The house that Bond builtSunday, October 24, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
Although the house featured in the latest James Bond film as his Jamaican home was dismantled when production wrapped in 2019, the beauty of film is that this image will be associated with the island for many years to come.
Constructed at the water's edge in a cove in San San, Portland, the set was constructed to represent the unhurried pace of the retired life of the British agent who now passes his time fixing boat engines and catching up on reading — a far cry from his year of tracking manic villains who are consumed with carrying out their plans of world domination.
Barefooted and fancy free, the house also reflects that vibe. According to the film's publicity material, production designer Mark Tildesley and set decorator Véronique Melery worked to create a uniquely Caribbean home for Bond which was able to open on all sides and be drenched in sunlight to reflect the warmth of the location, while the wooden louvred windows were done to create a welcoming effect. The team dressed the set with a mix of traditional object and furniture coming from different parts of the world. Bond's four-poster bed was sourced from artisans and constructed of local woods to blend into the tropical mood of the location.
For Jamaican 3-D designer Carlton Beckford, working on the set of No Time To Die was a life-changing experience. Hired as a standby art director, Beckford shared with the Jamaica Observer that he never had any thought of working in film, but after his Bond experience he can't wait for his next assignment.
“I have worked as a 3-D designer for years creating works for advertising and architecture, I was just speaking to a friend one day who mentioned that a film was coming to Jamaica and asked if I was interested. I jumped at the opportunity and the next thing I know I was on set.
“I had two main functions, one was the look and the location and space and take measurements so that at the end of the day everything is returned as we found it. I also worked with ensuring that whatever we did on set remained the same once we resumed filming, even if that was two hours or two days later.”
Beckford's takeaway from the Bond experience, which was actually his first film, was extremely personal: “In general I find that sometimes employers are extremely unappreciative of their employees. Your assigned tasks on a production of this nature are extremely specific; so once you have done what is assigned there is often downtime. I was having some downtime on set and was asked to do something which did gladly. A few days later I got a call from England to say how good a job I did. It felt so great to know that my work was appreciated. I was inspired to take a leap and create something for myself. So immediately afterwards I quit my nine-to-five job and started out as a freelance artist. That one call made me realise that there was so much more I can do with my talents. I am hoping to do a lot more when it comes to film... thanks to my Bond experience,” Beckford shared.
In addition to filming on location in San San, No Time To Die also features scenes captured in Port Antonio as well as Kingston Freeport Terminal Limited in the Corporate Area, which doubled for Santiago de Cuba.