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Sam Mendes Talks Gun Barrel Sequence
He wanted it at the beginning of Skyfall

06 November 2012  |  Written by Chris Hewitt  

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Skyfall

Given that it's already grossed £50 million in just ten days at the UK box office, we're guessing that you've seen the new James Bond film, Skyfall. So you'll know that the film doesn't begin with the traditional gun barrel sequence, where Bond walks into the sights of a sniper, accompanied by the James Bond Theme, and shoots said sniper with his customary elan.

Instead, like Quantum Of Solace, the gun barrel sequence is reserved for the end of the film, a decision that has become one of the few contentious points about a film that's otherwise universally embraced.

Now Sam Mendes has spoken about the decision to do so, during an Apple Store Q&A with Empire's Chris Hewitt. Responding to a question from an audience member who raised the issue of the gun barrel sequence, Mendes replied, "I tried very hard to put the gun barrel at the beginning and my intention was always to do that. If you see the film, the film starts with Bond walking down a corridor towards camera and lifting a gun. And of course the gun barrel is him walking, stopping and lifting a gun. When I put the two together, it looked ridiculous!"

Mendes went on to explain that he is a fan of the gun barrel sequence, which still hasn't officially started a Daniel Craig Bond movie. "For me, I love the gunbarrel logo being at the beginning. It's almost the best bit. Everything is possible in that moment, it's like Christmas Eve. It was frustrating to be not able to make it work in that way."

To see and hear Mendes' answer in its entirety, as well as his thoughts on directing another Bond film (or Star Wars Episode VII!), press play on the video below. And for the whole Meet The Filmmaker interview, go here.

 

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Your Comments

What's the problem?
I had no problem with it at the end. Thematically it fits with the last scene, with all the traditional Bond elements coming together, and feeling like the start of a new story. Plus, nice to see Chris Hewitt's writing about himself in the third person now More

Posted by iain99 at 00:37 on 10 November 2012 | Report This Post

Looks ridiculous, indeed
Come off it, Sam. You cut have had the gun barrell sequence, then open on the Blue Mosque and a caption saying we're in Istanbul then cut to Bond walking down a corridor. And he's an Oscar winning, director! More

Posted by stephen_se9 at 00:02 on 09 November 2012 | Report This Post

Substitute
that opening bit in SF is a nice, witty sub for the gunbarrel. trouble is that the gunbarrel at the end is badly done and feels arkward inserted after the final scene. the fade out and gunbarrel at end of QoS was a bit better but the brosnan gunbarrel is still a better version. More

Posted by spark1 at 13:35 on 07 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Sam Mendes Talks Gunbarrel Sequence
I wonder if Mendes asked Hewitt about his of the Clones? More

Posted by directorscut at 02:14 on 07 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Sam Mendes Talks Gunbarrel Sequence
L: manwihtheplan When Skyfall is released on Blu-ray/DVD, people will edit the gun barrel to the front and host it on sites like Youtube and Mr Mendes will see how it works perfectly. es, deeply sad people with too much time on their hands. More

Posted by MonsterCat at 01:37 on 07 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Sam Mendes Talks Gunbarrel Sequence
, I love the gunbarrel logo being at the beginning. It's almost the best bit. "h, please, this guy's comments are embarrassing. The gun barrel is the best bit so that's why I didn't put it at the start of the film, is that it, Sam? http://www.hollywoodrepublican.net/wp-content/uploads/2 012/09/liar.jpg Why dosen't he e truthy "I don't have final cut on Skyfall, the producers do. They didn't want the gun barrel at the start and who am I to say no to them?" That's the real reason More

Posted by manwihtheplan at 01:23 on 07 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: money issues
L: combourg Have said before except a few minor points a 'great' Bond movie I have just one question Skyfall cost 150mil Quantum 200mil WTF did they spend 200mil on? Answers on a poscard! Excuse crap spelling and typing, broke my hand 2 weeks ago and the plaster aint helpin Komodo Dragons! Those bad boys aint' cheap. More

