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The James Bond film series is one of the most popular andsuccessful, having grossed over US$4 billion worldwide. The suave,sophisticated secret agent has secured his place in popular cultureas the definitive action hero that has appeared in twenty-threefilms between 1954 and 2006.

Daniel Craig was announced as the seventh actor to portray 007in late 2005, making his debut in the 2006 smash hit Casino Royale.While fans await Craig’s second outing in Quantum of Solace, duelater this year, they have been able to watch Shamelady, a fan filmmade by the French film production company ConstellationStudios.

Shamelady is a tribute to Ian Fleming, the author of the JamesBond novels on which many of the films are based, and EONProductions, the makers of the official 007 films. The film wasfirst released in 2007 and runs just under an hour long. It can bedownloaded from Constellation’s website or viewed on YouTube.

Legally, the filmmakers cannot profit from Shamelady, but theydidn’t make it for the money, rather the thrill of creating anoriginal Bond film. The plot is fairly simple, and reminiscent ofCasino Royale. Bond is sent to a casino to nab a vicious crimelord, but gets betrayed by a fellow agent in the process. Viewerreaction to the film was positive for the most part, andConstellation Studios has now planned a sequel to Shamelady, whichdirector Eric Saussine speaks of in the interview below.

Interview

Wikinews: Although having made several othermovies, Constellation Studios is best known for the acclaimed JamesBond fan film Shamelady. Tell us about it.

Eric Saussine: Shamelady attempts to be a true James Bondadventure, except in length. Our 007 lasts 54 minutes. The storytakes place in Iraq, England and France. James Bond is sent to thesouth of France to buy information about a secret organization thatterrorizes Great Britain. During the operation, a couple of killersput a deadly stop to the exchange. Bond escapes, whereas Mangin -who provided the information – is killed. For MI6, it’s vividevidence that S.P.E.C.T.R.E. – the criminal organization to whichJames Bond was formerly opposed – is back. From this point, Bondgoes to the casino of Luc-sur-Mer, Normandy, in search of Descarpeswho is suspected of being the number 2 of the organization. Bondchallenges Descarpes at the roulette table and seduces AnnaRaykova, a mysterious Russian woman working for his adversary. Ourfavorite spy escapes several murder attempts but, in a nod toCasino Royale, he soon realizes that he is being betrayed. Anyway,the bad guy dies in the end! Some things are eternal. Shamelady isa tribute to the men at the origin of the myth: original author IanFleming and James Bond producers Harry Saltzman and AlbertBroccoli.

Wikinews: Why did you make this film? Where didthe inspiration for Shamelady come from?

Eric Saussine: In 1953, Ian Fleming createdJames Bond and therefore the myth we all know. In 2003, for thefiftieth anniversary of the creation of Ian Fleming’s hero, Ithought that it was time to pay tribute to this literary and cinemamyth . In September 2004, I called his friend Pierre Rodiac, aformer president a French James Bond fan club. I talked to himabout my idea to adapt Casino Royale, the only Ian Fleming JamesBond novel that was not seriously adapted by Eon, holder of themovie rights. Pierre was excited by the project and he startedwriting a synopsis. We worked alternatively on it. It gave way to ascript which I wrote and Pierre corrected, that was a faithfuladaptation of the novel, with all the trademarks of the moviefranchise. Then I immediately started the search for actors andlocations.

On February 3, 2005, Eon Productions announced that MartinCampbell would direct the 21st film of the series. The title was…Casino Royale!

I was happy because I had always wanted to see that. I went backto work on my project. I decided to preserve the general plot,change the names of the villains, the bad guy’s plan, a few scenesand re-introduced a well known terrorist organization and its chieffrom the Bond films and novels : S.P.E.C.T.R.E. and Ernst StavroBlofeld. I wrote a new script in a couple of months and found itstitle : Shamelady. Pre-production started in 2004. Filming startedin 2005 and went on in 2006. Post-production took place in 2007 andthe release date was December 11, 2007.

Wikinews: Last summer, you announced that Constellation Studiosis at work on another Bond film, Shatterhand. Tell us about it.

Eric Saussine: Well, the team was so happy to do Shamelady. Atthe end of this movie we were tired but response from the teammembers themselves that the first of them, Serge Rotelli (Bond)asked that we do another one. Of course I had many ideas going wildin many directions in my mind. So following that wave of enthusiasmI decided to renew the experience and launched the production of anew James Bond 007 adventure. This time, the film will be our wayto celebrate Ian Fleming’s hundredth birthday.

The plot will stay close to Fleming’s literary works and will bederived from the short story Octopussy, the last third of the novelYou Only Live Twice, hence the title, Shatterhand, which isBlofeld’s pseudonym in that adventure. The new film also includesan original ski chase in the pre-credit sequence and an explosiveaction finale. Some shots were done for real in Japan. We willprobably miss the Fleming centenary in 2008 and will probablyrelease it one year later.

Wikinews: Is this the beginning of a series of non-profit fanfilms? After Shatterhand, can we expect to see more Bond films fromyou?

Eric Saussine: It was never seen as a series, but when wereleased Shamelady, Shatterhand’s production was already half-way,and the people at the premiere kept saying to me that they wantedto participate and that I should do a trilogy. Nothing’s worth atrilogy. So given the extraordinary willingness of some people weare thinking about one final chapter. Of course my ever-boilingmind has some idea ready. I can tell you that part of a finalchapter could take place in Switzerland and that we might see PizGloria again for a few seconds. Other than that I am still in themiddle of Shatterhand so all this stuff about a third movie is justwishful thinking.

Wikinews: Wikinews waves Right.png Do you have any advice foramateur filmmakers reading this?

Eric Saussine: Never, ever abandon your project. Too manyprojects fail or disappear because people don’t have the will to gotil the end of their ideas and realize that it is much morecomplicated than they thought it would be and then they drop it. Itis a pity. Another advice : steal from the best i.e. the Bondmovies for Bond productions, Spielberg, Kubrick and all the othersfor all movies. Mozart stole from Haydn and transcended him. Whynot YOU?

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