Last Wednesday, director Marc Forster took part in special high-definition screening of Quantum of Solace at BFI Southbank. A representative for the Den of Geek website was able to attend the event and has reported back on the Q&A event.
‘Making an action film is a challenge,’ Forster confessed. ‘A lot of action scenes came out of visiting the locations and being inspired by them. I’m pretty organised, I do most of the work in pre-production for all my movies, and I make it very clear to everybody, all my department heads. There are electronic previews and storyboards. I don’t story board the movie entirely, I only storyboard action sequences or visual effects sequences. I wanted to set the four big action scenes around the elements, earth, fire water and air.’
He continued: ‘I haven’t ever worked before with a second unit director, it was very hard for me to let control go and say okay, you need to deliver exactly what is in my head. I hired a person I had a lot of trust in, I liked his previous work.
‘[Barbara] Broccoli told me “you know you’re the first non-Commonwealth director we’ve hired and the youngest one”–I said thank you for letting me know it just adds to the pressure!’
Likes & Dislikes
Forster also explained the slight changes that went into effect to create one of his favourite sequences in Quantum of Solace: the opera scene.
‘In the script it was written as a kind of UN conference setting and I thought visually it’s not that interesting,’ he stated. ‘When I came across the opera location and I saw that eye on the lake I though that screams Bond location! The symbolism of the blue eye is so Bond and the metaphor made it a perfect location.’
On the other hand, Forster mentioned the Camille introduction scene as one he wasn’t quite as fond of… ‘The only scene I had problems with was the sequence when we introduced Camille when she pulls up in the car. I have a little issue with the colour of the car and it’s too clean, I’m not happy with my directorial choices.’
‘I changed the dialogue in that scene like fifty times, it was just never totally smooth and then you have to make these decisions so fast, suddenly the car is there. Then of course later on she pulls up in the Bug in front of the hotel and there I think the car works and her line is funny, the two of them work well together.’
A Marc Forster James Bond Film
‘I had this issue I wanted to bring in,’ Forster said in regards to the film’s overall plot. ‘I said to [Paul] Haggis “I’m really concerned about the water, oil is a thing of the past.” I thought it’s going to be a huge issue. Water is timeless, I thought it would be something that would be interesting and current for a while, I thought that theme would not be quickly outdated.’
‘One day Barbara and Michael bought me into this office and there was this board that said Quantum of Solace, they said what do you think about this as a title? At first I said “Ooh, what am I supposed to do with this!”‘ – Marc Forster
‘The only thing [producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson] asked for was we don’t want Bond to kill anybody innocent. I found that to be completely reasonable.’
‘At one point in one of the story lines there was a car on the road being repaired and I thought it would be interesting if we took the car off the cliff. And they said we shouldn’t do that because they’re just innocent bystanders. I think it’s a good thing.’
‘We worked together on the script until they signed it off, but on the set, in the execution of Bond I never had them ever tell me one note or say anything, I had a free hand. I showed them scenes as we went along and I felt that they really liked what they saw but you’re always nervous every time. They liked the film and embraced it.’
Forster mentioned that Quantum of Solace was no different than his other films in that he rarely rewatched it. ‘Once I’ve seen it at a premiere its too painful, I have to let go!’
‘Certain things stick out or I don’t like this scene or that scene. For instance I just did the commentary for the Bond DVD the other day and I watched it for the first time again. It was interesting, I was trying to focus on the commentary and not get to engaged in the movie, it’s hard for me to watch.’
He continued: ‘I show an audience the film; even if you say, okay one half of the audience don’t like the movie and the other half love the movie, that’s how it is with every film, you can’t please everybody. There are millions and millions of fans, I couldn’t possibly cater to all of them.’
‘Some people seem to really love [the film], some seem to hate it, I think discussion is always good. It’s not the last Bond film ever made, I think there will be many more.’
“Bond, James Bond.”
The director also briefly brought up the key deleted scene that contained the famous “Bond, James Bond” line (which unfortunately has not made the cut for the special features on this upcoming Blu-ray/DVD release).
‘There was a scene after the movie ended, it was sort of a hanger on, we had this little hang on between Bond and Mr White…’ – Marc Forster
‘There was a scene after the movie ended, it was sort of a hanger on, we had this little hang on between Bond and Mr White, a very short scene. I felt though it was forcing the producers to almost make a trilogy out of it, but now they have a choice of opening it up or starting new, whatever.’
‘I felt the scene didn’t really add anything to the story,’ he added, ‘unfortunately the famous line was in that scene as well. Everyone said you didn’t shoot that line “Bond, James Bond” but I did shoot it. I didn’t cut the scene because of the line. I watched the movie with and without the scene, I just liked it better without it so we just decided to leave it out. It’s not on the first DVD, I don’t know if the scene is going to be on the second.’
Another Bond For Forster?
Despite the fact that he won’t be back for Daniel Craig’s third 007 outing, Forster didn’t completely rule out ever coming back for another go.
‘[The producers] did ask me to do another one, but you know, at this point I need to do something smaller, then, you can say never say never again!’
‘I would do another Bond because I think Bond has reached his quantum of solace, it’s time to bring in more women, you know all those things people seem to miss. I created Camille as an alter ego to him, it’s interesting that she’s the one woman he doesn’t sleep with because he sympathised.’
‘I would hope on the next one more humour can be bought in and the character can be developed further. I think the things people were craving for can be bought back, it’s not a lost case but at this point in time I felt this was the Bond film I wanted to make.’
There’s much more… Head on over to Den of Geek for the complete Q&A session with Marc Forster, including the director’s comments regarding his initial turning down of the project, working with Daniel Craig, ‘Another Way To Die’ and more.
Keep turning to the CommanderBond.net main page for all the latest James Bond news and coverage.