Thursday, May 1, 2008

You Can Find Anything On The Internet - Even Time Capsules!

Yesterday, I told you that I found this picture while googling myself. The snapshot took me kind of by surprise because it's 30 years old, and I didn't put it on the internet myself. So where did it come from?

Well, my friends - upon further investigation, I discovered that this is my very first publicity shot! It comes from the website of my high school friend, Stuart Basinger, who had a lifelong dream to make his very own James Bond film. Flashback to the summer of 1978... Stuart had just graduated from Springbrook High School, and I was about to become a senior. With high school out of the way and college just a couple of months off, Stuart gathered his Super 8 camera and a bunch of his friends and proceeded to start production on his own version of "Moonraker". Stuart starred as 007, and I played the villain, the notorious Sir Hugo Drax. We spent much of that summer filming the project, but it was not actually completed until just a few years ago. Stuart did a fantastic job of making his dream finally come true, and I strongly recommend you read the complete story behind the movie here.

For me, discovering Stuart's website was truly a time capsule... You see, much of the film was shot in my childhood home, as well as at my Dad's beach house in Rehoboth.

This is my friend, Ray Whitten, who played one of my henchmen. He's sitting in front of the fireplace in my living room - a room that I basically have not seen since 1979. It was used as Drax' "secret island lair".

This is 007 himself, Stuart Basinger. He used my friend Bob Bell's brand new 1978 Toyota Celica, which actually belonged to Bob's Dad. We used the Celica as Bond's vehicle because it was the closest access any of us had to a "sports car". Stuart is standing in front of my Dad's beach house, which doubled as Drax' mansion.

It's one thing to have this kind of nostalgia stuck in a cardboard box in the garage... but to discover it unexpectedly online was a true delight!

By the way, if you TRULY have no life, the entire movie is now available in four parts on youtube, and it's actually become quite a cult classic for big Bond fans. Stuart's "Moonraker" is regarded as one of the all-time best Bond "fan flicks", and I'm honored to have played a small part in it. If you scroll ahead to the 1:10 mark in the clip below, you can see Bond visiting Drax at his mansion (aka my Dad's beach home). Enjoy my stellar acting job - NOT!

Stuart is now a digital video editor for the Fox News Channel, where he toils daily turning Republicans and Democrats into modern day Hugo Drax-es. Many thanks to him for the trip down memory lane!

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