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Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films Hardcover – 8 Jul 2014
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"Lush... examination of the creative process." --Empire
"Truly revolutionary." --The Hollywood News
"An amazing book that really helps the reader enjoy the film that much more." --BGG
"This isn t just another coffee table book. The Art of the Films is an all inclusive insight into modern film making and a flat out fun read."--Atomic Moo
'Overall, I cannot praise the book enough. It is a fantastic companion to the movie, as well as a conversation piece around the coffee table.' --Film Obsession
'This is a behind-the-scenes book that any Planet of the Apes or special effects fan will thoroughly enjoy.' --Boing Boing
'The amount of detail and work that went in to creating these movies is astounding and anyone interested in how movies are made will be interested.'--Screen Fad
"The detail presented is so thorough it feels like working through the film production itself, rather than just reading about it." -- --Watch Play Read
"An enjoyable for read for those fascinated by how movies are made" --Cinema Sentries Review
About the Author
Matt Hurwitz is a Los Angeles-based entertainment journalist. Besides being the co-author of The Complete X-Files he has written for publications including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Reuters, and many others. -- A fan of all things fantasy, horror and sci-fi, Sharon Gosling is a UK-based writer of both non-fiction and fiction, as well as working as a pop-culture magazine editor and audio drama producer. --- Adam Newell is an editor and writer who has been involved with putting together many film and TV-related titles over the years, including Firefly: A Celebration and Prometheus: The Art of the Film.
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Having said that, I do still think it is a must for any fans of the films or film-making in general!
A lot of the book is devoted to the creation of the apes - including concept art, production stills of Andy Serkis and other performers, VFX renders of Ceasar and the apes, and finished frames from the movies. That portion of the book is most fascinating, since they really did push the limits of technology with these films in order to create realistic CG apes infused with human performances from actors.
There are also many pages devoted to environments - for "Rise", this includes places like the lab, Will's home, and the primate shelter. The combination of conceptual artwork and production stills really show off the amount of work that went into the set design/dressing. Because of the intensive visual effects required, the production had to build most environments from scratch (rather than going on location) so that they could have complete control. This results in set pieces like the Bridge and the Primate Facility being built rather than finding and shooting an existing location.
As massive a production as "Rise" was, it seems that "Dawn" has eclipsed it in terms of scale. The sequel takes place 10 years after the first film, and most os humanity has been ravaged by the Simian Flu. As a result, cities and architecture have become run-down and vegetation has encroached. The places occupied by the human colony are large spaces that were practically built and required an enormous amount of effort to distress them to a point where they look worn down. At one point, Ceasar returns to Will's home - it's fascinating to see the differences between Will's home between the films (colorful and vibrant in "Rise"; dirty and desolate in "Dawn").
If you are a fan of these movies, then this is certainly a good purchase to make. The book features a nice balance of conceptual artwork, production photos, and film shots. The images are printed large and clear. There is also a decent amount of text which sheds light onto the challenges of the production and adds to the enjoyment of the book, including a foreword by director Matt Reeves.
This is a large format hardcover artbook with 176 pages. The cover has a nice fine grainy texture and the print of Cesar's face is actually glossy. I'm just amazed at how real Cesar looks, even though you know it's just computer graphics.
The content is split between the first and second films, more on the second one. Pictures are a mixture of photographs from behind the scenes, the sets and concept art. There is a lot to see and it provides a nice general idea of how the films were created. The accompanying commentary that talks about film production, covering the sets and scenes in the order as they appear in the films.
In terms of concept art, many pieces are of the environment, such as Gen Sys building, Will's home, primate shelter and San Francisco. The art is quite well done. Many I suspect are paintings over 3D models but they look great because of the details and lighting. There aren't much character designs except for a two page spread for the main apes with more screen time.
The set photographs are fantastic. It's fun to find out which sets are real and which are digital. There's just the right amount of photos of actors in their motion capture suits. I left the cinema wondering if director Matt Reeves had casted mutant apes because the acting is just unbelievable. You'll read quite a bit on the performance motion capture.
This is a fantastic artbook with a good mix of art, photos and writeup. I particularly enjoy the insight from commentary.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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