Production on "Quantum of Solace" heads to the Chilean
Atacama Desert for filming at the Cerro Paranal -
doubling for villain Dominic Greene`s hide-out...
Production Diary (18)
24th March 2008
Look Up, Look Out!
Cerro Paranal, the 2600m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama
Desert that hosts ESO’s (the intergovernmental European
Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere)
Very Large Telescope, will be the stage for scenes in the
Bond movie, “Quantum
of Solace”. Looking akin to Mars, with its red sand and
lack of vegetation, the Atacama Desert is thought to be the driest
place on Earth.
Cerro Paranal is home to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT),
which, withto ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT),
which, with its array of four giant 8.2-m individual telescopes,
is the world’s most advanced optical observatory.
site and extreme dryness make excellent conditions for astronomical
observations. “We needed a unique site for a unique set of telescopes,
and we found it at Paranal,” said Andreas Kaufer, ESO’s
Paranal Director. “We are very excited that the Bond production
team have also chosen this location.”
The excellent astronomical conditions at Paranal come at a price,
however. In this forbidding desert environment, virtually nothing
can grow outside. The humidity drops below 10%, there are intense
ultraviolet rays from the sun, and the high altitude leaves people
short of breath. Living in this extremely isolated place feels
like visiting another planet.
To make it possible for people to live and work here, a hotel
or “Residencia” was built in the base camp, allowing
them to escape from the arid outside environment. Here, returning
from long shifts at the VLT and other installations on the mountain,
they can breathe moist air and relax, sheltered from the harsh
conditions outside. The Residencia’s award-winning design,
including an enclosed tropical garden and pool under a futuristic
domed roof, gives its interior a feeling of open space within
the protective walls - this is a true "haven in the desert".
It is this unique building that serves as the backdrop for the
James Bond filming.
"Quantum of Solace" producer, Michael G. Wilson
Residencia of Paranal Observatory caught the attention of our
director, Marc Forster and production designer, Dennis Gassner,
both for its exceptional design and its remote location in the
Atacama desert. It is a true oasis and the perfect hide-out for
Dominic Greene, our villain, whom 007 is tracking in our new
James Bond film."
In addition to the shooting at the Residencia, further action
will take place at the Paranal airstrip. The film crew present
on Paranal includes Englishman Daniel Craig, taking again the
role of James Bond, French actor Mathieu
Amalric, leading lady Olga Kurylenko, from the Ukraine, as well
as acclaimed Mexican actors, Joaquin Cosio and Jesus Ochoa. This
cast from across Europe and Latin America mirrors the international
staff that works for ESO at Paranal.
After leaving Paranal at the end of the week,
the film crew will shoot in other locations close to Antofagasta.
have been filmed in Panama and, following the Chilean locations,
the unit will be travelling to Italy and Austria before returning
to Pinewood Studios near London in May.
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli (Eon
Productions), QUANTUM OF SOLACE was released in the
UK on October 31st 2008 and is directed by
Marc Forster. Principal photography started on January
Pinewood Studios and around the UK, and foreign locations
including Italy, Panama, Chile, Peru and Austria.
Paul Haggis completed the script based on a first draft
screenplay developed by regular scribes Neal Purvis & Robert
Wade, with later polish by Joshua Zetumer. The story
is a direct continuation of the events of Casino
Royale. 007 faces off against
villains Mathieu Amalric (Dominic Greene), Anatole
Taubman (Elvis) and Joaquin Cosío (General Medrano).
Olga Kurylenko (Camille) and Gemma Arterton (MI6 Agent
Fields) play the Bond Girls. Dame Judi Dench (M), Jeffrey
Wright (Felix Leiter) and Giancarlo Giannini (Mathis)
reprise their roles as Bond's allies. It is British
actor Daniel Craig’s second outing as James Bond,
following his debut film Casino Royale released November