1. Marc Forster on Quantum of Solace; working with David Arnold

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-08-11

    Director Marc Forster has given a lengthy interview to Soundtrack Geek about the role of music in his films as well as the overall development of last year’s Quantum of Solace.

    Marc Forster

    As Forster has stated in past interviews, he wasn’t completely sold on helming a James Bond production when the offer first came through, but was ultimately won over by the opportunity to work alongside Daniel Craig.

    He said: ‘First I met with the producers and I told them I wasn’t sure, that I had to think about it and then they said that I should meet with Daniel who was in town. I connected with him because he’s a real actor, he’s down to earth and someone I knew I could make a really good movie with him even though at that point, we didn’t even really have a script.

    Once onboard the 22nd 007 entry, Forster decided to shake up the formula a bit by bringing in many of his own crew members. This included a new director of photography, editor, visual effects designer and main title design group.

    David Arnold

    David Arnold

    One of the few longstanding Bond crew members who remained for Quantum was composer David Arnold. Forster explained: ‘One of the things I wanted to do was bring my crew, the people I’ve worked with in the past to the Bond films, though in regard to the composer, David Arnold had scored several of the previous Bonds, so the producers had me listen to his music and meet with him. I met with him which I thought was interesting because I had replaced everybody else but would have this continuum going into Bond through David Arnold and actually it was a collaboration I enjoyed very much.’

    Interviewer Timothy E. Raw also brought up an aspect of the film that has sparked a great deal of discussion on 007 messageboards: the editing. ‘You have this close-knit team you brought on board to Bond,’ he mentions, ‘one of those people being your long-time editor Matt Chesse. The thing that baffled me, to be perfectly honest was that opening car chase action sequence. It had some of that Michael Bay, I daresay, attention deficit editing style. Is this the studio responding to Jason Bourne breathing down their necks that they feel they have to adopt this very similar “shaky cam” editing style in order to compete?’

    'Quantum of Solace'

    Quantum of Solace

    ‘No it wasn’t,’ Forster replies. ‘The studio didn’t really say much, it was more from me. I wanted to create that opening to be very disorientating, the feeling of not really knowing where I was. This was the character state for me, that Bond, he doesn’t really know who he is with this word of disorientation going on around him. That’s what I tried to do with that.’

    ‘I hear that there were a couple of people who saw that comparison to Bourne. On one hand, Dan Bradley, the second unit director worked on those movies which definitely adds too that comparison. The sequences he worked on, on this were the opening car chase scene and the exterior of the plane sequence. I shot the interior. In regard to the car chase though, when he shot things, I always watched it and gave him notes on how I wanted to have it different or this and that, so there was a constant dialogue of me pushing for the disorientation of that opening, not so much him actually.’

    There’s much more. To read more about Forster’s pre-Bond films, visit Soundtrack Geek for the complete interview.

    Keep turning to the main page—and our brand new Twitter feed—for continued Quantum of Solace coverage.