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Operation:Nassau Reloaded, as told by Felix PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 11:49

Re:Field Report: Operation: Nassau Reloaded

To: James Bond, MI6
From Felix Leiter, CIA
Bond, here is a copy of my official report I submitted to Langley. I left you and Largo's "niece" back at the island so I assumed you're a bit busy and might appreciate using my report for your old man at MI6.

 

OPERATION: Nassau Reloaded MISSION DETAILS

CIA, MI6 Interpol, please find my updates to the nearly accomplished 2011 mission “Villains & Voodoo” cruise to the James Bond film sites of New Orleans, Key West and Nassau. You will recall the cruise was redirected to Cozumel due to the arrival of Hurricane Irene.  Our combined international team of agents agreed to return this year and finish the remaining activities in Nassau, Bahamas.  Black Op members,Rich and Leslie Skillman of Theme Party People organized the weekend event, “Operation Nassau Reloaded" and most all the original team from countries around the world rejoined the mission.

Agents arrived on May 24th, 2012 and were greeted 007 lifestyle-wise (you'll probably delete that, eh James?) with Vesper martinis at the British Colonial Hilton, the host hotel and movie site from “Never Say Never Again” (*factoid, the Colonial is also mentioned in Fleming’s short story, “Quantum of Solace”).

The ski up scene featuring Fatima Blush was shot on a now long gone tiki bar at the end of the hotel pier. A late evening of Bahamian cuisine and catching up on the year's activities was completed, the group dined at BLU, a few blocks from Rawson Square, site of both “Thunderball” and “NSNA” sequences featuring Bond, Pinder & Paula meeting at the strawmarket and from NSNA, Bond and Small Fawcett connecting. Following an excellent meal which included local conch favorites, chowder and salad, the tour danced to the local band at BLU and returned to the Hilton, ready to begin the adventures in the morning.

An early morning departure on the 007 tour bus and Richard narrated the origins of the “Thunderball” production as the group arrived and disembarked at Rock Point, a private residence, more familiar as Largo’s estate, Palmyra.

The grounds have seen heavy impacts of hurricane damage since the film’s production in 1965. Of note, the red/white canopies are long gone and one notices the pool has now several statues at each end. Walking around the house, the shark pool is still intact although not in use and in need of much repair. The group mused how incredible this location could serve as a 007 museum or Bed & Breakfast, we could take up a collection but are fairly sure it will fall far short.

 

Last Updated ( Friday, 23 November 2012 16:34 )
Read more: Operation:Nassau Reloaded, as told by Felix
 
Villains & Voodoo 2011, as told by Largo PDF Print E-mail

 

Villains & Voodoo James Bond Tour 2011

 


August 18-27th 2011.
Number One, this is Largo, reporting from the eye of Hurricane Irene, initiated from some unknown evil force, even to SPECTRE.
My report really begins on August 18th in New Orleans, at our safe house in the Sheraton New Orleans, where I assembled the world’s foremost SPECTRE agents, villains. temptresses and spies. As you had approved our “Villains and Voodoo” mission, I am sure you shared my enthusiasm at such a collection of spy heraldry gathered in our meeting room.

Whos Funeral Is It?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My admonition to my minions was quite simple, adopt the disguise of schoolteachers or tourists on sabbatical or vacation, wear flowery shirts, and drink silly drinks with umbrellas, any guise necessary to maintain SPECTRE’s deception. We were to cruise New Orleans, Key West and Nassau, visiting the sites and lairs of our most noted SPECTRE legends. They performed admirably and joined me for a walk through New Orleans Bourbon Street to meet with my colleague, Mr. Big. He did not disappoint, arriving in style with his customary marching band and coffin for potential snooping MI6 or CIA agents. After sincere greetings and photos, we visited other film sites, Mickey Rourkes Tattoo Parlor “Tools” from the"Expendables", sites from the "Interview of the Vampire", "Wolverine" and "Angel Heart". Domino and Fiona even took a "nasty turn" on the Carousel Bar at the Monteleone, where once Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner reveled.


