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The Art of Film Magic: 20 Years of Weta (英語) ハードカバー – 2014/10/28
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This deluxe slipcased two-volume set is an insider's tour of twenty years of film-making magic at Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the creative companies behind such celebrated films as The Lord of the Rings, Avatar, The Avengers, King Kong, District 9 and The Hobbit. Brimming with never-before-published content, including concept designs, sketches, making of and behind-the-scenes imagery, along with interview material from cast and crew members, it is a stunning look at how the costumes, creatures and characters, weaponry, and visual effects are created for some of the world's most iconic films. A director will have a vision in their head of the kind of movie they want to create but they always need great teams to realise that vision. This is what Weta Workshop and Weta Digital do. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, these two companies, founded by Peter Jackson, Jamie Selkirk, Tania Rodger and Richard Taylor have been an integral part of some of the most ground-breaking and acclaimed movies of all time.
'There's no denying the attention to detail invested by Weta Workshop... and the amazing images on display.' - SciFi Now --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。商品の説明をすべて表示する
I tend to find the Weta Workshop book a bit more exciting, because everything is actually made - whether it is Iron Man's suit, Wikus' gun in "District 9", or thousands of different swords for films like "The Hobbit" and "The Last Samurai". They do a lot of great work on various creature features, specializing in animatronics and prosthetics. The designs are so great and fan enthusiasm is so high that Weta has actually been able to produce various prop replicas, which are sold on their website and often sell out.
But equally impressive (and perhaps more complex) are the innovations that Weta Digital is making on the virtual side of things. In particular, their pioneering of performance capture with movies like "Lord of the Rings", "The Adventures of Tintin", and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is nothing short of a game-changer in filmmaking. This company has brought to life almost every one of the most impressive CGI characters you can think of - whether it is King Kong, Gollum, or Smaug the dragon. The company has pushed the effects industry forward in a number of ways -- digital lighting and light scattering; tissues and textures; improvements in the stereo (3D) pipeline; etc.
These books are absolutely worth owning. The text is rich with detail and insightful information. One of my favorite things is that scattered throughout the book are quotes and experiences from a bunch of different people - it's great to hear about the films directly from the artists/craftsmen who work on them. Emphasis is placed on the fact that Weta constantly goes into uncharted territory and each production has various challenges that had to be overcome in order for the project to be successful. The Weta Workshop book has a foreword by Peter Jackson and an introduction by Richard Taylor. The Weta Digital book has an intro by Joe Letteri.
But of course, the most important aspect of these books are the imagery. For Weta Workshop: behind the scenes at the workshop, building sets, prop molds, actors in the makeup chair, models and miniatures, etc. For Weta Digital: on set w/ green screen, the mo-cap stage, visual effects progressions, digital models, etc. Images are abundant and range from very small to nearly full-page; most of them are very high-resolution and clear (though there are some behind the scenes photos that are not as sharp, but it's worth a look anyway). Finally, at the end of both books is a timeline/filmography, where you can see the totality of the company's work thus far.
If there is one thing I'd like to see more of, it's concept art. These books tend to feature the finished product more than anything else, but I am also interested in seeing first concepts (even if they were unused) from early in the process. While the books have plenty of imagery and photographs, it is a bit spare on concept artwork. Fortunately, there are separately available art books available for movies like The Hobbit, District 9, and others (most of which do feature a lot of concept art).
If you are a fan of Weta, creative filmmaking, or just movies in general, then this book is worthy of your time (especially if you are curious about the process). The price tag is higher than I usually pay for movie art books; but as a collector I can say this is easily one of the nicest books on my shelf.
For more reviews of Film & TV related books, visit MovieArtBook(dot)com