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Behind the Scenes of James Bond FAQ

Guest Blogger: Tom DeMichael is the author of James Bond FAQ. This book is scheduled for release February 2013 from Applause Books.

Researching and writing a book about the James Bond film franchise is a lot like the fellow who recently skydived from more than 24 miles in the air: sure, it can be done, but it’s not going to be easy. Oh, I’ve published about a dozen books, so it’s not my first trip around the block (or out of the balloon, if you will.) But I knew this would be tougher than any of the other books.

We’re talking about an iconic series here, folks. Author Ian Fleming penned twelve novels and nine short stories about British secret agent 007 in a period of about a dozen years. Yes, more have been written since then by other capable authors, but let’s face it – it’s a lot like Steve Martin playing Sgt. Bilko or Inspector Clouseau – good try, but it’s just not the same as the original.

As for the films, it’s relatively unprecedented for a literary character to be brought to the Silver Screen managed by the same production team for fifty years. Certainly, you have Tarzan and Sherlock Holmes and Charlie Chan – like Bond, portrayed by different actors over the years – but none of them were cut with the same cinematic sword wielded by the Broccoli family.

First presented by Albert “Cubby” Broccoli and Harry Saltzman in the 60s and 70s, then by Broccoli and stepson Michael G. Wilson and, later, daughter Barbara, the “official” James Bond films have delivered action, adventure, and amour since 1962. “Non-official” Bond films, like 1967’s Casino Royale and 1983’s Never Say Never Again, are only a testament to the broadness of the James Bond legacy.

And now, with the 50th anniversary of the cinematic release of Dr. No, the 23rd Bond film from Eon Productions, Skyfall, promises to be just as exciting and daring as the previous twenty-two entries. At least that’s what all the trailers, commercials, billboards, posters, and teasers seem to suggest.

So, trying to wrap my arms around all of that would seem to be a Herculean task… and it was. As much as I knew about Bond, the films, the actors and actresses, the behind-the-scenes stuff, I knew there was so much more that I had to discover in order to craft a book that truly reflected the impact on pop culture that 007 has had. Not to mention, differentiating itself from the umpteen other Bond books on the market.

But there’s no question, the journey was every bit as exciting and satisfying as I’d hoped it would be. I had the chance to communicate with some people who really made a difference in the James Bond films over the years. Folks like actresses Nikki Van der Zil and Eunice Gayson, who left their marks on the Connery and Moore era.

Folks like Terry Reed, a very capable prop and model builder and effects wizard whose talented touch was seen in films like Moonraker, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and The World is Not Enough (his beautiful and ornate garrote chair, used by the sultry Elektra King to torture Bond, is a marvelous piece.)

Folks like Doug Redenius, whose love for all things Bond led him to be one of the world’s greatest collectors of 007 memorabilia and the curator of the James Bond Museum and Dezer Automobile Collection in North Miami, Florida.

I’m grateful to them and many more who helped me dig deep into the world of James Bond. It was a heck of an excavation and I can only hope that readers of the James Bond FAQ will enjoy the trip as well. But, since the book will be out in February of 2013, there’ll be plenty of time to whet everyone’s appetite on what’s to come.

Stay tuned to this blog for further goodies…

James Bond FAQ

A favorite of film followers for 50 years, James Bond is the hero loved by everyone: Men want to be just like him, women just want to be with him. Moviegoers around the world have spent more than $5 billion to watch his adventures across the last five decades. What’s not to enjoy about such a glorious multitude of gadgets, gals, grand locations, and grandiose schemes hatched by master villains and megalomaniacs?

Now, James Bond FAQ is a book that takes on the iconic cinema franchise that’s lasted for so many years. Sometimes serious as SPECTRE, sometimes quirkier than Q, but always informative, this FAQ takes the reader behind-the-scenes, as well as in front of the silver screen. Everyone’s included: Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig; little-known facts about TV’s first shot at 007, the same Bond story that was made into two different films; whatever happened to those wonderful cars and gizmos that thrilled everyone; plus much more. It’s a book for the casual, as well as hardcore, James Bond fan.

James Bond FAQ is filled with biographies, synopses, production stories, and images and illustrations seldom seen in print, leaving little else to be said about the world’s favorite secret agent.

Funny: The Body 3

David Misch is the author of Funny:The Book.

FUNNY: THE BODY 3”

— Steve Martin vs. Steve Martin.

— Buster exits horizontally.

— Jerry Lewis: Arms and the Man.

— People pestered Cleese to do it for decades, until a hip replacement gave him an out.

— Will Ferrell is willing to do nudity, but only if it’s not tasteful.

Funny: The Book

Funny: The Book is an entertaining look at the art of comedy, from its historical roots to the latest scientific findings, with diversions into the worlds of movies (Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers), television (The Office), prose (Woody Allen, Robert Benchley), theater (The Front Page), jokes and stand-up comedy (Richard Pryor, Steve Martin), as well as personal reminiscences from the author’s experiences on such TV programs as Mork and Mindy.

Funny: The Standups

Funny: The Book is by David Misch

                                                      “FUNNY: THE STANDUPS”

— Richard, from the greatest standup performance ever filmed.

— Lenny is maybe more provocative today than ever before.

— Perhaps if it had been carefully explained that “Who” was the man’s actual name, all that confusion could have been avoided.

— Steve Martin brings existentialism to standup.

— Woody was probably the smartest comic in history; this joke made Carson collapse.

— Mel and Carl’s improvised routines made literal and figurative history.

Funny: The Book

Funny: The Book is an entertaining look at the art of comedy, from its historical roots to the latest scientific findings, with diversions into the worlds of movies (Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers), television (The Office), prose (Woody Allen, Robert Benchley), theater (The Front Page), jokes and stand-up comedy (Richard Pryor, Steve Martin), as well as personal reminiscences from the author’s experiences on such TV programs as Mork and Mindy.

Funny: The Movies 1

Funny: The Book by David Misch comes out June 2012 from Applause Books

“FUNNY: THE MOVIES 1”

 — The book talks about Tricksters; John Belushi is one of the great examples, embracing havoc for havoc’s sake.

— Proof that comedy doesn’t get the respect it deserves: Steve Martin has never won an Oscar.

— “The Court Jester” was, at the time, the most expensive comedy ever made… and still one of the best.  (“The chalice from the palace” is in a different trailer.)

— A Chaplin party trick became one of the iconic comedy bits of all time, reprised last year by Amy Adams in “The Muppets”.

Funny: The Book

Funny: The Book is an entertaining look at the art of comedy, from its historical roots to the latest scientific findings, with diversions into the worlds of movies (Buster Keaton and the Marx Brothers), television (The Office), prose (Woody Allen, Robert Benchley), theater (The Front Page), jokes and stand-up comedy (Richard Pryor, Steve Martin), as well as personal reminiscences from the author’s experiences on such TV programs as Mork and Mindy.