When it comes to highly informative and engaging video content about the individual lifestyle aspects of James Bond, nobody does it better than David Zaritsky, founder of ‘The Bond Experience’. With his YouTube channel having just hit 3 million unique views this February, we wanted to find out how it all began and what makes his Bond fan life so exciting – “one moment at a time”.
The Bond Bulletin: David, ‘The Bond Experience’ sounds a bit like a thrill ride every Bond fan would be dying to get on. It must have been sometime in 2012 or even earlier that you asked yourself the question with which you opened your first blog post on thebondexperience.com: “Does the world really need another Bond fan site?” Now, seven years later, what conclusion have you arrived at?
David Zaritsky: I think the website is for those that are looking for a fix around the Bond lifestyle, and how to live it one moment at a time. It’s valid question was if the world needs ‘The Bond Experience’ but I can say at this time, it seems like it has scratched a niche that the bond community had in being able to capture living like Bond invisibly in their daily lives.
The Bond Bulletin: A vital part of ‘The Bond Experience’ is your very popular series of highly informative and well-structured YouTube videos focusing on living the James Bond lifestyle. Congratulations are in order since your videos have just hit 3 million unique views in February. Making each of these vlogs must require a lot of time and effort? Can you take us through the process on how you get from the idea to the finished video?
David Zaritsky: They actually don’t take much time and little effort. All I really do is film things I would be doing anyway. The only add to this is to invite people along the way in the shape of viewers. I conjure an idea based on a wish or event I want to do and usually form a story around it.
My motivation comes from things I want to do and experience in a part of me. I figure that if I want to experience it, then perhaps others want to as well. The popularity of ‘The Bond Experience’ has grown because I think there were more people with my mindset out there than anyone expected.
The Bond Bulletin: Do you feel that your work on ‘The Bond Experience’ has opened some important doors for you? If so, how has this shaped or transformed the experience for visitors of your site?
David Zaritsky: I think the most important doors that opened have been the friends within the Bond community. Of course there have been some wonderful moments that were created with James Bond brands and ‘The Bond Experience’ has taken me to some amazing places and events in the world. But truly connecting with people is the greatest gift of all.
The Bond Bulletin: It is really this sense of being one big family that unites Bond fans across the globe. What experiences have you made in meeting other aficionados? Was there ever an encounter that you found unpleasant or awkward?
David Zaritsky: I can’t think of an unpleasant or awkward one. I have been very lucky in that all my moments with other influencers been very positive. From time to time I of course find that there will always be personality and cultural differences, but to me that type of variety makes things interesting.
Our global essence is really seen in a very obvious way when you take a look at the James Bond influencers in different countries. I’m also very excited that ‘The Bond Experience’ tends to unite people, no matter what their political, religious or geographical differences are.
The Bond Bulletin: Having met you and your charming wife Danielle for the opening of ‘007 Elements’ in Soelden last year, I had the feeling, that you two are somewhat partners in crime when it comes to exploring film locations and doing videos for ‘The Bond Experience’. Does Danielle share your enthusiasm for James Bond or is she even a die-hard fan herself?
David Zaritsky: I would say that Danielle likes James Bond but she knows that it is truly my hobby and not hers. She is a saint. She acts as unit producer and camera person and is always there to share her opinion with me on a particular direction or event. I will say that one of the greatest pleasures we have in life is that we both love travel and activity, so she has been the recipient of many pleasurable outings and adventures across the globe.
The Bond Bulletin: Do you have arrangements on how far each one of you can involve the other in their hobby or are you just going with the flow with whatever comes your way?
David Zaritsky: We both like the same types of activities such as hiking, exploring new places and meeting new people. I have been truly blessed with an amazing partner and friend with Danielle. She also has never looked down on my hobby, nor the people associated with it. In fact she is incredibly generous with both my time and her time when it comes to ‘The Bond Experience’.
The Bond Bulletin: Speaking about our favourite cinematic hero James Bond: What sparked your love for the film franchise?
David Zaritsky: I am definitely a psychiatrist dream. My father was always a very busy entrepreneur and didn’t have a lot of time to play ball in the backyard, but he would always invite me to watch a James Bond movie. I’m quite certain my love of the brand, of the franchise, came from some psychological Band-Aid against that relationship. As he grew older and I did as well, our bond became even stronger and I think James Bond had a lot to do with that.
The Bond Bulletin: From your point of view, where does the Bond franchise stand at the moment, shortly before filming of Bond 25 will begin? Especially looking at the Daniel Craig era with its four films as well as the longer gaps between the films, does it stand firm on solid ground or do you see problems/obstacles that might lead to an audience losing interest or Bond even becoming irrelevant as a whole?
David Zaritsky: I think the Bond franchise is in a strong place but I give most of the credit to the fans. It will be a distance of five years in-between films and yet the passion and enthusiasm of the fans has never waned. They are amongst the most patient and focused individuals I have ever met and they truly create a foundation for this franchise. Of course, like many others, I am very eager to see where the Bond franchise goes and I’m excited about this last outing with Daniel Craig. I really want him to end on a high note.
The Bond Bulletin: What are you looking forward to in Bond 25? Anything that you felt was missing in the last films or perhaps something completely new that you would like to see added?
David Zaritsky: I have probably said this many times but I am looking forward to a traditional mission. I don’t want a lot of family angst but I definitely want the traditional aspects served up in a good old James Bond adventure.
The Bond Bulletin: Let’s imagine you are a Bond villain and have the man himself finally in your clutches. How would you torment him? Any exotic ways to make him talk or give up his mission? Disposal with some ingenious device maybe?
David Zaritsky: If I was a James Bond villain, and who’s to say I’m not, I would probably bury him up to his neck in a red ant pile for starters. Once he has had his fill of that, I would then dip him into a vat of whiskey followed up by the sounds of Sam Smith. That last part would be enough to make him tell me anything.
The Bond Bulletin: Ingenious…and indeed just the thought of that hurts! Many Bond fans have stated, that having read the Ian Fleming novels or watch the Eon film series has helped them to become more sophisticated. Some even say, it changed their character and the way they live their life every day. Would you say, that your knowledge of James Bond and/or the books or films have helped you to be a better version of yourself?
David Zaritsky: For me it was less about the books and much more about the movies and following the brands of James Bond. I would say that, certainly when it comes to nutrition, health and fitness as well as enjoying the finer aspects of James Bond, it has evolved into a relatively influential journey. I think ‘The Bond Experience’ is all about incorporating those aspects seamlessly into one’s life, so it certainly had a positive and probably more sophisticated effect on me.
The Bond Bulletin: Last but not least, if you could meet the Bond producers for lunch tomorrow, what professional services or advice would you offer them for the Bond franchise?
David Zaritsky: If I could meet them, I would implore them to embrace the fans in a very significant way and utilize them as many other successful franchises have for the marketing juggernaut that they are. In addition I might also ask them for small cameo in the next film.
With that being said, and probably all Bond fans in agreement, we would like to thank David Zaritsky for this interview and wish him continuing success with ‘The Bond Experience’.