Ken Adam

"Whatever this guy comes up with, we can build it!" - Ken Adam and the World of James Bond

Whether the legendary War Room, the remanufactured volcano or the first flying space shuttle: Ken Adam seems to master the art of set design like no other. With his visionary and fantastic design he coined the film world and created, not only for James Bond films, memorable science fiction environments. About a man who kidnapped generation of viewers with imagination and pencil drawing.

Reflecting reality? No. That was too boring for Ken Adam, in his capacity as one of the most innovative and influential production designers of the 20th century. His goal: To go beyond reality. "That's much easier with places around which a lot of rumors spin, but that are almost unknown. The audience wants to get kidnapped, to forget reality, especially in times of great crises”, claims the Londoner in an interview with Spiegel Online. Thus, he designed them, the sci-fi worlds in which heroes, protagonists as well as antagonists fought, lived and also loved. And designing this he also created a pioneering film style. The list of these worlds created by him are remarkable.

And the Oscar goes to ... Ken Adam
From 1962 to 1979 Ken Adam even staged seven James Bond films. Alongside with Stanley Kubrick he worked for "Dr. Strangelove". The artwork on "Barry Lyndon" brought him an Oscar in 1975. He received the second one 20 years later for "King George". However, the 007 movies leading the way are associated with his name and style.

The secret behind the success of the James Bond films
"One of the reasons why the Bond films became that successful was the fact, that we have really built these huge sets and that they looked so real. We did not lie to the audience. Well, ok, Sean Connery did not fly himself with the jetpack at ´Feuerball`", Adam disclosed Spiegel Online.

Ken Adam: The man with countless options
But, no matter how fantastic, futuristic and, not least, trend-setting the pioneering film design of the native Berliner Ken Adams is, there always appears the question of feasibility regarding his fantasies. "I remember, that a reporter came to Pinewood for the shooting of ´Goldfinger`, marveling at the Fort Knox Set and approaching one of my employees. The coworker turned angrily around, pointed his finger at me and hissed: "Whatever this guy comes up with, we can build it!" The digitized inheritance is available at the interactive exhibition of the Deutsche Kinemathek under

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