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Serenity Official Visual Companion Paperback – September 1, 2005
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" A must -own for Whedonites (*****5 Stars)." -- Empire, November 2005 Issue
Winner of the SFX 2005 Non-Fiction Award. -- SFX Magazine Christmas 2005 Issue
About the Author
Joss Whedon is a writer, film and TV director and producer, and composer. He is best known as the creator and guiding light behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse. He also wrote and directed the movie Serenity and The Avengers movie for Marvel. He lives in Los Angeles.
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It contains the script of the movie "Serenity."
There are a lot of commentary by the cast and crew. There are profiles of the actors and characters which detail a lot of information. There are a lot of drawings and pictures of props and costumes. There are also a lot of production photos.
Joss Whedon did a great job with the show Firefly. And, so did his team. Fox screwed up, and they should have let Whedon do what he knew how to do and to allow the show to stay on a decent night than to mess with things and mess with the episode order. We could have had many more seasons of the show. But, I am glad that Whedon was able to at least finish what he started and be able to give the characters, the actors and the fans the opportunity for closure.
This is definitely a must book for the Firefly fan and any Browncoat for sure.
I recommend this book because it is so fully detail with information and color photos, and you get a lot of behind the scenes knowledge about the movie and what the actors, writers and directors thought, and their insight on filming and the scenes.
This companion book tells so much that you are not able to find and gather in one place and be able to have available in front of you in your hands.
The cover trumpets that this book has an introduction and the motion picture screenplay by JOSS WHEDON, but in between the cheery welcome to the book and the full shooting script (i.e., it includes scenes cut form the final edit) there is 32-page interview with Whedon conducted by Abbie Bernstein. In it Joss talks about how he originally developed "Firefly" and its main characters, how he had the opportunity to make a movie version, and what it was like making the film. So this is an in-depth interview and not simply a case of ten or twenty questions. But, wait, boys and girls, there is more, because in the pages of that interview you will find Whedon's pre-production memos on "A Brief History of the Universe circa 2507 A.D.," "Frame/Lens/Perspective," "Light," and "Music" (Yes, Joss has even worked out what music will be like in 500 years). We have known for some time that Whedon pays attention to detail, and here is the textual evidence that proves the point. Bernstein does a good job of not just setting up Whedon, who always provides long replies to any and all questions, but also of asking questions about things fans want to hear about (you will find out more about the series and the film from this interview than you will from listening to the commentary track Joss made for the DVD and that commentary track was not hay).
Consequently, this is much more than a visual companion, as stunning as that part of the book can be. Once you read all of the background material you can sit down with the shooting script and follow along while watching the film to see not only what has been altered or deleted, but also to enjoy Whedon's stage directions (If you read any of the script books for "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" then you know there are always some fun little comments worked into his scripts). This is an absolute must have volume for the legion of fans of the television show and theatrical film. Final note: I thought the blue tinted shot of River with Mal's head behind her that appears on the cover of the "Serenity" premium trading cards binder looked pretty good and while they follow the same basic design with the cover for this book they have used a much better shot of Summer Glau as River (plus adding a shot of Firefly in flight from the binder's back cover rather than the Serenity symbol). The "Serenity" poster that is available is actually a cross between the two, the original River with the Firefly from this one, which is good, but not great.
Recently, however, I got SERENITY on Blu-ray (which, by the way, is far more worth the money than FIREFLY on Blu-ray--while the TV series was only marginally better on Blu-ray, SERENITY is improved dramatically, but I'll deal with all this when I get around to reviewing that disc) as an upgrade on the DVD Collector's Edition, which was in turn an upgrade over the original DVD (I really do hope that this is the last time I ever have to purchase SERENITY). To celebrate this I decided finally to read THE OFFICIAL VISUAL COMPANION. And I can without hesitation recommend it. The interview with Joss Whedon is a great one. The sketches and storyboards included in the volume are great. And the shooting script adds new dimensions to the movie. It is a great supplement to the movie.
Although I got the Blu-ray disc when it came back, I'm only now ready to watch it. I've seen SERENITY 5 or 6 times so I wasn't feeling too pressed to watch it again, though I did rewatch several of my favorite scenes just to check out how good the Blu-ray looked. But interestingly after reading this book I'm more excited to see the film again than ever. I'm sure it is just as good a read immediately after seeing it. However you decide to use it, if you are a fan of SERENITY, this is a must own book.