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Book Review: Elysium: The Art of the Film – Author Mark Salisbury

elysium-the-art-of-the-film-re viewAuthored by Mark Salisbury, the book “Elysium: The Art of the Film” is a perfect souvenir to accompany the film. I’m often reminded when I receive these film-production art books how much “actual” work goes into the creation of a movie experience.

I can’t think of a better way to illustrate that, than this fine hard cover release. While the book itself takes you thru the countless hours of planning and creation that goes on behind the scenes, it still stands very much alone as a true art book itself. Fans or students of production art and story boarding should keep a few of these releases on hand to give you some clarity as to what is expected on the creative production end.

So let’s get into the product itself which arrives out of the Titan Books team. As commented in previous reviews of Titan’s products, it is a book worthy of it’s asking price. Hardcover, full color, bound in high quality semi-gloss paper, “Elysium: The Art of the Film” is in many ways more impressive than the film itself.

“Elysium: The Art of the Film” begins with an introduction by director Neill Blomkamp. The book continues with art, photos, concept art, production planning, sketches, models, 3D and 2D illustrations and even photos of some of the cast members production preparation. Elysium which stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster is a great film ride in science fiction worthy of genre fans.

What is most interesting here is the number of alternatives that were designed before a final decision for the film was made. Weapons, suits, robots, helmets, ships, set designs, crash scenarios….. to even the wounds that would arrive from infliction during the film, are a part of the holistic creative steps making up the brunt of this book.

Several photos of Matt wearing his Exo-suit are included here taken from different angles for those who enjoy mechanical details. Each section is divided into chapters that contains smaller commentaries about the visuals. Graphic Designers will enjoy smaller inclusion, such as the variety of logos being considered to represent the film’s primary corporation.

Head gear, Homeland Defense outfits, protocols, deportation shuttles…..even the specifics of tattoos were scrutinized down to the last detail.

In all, this is a great picture book made to last. I received the book a month in advance of the actual film, so I promised myself I would see the film first before spoiling it (in book form) with everything it had to offer.

I suggest the same route to buyers unless you want to go into the movie without any mystery. Science fiction fans will appreciate the paintings that inspired the creative elements. Like other  books that feature film production art, this one a perfect addition. I’ve recently seen it for purchase at Barnes and Noble, but if you would like to order it from the source you can contact Titan Books here.

Book Review: Elysium: The Art of the Film – Author Mark Salisbury

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