HISTORY


Martijn Mulder (L) and Dirk Kloosterboer (R), together with four time Bond director Guy Hamilton at his house in Mallorca

History

For some reason, I have a thing for historical places. And I’m not just talking about countries with a rich history like Greece or Egypt, but specific sites. For instance the inn where Napoleon spent his nights before entering the battle of Waterloo. Or the motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. When walking around a place like that, an event from a history book suddenly comes to life and becomes reality. I have the same with filming locations..

As a kid, it must have been early 1985, a tiny story in a newspaper caught my attention. A photo, Roger Moore with Grace Jones, and the accompanying text explaining that filming for the (then) latest James Bond film A View To A Kill was taking place in a town called Chantilly, near Paris. That must have been the very first filming location I ever knew.
The funny thing was that my parents were about to take me on a four day trip to.. Paris! I had been a James Bond fan since my dad had somehow managed to get his hands on a copy of Moonraker on VHS and after seeing my first Bond film in the cinema (it was Octopussy) I was hooked. And now I would be so close to actual filming of a Bond film!

It soon turned out my parents didn’t share this passion with me and instead of using this unique opportunity, we drove straight to Paris and I remember seeing the sign pass by like a shooting star: ‘Chantilly 15km’.
So close, yet so far away..  
Initially that must have triggered my interest in film locations but it wasn’t until I saw an advertisement for a Jamaican James Bond festival in the early 90’s before I started doing something with it.

Around that time I began reading every book available on the subject of Bond and declared Steven Jay Rubin’s The James Bond Films my holy bible. I noticed there wasn’t very much detailed info on the locations and whatever info was written later often turned out to be wrong. But little did I know at that stage, so I just started compiling a list of locations from these sources, simply assuming the info was correct.
Original artwork from the early days, The James Bond Locations Page banner
A montage of locations formed the cover of the very popular CDROMs

Internet era

Around the same time Internet became widely available and, intrigued by this new medium, I started building a website with my new found info. You have to keep in mind that in 1995 the net consisted only of a few thousand pages and it would take large companies like EON and MGM years to come up with a decent website. The James Bond Locations Page, hosted on the German Xodox server, was my website and its popularity grew steadily to a (then) whopping 100 visitors a week. I soon received many e-mails from people requesting and sharing information.

It was also around that time I started noticing not all the info was correct. On closer inspection, a Swiss town called Feldkirsch, mentioned somewhere as a location in OHMSS, turned out not to exist at all, something a website visitor kindly explained to me in a message.

So it became apparent that lots of travelling was required, to check and complete all the info. And so a hobby was born that would eventually inspire many people around the world.

Teaming up

Dirk Kloosterboer (L) with Martijn Mulder at Stoke Park's 18th hole
I first heard of Dirk Kloosterboer on Tuesday, 4 Aug 1998 at exactly 20:09 by e-mail. Having read the locations I had listed for Jamaica, he contacted me and told me that he had been there recently, giving me very useful additional location information. Since it was my plan to travel there a few months later, Dirk understood my interest for the island and sent me a very amusing and entertaining story about his visit. He even included a Jamaican road map and some time later I found myself on my way to the Caribbean, armed with his info. It proved to be a successful trip and thanks to Dirk I had managed to find all the Bond locations I wanted.
It must have been around that time that we started realising this could just be a winning combination. After having met in person during a Bond prop exhibition in Hildesheim, Germany, on Sunday September 6, 1998, Dirk and I seriously started discussing the idea of making a book with travel information about James Bond film locations.

We first wrote about whatever trips we had made in the past and even planned some trips together for the near future. To cover as many locations as possible in the shortest period of time, we also travelled seperatly, combining our family holidays with exciting location trips. And so our list of locations, stories and photographs grew and grew.

In 2000, The James Bond Locations Page became On the tracks of 007. A redesigned website and, even better, the info became available on CDROM. Version 2.01 was the first CDROM that came out, it must have been in February 2001, explaining the version number. Over the years, many editions followed. One of the most interesting was the 2006 Photobook Edition, now a collector's item!
On the tracks of 007 2006 Photobook Edition

A strange twist

After years of travelling, we decided doing guided tours to the locations as well. It started with a small tour to Corfu in 2001 and these group trips always were a lot of fun. We went to Pinewood Studios for the first time, met Guy Hamilton in his house in Mallorca, we met with Barbara Broccoli and Michael Wilson.. Things seemed to be going great! But in this period, Dirk somehow developed health issues and unfortunately he never recovered from it. On March 16 2004, I received the devastating message that Dirk had taken his own life.

And so the project came to a full stop.
Martijn Mulder and Dirk Kloosterboer talking to Barbara Broccoli at Pinewood Studios

Project reborn

Martijn Mulder posing with his book 'On the gtracks of 007' in a radio studio
Unsure what to do with Dirk's legacy, the project was reborn after talks with Dirk's widow Ulrike and after gaining much support from the Bond fan community. Loads of people offered their help and so the idea was born to finish what we started and to honor Dirk by publishing his writings after all.
Additional trips were made, stories were added and in september 2008 we did what nobody at the time was doing: In an age where most publishers were transferring printed work to digital format, we turned our website into a printed travel guide.

"On the tracks of 007 - A field guide to the exotic James Bond filming locations around the world" featured a foreword by Guy Hamilton and was published in two editions: the Full Colour Limited Edition (limited to 500 copies) and a cheaper B/W edition, widely available in online stores.

The book received plenty of media coverage and the customer reviews were all very positive. It inspired many to start travelling the world and search for that long lost elegant lifestyle that's so much part of the early Bond films.

2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the location hunting project that ultimately became 'On the tracks of 007' and this new website will hopefully please you enough to either start location hunting or continue it.

Martijn Mulder
August 2015
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