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The Art of Beowulf Hardcover – October 25, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Cotta Vaz is the author of The Art of The Polar Express and The Art of The Incredibles. He lives in northern California.

Steve Starkey is the Academy Award-winning producer of Forrest Gump, Castaway, and The Polar Express.

Robert Zemeckis is the Academy Award-winning director of Back to the Future, Contact, and What Lies Beneath.

Neil Gaiman is a Hugo Award-winning author and screenwriter. His works include Anansi Boys and The Sandman.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st Printing edition (October 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811860388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811860383
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 1 x 12.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,084,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 0:21 Mins
There's a lot to read in this book. The movie script was written by Neil Gaiman. I didn't realize that until I read the foreword. The 160-page book was hard covered and came with a dust jacket.

Captions accompanied the paintings and concept art in the book, explaining the process of design and rational for creation. No storyboards were found in the book. The pages were devoted mainly to matte paintings for conceptualizing movie scenes.

This movie was completely made in 3D using motion caption techniques, similar to those used in Polar Express. The 3D models renders shown were few and far in between. The technology behind was only mentioned in passing.

Character design drawings were there, but somehow I felt that they were not enough. Angelina Jolie only had 4 rendered stills in this book, and all were head profiles. No near nude 3D model were seen anywhere.

This book is mainly for Beowulf fans and concept artists.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the Beowulf movie to be fun but disappointing, primarily because I felt like the deviations from the original story violated the spirit of what Beowulf represents. I've always been a big fan of not only Beowulf but all of the great European sagas. Even though I had serious reservations about the movie's plot, the imagery of the world they were trying to create was much more in line with the visions I have playing before my eyes when I read the sagas. I bought the DVD of the movie and in some of the special features they showed concept art that I thought was really incredible, so I decided to take a chance on this book. I was not disappointed.

The quality is top-notch, both the manufacturing and the art within. I loved reading about their design process and watching the world unfold, in fact it made me feel much better about the movie when I understood what they were shooting for (although my complaints about the plot still stand). The art itself is what really shines here, once I read the words I was done with them, but the art continues to inspire me every time I see it. I've been through the book many times and I've never gotten bored, and it's made a great coffee-table book for guests who are all impressed as well.

The main drawback is the price. The retail price is $40, which is far more than I would pay for a book of this kind. I've seen it on sale for a few different prices here on Amazon, and I was lucky enough to get an excellent deal when I bought it. If you like fantasy art and the old sagas, wait for a price you can handle and I think you'll be pleased.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a lover of concept art and this book really inspired me to keep up with my own artwork, with every page the work just got better and better. The wide format of the book allowed for a much better view of the wide screen production stills. Its a great buy, in my opinion.
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