Written by Heiko Lorson
BKD-members in front of the “Casino”: Udo Wöbking, Club President Wolfgang J. Thürauf, Sascha Braun and Oliver Bayan
With Casino Royale being filmed in the Czech Republic, a number of Bond fans
from Germany used the opportunity to make short trips to Karlovy Vary to get
first hand impressions of this beautiful location and maybe catch a glimpse of
the action. German fan Heiko Lorson was extraordinarily lucky. Read his personal
report and learn that a properly dressed man can get anywhere he wants. (Click images to enlarge.)
"On May 24th, I made a visit to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic. In the
afternoon, I first went to the Grand Hotel Pupp, which doubles as Hotel
Splendide in Montenegro. On the way there, I passed the Mill Colonade, which
will be the station in Montenegro and serve as background location when Bond and
Vesper arrive there.
The hotel itself is a beautiful "Grand Hotel" and looks very majestic,
especially with the "Hotel Splendide" signs that have been mounted anywhere on
the hotel and the cafe that belongs to the hotel. On a nearby advertising
column, one can see a poster announcing the poker tournament at Casino Royale.
In the hotel car park, the movie’s two Aston Martin DBS can be spotted, and,
next to a lot of lighting equipment, cables and trucks, the hotel’s Bentley that
picks up Bond and Vesper at the station. Just around the corner, the "Kaiserbad"
is located, decorated with a big sign "Casino Royale" above the entrance and
brass signs and writings on the doors.
I returned to the hotel car park by 8.30 P.M. A "director’s stand" was set
up, with chairs and monitors, and Martin Campbell was already there. The Aston
Martin was in bright lights, and the ground in front of it was being sprinkled
with water. That made it clear: there would be a night shooting today. I was
lucky that the set hadn’t already ben closed for te public. I was earing my
"North Face" jacket that night, as I had seen many crew members wearing similar
ones on previois set pictures (e.g. Martin Campbell). I can tell it now: my
"disguise" was perfect. I wasn’t kicked from the set, people may have thought
that I’m a crew member.
At around 9.40 PM, Daniel Craig showed up and Mr. Bond himself stood right in
front of me. I was standing within 2 meters distance from Martin Campbell all
the time, and 3 or 4 meters away, Daniel Craig was shooting a scene with the
Aston. I could watch twelve takes of a scene – absolutely fantastic. The scene
which was shot: Bond is squat down, gets up, opens the door of the Aston and
gets in (from the 7th take, he was already sitting in the car). He’s panting all
the time, puts a stick into his mouth, spits out something, uses his mobile
phone and… cut!
SPOILER: (Highlight to read)
I guess that’s the scene in which Bond
Can’t wait to see what makes it into the movie from that scene. I can imagine
that the cut the "squat down" bit, as they didn’t do that any more after the
sixth take and they didn’t seem to be really happy about it. After each take,
Craig and Campbell were standing next to me, watching the camera monitors (4
different angles) and discussed the shots. Unfortunately, it was too risky too
take pictures. Flashes were forbiden during the shooting, and they would have
uncovered me and kicked me out. But when Daniel Craig went to the catering and
came back with a cup of coffee, I asked him if I could take a picture.
Immediately, he took the camera out of my hand, held it in front of us and
pushed the button. After that, shooting was finished and – happy about what I
just had experienced – I returned back to my hotel room.
The next day, I returned once again to make a visit at the Cafe Pupp /
Splendide. Martin Campbell was there, discussing two storyboard pages with two
crew members. They were later joined by Barbara Broccoli. At another table,
Lindy Hemming was sitting and discussing with an assistant.
All in all, it was a dream come true for a long time Bond fan, who’s been
active since 1979 and never got this close before. The meeting on the second day
with my old friends from Oliver, Wolfgang and Sascha from the BKD (Bondklub
Deutschland, the German fanclub) was another highlight of two fantastic days in
Karlovy Vary in May 2006."