Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Trip to Pinewood

Last Thursday, I went to Pinewood Studios, for a costume fitting for the film I am working on. It was my first time visiting Pinewood, one of Britain's most famous studios. At the security building, the guard gave me a map and circled the building I needed to go to, the Stanley Kubrick Building. Then, he directed me to parking. After parking my car, I started walking along Studio Drive, as indicated on my map. Then I made a left on Broccoli Road. Named after Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, who produced the James Bond series of films, walking its surface is like treading cinematic history.
I was surprised to learn that Broccoli was actually born on Long Island, New York, the same as I was. He moved to England in 1951, a move I was to emulate, 47 years later. Broccoli formed Eon Productions, in partnership with Harry Saltzman, and together they produced James Bond. In 1976, the partners split, with Broccoli retaining the full rights to the Bond franchise. Before his death in 1996, he passed on the Bond franchise to his daughter, Barbara, who continues producing the series to this day. The Broccoli family was originally from Italy and Cubby's ancestors created the vegetable, broccoli, by crossing cauliflower with rabe.
At the intersection of Broccoli Road and 007 Drive, I came across the official 007 Stage. For me, this was like visiting Mecca. As a child, I was heavily into James Bond. After my mother took me to see "Dr. No," "From Russia With Love," "Goldfinger," and "Thunderball," I collected James Bond puzzles, a battery operated, James Bond, Aston Martin car, and a toy James Bond attache case, complete with plastic knife and exploding locks (powered by caps). Bond was my first and most enduring role model. The films inspired me to travel the world, develop an interest in scuba diving (although I settled for snorkeling, as a kid), and to learn as much trivia as I could. Bond always seemed to know something about almost any subject that came up. When I first traveled to France, from the UK, in 1990, I took the hovercraft across the channel, because Bond took one to Holland in "Diamonds Are Forever." James Bond and I even share the same initials. I have seen every Bond film more than once, except the latest, "Casino Royale," which I have only seen once, so far. Imagine my excitement to be walking right past the stage where the films were made.
The 007 Stage is a high building, bigger than any of the other stages I could see on the studio lot. It bears a big 007 logo and seems to dominate the buildings around it. Just past the Bond building, is the Stanley Kubrick Building, my destination. This building is named for another film legend, director Stanley Kubrick. He gave us monumental films including "Dr. Strangelove," "A Clockwork Orange," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "The Shining," and "Full Metal Jacket." I was greeted just outside the doorway by two women from the hair and makeup department. They escorted me inside and took my photograph. Then I joined some other actors waiting to see the costume department. I had a long wait, but I didn't care. I was being paid to be there. Besides, it just felt cool to be working in the motion picture industry, even if it was at a very low level. After my costume fitting, I walked back to my car, once again passing the 007 Stage. I remembered my long held dream to be in a Bond film. I am sure I would make a good Felix Leiter, Bond's CIA friend. Come on Barbara, what do you say?

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home