Top positive review
18 people found this helpful
Wonderful, Insightful, Packed with Detail
on 15 October 2010
Just received this from Amazon. This is a very detailed look into the making of this great movie. I think it would be fair to split a review of this book into two parts; the first concentrating on the contents, the second about its presentation...
The content is simply superb. It offers a wonderfully detailed accounts of the pre-production, production and post-production phases, interspersed with the development of major parts of the script. Having seen the film many many times (yes, I am a bit of a fan), I was amazed to see how much of the original ideas changed into the dialogue we know and love. I'll not spoil anything by giving away the details, but there were several revisions of the script, and many of the familiar characters changed along the way. The book provides the details of all of this concept work, through to the design of droids, ships, creatures, costumes, props, landscapes and indoor environments - everything is described in exquisite detail. Indeed, the book provides a great insight into how concepts are developed - useful for animators, film-makers and game developers anywhere. The original concepts by Ralph McQuarrie (RIP) are simply wonderful, but sometimes surprisingly miles away from the on-screen results. But the book isn't just a collection of excerpts and pictures; these elements are bound together by the story of the making of the film. This is THE detailed account of just how ESB was made, and it's just excellent.
The technical details of designing and shooting the film are also given, with production and shooting schedules, as well as hundreds of photographs backing this up showing the actors and production crew at work. For me, this is probably the most interesting part of the book - seeing all the familar actors interacting with each other on-set but off-screen, which is something I've never seen before. Post-production provides, again, hundreds of photos, detailing the intricacies of model making and special effects.
The presentation is lavish. The photographs are very clean, the copies of the script excerpts, schedules, memos, concepts and model designs are very clear and arranged very well. The textual content is presented in such a way as to fit in as much as possible without it being cramped or unreadable - and there is a lot of content to squeeze in. This book, and it's design, like the film itself, is a product of love. It is a quality product - the paper quality, the reproduction, the hard-cover and the bindings are simply excellent. This would make a fine gift for anyone with even a passing interest in any of the Star Wars films.
I have read some reports claiming some of the material can be seen in other publications. I don't know if this is true, but even if it is, there is so much material here and it is all presented in a way that is simply a pleasure to see. This is a great example of how this type of book should be designed and produced. Buy this. You will not be dissapointed.