LALD Site New Orleans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We regrouped later in the evening in the Nottoway2Die suite for indoctrination of many new members to our fraternity, CLUB SPECTRE, it was quite a one eye tearful evening for me. Kananga was kind enough to send Baron Samedi and a San Monique dancer to entertain us during our festivities. We followed, Samedi’s procession for a tour of New Orleans at night, learning more about his arcane religion and visiting several voodoo temples. We gathered at the second oldest bar in the United States, Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for some frivolity to maintain our tourist cover- from there, frankly, Number One, I did lose contact on the whereabouts of our operatives.

We arose to a wonderful breakfast at Café DuMonde, a sugar trafficking location where the white powder is smuggled into the USA on the back of tasty Beignets, a sort of doughnut too good for your average stupid policeman (with apologies to my friend No). As we arrived at the New Orleans pier, I was filled with pride and wonder to see the fruits of dear Vargas’s labors. My beloved Disco Volante now is clad in a fascia of a tacky cruise ship, complete with a red and blue Whale Tail smoke stack! Can you imagine? Our disguise and camouflage was now complete and our ship, now christened the Carnival Triumph, departed down the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf of Mexico.

Casino Royale Tourney
Number One, with your forgiveness, I allowed the next day of our sea voyage to be one of an honor, if you will, to our nemesis, Mr. James Bond. Domino and I hosted a Casino Royale event, with 21 players competing for prizes in a Texas Hold Em Tournament; it was “great fun” as described by one of the players. Personally, a bit too pedestrian to my Baccharat, but i allow it. To my surprise, Domino ultimately won the grand pot over a very loud gentleman from a Philadelphia suburb and a devious Swede. I am proud of all three of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more: Villains & Voodoo 2011, as told by Largo
 
Villains & Voodoo Tour 2011 Podcasts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Monday, 03 October 2011 18:32

 

 

Our friend and uber-007 collector David Zarisky shares his Podcasts from our Villains & Voodoo Tour 2011.See all of David's podcasts on James Bond Lifestyle.com


KEY WEST PART ONE

CASINO ROYALE TEXAS HOLD EM TOURNEY

LIVE AND LET DIE FUNERAL TOUR

PACKING FOR VILLAINS & VOODOO

 

 

Last Updated ( Monday, 03 October 2011 18:44 )
 
PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard Skillman   
Saturday, 09 July 2011 12:30

 

Licence to Kilt- From Bond to Braveheart-a Film Fan’s tour of Scotland

 

 Eilean Donan Castle from "Highlander" & "The World Is Not Enough"

First it must be said, I never have won a raffle before. I diligently drop my name in the spinning basket at many events, never expecting to receive anything other than a small conciliatory prize once in awhile.

My family tree is Scottish, having roots that travel up the Mackay & Graham lines. I attend the Scottish-American Society of Central Florida Games in Orlando, Florida which are held every year in January. This is an incredible activity filled weekend with Highland Games, Bands, Dancing, Whisky tasting and many other events. It is there I willingly drop my raffle ticket into the big drum every year.

This year, late one Sunday night, Chuck McGrew, the executive from the Games, called and announced my name had been drawn from the barrel. He excitedly revealed that Leslie and I had won a one week’s trip to Scotland, including hotels, rental car and airfare, all courtesy of Judy Lowstuter of Celtic Journeys, a sponsor of the games. We were elated and began our research of where the Awards package would take us and what we wanted to see.

Preparation is everything, and having been fortunate to travel for work and play, we began to assemble a game plan.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 02 August 2011 13:28 )
Read more: Licence to Kilt
 
Operation:EURO2010 Field Report PDF Print E-mail


Agent Field Report- OPERATION: EURO2010

The 11 Day Italy-Switzerland-France Film Location tour, "Bond, Bourne and Beyond", concluded its tour on September 1, 2010, and consisted of James Bond film fans from around the globe, sharing in the sites, sounds and tastes of the 007 Lifestyle. The tour logged nearly 1000 miles from Venice to Paris in its quest to see as many of the film sites as possible, enjoy the cuisines and people of the countries visited and judging by the account below, we feel we succeeded!

The following is a brief recap of the daily adventures of the tour and activities should you wish to plan your own journey.

