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Heads On And We Shoot: The Making of Where the Wild Things Are [Hardcover]

Editors Of Mental Floss
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.99
Price: CDN$ 27.58 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 5 2009

Maurice Sendak′s classic book Where the Wild Things Are follows the adventures of Max, a headstrong young boy who leaves home after having a fight with his mother, only to find himself in a mysterious forest bordering a vast sea. Misunderstood and rebellious, Max sets sail to the land of the Wild Things, where mischief reigns. But how do you turn one of the world′s favorite children′s books into a movie?

This film incorporates the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live-action puppetry, and computer animation into a live-action adventure story that captures the magic of the book-and takes it to a new dimension. In order to preserve the realistic nature of the film, the Wild Things are not created digitally. Instead, Spike Jonze brings these characters to life in the form of physical suits built by the Jim Henson Company. These creatures, operated by a suit performer, interact with the live actor playing Max on set in front of the camera. After principal photography is finished, CGI is being used to make the creatures completely lifelike and convincing.

HEADS ON AND WE SHOOT unveils the unique collaboration behind this highly anticipated film-the combined work of Maurice Sendak, Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers, and all the cast and crew. The book design is heavily image-based, a mix of early sketches, storyboards, character designs, and extensive behind-the-scenes photographs that show both incredible live-action puppetry and computer animation. The text includes forewords by Jonze and Eggers, interviews with the cast and crew, stories from on and off the set, and early drafts of the screenplay. The resulting book will be simultaneously a beautiful object for collectors, an insider′s guide for devotees, and an intimate window into the creative process.


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Product Description

About the Author

Spike Jonze has directed Being John Malkovich and music videos for artists including The Beastie Boys, Weezer, Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, and Tenacious D.



Dave Eggers, a former professional stundman, is the editor of McSweeney's and the author of the New York Times bestseller A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, creative and beautiful book Dec 15 2009
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Length: 0:38 Mins
I was pleasantly surprised with this book because it has a unique binding. If you open the book slightly looking at it from the front and top, it's bound like the letter M, with the pages fitting in the openings, on the front and back sides. It's first of its kind.

This is the movie production book is split into three sections or "books" as it's referred to on the contents page. It looks at the preproduction, production, and postproduction. Everything about the production is in, including sound mixing and the animation part. Because of the binding, you have to turn the book over to get to the third "book". Very cool.

The commentary is in conversational style, with stories and insights from the director, actors, production crew and author Maurice Sendak himself. The production process is seen from so many perspective and it's really interesting to read about all the incidents that happen behind the scene. There are horror stories like how one camera man almost drowned in the sea during the storm and logistic nightmares when Wild Things suits have to be redone because they were too heavy. There's a good deal of stories on how the crew interacted with one another, with all the crazy things they do to relieve stress.

The high resolution set photos included are beautiful and filled amazing details. There's one with a costume designer working on a foot almost the size of her body and you can see foot's skin texture, the thick veins and the slightly yellow toe nails which have some bits chipped off. It's interesting how filming is done and the location shots with crew doing their stuff.

This movie companion is very well done, extremely creative and beautifully laid out.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars rumpus reprise Oct. 26 2009
By android
Format:Hardcover
**HIGHLY RECOMMENDED** gorgeous companion piece to the film... chocked full of beautiful behind-the-scenes photos, insightful interviews with all the creative minds who shaped the film, and given a personal touch with all the quirky, handwritten commentary from director spike jonze scattered throughout the pages... if you loved the film (and the original book) as much as i do, you must add this keepsake to your library at home!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creatively bound & informative book Oct. 23 2009
By Carbonadam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The film making process has always been fascinating to me. When a film comes along that I love and supplemental material is available I am usually intrigued. This book grabbed my attention right away because of it's unique binding. It's bound into 3 sections, each detailing a different aspect of production. The book is filled with, stories, art, photos, and more all related to the production of this amazing film. This is a book for someone who loved this film and wants more. With it you will be able to get a bit closer to the filmmakers sensibilities. The film was very open and vast in it's scope. The book will help to open up the film even more and show behind the scenes of how it was all accomplished. My son and I loved the film and have bee pouring over this since we got it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, creative and beautiful book Dec 15 2009
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised with this book because it has a unique binding. If you open the book slightly looking at it from the front and top, it's bound like the letter M, with the pages fitting in the openings, on the front and back sides. It's first of its kind.

This is the movie production book is split into three sections or "books" as it's referred to on the contents page. It looks at the preproduction, production, and postproduction. Everything about the production is in, including sound mixing and the animation part. Because of the binding, you have to turn the book over to get to the third "book". Very cool.

The commentary is in conversational style, with stories and insights from the director, actors, production crew and author Maurice Sendak himself. The production process is seen from so many perspective and it's really interesting to read about all the incidents that happen behind the scene. There are horror stories like how one camera man almost drowned in the sea during the storm and logistic nightmares when Wild Things suits have to be redone because they were too heavy. There's a good deal of stories on how the crew interacted with one another, with all the crazy things they do to relieve stress.

The high resolution set photos included are beautiful and filled amazing details. There's one with a costume designer working on a foot almost the size of her body and you can see foot's skin texture, the thick veins and the slightly yellow toe nails which have some bits chipped off. It's interesting how filming is done and the location shots with crew doing their stuff.

This movie companion is very well done, extremely creative and beautifully laid out.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fantastic Dec 20 2009
By J. Ballinger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Anything having to do with the making of movie is going to be an interest to me, but this book was just so well made. I really enjoy putting faces to parts of the movie like editors and sound directors. You don't realize how important these people are until you can really see what they do and I think having a face for them makes them seem even more important.
Overall the book is amazing, the movies amazing, and the people who worked on it are absolutely fantastic. It's a good buy.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book Feb. 19 2013
By Rochelle Norlund - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I haven't seen the Behind The Scenes of Where The Wild Things Are movie on DVD, but I wish they could put it onto the DVD of Where The Wild Things Are. I do like the pictures, and how they brought the Wild Things to life, and how the movie takes place.

I am a huge Where The Wild Things Are movie fan.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book Dec 9 2011
By MeghanD - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book, full of information and pictures. If you love "Where the Wild Things Are", the original book or the movie, you will love this book.
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