interested particularly in the money a company can give them, they (and Sony) seem to be extremely implicated in what a company can do in terms of marketing for a new 007 installment.

They seems to be also exceptionally reserved on this matters, and probably their refractoriness in talking about these matters comes both from marketing accords and from the leaked information they had early this year through the Sony hacker attack.

In fact, while it appears for a very short time during the movie, it was reported that there were some problems between Sony, movie distributor with its company Columbia, and EON and Sam Mendes and Daniel Craig to place their new phone in the movie, in the end it seems they made up your mind and the cellphone is briefly visible during a scene of the new movie Spectre.
At the same time, this partnership helped EON with the marketing, with ads featuring Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) carrying a suitcase containing the new Sony Xperia Z5.
The same can be said of Heineken. The green-bottled-beer, featured also in Skyfall, returns in Spectre, while Gillette appears for the first time. Heineken is believed to have paid more than 28 million pounds to appear in Skyfall, a part from the marketing effort they made, and the return must have been huge if they decided to pursue the same pattern with Spectre.

Same we can say for Omega, from 20 years now a 007 partner. Since Goldeneye, in fact, the most beloved Her Majesty’s Secret Service agent wears one or two Omegas in the movie, Seamaster usually. Also in the last installment, James Bond wears the new Omega Seamaster 300, and in particular a special version made specially for him.

Yes, this is another route almost all the companies involved in product placement pursue: create a special edition of their product related to 007. Omega has done 2 watches, a special version of the Seamaster 300 and a limited Aqua Terra Bond edition. Sony released its Z5 relating it to 007, showing it with the time 07:00 on the display, Belvedere and Heineken released special bottles, Gillette a limited edition package. Even Aston Martin has released a special DB9 GT Bond edition.

Here there are some ads videos for Spectre:

Sony Xperia Z5 made for Bond:

Heineken, The chase:

Aston Martin DB9 GT Bond Edition:

Gillette and Spectre present: Bond Moments

Omega and Spectre:

Spectre cars, Jaguar and Land Rover:

So, Bond is a big business not only for EON, but also for the products in the movie.

The SPECTRE no spoiler review

Hello Bond fans,

thanks to SwService, yesterday we were allowed to watch a preview of the upcoming SPECTRE (here in Italy it is coming to cinemas next week, on 5th of November), and here there is my review, without spoilers in it.

I’d like to start warning you: do not expect a Skyfall-part-two, this is a completely different movie, or if you like it, it is a proper Bond movie. So, make up your mind, do not expect too much psychological digging into the Bond character. There is obviously an emotional and deep layer, in the end it’s Mendes we are talking about, just it isn’t so exposed like it was in the previous movie. But let’s start from the beginning:

As we all know, the pre title sequence is set in Mexico city. Technically and visually stunning, it’s without any doubt one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pre title sequence of all the franchise. Alessandro Cremona, italian villain Marco Sciarra  (it is odd that it’s name is spelled wrong, it should sound like Sharra in italian) has a strong performance, and the entire action piece confirms to be the greatest, as Michael Wilson said, even from a budget side. The photography is always one step ahed, bringing you for the first 5 minutes in a single tracking shot, following a preciously adorned day of the dead parade. Last but not least, a fantastic work by Jany Temime.

Next to the end of the PTS, there is a fantastic Title Sequence: the title song, disliked by some, perfectly fits inside an octopus-filled sequence that brings on the screen some of the scenes we already saw in trailers and tv spots. A very good job by Daniel Kleinman.

We are directly brought into London, in what probably it is the most anticipated scene of the movie. We have seen both Bond being reprehended by M and the brief dialog between M and C, portrayed by a marvelous Andrew Scott. It’s again necessary to report a fantastic shot of Bond walking through a circular courtyard. Moneypenny helps Mendes connecting for the first time Skyfall to Spectre, bringing back some stuff from the old destroyed house, letting 007 show us his flat for the first time since Live and Let Die in 1973. London scene continues, as we all saw again in the trailers, with Bond in the new Q cave: Mendes here managed to bring back an old Connerish relationship between 007 and his quartermaster. We really missed this old days, and these small things help the movie to gain that Bond feelings that a lot of fans didn’t find in Skyfall. Following a brief exchange between the two, Bond is off, heading to a new location.

