The original James Bond films – creating quality

The original James Bond films – creating quality

If you ever want to watch something long-form and very interesting, I recommend the series of documentaries about the making of James Bond films. Ive watched all the films and these documentaries are a great way to revisit them in a different kind of way. Ive watched most of them and they are very good.  Below is the Moonraker one.

Ive heard people express their sincere opinion that Moonraker is total rubbish. To which I was very sincerely shocked. IMO Great soundtrack great cast, great special effects, great themes – great everything! I really do like Moonraker. Always have. Here are some of my personal opinions as to why in my opinion the Bond films like Moonraker were so successful and so brilliant.

When you watch the documentaries it stands out that these were artistic commercial endeavors that were going to succeed or fail based on many factors – success was by no means guaranteed.  I think I always took it for granted that those old Bond films were always going to be successful, but they were cinematic effort like any other movie and subject to the same chances of success or failure – unless something quality was in the making of the film that tipped the balance of fate in favour of a successful outcome. In short why do films or any endeavour succeed or fail?

Innovation seems very present in Moonraker for example developing filming techniques to keep running the film and rewinding and filming over again to kind of create several image tracks on the one film roll, which made for some excellent space combat scenes. Again Ive been told how crap the space scenes were, but I totally dont see that – I find them breathtaking. rewinding a piece of film through a cinecamera 96 times to get a result – thats the kind of obsessive passion that results in quality. Set construction staff that dont normally work on weekends deciding to not only work on weekends but get their family members to work too to achieve deadlines. Esprit de Corp comes to mind. Clearly you have a lot of smart people putting in a lot of effort. It seems that the ethos was un-hierarchical when it came to ideas generation – meaning that if the most peripheral staff member had an idea they could express it and if it was good it might be in the film.

Unstructured: In Live and Let Die The greatest speed boat chase you ever saw and nothing much else written on the screenplay for that scene. Lots of risk taking. In every way – choosing not to use expensive special effects companies but to do the special effects themselves for example, is a huge risk but affords economy and control. Stunt men and actors and staff in general taking physical risks  – of their own accord, to achieve outcomes – like the waterfall boat dangling helicopter situation in the Moonraker documentary.

The right kind of characters: Roger Moore is really a cool guy who brought a sense of humor to his interpretation on James Bond. I like how Richard Kiel – Jaws was portrayed – for example not entirely a bad sort of bad guy and his romance with the ballerina at the end.

It seems like the team were operating effectively and bringing all the elements together to make a great film. The filming locations were all over the World as well as in Pinewood Studios and a studio in France for example. Looks like location scouting involved unstructured action such as seeing a sign on a crocodile farm saying ‘Tresspassers will be Eaten” and including that area and that sign in one of the movies, or  that huge waterfall where they tried flying a hang glider but it got in a downdraft and crashed into the trees, or the boat that was supposed to go over the waterfall but got stuck so one of the team got in a helicopter and was dropped onto the boat to try and dislodge it. One thing stands out – everyone was taking physical risks – and actually in one of the documentaries a stunt man was extremely badly injured when his leg collected a solid post as he traveled past it on the exterior wall of a speeding train.

I get the notion the team were actively involved in and personally engaged in the making of the film, something like the sentiment ‘ok we have to make a awesome film, its a largely blank canvass, how are we going to do this?’ and then do it, with minimal directions. I could be wrong about that but I dont think so, for example, one of the bad guy actors was asked what weapon do you want? and he said well I dont want a gun, how about a claw? and so he got to have a claw – that kind of thing can be very very effective and powerful for franchising team members into the whole shebang and getting them personally emotively invested in the outcome and also bringing in some ideas that dont necessarily originate from one or two brains only. Of course a director needs to have veto over all creative ideas – to say yay or nay, and that is where the legendary Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli (What a great name!) probably did his best work – in creating the conditions for a project to really pop. These guys were innovating and pioneering the Bond film genre – it hadnt been done before and they were making the films as they went in many ways, and relying on creativity and ingenuity to bring about the right results.

Contrast with modern movies: I reckon there are parallels between old and new Bond and Star Wars movies. I reckon the older were better than the newer. I think the main difference is the newer are following an established genre while introducing new themes. The newer movies are also super well funded and excellently staffed with professionals from the script writing team to the special effects team and so forth. I wonder though if the thing missing from the newer productions is that actual newness ironically of the older films in terms of newness of genre and rawness and creative freedom. Like how Roger Moore basically says in the Live and Let Die documentary that the reason he became James Bond is because he used to gamble in a casino at a table opposite some big spenders, one of whom was Cubby Broccoli! Seems like the informality and improvisation of the older projects was what made them the hugely successful and legendary movies that they are known as to this day.




