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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Chronicles: Art & Design Hardcover – December 14, 2012
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About the Author
Weta Workshop is a multi-award winning conceptual design and physical manufacturing facility based out of Wellington, New Zealand, servicing the world's entertainment and wider creative industries. Weta Workshop is also a multi-disciplinary facility, with crew members expert in a diverse range of disciplines all housed under the one roof. These services include conceptual design and the manufacturing of weapons, armor and chainmail, specialist props, custom vehicles, specialty costumes, miniatures and models, special makeup and prosthetics, and public art installations or displays. The team at Weta enjoys engaging in projects holistically, from preliminary technical analysis and conceptual design through to manufacture across all departments and the final delivery of product and crew to set, anywhere in the world. Drawing on more than twenty years of filmmaking experience, five-time Oscar-winning design and special effects supervisor Richard Taylor is intimately involved in all projects from concept through to delivery. Best known for the company's design and effects work on award-winning film projects, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, District 9, and The Adventures of Tintin, Weta Workshop is not limited to film and television, offering services to creative industries worldwide
Top customer reviews
The cover is beautifully embossed with texture and shine. It's 208-pages and big. Behind the cover is Thorin's Map that you can tear out from the perforated edges, and at the back is a long gatefold of Bilbo's Burglar contract should you want to read the fine prints to see what Bilbo has gotten himself into.
There's a generous amount of concept art included that feature the characters, props and environment. Yes, it's all fantasy art, and they are all very beautiful and detailed. There are art from Alan Lee, John Howe, Dan Hennah (production designer), Richard Taylor and many others from Weta Workshop. The book is all art and there aren't a lot of photos, so you won't find behind the scenes shots and there are only small thumbnails of the actors in makeup.
The majority are mostly character designs and the related, such as costumes, weapons and other props. There are Bilbo and his entourage of dwarves, trolls, goblins, and creatures. Each character has many designs variations shown, but mostly from the hair and facial hair -- probably more hairstyles that you can find in a hair saloon brochure.
The environment art are mainly of close ups of locations and interiors. There are a few of those wide shots as well but could have been printed bigger. Many of the nice textured pencil drawings are from John Howe and Alan Lee.
Those who like production design will enjoy the insightful commentary. There's lots to read and often, there will be a few designers talking about just one character, about the design, clothing and their weapons. The extra information gives more depth to the characters.
The back cover mention something about this book being the first in a series of hardcover books. So unless they are referring to the other film companions, it means there would be art books for the next two films as well.
It's a fantastic artbook. Highly recommended to fans of the film and fantasy art.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
The book shows you the inside of places like Rivendell, Bag End, and other locations. You get to see what elves would look like such as the Rivendell guards, Elrond, and even their musical instruments. There are cooking supplies, saddles, wagons, sling shots, weapons, armor, and just loads of other stuff I never even thought would be in this book.
The goblin section really shows off the goblins perfectly. The pictures of them are really quite gross to look at. Near the end of the book you get to see some good Gollum art and even his little boat which was really cool.
Also at the beginning of the book is a pullout of Thorins map and at the end of the book there is a contract of Bilbos Burglar Contract.
The book shows you pretty much everything you could want to see from the beginning of the Hobbit and I am very happy with this book.
If you are a fan of the movies like me and love to read and see photos, drawings and concepts on how a movie was envisioned and put together by prop makers, costumers and the director, these books are right up your alley. This one has so many drawings and shows different conceptions of each of the dwarves, costumes and fighting equipment. The first 90 plus pages are all about the dwarves. The subsequent pages show details in the design of costumes and armory from Bilbo Baggins, the elves, the Goblin King and the trolls.
The front of the book has a fold out of Thorin’s map, and a fold out of Biblo’s contact in the back as added bonuses.
I love the addition of the notes of the designers on how and why different design were chosen. It’s nice to see inside the heads of all of these talented people.
The only thing I do miss from this book are the thoughts and input from the actors about the process, what they thought about what was finally chosen and if they had any say so in their characters. This was included in the final book about the last movie and I greatly enjoyed reading about their thoughts and input. Still this is a fantastic book and if you love to look at designs and how costumers and prop designers work this book is for you.