Books

Ama­zon ad­ven­ture A deep dive into how the new Won­der Woman movie was cre­ated, with art and in­sight along the way

ImagineFX - - Contents -

The book is a suc­ces­sion of guides cov­er­ing ev­ery vis­ual el­e­ment of the film

Au­thor Sharon Gosling Pub­lisher Ti­tan Books Price £30 Web www.ti­tan­books.com Avail­able Now

We’re sent a lot of ‘Art of’ film books here at Imag­ineFX, but they’re by no means all alike. Some are padded out with film stills and fea­ture very lit­tle ac­tual art. Oth­ers are filled with eye­open­ing con­cept art­work from cover to cover. This large-for­mat vol­ume, de­voted to the new Won­der Woman film di­rected by Patty Jenk­ins, falls some­where in the mid­dle.

Quite a few of the im­ages in­cluded here are film stills or in-progress pro­duc­tion shots, which feels a lit­tle waste­ful if you’ve al­ready seen the film. And where art­work is fea­tured, there’s a frus­trat­ing lack of cred­its for the artists who cre­ated it.

But we don’t want to over­state the neg­a­tives. There’s still a good num­ber of pre­lim­i­nary sketches, sto­ry­boards, con­cept art and set and cos­tume de­signs within these beau­ti­fully pro­duced pages, plus a lot of tex­tual de­tail about how the film was con­ceived and pro­duced.

Fol­low­ing an in­tro­duc­tion by Jenk­ins, the book is es­sen­tially a suc­ces­sion of two- or four-page guides cov­er­ing ev­ery vis­ual el­e­ment of the film, more or less chrono­log­i­cally. The first half de­tails the dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, the myr­iad lo­ca­tions of The­myscira (in­clud­ing the is­land, the Throne Room and Diana’s bed­room) as well as its weapons and ar­mour (both Diana’s and the Ama­zons’ as a whole). Then there’s a close look at the beach bat­tle, for which we see CGI break­downs and orig­i­nal sto­ry­boards.

This is fol­lowed by a brief, six-page sec­tion on Diana’s jour­ney across the sea, which in­cludes a look at how the ship was put to­gether dig­i­tally. Then the fi­nal sec­tion fo­cuses on ‘Man’s World’, with some good in­sights into how lo­ca­tions like Lon­don, Dover Docks, the War Rooms and No Man’s Land were de­vel­oped.

Right at the end of the book, there’s a bonus in­sert: a black en­ve­lope stamped with the Wayne En­ter­prises logo. In­side is a ac­etate black-and­white photo of the film’s main char­ac­ters. Fans will doubt­less love this, though given the book’s ti­tle, it’s a shame this wasn’t a fab­u­lous piece of con­cept art in­stead.

With ex­ten­sive quotes from both Patty and pro­duc­tion de­signer Aline Bonetto, it all adds up a de­tailed guide to how the film was cre­ated, and is par­tic­u­larly strong on ex­plain­ing how the en­vi­ron­ments and all-im­por­tant cos­tumes were re­alised. Fewer film stills and more con­cept art would have nudged us closer to a five-star rat­ing, but this is still a top-notch re­lease.

Ra ting ★★★★

Con­cept art of the young Diana scam­per­ing through a mar­ket­place on The­myscira.

The Ama­zo­nian ar­mour var­ied from char­ac­ter to char­ac­ter, to con­vey a sense of in­di­vid­u­al­ity.

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