Thunderballs is the Unofficial James Bond Picture Archive that has become a tremendous resource to me personally. In episode 10 of From Tailors With Love I managed to speak to the editor Marty and ask him how it all started.
How did Thunderballs begin?
The plan was never to create a James Bond picture archive, it kind of happened organically. My original plan was to do a radio show and talk about each James Bond film individually. So I started to gather some promotional James Bond film stills.
I filed them into one folder to begin with and then put them into individual film folders, and that was the end of me.
How do you go about sourcing the images?
I started with generic Google searches for each film using things like Pinterest, tumblr etc. That’s how I started. The searches became more in depth, I started using foreign search engines to find images that wouldn’t come up on your average Google search.
If you bring up a Japanese centred Google then it does bring up different images, the trouble is then translating them.
How did you begin to archive all the images?
I numbered them to start with. Then I realised I had to reorder them all. The radio show got shelved, and I was left with a Twitter account that people were enjoying and I was becoming obsessed with finding images that I had never seen before.
When I had about 3,000 images I thought I’d do something with them. I thought that was a lot, maybe I had gone too far. Which is hilarious to think where I am now, it’s ridiculous.
Do you source images from books?
The official archive, the Taschen book, it would have been easy to scan that but I didn’t want to make a website version of their book. I’ve tried to avoid taking pictures of books as much as possible.
Listen to the podcast
You can download the podcast (episode 10) and listen to the full interview with Marty on iTunes, Stitcher or Spotify. Or listen in the player below. Be sure to check out the Thunderballs website, the unofficial James Bond Picture Archive. All images featured in these show notes have been sourced from the Thunderballs site.