Skyfall – Behind the Scenes in Istanbul

The newest James Bond film, Skyfall, opened today here in the States so I thought I’d share some of the behind-the-scenes photographs I took this past May.

The entire square in front of the Spice Market’s main entrance was blocked off, leaving just a narrow pathway open for those trying to get to and from the New Mosque and market.  Security guards stationed along this route were stopping people from taking pictures of the set, but when they looked away, I managed to get some great shots with my point-and-shoot. I even managed to catch a stunt man peeking through the barrier. If you look closely, there is a costume rack clearly visible on the right hand side of the frame below.

Pictured below are some great shots of the fake market set up in front of the Spice Market and one of the vehicles used in the film. In real life, this is an huge open square. The pigeons are real and they’re probably very confused. Normally, people sell handfuls of bird seed here.

The area between the New Mosque and the street running parallel to the tram tracks was also cordoned off.

We saw at least six black Audi sedans, all with identical plates.

A few blocks away, we came upon a special effects crew.

I would have loved one of these tee-shirts.

When the crew moved out, we followed them.

The shot below was taken looking back in the opposite direction.

Pictured below are two close ups of the many fake market stalls set up on along the street.  In the background, the plastic chairs and tables belong to a outdoor dining area set up for the crew.  On our previous trip to Istanbul two years ago, we sat in that same spot, just outside the market and across from the New Mosque, eating baklava and enjoying the sunny day.

Just as we approached another cordoned off area, we noticed Daniel Craig’s double!

It was clear that filming was about to take place, so we decided to stick around.

As you can see above, the walkway (to the right of the barricade) for people trying to get around the corner was just wide enough for two people to pass, shoulder to shoulder.  The wall on the right is part of the New Mosque and the brick building with the dome on the left is the main entrance (viewed from the side) of the Spice Market.  As interesting as it was for us to catch a glimpse of the filming while on vacation, I’m sure the locals weren’t too happy with the inconvenience.

 Then we were all told we had to move.

Just then, the motorbikes revved their engines and took off.

And just like that, it was over.

I’m planning on seeing the film this week, so please don’t spoil it for me.  It’ll be interesting to see how Istanbul is portrayed.  In the second Bond film, From Russia With Love, I love when James says to Moneypenny, “You’ve never been to Istanbul? Where the moonlight on the Bosphorus is irresistible?”

As viewed from the roof top terrace of our hotel, I’d have to agree -it is irresistible.

 p.s. just before taking this photo, we saw dolphins!


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