The adventures of a KKB agent
The latest James Bond film Spectre is currently wowing cinema audiences. Two 007 movies previously, the British secret agent appeared in Quantum of Solace, for which some spectacular sequences were shot inside Bregenz Festival House and on the Lake Stage. We take a look back at the adventures of a female agent of the KKB.
Kongresskultur Bregenz eye to eye with the stars
2008 will go down in the annals of Kongresskultur Bregenz (KKB) as the year in which the company commended itself for higher duties.
When producer Barbara Broccoli and director Marc Forster laid eyes on the stage set for the opera Tosca, they decided to shoot one of the key scenes of the James Bond film Quantum of Solace at Bregenz Festival House.
The film production company EON Productions made a point of renting office space in an inconspicuous building near Bregenz Festival House. They wanted to avoid attracting attention and prevent any hindrances that curious onlookers might cause.
Nicole Speckle moved into the same premises as the film people for the duration of the production. She functioned as the liaison between the production company and Bregenz Festival House, so strictly speaking she was operating as an agent.
“The work was a dream for me,” says Nicole. “That had a lot to do with the glamour of James Bond films, of course, but mainly it was because of the insight I got into the way the crew at Bregenz Festival House works and also the way an internationally active production company works. The daily challenges and experiences were enormously enriching for me, and the cooperation with Kongresskultur Bregenz was perfect. After shooting had finished, Leonhard Gmür, in charge of the Bregenz Location, specifically thanked us for the excellent cooperation.”
Nicole is certain of one thing: “They weren’t in Bregenz just for the Tosca Eye, but also because of our personnel and what our centre has to offer in the way of technology and space. For instance, we have enough space here for film sets to be built, which is something you don’t find everywhere. People who have seen the movie can probably remember the fight scene in the toilet. A replica of that room was built in the Workshop Theatre.
”Demands were high also in terms of logistics. For example, 35 drivers were permanently on standby to transport the film rolls – they had to be copied in Munich and then brought back right away. For the safety of production team members, 15 hotel rooms were always kept reserved in Hotel Mercure for people who were too tired after exhausting night shoots to drive home. On top of that, 1,500 extras had to be looked after and catered for. “Once the temperature outside dropped so fast we had to arrange for a few hundred hand warmers, presto!” Nicole recalls.
Although Nicole isn’t necessarily the type to go in for glitz and glamour, there is one incident that will remain etched in her memory. At an advance screening of the film in Bregenz Festival House, she actually appeared on the red carpet wearing an evening gown and accompanied by a Bond villain, the Swiss actor Anatole Taubman.
How did that happen? Taubman had arrived unaccompanied, and it would have been a breach of etiquette for him to go to the film premiere alone. So he grabbed hold of Nicole and hustled her into the limousine that took them to the entrance foyer. Before she knew what was going on, she was getting out of the car with Taubman at her side in a blaze of light from flash photography. Who’s that? was the question on everyone’s lips. Is that his new girl? Who could ever forget an event like that? Nobody. Just as Bregenz will never forget “its” James Bond.
Photos: Quantum of Solace © 2008 Danjaq, United Artists, CPII. Gun Logo and related James Bond Trademarks © 1962-2008 Danjaq and United Artists. Quantum of Solace, 007 and related James Bond Trademarks are trademarks of Danjaq. All Rights Reserved. Photographer: Karen Ballard
With Kongresskultur Bregenz until 2015. As part of the event management team she was in charge of events and the external venue shed8.