Latest Action 30 July 2019

Spit Vs. 109 (IL-2 Battle of Bodenplatte)

Battle of Bodenplatte was at the end of WW2 in Western Europe. It was a battle of airfields and tactical strikes by fighters. This short vid is looking at the type of air combat flown in Bodenplatte.


FF9K Amazon Merch on display after almost a year’s wearing.

I own several of my own Amazon Merch garments and here they are after around 10 months weekly usage. They pass the stress test with flying colours. The ones in this vid are available at Amazon, but also you can get them from Teespring links below.
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Froggy Frog 9000 apparel on Amazon (US)
Frog apparel on (Germany)
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Kangaroos footage of iPhone 8 4K @ 30fps zoomed in

Further testing out the iPhone 8’s video camera. The Kangaroos are around 150m away. I counted at least 21.


P47D Thunderbolt & Spitfire IX Vs FW190A-8 & Bf109G-14 (IL-2 Battle of Bodenplatte)

Bodenplatte is shaping up! Here we have the Tank Crew map – which is the newest and most detailed map yet and only Battle of Bodenplatte aircraft in this vid. This is the first time Ive tried the option to remove gunds from the wings so theres only 4 .50 Cals instead of 8. This lightens the load a few hundred kilograms.


Spitfire IX Vs Bf109G-14 & FW190D-9 (IL-2 Battle of Bodenplatte)

This is getting very close to what the finished product of Bodenplatte must look like, we got all Bodenplatte aircraft Spit 9, 109G-14 & FW190D-9. Also this is on the Tank Crew map, which I reckon is made with the same technology as the new Bodenplatte map.


Yak 1 s.69 Vs Bf109 (IL-2 BOS PVP Multiplayer)

The Yak 1Series 69 is slower at full power and 20% radiator than the Bf109F and G. So what to do? The Yak 1 turns better than the 109 so I managed to see he was turning and cut the corner and wait for the moment to shoot. So form all this action I conclude its worth while chasing a 109 if it is trying to out maneuver but if it is flying away or straight climbing I should disengage, especially if other axis are in the area.

Raptor Aircraft

Raptor Aircraft

Here is the Raptor aircraft. It is a huge long running project to build a prototype composite aircraft that is powered by a readily available automobile engine (An Audi diesel 3 Litre) and has a cockpit and cabin feel similar to how it is to be in an SUV / four wheel drive type of vehicle ie spacious.

The project looks to be about complete in terms of they have an aircraft put together and are conducting numerous tests of systems and some taxiing tests and engine runs.

I believe these planes will be available for purchase once the prototype is established.

You can see their progress on the Raptor Aircraft Youtube channel. They have many fascinating vids on there detailing many aspects of designing and building a composite aircaft.

28 July 2019

Yak 1 (IL-2 BOS PVP)

Some Yak action.


Yak 1b s127 (IL-2 BOS PVP)

Chasing a bf109 and being chased by several fw190.


Bristol F2b & Sopwith Dolphin Vs Halberstadt & Fokker DVII (Flying Circus)

Flying the Bristol F2B on the Tank Crew map, with no optional extras on the plane, so she’s at max performance in terms of agility and speed, plus the turret gunner still has a single MG. Mainly dueling the Halberstadt 200hp version, but there are also Fokker DVII’s and Sopwith Dolphins in the fight. I believe I hadnt seen a parachute deploy before this battle.


Bf109G-14 Vs P47D Thunderbolt (IL-2 Bodenplatte)

On the Tank Crew map. The G-14 is kind of overlooked by me, because soon after it released the K-4 released and it is the highest performance 109. Still the G-14 is very good and here it is in its new 4k skin.


FW190A-3 Vs. P47D & train (IL-2 Great Battles)

Flying the FW190A-3 with its new 4k skin vs a Thunderbolt and a train on the Tank Crew map. I not the performance problem and the flickering forests and chalk cliffs of this map have been resolved with the update yesterday.


Halberstadt Vs Bristol F2B (Flying Circus)

The Halberstadt is much the same as the F2B but its less powerful engine at only 200hp vs the F2B’s 280hp.


Bristol F2B vs Halberstadt (Flying Circus)

My first 3 dogfights in the F2b. its a different kind of thing because you have your forward firing armaments and then the turrets have some decent firepower too.

