A 007 parody
February 7, 2005
I received a video art assignment that read:
Though relatively young, the use of video as a medium has already developed into various genres… Each of these has established a certain format that is readily acceptable by a board public in a smooth uncritical way… All I am asking you in this project is to look at one of these traditions and cast doubt on them through disruption.
Basically, I needed to find one or more points in a use of video and
replace the element with something else to find out the results.
Initially I wanted to use footage from Friends and
replace the dialogues with something unintelligible to the common
people but preserving the annoying laughing tracks. But I did not
really like the idea, because I needed voices of various people.
So I decided to make fun of my childhood favourite – 007. In Silver Dancer, I wanted to replace the “toys” and gadgets in the Bond movies with real toys, whilst retaining the classy cinematography, and action sequences.
But time was not on my side. I had only 5 days left when the idea was solidified. However, I still went ahead to write a “script” that includes a scene to introduce the agent with a license to kill to a room of computers where he copied off classified files, but in doing so triggered the alarm.
He then escapes from the building, only to be chased by goons. A bicycle chase scene is then possible, with nice “missile” firing between them.
Progress and Results
Being inexperienced with action sequences, I underestimated the time required to shoot the video. I skipped the storyboards because I thought it was unnecessary.
That was not quite a smart move. As I have learned but never quite remembered, planning now saves time later. I took forever to compose shots during the first day of shooting, achieving only 1/3 of my goals. Many of them needed to be reshot on the next day. Furthermore, I had a hard time finding a place to shoot the computer room scene, because the rooms in school were all occupied.
So the computer room scene was dissolved. I had to drop the bike chase scene as well due to time constraints. I also had a hard time finding sound effects for it.
Luckily, He Nan, a generous friend of mine was willing to help me shoot for two days. I had the second day a second chance to rewrite the script and re-shoot the scenes that were discovered to be inadequate on the night I went editing.
The results were not bad, although too short. I wished, during the rewriting, that I included more shootout scenes during the escape – somersaults, jumping down a flight of stairs, guard rolling down the stairs, fist fights, etc.
Perhaps Another Day.
- The opening white circle following white circle sequence was taken directly from “Die Another Day”
- The gun barrel sequence took the most time to complete. I first needed to rip the sequence from “Die Another Day”, remove Pierce Brosnan and the white background from the scene (creating a hole), create the “blood flow” sequence in Macromedia Flash, export that as image sequence, then import both image sequences into Vegas. The problem arose when I made a mistake using the opening soundtrack of “The World is Not Enough” and gun barrel sequence from “Die Another Day” – they had different soundtracks and so the sequences were not synchronized. I had to speed things up. You'd notice Bond's goofy walking as he gets shot.
- The shooting location was at University of Windsor, Canada.
- Guns were purchased at Dollarama for CAD 1 each. Ammunition included.
- I played Bond and the guards. He Nan played the first guard that got shot.
- The costume for the guards included my bike helmet, goggles and dust mask painted in black, blue, green and yellow.
- Bond’s gun shot sound effects were taken from “Die Another Day”. Guards’ machine gun effects were from… a website I can't remember.
- The sound of Bond’s Aston Martin was taken from recordings of Need for Speed: Underground 2. The car was a Mazda RX-8 with level 3 upgrades on everything.
- Guards’ bicycles were going to be Jaguars.
- The tracking shot where Bond ran down a corridor was amazingly diffcult to shoot. It took 4 rehearsels and 7 takes.
- The opening shot of Bond looking around the corner after exiting a room took 4 takes. 3 of them had someone just turning into the corridor.
- There is no snow in Laos, even in high mountains.
- There were lights through the windows down the corridor where Bond ran when he exited the room in the beginning. But the lights were off when he ran down the corridor.
- Two shots were fired at the guards. In the first shooting, Bond loads only one bullet. In the second (on the bike), he did not even load a bullet.
- Different amount of sunlight and angle of the sun at the outdoor shots.
- Bond’s gloves. In some shots (when he mounts on the bike and the final shot where the bike zooms by), it was on. But on closer shots it was off. My hands were cold.
- Bond and the guard wore the same necklace.
- Errors in the credit roll. In particular, the gun barrel sequences were not taken from “The World is Not Enough”