Saturday, 28 January 2012

Becoming Bond

You may remember that back in October, for absolutely no good reason, I decided to be all mysterious and lay down some hints concerning the nature of my photography project.

Well, enough of that nonsense. The project is going to be on James Bond.

I started with the idea of fantasy. I was interested in how movies, books and video games have such emotional power, and how we the consumers can so easily get caught up in the drama of the moment, and how these media feed upon our fantasies and lead us into a realm of unsupressed escapism in which the daily drudgery and comforting routines are completely left behind.

As I began to think and research, I happened to watch Casino Royale for the first time in almost five years. I got thinking about Bond, and particularly about an article I had read a few years ago by Anthony Horowitz. The article discusses the impact, success and enduring appeal of James Bond despite the somewhat ridiculous nature of it all.

The more I thought about it, the more I realised that I could do a whole project on Bond. The point is, when I was growing up I somehow managed to avoide the world of Bond. I knew about it of course, and if shown a picture of Pierce Brosnan I would have said it was Bond rather than Brosnan. But somehow I never really watched the films and got caught up in the Bond-mania that seemed to grip the nation's youth. But now it was time to investigate.

Fast forward a month or two and I have realised that I've bitten off more than I can chew. The fact is that the world of Bond is huge, much bigger than I ever could have anticipated. From the books, the films and the actors through to feminist readings and Craig's cufflinks in Casino Royale, there are endless approaches and ways to discuss, discover and study Bond.

Anyway, the project is going to be divided into two parts; for the first I am writing and photographing an investigative and documentary book into what it means to be Bond; where I will do Bond like activities (think fitness training, driving an Aston Martin etc.), speak to relevant Bond related people (think writers, photographers, fans) and do lots and lots of research and reading.

For the second and final part I will be shooting three to four movie-still style shots, and possibly a movie poster, which will be presented as prints at the Free Range exhibition in London's Brick Lane, along with the book, in June.

And the title for the project? Becoming Bond, of course.

You can keep up with the project progress in 140 characters on Twitter (follow @Jason_Wain). Any thoughts or suggestions (such as where to get books printed!) are welcome!


  1. This sounds brilliant. Forget stereotypical student life, it doesn't exist and hasn't done since the 1970s (when I was a student - ha ha) it disappeared along with student grants.

  2. Thanks! You're quite right, it doesn't exist! Discovered that one the hard way...