Godzilla: The Art of Destruction is actually more a "art and making of" book that just solely an artbook.
Plenty of reading material on the movie production are included with the artworks. There are a few paragraphs of text every double-page spread. They are really insightful and talks about the different aspects of the filming process, writing the story, designing creatures and sets, and interesting bits about making the movie. The lengthy writeup really provides the book with depth.
The concept artworks included are fantastic as well. You'll get to see the different variations of Godzilla and creatures from different artists along with director Gareth Edwards comments on each design. It's interesting to see the design iterations. There are different skin, texture, scales and postures for the giant star of the movie.
The rest of the artworks are scene paintings of story beats. Those are big, beautiful and detailed paintings with very cinematic look and feel. They really nailed the lighting, camera angles and atmosphere. Other visuals included are photographs shot behind the scenes while filming.
Lastly, it includes a fold-out movie poster of soldiers diving from the sky with red smoke and Godzilla's huge scales in view.
Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of content packed into the book. The art is great and the writeup provides a nice overview on how the film is made.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
I should start by saying that this book is not really what I was hoping for. I'm a collector of concept art books and when I saw the title 'Godzilla: The Art of Destruction' I leapt at the chance to buy it. However this is not, really, a concept art book but a 'making of' book and while concept art obviously comes into that it is only a small part of it. So I was tempted to give this book three stars but before I did I double checked the description and found that what the booked contained was explained quite clearly. The fault, therefore, lies with me having the wrong expectation. That being said I can't help but wonder if 'the Art of Destruction' wasn't a deliberate choice to snag the concept art lovers, like me, since those books sell very nicely.
But enough of what I thought the book would be and what it wasn't. You want to know what it is. Put simply it's filled with production photos, interviews, design sketches and maquettes (the little statues they make to show how a thing will look in 3D, rather than just as a drawing), as well as the concept art I was expecting. The split is roughly fifty/fifty between photos and concept art and there is a lot of text getting into the nitty-gritty of making a big monster blockbuster. I was a little disappointed that the monster designs that were included, except for Godzilla, were almost all the early rough sketches rather than finished pieces. Unless they never got beyond the rough design stage (enough for the animators to work from) then I really can't see a reason for this. There are, of course, some great pictures of Godzilla which are spread across some fold-out pages and several different versions of his head.
However I can't help but notice the things that are missing. There are very few location designs, not much military stuff and aside from the big set pieces of the movie, along with the big guy himself, not much else seems to be touched upon. Fine, it might seem like mundane stuff but some people, myself included, like to see the stages of the design process. It definitely, in my opinion, would have made for more interesting pictures than the handful of photos of actors in front of green screens being told what to do by the director.
So to sum up: I would say that, as an art book collector, I was disappointed. I like to see books brimming with art and only a bare essential amount of text to go with it. However, since that's not what this book claimed to be (in the description, at least, if not in the title) then I can't really knock it down for failing to meet my expectations. So I would say that if you are a lover of 'making of' books then you will find here a great book. The interviews are interesting, the photos revealing, the art that is there is good stuff and the fact it covers all areas of the creation process will be a treat. I've said it before and I'll say it again now, Titan know how to make a good book. Fact.
However if, like me, you're more interested in the concept art than anything else then I would suggest giving this one a miss, certainly until you can have a look through it and decide if the amount of art justifies the price of the book.
"Godzilla" is a film that features many technical and creative achievements. "The Art of Destruction" is a book which provides an overview of the film's production as well as a lot of imagery from the movie. This is one of the better movie art books out there. Practically every sequence in the movie is represented in the book - whether it be concept artwork, storyboards, or production photos. For that reason, I'd recommend you see the film before looking through this book (but once you do see the film, you'll probably be interested in taking a closer look at the designs contained within).
A large number of pages are dedicated to the title monster's design - and not just his final finished look, but all sorts of different conceptual design elements that were not used in the film. You really get to see the evolution of the creature's design and you realize just how many iterations the artists went through before finding exactly the right look.
Included in the book: - Foreword by director Gareth Edwards - Godzilla designs (including a fold-out page) - Muto designs - Concept Art of various locations and set pieces - Storyboards of key sequences in the movie - On-set photos w/ cast
Ever since I watched Godzilla as a little'un, I have always been fascinated; but when I watched the 2014 version....... I was speechless.....defining it as brilliant was an understatement. Incidentally, I decided to buy this book and all of the art in it and how it was made..... its fantastic. Even if you think its a bit expensive, its definitely worth it. If you love Godzilla, you WILL love this book!
If your a fan of the Godzilla movie this is an essential companion to the film, from the concept designs of Godzilla and the various incarnations is fascinating to see, artworks abound in this book of scenes and designs and thoughts of the director and creative team, a great coffee table book for Godzilla and film fans alike. Incredible value for £5 from the Works
Definitely a must for Godzilla fans, this lovingly and well crafted piece of memorabilia will keep you entertained and coming back for more. Its filled with pictures and stories of whole of the production and gives a very good insight into the business of multi million dollor movie making; from stars, scripts to special effects.