Art books are always a little harder to review due to the content being based more on a visual aspect. A recent book I received is titled “The Art of Terminator Salvation”. Hardbound, full color and chock full of eye popping pages this is every Terminator or Sci-fi fans dream book. The first word that came to mind was “rich”.
Rich in detail and color work. What we have is a full visual overview of much of the work that went into the creating the film into the piece of sci fi fantasy it is today.
We have seen alot of these type books over the years, but that doesn’t take anything was from inquiring minds who want to dig head first into the process and artistic journey that unfolds in multi million productions such as these.
Quickly we get concept art, story boards, costume work, drawings, renderings, set design, mechanical details, robot comps, schematics, matte paintings, preliminaries, photography and m,ore! combine that with an equally informative narrative provided by author Tara Bennett along the way and you got yourself a pretty piece of work and a collectors edition to add to your sci fi library.
As much as we enjoy the end products, the enormous amount of work that goes into these films before a single camera roles is something to behold. In fact, it’s the minds of artist that really drive the production. They provide the visual need that the directors and producers are only able to convey through notes,outlines and needs. This book is proof of that work which arises out of the production. Sure we’ve seen DVD that try and add extras which showcase drawings and story board art, but they just don’t holds up to the printed works version.
This book has “tons” of that stuff and more! While it should be experienced visually rather than just through review I can at least give you a preview of what’s inside. As noted the designers actually took the time to study Chernobyl for inspiration. The presentation was to be one of a grittier nature (dar I say grunge!) that is aged by weather conditions, wear and distress. In fact the idea of shining new coats of armor went out the window on this one. Care was also given to the production color treatments to enhance those aspects.
Outfits were designed over photo references and then created to test. You get to see the process from start to completion to final stills from the film. Another factor that was important was the lack of resources” concept. Ever situation, clothing, and vehicle had to show that the rebellion were left to using what was available rather than factory generated. You’ll see subs with cables thrown about, clothing that is piece mealed together and weapons even that were hand engineered. Several pages are devoted to the vehicles, motorcycles, mobile devices, transporters and exoskeletons within.
First drafts, engineering documents, sketches, computer comps and production phases. One thing that is clear is that alot of care was given to “get it right!”. My favorite sections though have to get my vote on robot renderings. The evolution of the Harvester is so detailed and unique that the pictures could be studied for hours. You’ll see these concepts evolve from bug shapes and skeletons into mechanical nightmares. Even the Aerostat begins much like a Matrix creature or jellyfish before it reaches it’s final deign.
The book notes the manpower that was need to paint the set and objects into distressed mechanics mode, while retaining a natural patina and a leaning towards greens.
In all there’s alot process in this book. The pictures are amazing and beautifully printed. the hardcover makes the book durable and lasting. Last but not least if your fan, then this is one of the collection to own, hands down.
Available from Titan Books
Also available from www.amazon.com
Book Review: The Art of Terminator Salvation – Author Tara Bennett