New location is probably the best-looking of the whole movie: Rome. Some of the shooting Hoyte van Hoytema arranged here are worth of a documentary, with Bond, mainly inside his astonishing Aston Martin DB10, racing through the streets of italian capital. But even quite static shoots like the ones we get in the funeral scene, or inside a stunning villa with Rome view in the background, the crew seems to always find the right way to present us things and characters. I’m not going to spoil anything, as said, but I want to point out that the car chase is the best in the entire franchise, and that unfortunately we didn’t like Monica Bellucci, both for her performance that seems quite too much, and for the fact that her character is no more than a cameo, and we expected more from a so-anticipated role. Again in this stage, Mendes uses a clever tool to connect the dots. He sets a character, Moneypenny, who has the precise role to pull the stings. Particular mention to Mr Hinx revelation, a real classic-scary-henchman.

Next on the board there is Bond heading to Austria, to meet a old friend of us. After the brief encounter, following a white colour-palette, Mendes bring us to a modern building, a clinic, with a beautiful view of the austrian Alps. Here there is the first meeting with Dr Madeleine Swann. She is a psychologist, and in this scene Mendes subtly introduces the emotional layer, even if he appears to quickly throw away the “problem”, outdistancing himself from Skyfall while still exploring Bond’s mind and past. Another action piece takes place right after this, and we can see 007 following Mr Hinx with a plane. A returning theme in this movie is the big and bold action pieces, nothing comparable to the awful Brosnan kitesurfing scene, but still big and bold enough.

At the end of this scenes, we head to another location: Tunisia. Completely different types of shoots, reminding us of the Turkey pre title sequence: again Mendes tries to distance himself from himself by shooting something similar to the previous movie, but radically changing the way he does it. Seydoux stands out in this part of the movie, adding some depth to the character, maybe not too much, but still enough to make Dr Swann believable. Amazing, following the Tangier scene, the external shoots of the train, and better than that the train fight scenes between Bond and Mr Hinx. Probably the most important and revealing part of the movie, and this is why I’ll write very little about it, it’s mandatory to thank Dennis Gassner  for what he did on the Tunisian layer: it’s minimalist and functional, but still enough frightening to make you hope you will never find yourself in a place like that. Again, in this phase, there is an hint of phsycological research inside Bond mind, in a way you don’t expect. Very good Waltz interpretation, maniac but without exceeding in it.

Last part is set back in London, and to not ruin you the experience, I won’t talk about it at all. I will only say that Andrew Scott has a terrific acting performance, confirming himself to be a very young-promising actor.

Overall, as said at the beginning, probably this is not the movie you could expect from Mendes, especially after Skyfall. Still, the only disappointed ones will be the ones who don’t have a Bond knowledge, don’t like big action packed movies and think that Bond is the one we saw in Skyfall, and not the one we have known in 52 years on the screen. Obviously, in the modern cinema, directors have to mix the two components, and even in a spy movie there should be more depth. Mendes delivers it in the most intelligent way he could, mixing the classic Bond, Moore and Connery style, with his Skyfall Bond. It’s probably the most classic Bond we ever had from Craig, that confirms himself to battle Sean Connery for the podium of the 007s.

Thomas Newman delivers a brilliant performance, easily adapting the songs to the movie and using both the James Bond theme and the theme song inside the score.

In the end, to me, this is probably the best Bond movie I ever saw. I really loved Skyfall, but this tops it, bringing Bond to a whole different level, and leaving us hoping that Craig will return to at least finish his arch as the most beloved agent on Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Go see it, and always remember,

Orbis Non Sufficit.