VENICE, ITALY

Arrive Venice- August 22nd- greeted by GLOBUS tour operatives, working in concert with Richard and Leslie Skillman of Themepartypeople.com, who created this mission.
Gather the 00’s and transfer via water taxi to safe house- the Hotel Splendide Suisse, off San Marco. After our luggage is safely stowed away, we noted that the bag with the 007 party collectables had fallen in the canal and was retreived by Mr. White, we quickly surmise that this will increase the value of the merchandise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We toured San Marco and visited the "Moonraker" locations such as the Venini Glass shop, the Astrological Clock of the Chang fight (note that it is an archway and that no band, piano or seating exist below the clock) and from "Casino Royale" Vesper/007 locations –the Basel Bank, the alley walks out to the Sotoportego de le Colonne. We dined at the AiBarbaciri for lunch and enjoyed spaghetti con vongole with a nice Zonin Prosecco salute followed by a Cabert Fruli Pinot Grigio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We push on to the Santa Maria Formosa church, used in the Donald Sutherland film, "Don't Look Now' and on the corner, the Il Canovaccio Mask Shop, which designed and provided the masks used in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut", we see Tom Cruise's mask which is among the costumes and masks from the production.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A quick walk to the Misercordia area which was featured in Moonraker as the scenes in which Bond picks up Holly Goodhead and is also near the “intersection” where the lovers gondola is split in two.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued on over the Rialto Bridge and visited the Pesceria fish market, seen in "Casino Royale" and the sinking piazza filming locations- reviewing the production photos from the minatures used at Pinewood and the actual structures on location. Taking a water taxi from the Ca De Oro docks, we disembark at the Ca' Rezzonico and quickly tour the interiors of this museum, which appear as Drax's Venice offices in "Moonraker". Noting that photos are not allowed, some of our agents use their spy craft to achieve the surveillance needed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Santa Barnaba church is nearby and this exterior is seen in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and our tour group gathers around the manhole cover where Harrison Ford escapes the fires and rats in a catacomb, however, with the fact that in Venice, that could not be possible to have such deep caverns below ground, it now seems a bit absurd. The tourists in the square are confused as to why so much fuss is made about a sewer cover.

Along the Rio Santa Margherita, we were treated to a private tour of the gondola repair and refinishing shed, visible in the gondola chase scene from "Moonraker", and along this canal, the chase, the coffin and the coughing cigarette boozer sequences were filmed. Across the Academia Bridge and onto the Ca’Pissani, which we learn from our Veneto production assistant was used for the CGI façade of the sinking piazza in "Casino Royale" we toured previously over at the fish market. Although now a private music school, we have permission to enter and view the Pissani courtyards seen in "Moonraker" and more famously, in "Casino Royale" as the location where Vesper delivers the money to the villain Gettler and the finale action sequence. The docks here were also seen in "Moonraker" where 007 pulls his gondola up in the evening and where Indiana Jones drops off the Fez wearing protectors of the Holy Grail after their boat chase in the Veneto harbor.

 


A quick respite at Florians for prosecco and olive appetizers, the Venetian heat and humidity taking its toll on our team- we secured the services of a professional dance instructor from our group, Mr. Robert for tango lessons, as we danced to the strains of "Por Una Cabeza" from the film "True Lies"- Miss Jenny from California wowed the crowd with her Argentine interpretations.

 

 

 

 

Returning to our 007 focus, we tour on to the glass blowing factory, where we learned that Drax’s poison vials could not be created as seen in the fillm but in a cut glass assembly area due to their shape. The glassware is made on the island Murano nearby and is esquisite and expensive. Dodging the high pressured glass sales room, we assembled at Harry’s Bar, known for its potent martinis and Bellini’s- the secret is in the martinis being shaken and then put in a quick freeze, to ultra chill the gin to a high alcohol potency, and a $25 per drink experience we will not forget. As it was a tiring day of sightseeing and cultural activities, our group leave Harry's and boarded three gondolas with an opera singer from Milan accompanied by an accordion player, and enjoyed the music of Veneto into the early evening. An evening walk to the Danielli and their famous lobby bar for Vesper martinis and discuss the film Bond lore that has taken place in this landmark hotel. We close our day at the Teatre Del Nino for linguine con cuttlefish, noodles cooked in the black ink of the squid and a delightful Veneto pinot grigio.

 

The next morning, our water taxi ferries us to the Tronchetto bus station and where we meet John-Batista, our driver for the next 9 days of traveling throughout Europe.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 December 2011 08:47 )
Read more: Operation:EURO2010 Field Report
 
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