Swift ultralight sport aircraft

Swift ultralight sport aircraft

Have you heard of this plane? It is one Ive been following for some years, Im a big fan. I think it costs around $50K USD. You can add either a petrol or electric engine. Its wing is composite construction – that would likely mostly be carbon fiber. While the cockpit structure is metal tube construction, – Im asuming aluminium with probably chromoly for the undercarriage. It is very stable and graceful judging by what I can see in all the vids Ive seen. If you consider this as a competitor to a Cessna 172 then its not very impressive, but thats not how you should look at it – its a evolution of the hang glider. The benefits of this design over hang gliders? Well hang gliders are often drag-inducing by all the bracing wires and struts protruding from the wing, wheras the Swift has a rigid wing. Yes there are now also rigid wing hang gliders too. Also the Swift has what look to be a kind of aileron or a spoileron and flaps for steering trim and so on. Compare this to hang gliders which are weight shift. So the cockpit can be closer to the wing compared to hang gliders, reducing drag by eliminating the control bar. Further the Swift affords the pilot a great seating orientation. The seat is also reclined almost laying down, upright, compared to a hang glider which has the pilot kind of prone facing down and kind of ensconsed in a sleeping-bag-like cocoon. The Swift is far superior in this way.

So is it a glider or a powered plane? Its both, its firstly a glider, but also goes well under power. The key thing with gliders is lift drag ratio. The top gliders in the World – the ones with the huge thin wings are achieving LD ratios in the order of 45 to 1 if Im  not off by a few digits either side of 45. This basically means for every 1mile the glider descends, it travels forward 45 miles. Not bad huh? So if you started gliding at 10,000 feet you would glide for around 90 miles. So The Swift is not the top glider, but its not the worst either, and as far as I can remember as far as hang gliders go it has the best or close to the best LD ratio of all hang gliders. Im guessing around 30 to 1. I thing a Cessna would be around 10 to 1 so you get an idea of the efficiency of gliders. NOW: Add an engine to a glider and you can appreciate the amazing cross country and endurance potential of these kind of aircraft.

because the Swift has a enclosed cockpit, you have the luxury of quite a comfortable cabin for the flight where you can eat your lunch, drink some coffee and look at your ipad.

Another great advantage is the Swift has an undercarriage, compared to hang gliders which have to be foot-launched and foot-landed.

I reckon the best next step would be to add mini-jet engine to the Swift and greater fuel storage and the benefit of this would be tremendous high altitude performance.

Checkout the YT vids below. Also here is the Wikipedia about the Swift











Latest FF9K action!


Halberstadt CII 200Hp (Flying Circus)

This Halberstadt CII and the Bristol F2b are the latest additions to Flying Circus. They are from a class of plane that was considered a sitting duck, however because they are later-war technology they are actually packing some big sharp teeth, such as twin defensive MG or a single 20mm cannon, also starting to carry more equipment such as a radio, a camera and more instruments. Not to mention hard points for bombs on the wings and under fuselage. Also more powerful engines, this one souped-up to 200hp and for example the Bristol F2b more powerful variant had 280Hp!
Halberstadt CII 200Hp. with 20mm cannon!


Forza Horizon 4 fortune island


Battlefield V


Bristol F2B vs Halberstadt (Flying Circus)

My first 3 dogfights in the F2b. its a different kind of thing because you have your forward firing armaments and then the turrets have some decent firepower too.


Halberstadt Vs Bristol F2B (Flying Circus)

The Halberstadt is much the same as the F2B but its less powerful engine at only 200hp vs the F2B’s 280hp.


FW190A-3 Vs. P47D & train (IL-2 Great Battles)

Flying the FW190A-3 with its new 4k skin vs a Thunderbolt and a train on the Tank Crew map. I not the performance problem and the flickering forests and chalk cliffs of this map have been resolved with the update yesterday.


HE111 – Multiplayer PvP – (IL-2 BOS)

Flying the HE111. The bigger planes like this are harder to operate than fighters, because they have lower performance are closer to the stall at any one time and they are just really really heavy, especially on takeoff. Start-up procedures in multiplayer are pretty involved. Getting the HE111 in the air requires both radiators100% open, 100% prop pitch for takeoff and 100% power, and I use 35% flap, you get airborne at low speed – at around 100kmh, and as soon as that happens you raise the gear and quickly (Or else the engines break) reduce prop pitch to 72%, then progressively raise the flaps, then – keeping an eye on the speed you reduce throttle to 76% and y ou can cruise at those settings. But the fun is not over yet, you can now shut the radiators to around 35% each.


IL-2 BOS He111

Another HE111 clip.


IL-2 BOS – He111

More He111 action


He111 (IL-2 BOS)

More He111 action.


bf109e7 merch

Bf109E-7 is now in my growing list of aircraft profile art merch that you can purchase now from Amazon and Teespring.


