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4.9 out of 5 stars
The Art of District 9: Weta Workshop
Format: HardcoverChange
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon January 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Weta Workshop is a brand that's synonymous with quality creative work. The Art of District 9 is another testament to the amazing work they do, on top of what they have already done - Avatar, Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia.

The Art of District 9 is a 160-page hardcover. This book actually cost a few dollars less than typical art books of this size. This is a fantastic bargain.

The book is filled with concept art. Most of the things you see are in their various stages of development, from the idea to the final designs. There are lots of iterations for character designs, the aliens, props, weapons, the mothership and many other stuff. All the visuals in the book are in high resolution with great detail.

What you see in the film is actually a small part of what's presented in the book. You can see a discarded concepts like crazy Organ Retriever which can harvest organs at the press of a button (I suppose), and then there's the variation of the exo suit which was designed to the stage where a life-size model was created and then dropped - I can't even begin to imagine how it feels like to have work at that stage of completion thrown out. And there are a few impressive mothership designs which weren't used as well.

Other than the illustrated art, there are also lots of pictures on the sculpts created. What impresses me are the weapon designs. They look really good, and they are printed really big, and there are lots of them.

Lead conceptual designer Greg Broadmore, creature designer David Meng, Neill Blomkamp and other artists provide good insight into the conceptualization process with their commentary.

This is one of the better art books for 2010.

Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'll keep this short since there are 15 other 5 star reviews, but this is a model for what all other "art of" books should be. Complete design evolution of characters and weapons, along with photos of final Weta props. The book even shows a lot of the graphic design: everything from the alien language to the human corporations. So many awesome. Buy! Buy buy buy!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
A must have if you loved the production design of the film or if you are a sci-fi/fantasy artist looking for inspiration.
Unbelievable photos and reproductions of District 9's concept art.
Destined to be a highly sought-after collectible book.
Get it while you can!
Glad I ordered two copies.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Finally. FINALLY! An "Art of" book that actually has art in it. And not just the approved art, but loads of concept art to boot. More so than even I thought had been created. It's always so frustrating when a movie studio releases a "Art of" book on a movie and there's very little to show for it. I don't want to see movie stills. I want the process that arrived to that point. What did they do for the first three months of production? Did they immediately arrive at the final product? Were there even artists hired to do concepts? I don't need to know the actor's schedule, or the conditions they had to deal with on set, or even a production diary. I want art! And this book delivers.

You have to hand it to the folks at WETA, they've done it again. I haven't been disappointed yet by one of their productions and their latest release doesn't disappoint by a long shot. I'm always amazed by the spectrum of talents by the WETA team and have been religiously following them since before The Frighteners. And, boy, do they fill this book with concepts. Like:

Did you know there were actually two exo suits? Well, they're there in all their biomechanical glory.

Or that the aliens were actually lumbering brutes meant to be portrayed by a man-in-a-suit? Dozens of concepts of aliens based on Blomkamp's original short film are there. Many are a radical departure from the approved aliens in the movie. You'll be amazed by the routes that could have been taken.

How about this. Did you know that in the original treatments, Neil Blomkamp had a slaver race of aliens that ran the show? Oh yeah. Wicked creepy. Buy the book and see them.

This is a great book. Even the design harkens to the imagery seen in the film. It looks remarkably--on first glance--like a book on street graffiti. And considering how the aliens plaster themselves in refuse and how their writing captures a graffiti-like look, it's not hard to see why.

I can't give enough praise for this book. Go on, add it to your collection. I'm more than happy I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
A very nice art book from the film "District 9". Weta Workshop created many of the designs, props, and technology used in the film - they also worked on films like Lord of the Rings and Avatar. The design work from Weta is always top-notch, and in this book we get to see a lot of cool concepts. If you thought that "District 9" was a great film like I did, then I'm sure you will enjoy this book.

What's included in the book:
- Conceptual art and CG models of the Aliens
- Alien Technology and Weapons
- The Exo-Suit
- Alien Mothership designs
- The alien's written language
- MNU logos and Anti-Alien signs
- MNU trucks/vehicles
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Lots of really great concept work in this book. I would definitely recommend it to any one who liked the art style of the movie and wanted to see more about the process. There are plenty of examples of iteration showing how the art evolved into it's final incarnation. If you like sci fi art, concept art, and this movie then you will probably like the book as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 7, 2014
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I was looking up for this book since I was on District 9 movie in cinema. Interesting probe into mind of creators, even notes from director Blomkamp and insights from Weta workshop crew was really nice. But the book was little bit... plain. I was expecting a lot more design sketches and some deeper analysis. I know that all can't be included in book and is much more pleaser for eye to look on CGI frame from movie that analysing some designer sketch for plot non essential item.

Don't take me wrong, this things WERE in book, but scarce.

I will give 4 stars, because it fulfilled my movie-fan needs, but few more illustrations and it will be just... allstar.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It always amazes me how much work goes into the design of movies, and it leaves me incredulous at how much actually gets left out. I can't say I know what the attrition rate is, but judging from the book, less than 10% of all the concepts, sketches, props, sets and whatever else gets used in the final cut of the film. Looking thorough all the items, you have to scratch your head and wonder why such brilliant pieces didn't get used.

This book is a very worthy compendium of all the design and art that goes into the making of a movie. You will not be disappointed in purchasing this book.
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on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Many times an Art of..... book is very disappointing. However, The Art of District 9 is not! I love the early conceptual drawings of what the movie was going to be and what the tech and aliens were going to look like on screen. Watching and reading about the evolution of the designs and why the changes were made was very insightful to me as an artist/wanna-be concept artist. This is probably the best Art Of ...film book in my collection and comes highly recommended. After reading it, I was quick to watch the movie again with more insight and, hence, making the movie even more enjoyable. Great book! Great movie!
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on August 5, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lately I've been avoiding "art of" books because they can get discouraging to look at sometimes. As an aspiring concept artist this book has really opened my eyes to the importance of design and the patience required to take an initial idea and push it along the pipeline of development. It was interesting to see how simple the alien designs started out as and see them go through a number of alterations in order to achieve the final, vivid, and complex looking creatures that were used in the movie.

Great addition to any sci-fi fans.
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