James Bond and The Queen star in ambitious London Olympics shorts
A pair of ambitious short films was among the highlights of the opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Isles of Wonder featured a high-speed trip down the Thames and then Happy and Glorious marked The Queen's acting debut in a meeting with James Bond at Buckingham Palace.
Finding a few free hours to film with both The Queen and Daniel Craig was just one of the challenges faced by the BBC and took more than six months to organise from the time that director Danny Boyle came up with the idea, BBC News reports.
The shoot actually took place in March 2012 so the foliage in the palace garden had to be touched up in post-production to look more like the height of summer.
Arranging marine and aerial shooting in central London along the Thames for Isles of Wonder also took some serious planning. Nic Brown is Director of UK Drama Production for the BBC and spoke to BBC News: "If you are having to secure permissions to fly along the Thames, through Tower Bridge with two helicopters (never done before) or clear the river of commercial traffic you need to do so with several weeks' notice.
"If you then find that over the dates you have picked the helicopter can't fly because of the low cloud or is grounded because of a bomb scare on Tottenham Court Road, or the footage you do achieve is so utterly grey, damp and joyless as to be unusable, you have a big problem."
As the British summer looked increasingly unconvincing, a combination of cabling, generators, bulbs and a determined production team came together to make the source of the Thames look its best – on the third attempt. Filming in central London was even more precarious, but at the last minute things went to plan.
In the end we were lucky. Lucky that the cloud lifted and sun shone at the very end of the day at our second attempt at Tower Bridge.
Nic Brown, BBC's Director of UK Drama Production
Brown concludes: "In the end we were lucky. Lucky that the cloud lifted and sun shone at the very end of the day at our second attempt at Tower Bridge.
"I will always remember producer Lisa Osborne sending me a sequence of stills through the day starting with a crew in wet-weather gear, moving to a glimpse of blue sky and ending with glorious shots of two helicopters flying through the bridge as the sun began to set."
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