James Bond 40th Anniversary Exhibition


The National Museum of Science and Industry (NMSI) in association with Eon Productions created an exhibition to celebrate 40 years of James Bond. Initially developed at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (NMPFT) in Bradford, it is now touring internationally.

The exhibition contains artefacts such as Oddjob’s Bowler hat and Scaramanga’s golden gun, as well as many of the concept drawing, costume designs and storyboards.

The key feature of the exhibition is a series of interactive touch screen kiosks. These enabled visitors to explore the world of James Bond through photographs, videos, histories and quizzes. Black Marble were pivotal in ensuring the system was resilient and manageable when dealing with thousands of visitors.

After running for several weeks in Bradford, it was decided that the interactive kiosk systems needed further development to enable the exhibition to be taken on tour. The key requirement was to make the maintenance and management of the exhibition easier, including providing tools to allow the curators to edit the kiosk content with minimum impact to the running exhibit.

This would involve extensive reworking of the kiosk system to integrate all the various kiosk types, development of a ‘self-maintenance system’, and providing a new curatorial editing system. It had to be rugged, reliable and easy to edit.

Simple, Manageable Solution

Black Marble rewrote the original kiosk products to produce a single Visual basic 6 application that provided the functionality of all kiosk types. The configuration of each kiosk was made simple using a new unified configuration and management screen.

Black Marble created a content management system using .NET (C#) and SQL Server 2000, enabling the curators to maintain the content of the kiosk.

Black Marble also provided an automated exhibition management suite which allows the rebuilding of the exhibition from scratch in a matter of hours, as well as the easy addition of new kiosks and information unobtrusively whilst open to the public.

Touring with Bond

Black Marble is delighted to continue to contribute to the James Bond Exhibition wherever it may be in the world.

This time Black Marble ensured the effortless setup of the interactive equipment in Detroit, and that all the interactive kiosks ran smoothly, including migrating key kiosk software to Microsoft .NET for increased reliability and deployment.

When the exhibition was transferred to Vancouver’s Science World, Black Marble were once more on hand to ensure a successful transition.

When the exhibition changes location, it needs to be re-constructed quickly and easily, ready for a new batch of visitors. Just as the lighting, stage-ware and scenery can be packed up, shipped, and re-built, so can the IT infrastructure. Once in a new location, the flexible Microsoft technologies combined with Black Marble’s management tools enable the exhibition to simply be set up and work.

Black Marble’s involvement in the installation of the Bond, James Bond exhibition into the Henry Ford Museum was absolutely essential. Their expertise ensured that the interactives were up and running quickly and reliably as needed. A job well done. Declan Norris, Science Museum Exhibition Manager.