The history of Bond movie making is also the history of behind-the-scenes movie photography. The images of Bond in production have reverberated down the decades, have often been the first indications of where a new 007 movie bullet is going, and they also tell a unique story as they document key beats of both popular culture and cinema. Terry O’Neill, Keith Hamshere, George Whitear, John Stoddart, Simon Nathan and many more have captured the downtime, up time, adventure and sheer toil that goes into making a big movie the size of Bond.
To mark the release of No Time to Die, not only are 250 editions of the new Leica Q2 ‘007 Edition’ (complete with slick gunbarrel motif over the lens), Leica and EON Productions have created a new twenty-five image exhibition documenting the journey of Bond’s twenty-fifth movie mission. Curated by Bond producer Michael G. Wilson, the monochrome collection not only marks the new relationship between Leica and Bond. It sheds some light on Wilson’s own photographic credentials. As a world leading historian and expert on nineteenth century photography, Wilson owns, advises and contributes to some of the most important photographic and camera archives in the global history of the form. In 2017 the Tate’s first curator of photography Simon Baker told The Guardian how Wilson had “been transformative for the Tate’s photography“. Wilson has also helped countless photographers, collections and archives and is behind the Wilson Centre for Photography based at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC.
In No Time To Die, Leica worked alongside Wilson and EON Productions to feature Leica cameras at Bond’s Jamaican home and Q’s London pad. The film’s official photographer Nicola Dove used a Leica to record the journey of Bond 25, as did veteran Bond photographer Greg Williams. And Wilson. Joining them – and continuing a fun heritage of Bond actors photographing their own experiences and exploits on-set, Mr. Daniel Craig himself has also contributed some of the strongest images – and demonstrates a genuinely very clear eye, sharp sense of frame and coy sense of story.
“The idea for the exhibition was born from conversations I had with Leica’s London archivist, Lou Proud, during the production of No Time To Die. When we realised we had four accomplished photographers snapping away on set who could capture behind-the-scenes moments with Leica cameras (Greg Williams, Nicola Dove, Daniel Craig and myself) we realized we had the makings of an exhibition.
With Ella’s help, we have assembled a portfolio of 25 images showing work by all four photographers. We created portfolios of which four are artist proofs for the four artists, one is for the EON archive and one is for sale at the Bond auction in autumn 2022.”
Michael G. Wilson, Leica interview
No Time to Die – Behind the Scenes is on at the Leica Gallery in London until October 17 2021 and will also feature around the same No Time to Die time in Tokyo, Osaka, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Salzburg, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul and Vienna.
Limited to 250 pieces worldwide, the Leica Q2 007 Edition is priced at $7,995.
No Time to Die opens on September 30 2021 in the UK, October 8 in the US and will subsequently roll out across the world.