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300: Rise of an Empire: The Art of the Film Limited Edition Hardcover – 2014
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This is the Limited Signed Collector’s Edition of the trade version of 300: Rise of an Empire: The Art of the Film – signed by Noam Murro and Zack Snyder The action adventure 300: Rise of an Empire is the highly anticipated follow-up to the 2007 international blockbuster 300. Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, 300: Rise of an Empire is produced by Gianni Nunnari, Mark Canton, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Bernie Goldmann, and directed by Noam Murro from a screenplay by Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad. Told in the breathtaking visual style of 300 this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield—on the sea—as Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. 300: Rise of an Empire pits Themistokles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and Artemisia (Eva Green), vengeful commander of the Persian navy. 300: Rise of an Empire also stars Lena Headey, Hans Matheson, and David Wenham, and will be released in theaters on 7 March, 2014. This lavish, oversized hardback companion book to the new movie features stunning production art, photography from the acclaimed Clay Enos (Watchmen Portraits) and input from Zack Snyder and Noam Murro. © Cruel & Unusual Films
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This book is actually a collection of production photography, film stills and concept art. Everything appears in high resolution, printed to the edge, huge. Hardcover, 160 pages.
There are a lot of photos. I don't like artbooks that feature more photos than art. But in this case, all the visuals in the book are quite stunning, photos and art included, especially the photos actually.
The photos and stills are great. You'll see many for the characters, behind the scenes where they use green screen, details on the costumes, weapons, and of course the sets where they build parts of the ships that appear in the movie. Lots of glamour shots to be seen, including the soulful, vengeful, deceitful and more.
Concept art are mainly of the key scenes and environments, and mostly far shots of the capital Persepolis, Sparta, and other places on the war path of Xerxes.
Layout of the book is quite well done to play up images. Photos and art well mixed throughout. There's a very textural feel throughout with the splatter, rain, sea and mud.
The book has spoilers and they come in the form of pictures. But I don't suppose they will dull down your enjoyment of the film anyway. Story plots are mentioned in small bits only.
Highly recommended. It's a visually beautiful book, wonderfully art directed.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
This has the consequence that one needs a lot of space to properly unfold the book or to be able to read.
Otherwise there is little to complain about: Very nice photos, good portraits, and an overall good compilation.
As for the designs there is nothing really groundbreaking new. Fans of the film will need this, especially since it is one of the nicer art-of books (despite Landscape format). Plus it has Eva Green in it ;-)
Also, this is a film about war, yet they devote 3 sparse pages to weapon designs. The Greeks hardly wear any armor, but the Persians did, and there's barely anything to show for it in this book. I thought the whole point on an "art of" book was to showcase the concept art, design, pre-production and some relevant information about the making of the film. The text seems to focus more on telling you the plot of the film, and less about the design decisions or inspiration. Yes, there are some reproductions of scenery art and set design but overall I find the book lacking, and compared with other “art of” film books (from Weta or Marvel to name a few) this one really falls flat.
I would describe this product as more of a visual companion than a traditional art book. If you liked the film, the book does have value - it essentially goes through each character, location, and battle (devoting several pages to each), and includes text and imagery related to that subject. But if you like conceptual paintings/sketches, you might be disappointed in this book.
Included in this book:
- Costumes and Character Portraits
- Storyboards of major sequences
- Close-ups of weapons used in the film
- Design/construction of the boats
- On-Set vs. Final Film comparison shots (a lot of green screen work)
- Visual Effects progression frames
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The film derives from the original 300 graphic novel from Frank Miller and his...Read more