A beauty in art form that certainly hasn’t faded over the years, unlike the poster artwork, are the instantly recognisable Bond title sequences. The signature gun barrel ‘shot’ accompanied by the iconic James Bond soundtrack is almost always followed by three minutes of true Bond style – Women and Guns.
Maurice Binder, a New Yorker who fell in love with London, directed 14 of the title sequences for James Bond including the pioneering gun barrel sequence that first set the bar in ‘Dr. No’. Prior to his death in 1991, in his last interview he described his creative development of this sequence in which he developed a pin hole camera to fit down a gun barrel:
“That was something I did in a hurry, because I had to get to a meeting with the producers in twenty minutes. I just happened to have little white price tag stickers and I thought I’d use them as gun shots across the screen. We’d have James Bond walk through and fire, at which point blood comes down on screen. That was about a twenty-minute storyboard I did, and they said, “This looks great!”"
Binder directed and created every sequence before ‘GoldenEye’ except for ‘From Russia with Love’ and ‘Goldfinger’. This work belonged to American Graphic Designer, Robert Brownjohn. His vision came in the form of projecting moving footage onto models and then to film the results, to stunning effect.
Interestingly enough, Brownjohn was an ex-creative from ‘Adland’ that moved to London working where the partners of Hatched earned their stripes – J. Walter Thompson (JWT). He worked there until 1962, before moving to McCann Erickson were his relationship with moving image began.
Both Binder and Brownjohn’s work is both famously identifiable and rich in creativity making the sequence an imperative part of any bond film. When paired with a great Bond soundtrack, and the visual meets the audio it produces a license to thrill in itself.
We’ve picked out some of the Binder’s and Brownjohn’s classics…
From Russia With Love
You Only Live Twice
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
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October 22nd, 2012