Posted by cerebusboy at 23:05 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

I thought the opening shot described above where Bond walks into focus was just excellent. More

Posted by durelius at 19:26 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

Gun barrel better at the end. Bad credits sequence though...
I prefer the gun barrel sequence at the end as it nicely caps off the film, especially considering how the last five minutes panned out. If I had one gripe, it would be the naff credits sequence. In hindsight it was a nice piece around the true meaning behind the title of the film, but preferred the parts featuring Bond rather than the mediocre macabre CG graveyards and writhing silhouettes. A minor oversight I felt in an otherwise first rate Bond film. More

Posted by boyd at 19:15 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: things change, things stay the same
L: leroythemasochist no gun barrel? e to have had it but lets move on shall weig and now mendes have proved beyond doubt that they are masters of their crafts. best Bond movie ive seen for decades. not that most of the others are crap, just that this was outstanding. always been a Connery fan but i really do think that Craig is edging him now... urely it could be said that without the gunbarrel and the James Bond Theme then we are watching Never Say Never Again? More

Posted by Private Hudson at 18:15 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: money issues
Car chases, boat chases, sets, Opera houses, location shooting in various parts of the world, and a larger number of explosions, and aerial stuff, not to mention scenes featuring large numbers of extra comes a little more expensively than mainly London and an isolated scottish location, with many scenes featuring only Bond and someone else, even when abroad and the filming doesn;t require sets but merely the filming of largely what is already there or more or less what is already there? It More

Posted by jobloffski at 15:56 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

money issues
Have said before except a few minor points a 'great' Bond movie I have just one question Skyfall cost 150mil Quantum 200mil WTF did they spend 200mil on? Answers on a poscard! Excuse crap spelling and typing, broke my hand 2 weeks ago and the plaster aint helpin More

Posted by combourg at 15:27 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

things change, things stay the same
no gun barrel? ok, nice to have had it but lets move on shall we? craig and now mendes have proved beyond doubt that they are masters of their crafts. best Bond movie ive seen for decades. not that most of the others are crap, just that this was outstanding. always been a Connery fan but i really do think that Craig is edging him now... More

Posted by leroythemasochist at 13:06 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
It's a bit ridiculous for the gun barrel thing to be the subject of complaints. It could have potentially worked at the beginning, but only if during the sequence, the shot of Bond clearly holding the gun morphed/blended into the shot of Bond out of focus holding a gun to avoid the repetition of Bond walking into shot in both shots. And bitchers would have bitched about that too, The beginning shot, of Bond out of focus, by the end, seen clearly in focus, in the gun barrel sequence the ope More

Posted by jobloffski at 12:26 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE: RE:
L: jonson Did Chris Hewitt rush back from auditioning for Last of the Summer Wine? nyway, back on topic, I didn't even notice the gun barrel wasn't at the beginning. Although to be fair, I'd be surrpised if any Bondians picked up on this, it seems awfully petty. ote] I watched a 2 hour trailer for a brilliant looking Daniel Craig film, got to the barrel sequence and settled down to watch Bond and then the credits rolled. Bit of an anti climax really More

Posted by Harry Tuttle at 12:05 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

RE:
Did Chris Hewitt rush back from auditioning for Last of the Summer Wine? nyway, back on topic, I didn't even notice the gun barrel wasn't at the beginning. Although to be fair, I'd be surrpised if any Bondians picked up on this, it seems awfully petty. More

Posted by jonson at 12:02 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

Really? That's the complaint people had about Skyfall? Not the flat, dull sounding theme tune or the fact that the film felt like it had some money issues? More

Posted by clarkkent at 12:02 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

Really? That's the complaint people had about Skyfall? Not the flat, dull sounding theme tune or the fact that the film felt like it had some money issues? More

Posted by clarkkent at 12:01 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

I have to admit, I had a singe of disappointment when it didn't start the film, especially after Simon Mayo promising something special in the "first two seconds". Luckily the following 143 minutes were smashing. More

Posted by Whistler at 11:38 on 06 November 2012 | Report This Post

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