Not every city gets to brag about being the set of a James Bond car chase with his iconic Aston Martin DB5 busting everything in the way. Now, Shanghai—and Bangkok, to boot—get to enjoy this privilege owing to a new TV spot for logistics company DHL, License to Deliver.
SHP+ talked to Michael Cody from Indochina Productions about the James Bond-themed DHL commercial and what it’s like to shoot a commercial film for a major Hollywood franchise.
SHP+采访了制片公司Indochina Productions的Michael Cody，讨论了这部以詹姆斯·邦德为主题的DHL广告，以及为好莱坞知名IP拍摄商业电影是什么感觉。
The spot was directed by SMUGGLER‘s Adam Berg and had Linus Sandgren responsible for the cinematography. The latter was also DOP for No Time to Die, the latest film in the Bond franchise, and won an Oscar for La La Land.
该广告由SMUGGLER的导演Adam Berg执导，摄影则由Linus Sandgren负责。后者还曾担任邦德系列最新电影《无暇赴死》(No Time to Die)的摄影指导，并凭借《爱乐之城》(La La Land)获得过奥斯卡奖。
With the local production facilitated by Indochina Productions, License to Deliver was entirely shot in Bangkok just before the pandemic in early 2020. Still, it was held until last month to be released only shortly ahead of the feature film in the United States.
The storytelling follows a courier as he sets out to deliver a vital package to Bond. But the handover is interrupted, and he finds himself involved in an exhilarating car chase replete with Bond-worthy gimmicks such as cars flipping over, falling from overpasses, and a fireworks explosion. The most impressive part? Very little was computer made, and the crew actually did most of it.
Michael Cody, Indochina’s line producer for this project shares: “The sequence when the bamboo scaffolding falls was choreographed with stunt drivers. The art department built a bamboo scaffold that would appear to fall when hit but could be reset to shoot the scene a few times more. And also, we have a scene where a car crashes into a fireworks shop. That was real, too. They were real fireworks that went off in camera.”
Micheal Cody，Indochina该项目的执行制片人分享到: “竹制脚手架倒塌的场景是配合替身特技司机精心设计的。美术部搭建了一个竹制脚手架，当被击中时，它看起来会掉下来，但其实可以重新放回原位，多拍几次。还有一个场景，一辆车撞进了一家烟花店，也是真人实景，镜头里的烟火都是真的。”
The car was also real—an actual Bond stunt replica, that is. DHL delivered it to Bangkok from Europe. It’s one of the eight replicas used to shoot No Time to Die, on top of the two authentic DB5s. Each replica was modified to perform a specific stunt. This one could do radical spins and keep driving, as we can see early in the spot as it flashes by the DHL delivery truck driving backwards and makes a perfect 180-degree spin—rubber-burning, engine bellowing—all that in a major crossroads.
“There was a massive list of locations. That is one of the areas we excel in—it’s difficult to lock down a major intersection in Bangkok. Those stunt scenes in busy places are always tricky and require a lot of thought for safety and also not to interrupt traffic to the degree that’s possible,” Cody says.
Throughout the movie, one or two plate shots were used to establish Shanghai. It all looks a lot like the city, especially at such a speed and because of the purple neon lights and laser lights. The only thing that gives away the location is the excess of electrical wires, typical of Bangkok. But the crew had to adapt something crucial: like Bond, Thais drive on the other side of the road, so they had to convert the steering wheel of every car featured in the spot to the left-hand side.
But the guy behind the wheel was more than capable of driving on either side. It was Ben Collins, a Bond stunt driver who worked alongside stunt coordinator Peter White in No Time To Die.
但此次驾驶车辆炫技的司机能操作的可不止右舵驾驶，这部影片由Ben Collins出演，他是邦德的替身司机，他与特技协调员Peter White在《无暇赴死》中也有精彩的合作。
The extended crew included a few other supporting drivers, the local team with a large art department, pyrotechnics experts, and representatives from both the agency and the Bond franchise. “There were also Bond representatives onset, so if the director wanted to try something or came up with an idea on the spot, they could ensure that it wouldn’t be problematic,” Cody explains. He adds, however, that there was no extra pressure for it being a Bond shoot because they had thoroughly planned it all ahead of time. In the end, everything went smoothly.
The delivery driver is Jack Tan, an up-and-coming actor from Malaysia. Along with Carly Simon’s Nobody Does It Better as a soundtrack, his performance supplements the spot with a lighthearted mood, counterbalancing the high-speed action.
出演快递司机的是来自马来西亚的人气演员Jack Tan。在Carly Simon的《没人做得更好》(Nobody Does It Better)的BGM下，他的表演为影片增添了一种轻松的情绪，平衡了高速刺激的动作场面。
It’s not the first time Bond visits Shanghai or Bangkok. Daniel Craig has hung from a moving Pudong elevator in Skyfall, and Pierce Brosnan has raced the streets of old Bangkok in a motorbike chase in Tomorrow Never Dies. Berg had also shot in both cities. He directed the iPhone 7 Plus commercial for which they emptied the Bund and other Shanghai locales, and, with Indochina, he directed the delightful spot Uber-Boxes, which was also logistically tricky for the same reason.
当然，这也不是邦德第一次来上海或是曼谷了。Daniel Craig在《007：大破天幕杀机》中曾在浦东的某个移动电梯上倒挂金钟，在《明日帝国》中，老一辈邦德Pierce Brosnan曾在老曼谷的街道上飙过摩托车。导演Berg也有上海和曼谷的拍摄经验，在摄制iPhone7 Plus的广告时，他清空了外滩及其他热门上海景点，也曾与Indochina合作，拍摄了俏皮活泼的《Uber-Boxes》，另一部因为类似的缘由而颇具地点挑战的广告片。
Still, the DHL pitch was competitive. “There were three very high-end directors. I believe Adam won because of his very creative and interesting treatment of the script.” Cody says. He also adds that Berg was also already close with Sandgren, which definitely played a role. “Getting the Academy Award-winning cinematographer who had shot the James Bond film was extremely desirable.”
Present in fourteen countries throughout Asia and headquartered in Bangkok, Indochina also works on feature-length films, from small indie productions to big studio productions. They’re facilitators for European and American companies to shoot in Asia. As Cody points out, Thailand offers excellent production services for both crew and equipment at very reasonable prices.
As for DHL, they were the official logistics partner for No Time to Die, moving things around between filming locations in Italy, Norway, Jamaica, England, and Scotland. At the end of this spot, of course, they deliver the package safely and at perfect timing. What was inside it, however, only James Bond knows.
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