PE-2 dive attack (IL-2 BOM Multiplayer PvP)

Using the dive-brakes in the PE2.


PE2 Multiplayer (IL-2 BOM)

More PE2 action. PE2 is pretty fast actually, it has some ability to escape fighters.


PE2 Versus Trains!! (IL-2 BOM Multiplayer PvP)

PE2 vs train!


Iphone 8 4K 30fps video camera test out

You may have seen my impromptu eagles video, where I tried filming some eagles with my phone. Afterwards I was lamenting that I couldnt zoom much closer or capture those far-off specks in clarity and detail. Then I realised that that was in 1080 and the iPhone 8 can actually do up to 4k at 60fps!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So I took some time to watch some YT vids on how to use my phone’s camera and this is the result. I filmed this vid at 4k @ 30fps.
Other settings include slow-mo 1080 at 240fps! Id like to try 4k at 60fps, but there may be compatibility issues with that setting and non-apple computers and editing software. we shall see.


PE2 Vs airfield (IL-2 BOS)

I was actually going to attack a ship on a huge lake, but it was destroyed before I could get to it so I diverted to this airfield and attacked it instead.


PE2 Vs. Airfield (IL-2 BOS)

Another airfield attack, the AAA was particularly effective.


Bf110 Vs Train (IL-2 BOM PVP Multiplayer)

Key to success in this was I added extra armor to the engines and the seats.


Ju87 Vs. T34 Tanks (IL-2 BOM Multiplayer PvP)

Flying the cannon bird. I should have set the convergence before I took off, it was too short, at 170m (Prefer 250m), but still got some hits and some smoke.


Hs129 Vs Train (IL-2 BOM)

Use toe brakes for keeping the plane under control during takeoff. I knew this but had forgotten since its been a while since I flew this plane. At the train I came under heavy AAA fire so I attacked the AAA instead and took out one or two positions – whhich makes the area safer for the next attempt on the train. But then got jumped by fighters. After this I tried this mission in the Bf110 with armor on the engines and seat backs and it went better – but Id already taken out most of the the AAA with the Hs129.


Yak 1b s.127 (IL-2 BOS PvP multiplayer)

Yak 1b Series 127 on the Tank Crew map. 2 kills 1 assist.


(IRL) Chopping wood: iPhone 8 4k video @ 30fps test out

Ive had this phone for around one year. Basically I decided to further test out the iphone 8’s 4k video camera, with some wood chopping footage. Its around 4pm in winter so its pretty dark outside. 2 things: There is a BIG compatibility problem with the iPhone 8 and PC when it comes to doing really simple tasks, like transferring photos and videos from the phone to the computer. I think this is partly due to the new .heic file format that Apple has developed (Its a next level competitor to .jpg) .heic might be good when every PC and software can run it, or it might go the way of blu-ray. I dunno time will tell. Second thing: The raw .mov file was 1.6gb, but the final product out of Adobe premiere is 3gb. That is a bad sign, in my opinion. Basically this is exported from Premiere Pro in the Youtube 4k setting. Honestly this phone has been very frustrating to operate in some ways that it shouldnt be such as the screen doesnt seem too responsive to touch – often have to press 2-3 times to get a response, and the aforementioned drama getting photos and videos imported to PC. It does have a good camera but the phone itself is not very functional in basic tasks compared to the old iPhone 3gs I used to love.


IL-2 Sturmovik train attack (IL-2 BOS)

This was the first of several flights I did in the Sturmovik. The bombs dont go off when dropped at ground level. So they didnt go off in this vid, even though I had six 50Kg.


IL-2 Sturmovik Train attack (IL-2 BOS)

A successful train attack.


Yak 1b Series 127 (IL-2 BOS)

On the Tank Crew map, some recent flights.


IL-2 Sturmovik Vs Train, Bf109 (IL-2 BOS)

Sturmovik Vs Train, Vs Bf109


Pz4 (IL-2 Tank Crew)

Wow what a tank! I can see the evolution of this tank from the small Pz3 to a longer track length by extending back the position of the most rearward wheels – probably to offset the weight and balance of the bigger gun that has been added to this tank. This is on the Tank Crew Prokhorovka map which has been refined in the latest update to prevent the chalk cliffs and forests from flickering.


bristol f2b (Flying Circus)

One of the most hardcore WW1 warplanes.


G14 4k skins (IL-2 BOB)

This update the Bf109G-14 and the Fw190A-3 got 4k skins.


Fw190A-3 4k skins

Old plane, new skins resolution now in 4k.