The production in Mexico continues with full force until April 1th. The crew, main cast and some 1 500 plus extras are focusing on the El Zocalo, the main square in the historical centre. The segment leads up to the finale of the action-packed opening sequence.
1 500 extras on the big square doesn’t sound much given it’s meant to play out during the national holiday ‘Day of the Dead-festival’ (Okt/Nov). That will be fixed in post production adding some 10 000 people with the help of CGI.
Some of the live chopper stunts will be shot on/above the square. For safety reasons and a more controlled enviroments a unit of some 80-90 crew members then moves to a location nearby Palenque, Chiapas, in Southeast Mexico, to complete the chopper stunts while some fighting inside/hanging out (close ups) will probably be made at Pinewood Studios, England – Home of James Bond.
Bond is chasing, after a big explosion, the assassin Marco Sciarra through streets, celebrating masked people and parades leading the pursuit to a landing chopper on the square. A bloody Sciarra throws himself in the chopper while a henchman tries to stop Bond but gets knocked to the ground by 007. He of course gets in the chopper and the fights starts with Sciarra while the chopper lifts of. The pilot tries to tip Bond out but runs in to maneuvering trouble swirling and spinning dangerously low over the square. In an final attempt to get rid of Bond the pilot flips the chopper uppside down…
360° chopper flips
The pilot who’s actually performs the 360° chopper flip is flying veteran Charles ‘Chuck’ Aaron from the United States. He is the only pilot licensed by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration, National aviation authority) to perform aerobatics in a helicopter in the United States, and one of only three such pilots in the world. Aaron performs aerobatic maneuvers—loop, roll, vertical climb, Split S, Cuban Eight, Immelman, and “Chuckcevak” (modified Lomcovak) at air shows and other demonstrations in an MBB Bo 105, with proprietary modifications invented by Aaron, that allow it to perform maneuvers previously impossible for helicopters. ‘Chuck’ Aaron won the ‘2014 Pilot of the Year Award’, given by the Helicopter Association International.
Creating the masks
“Estrella” (Stephanie Sigman)
Bond in Action
Next set of pictures: Daniel Craig’s body double/stuntman with a full prosthetic mask (and most likely even a body double/stuntman replacing Alessandro Cremona, who plays assassin Marco Sciarra in white suit):
Footage from the square
Second from left, Chris Corbould (Special effects supervisor). First on right, Sam Mendes (Director). Second on right, Barbara Broccoli (Producer, EoN Productions and daughter of the legendary James Bond producer Albert R. “Cubby” Broccoli). Behind her in straw hat, Dennis Gassner (Production designer, creator of all sets; Quantum, Skyfall, Spectre)
Daniel Craig himself
Back in February tourists filmed ‘Bond’s MI6-plane flying by.
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