Commander James Bond France

Golden Gun on Location: a new photobook on the 1974′ movie

Few days ago, Bond’s fan Chris Distin realeased Golden Gun on Location: a 240 page photo-book about, as its name give it away, The Man With The Golden Gun which celebrate its 50th birthday that year.

CJB catch up with Chris Distin to know what to expect.

You are a massive Bond fan, for thus who don’t know you: what can you tell them about you?

I am British I have lived in Germany for over 30 years. I have been collecting James Bond props and costumes for over 20 years and I now have around 500 pieces in the collection. I am well known in the German Bond community and I can often be seen on TV and heard on the radio here.

What this book is about? What should people expect from it?

This is a book about the filming of The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974. It contains nearly all of the photos that Hervé’ [Villechaize] took while filming in Thailand, Hong Kong and Pinewood studios. These photos have never been seen before and I have written all the research I did about the locations and all of the production work. This is also the first EVER multimedia book about James Bond and uses augmented reality, and takes you into a new dimension of book reading.

Indeed, this is the first Bond’s book that using « augmented reality ». By using a free that app that you can download on your phone from Play Store, you can scan some QR code of the book and it display on your phone some content. It’s difficult to explain, but what really blufeld me it that it not just open a link on an internet browser; no its display the content on a certain choosed part of book trough your screen even while you move, like in a VR videogame. How did you get the idea?

I got the idea at an exhibition that I was working on and someone had used this on a painting, which it is mostly used for, in galleries around the world. But I thought how great it would be to have this in a book, so you can have an « experience » while reading a book. I buy many Bond books myself and after looking at it once, it normally goes into the bookshelf and doesn’t get looked at for a long time after that.

How hard it was to implement it, and what kind of content can « readers » expect to see in through the augmented reality scans?

It’s not easy, because you have to make sure that there is no copyrighted content being used, but then it is fairly easy to work with on the ARTIVIVE app. The app is completely free to use for the reader as I pay for the license 🙂
Using the app, you will see interviews with Maud Adams, also with Joie Vejajjiva [Hip’s niece Cha] and Master Toddy [one of the martial art student], and also some great films of the spiral jump… And much more!

What are the different part/chapters of the book?

I split the book into a few chapters, according to where Hervé took the photos. I started with pre-production and the different script versions with many of the changes that were made to the script over many months. Then there is a chapter on Thailand, a chapter on Pinewood studios and lots of other interesting information not specifically in any chapter.

Let’s go back to the beggining: how/when did the idea of writting this book started? Also how did you obtained the Hervé’s photos?

I obtained the photos around 2004 from Kathy Self, who was Hervé’s partner up until he passed away and I thought even back then that I should write a book and show everyone else the photos… It just took 20 years to do it 😉 I started putting ideas on paper around 3 years ago, and this is what it ended up being.

The Man With The Golden Gun is your favorite Bond film a believe. (Without offense): it’s not everyday you see that in diverses top personal favorite that fans posts on the net. So what in The Man appeals so much in your hearth?

No, It’s not my favourite, but definitely in my top 6. I love it because it was one of the first Bond films I ever saw, on a sunday evening on British TV, and I was allowed to stay awake with my Grandmother to watch it even though I had to go to school the next day 🙂
I also love the exotic locations in Thailand and Hong Kong and the oriental music, John Barry really gave it that oriental feeling even though it wasn’t one of his favourite scores. Also having Scaramanga as a « mirror-image » baddie of Bond was a great move… and Christopher Lee’s idea as you can read in the book!

Did you ever get to visit the filming location, especially the Scaramanga’s island in Thailand? Can you talk us about the research part you went through for the writing?

No, I haven’t been to Phuket, but I hope to do so one day! The research was quite a long process (and also something you helped with! [Indeed, I gave little assistance for the movie scripts section]). I seemed to find a small piece of information that I would go deeper into, and all of a sudden I have a page of new information that in some cases, I think no-one has ever heard before, and that made it more special for me as well.

What is your favourite photo (or part) of the book?

My favourite photos are the one of Maud and Roger before they shoot the scenes in the Thai Box arena. And also the photos of Lazar’s workshop with the rifle.

You’re also a big collector of Bond’s films props autographs, costumes, storyboards, vehicles, etc, even having opening a musueum/exhibition in Germany with your collection. What your favourite pieces of your collection?

My favourite items are the original hang glider from Live and Let Die, and also the red telephone from M’s (Bernard Lee) desk from the Octopussy era., because this was the first major prop I ever bought. The telephone can be seen at the German Spy Museum in Berlin, along with many other items from my collection.

And also you favourite TMWTGG’s pieces?

I have an original numberplate from the Thailand scenes and an embroidered patch, both from Jay Milligans [from the stunt team] personal collection.

It is you first book, can you say us someting about the journey to finally to put it to press?

I tried asking many publishers if they were interested in the book, but they all said it was to in-depth and special for them to do. So I ended up working with my good friend and German Bond author, Danny Morgenstern and we self-published. Which is obviously more difficult and more costs but that didn’t matter. Danny helped me with the registration and introduced me to the printers.
After that it was still a few months getting all the pictures in the best print quality and layout changed but they helped with so many things that I didn’t know before, so that’s why the book is even better than I could have imagined. The one thing I was sure of, was the cover. I wanted to use a linen look to make it look vintage, like a vintage photo album, and that’s what it ended up as.

Thanks you for your time Chris. Golden Gun on Location is available to buy through Chris Distin himself via bank transfer or Paypal. Price is 65 € + 14 € of shipping fees if you are in Europe. It’s not cheap, but self-published have a cost to produce.
You can contact him by mail at this adress for get your copy : (the book should also be aviaible on Amazon one day).

I have received my copy and even if I didn’t had the time to start it yet, I can tell you the printing is quality, and that my only wish now is to have time read it.

Clement Feutry

Fan passionné de l'univers littéraire, cinématographique et vidéoludique de notre agent secret préféré, Clément a traduit intégralement en français le roman The Killing Zone et vous amène vers d'autres aventures méconnues de James Bond...


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