In Skyfall we saw James Bond visit locations both exotic and closer to home. Here we take a look at where the 23rd James Bond movie was filmed.
Skyfall began filming on November 7th 2011 at Pinewood Studios and various London locations.
The Pinewood sets included interiors and exteriors of the Golden Dragon Casino in Macao. Bond’s arrival, including 300 floating lanterns and dragon heads, was actually shot at Pinewood’s Paddock Tank. And while location shooting took place at Charing Cross station, the tube train crash took place on a Pinewood set.
Silva’s island, supposedly somewhere near Macao, was another set. The island lair was inspired by the Japanese island of Hashima, until 1974 an offshore coal mining facility. Exterior shots of the real island were used as Severine’s boat approached.
Skyfall is the first film in which much of the action takes place in the UK and London featured prominently.
Cast and crew were seen at locations including Whitehall, Smithfield Market and Trafalgar Square during the first half of November. This included the scene in which Bond meets Q the National Gallery. Turner’s The Fighting Temeraire, which they briefly discuss, is in room 34.
A further day was spent at The Four Seasons Hotel in Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf in Docklands. Doubling as a hotel in Shanghai, Daniel Craig was filmed swimming lengths in the pool.
More scenes were filmed with Naomie Harris on the roof of the Department of Energy and Climate Change in early December. A night shoot took place at Charing Cross station, doubling for Temple. And Daniel Craig was at the wheel of an Aston Martin DB5 on and Childers Street. The lockup in which the car was stored is just off Arklow Road. The area has changed slightly since filming but Bond’s lockup appears to be appears unit 7.
In February further scenes were filmed at various locations in London. These included a daytime shoot in Trinity Square, where M meets Mallory. Filming also took place along Millbank and on Vauxhall Bridge. From there M watches from her car as an explosion rocks MI6 headquarters.
Although largely absent from the final film, scenes were shot of M paying her respects to those MI6 personnel killed in the explosion at Greenwich Royal Naval College. And the interiors of M’s house were shot 82 Cadogan Square, once owned John Barry.
Another London location to appear in Skyfall is Broadgate Tower (20 Primrose Street) with its distinctive lattice of x-braces, again doubling for Shanghai. This the scene when Patrice is dropped off at a modern metal and glass skyscraper with Bond on his tail as he watches as an art buyer is shot dead in an adjacent building.
February 2012 saw two Aston martin DB5s in action on and around the A82 in the Scottish highlands. These shots were used when Bond drives M to Skyfall Lodge.
The scene in which Bond gazes at the mist covered mountains was shot on the Dalness road off the A82 looking west (see the map for the precise location. When they get going again they are on the A82 headed northwest, close to the turnoff to Glencoe Mountain Resort.
But while Bond’s ancestral home was supposedly in Scotland, Skyfall Lodge was actually a set built on Ministry of Defence land in Surrey. A couple of Scottish locations had been considered but ultimately rejected. First was Duntrune Castle in Argyle. The second was Dalness Lodge in Glen Etive, which apparently was at one time owned by a nephew of Ian Fleming.
While Skyfall Lodge was purpose-built for filming, the body of water behind it and mountainous landscape look like footage shot in the vicinity of Glencoe and added in post-production.
The production headed for a night shoot at Royal Ascot’s grandstand at the end of November 2011. This was the scene in which Patrice arrives at Shanghai International Airport.
Late January 2012 saw crew members arrive in Elstead to begin work on a huge set on Hankley Common. There, on land owned by the MOD, they built a manor house and chapel. Details included fake trees and the graves of Bond’s parents.
Filming took place on March, including a night shoot involving a helicopter when the entire structure was blown to smithereens.
A large crew headed to Turkey for to set up to shoot during April and May at three distinct locations. First shooting with two crews in Adana and Fethiye. After finishing they headed to Eminönü district of Istanbul.
Filming took place at the Varda Viaduct in the province of Adana when Bond and Patrice are on top of the train. It is this bridge from which Bond falls after Moneypenny is told to “take the bloody shot” and accidentally shoots Bond.
After finishing in Scotland, Craig and crew flew from Glasgow to Dalaman and on to Fethiye on Turkey’s south-west coast.
It was hear that Bond was enjoying death at a beach bar. However, don’t both going to look for it. The bar was built for filming and dismantled afterwards.
The building Bond exits after discovering the missing hard disc drive and dying MI6 agent was once the headquarters of Deutsche Orientbank. It’s on the corner formed by Fındıkçı Remzi Sk and Büyük Postane Cd.
Moneypenny picks him up in a Land Rover and drives along Büyük Postane Cd on the tail of Patrice, who turns right onto Postahane Yanı Sk.
The outdoor food market where they ram Patrice’s Audi is in Eminönü Square. When Patrice continues on a police motorbike Bond steals one too, tailing him to the Grand Bazaar. There they ride up the steps onto the roof and across the roof tiles.
In several shots you see spectacular Nuruosmaniye Mosque, as well as the massive Bayezid II Mosque. They then ride through the bazaar and continue riding at high speed through the streets.
While no first unit filming took place in China, the second unit visited Shanghai during January 2012 to film the Blade Runner-esque cityscape and the taxi in which Patrice travels from the airport.
In reality Royal Ascot doubled the airport, the rooftop swimming pool and the external shots of the building to which Patrice heads for the assassination were both filmed in London (see above).
Although the scenes at Silva’s island lair were all filmed on a sound stage, the island was, strangely enough, based on a real location.
The Japanese island of Hashima was used as a base for deep sea coal mining until 1974 with more than 5,000 people crammed onto the island its peak in the 1950s. While the first unit didn’t film there the approach to the island does appear to use footage of Hashima. Click here to watch a drone’s eye view on YouTube.
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