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300: The Art of the Film [Hardcover]

Zack Snyder
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.50
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Book Description

Jan. 2 2007
What does it mean to turn one of the great graphic novels of our time into a major motion picture? In 1998, Frank Miller shook the comics world with his groundbreaking series 300. Marking Miller’s first collaboration with watercolor artist Lynn Varley (Ronin, The Dark Knight Returns) in over a decade, 300 was a gritty reimagining of a battle in which 300 Spartan soldiers fought to hold back the entire Persian army. The series won five Eisner Awards, including Best Limited Series, Best Writer/Artist (Miller) and Best Colorist (Varley).

300: The Art of the Movie takes you behind the scenes as director Zack Snyder (Dawn of the Dead) adapts 300 to the silver screen. With 200 pages of production photos, concept art and much, much more, 300: The Art of the Movie is sure to delight Miller fans and movie buffs alike.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Art art art Aug. 29 2007
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Translating a graphic novel into the world of cinema can be a tricky business.

And the first step is concept art -- creating basic images of the characters, costumes, and important, visually-striking scenes. "300: The Art Of The Film" is crammed with such images, detailing virtually every part of the movie... but it's very skimpy on explanations and information.

It starts off with a couple of prefaces -- one by an expert on military history, and the other explaining the purpose of revealing the concept art. Then concept art itself: it basically outlines the story, beginning with the "inspection" of newborn Spartan boys and ending with another battle brewing between the Spartans and Persians.

These include pages and pages of rough sketches and detailed drawings for the cinematogrpahers, some representing only a few seconds (a fist hitting a slave's face). Then there are plenty of costume sketches, depictions of unreal-looking monsters, tents, and the gorgeous sets for things like Xerxes' opulant golden litter. Actually, it's more of a portable house.

But it has more than just concept art -- there are clay models, special effects shots, elaborate makeup and costume for things like the hunchbacked traitor, Xerxes' chain-porn costume, and things like knives stuck in a eye, and even green-screen shots before the CGI gloss was put on. And there are shots showing how they managed certain effects, like the people who controlled the animatronic "wolf."

And with every sketch and behind-the-scene shot, they show the finished result as it appears in the movie. A lot of them have the original art by Frank Miller as well, to show us how close the movie actually is to its source material. Visually speaking, it's a feast of behind-the-scenes information.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Light in Content Feb. 12 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
This book doesn't explain much on the process of making the movie. Most of the art in the book lack captions. This book feels light in content simply for the fact that you don't get much information.

There are plenty of conceptual art, 3D renders and storyboards. But there seem to a lot of movie stills as well, to the effect that it felt that half the book contained movie stills. There are also a lot of 3 penciled storyboards that take one page to themselves. Certainly they don't deserve those sizes.

For a movie based on a graphic novel, I was expecting much more paintings to be included in the book. The movie was shot too stylistically that it's hard to imagine that there are not much more storyboard paintings.

There are more pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 300: The Art Of The Film March 23 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
300: The Art Of The Film. An excellent art book for this Epic film. First rate packaging and Delivery time was excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Movie Stills Are A Let Down Feb. 5 2007
By Brandon J. Haynes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The book is great at documenting the film progress but it LACKS completely in regards to the film still resolution. All of the great shots from the movie are blurry and pixelatd which really take away from the overall effect. They come off looking like bad scans. I would pass this book over in hopes of another release after the film and the movie studio invests in providing better photos.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Concepts galore Aug. 26 2007
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Translating a graphic novel into the world of cinema can be a tricky business.

And the first step is concept art -- creating basic images of the characters, costumes, and important, visually-striking scenes. "300: The Art Of The Film" is crammed with such images, detailing virtually every part of the movie... but it's very skimpy on explanations and information.

It starts off with a couple of prefaces -- one by an expert on military history, and the other explaining the purpose of revealing the concept art. Then concept art itself: it basically outlines the story, beginning with the "inspection" of newborn Spartan boys and ending with another battle brewing between the Spartans and Persians.

These include pages and pages of rough sketches and detailed drawings for the cinematogrpahers, some representing only a few seconds (a fist hitting a slave's face). Then there are plenty of costume sketches, depictions of unreal-looking monsters, tents, and the gorgeous sets for things like Xerxes' opulant golden litter. Actually, it's more of a portable house.

But it has more than just concept art -- there are clay models, special effects shots, elaborate makeup and costume for things like the hunchbacked traitor, Xerxes' chain-porn costume, and things like knives stuck in a eye, and even green-screen shots before the CGI gloss was put on. And there are shots showing how they managed certain effects, like the people who controlled the animatronic "wolf."

And with every sketch and behind-the-scene shot, they show the finished result as it appears in the movie. A lot of them have the original art by Frank Miller as well, to show us how close the movie actually is to its source material. Visually speaking, it's a feast of behind-the-scenes information.

Buuuuut....

"300: The Art Of The Film" suffers from a lack of background information -- they show us loads of information, but don't tell WHY they were done, or even the intricacies of HOW. Come on, they must have had some trial-and-error in this film. While we can see the art for ourselves, we're rarely told much about why they chose this costume, or that monster, and how they created some of the weirder visuals.

So while the book is visually rich, it feels incomplete, like they left a lot of the text out to keep the guide from getting too long. Sometimes pages and pages will go by with only a few sparely-written paragraphs describing the intricacies of the movie. "300" is a visual movie, but come on, there's more to it than that.

"300: The Art Of The Film" has loads of art, but not much explanation in how it got from art to movie. It stumbles badly as a behind-the-scenes guide, but it's still an intriguing visual read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Light in Content Aug. 19 2008
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book doesn't explain much on the process of making the movie. Most of the art in the book lack captions. This book feels light in content simply for the fact that you don't get much information.

There are plenty of conceptual art, 3D renders and storyboards. But there seem to a lot of movie stills as well, to the effect that it felt that half the book contained movie stills. There are also a lot of 3 penciled storyboards that take one page to themselves. Certainly they don't deserve those sizes.

For a movie based on a graphic novel, I was expecting much more paintings to be included in the book. The movie was shot too stylistically that it's hard to imagine that there are not much more storyboard paintings.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good But Not Perfect Jan. 12 2007
By Cat Silverthorne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a fascinating look at how the movie 300 was put together. It will be very pleasing to both Frank Miller and SFX fans. It goes into some detail about how the look of the film was achieved, but is a cursory look at the FX and serious computer FX enthusiasts may feel a bit short changed as the book doesn't really go into the nitty gritty of computer graphics, but it does show the general process from book to storyboard to film, and Zack Snyder's attention to detail. If you are a Gerry Butler fan, be warned that the book does not feature him prominently, but there are plenty of pictures where he is part of the shot. There is a serious mistake on the page that features Butler and his costuming. The text refers to him as "Gerald Butler" not Gerard, and that is an editing error that should have been caught. Maybe a second printing will correct the problem. I did like that the cover of the book is designed to look almost exactly like my copy of Miller's 300. They sit nicely side by side, and it was fascinating to take the orginal text and look at the movie's recreation of the shot. Overall, a fun book to own.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misinterpretations Aside July 17 2007
By Kory - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
It seems that some people are having a hard time realizing that the title of this book includes "The Art of the Film" and are searching for filming procedures, or sociopolitical explanations on behalf of the film when, in fact, this IS an art book. And for what it is, it does a great job revealing the artistic vision behind the film 300. From makeup effects to storyboarding to the comic conversion of the film, "300: The Art of the Film" makes a stylistic presentation that is worthy of the aesthetic care of the movie itself. Anyone who is interested in the artistic background in the movie 300 will appreciate the clean layout and complete presentation of this book.
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