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The Art Of the Matrix [Hardcover]

Larry Wachowski
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 4 2000 Newmarket Pictorial Moviebook
The Art of The Matrix goes beyond the film. But you cannot be told what this book is...you have to see it for yourself! The most unusual one-of-a-kind giftbook of the season, and the first and only book licensed by the creators of this awesome film--this is the complete pre-production archive of artwork and conceptual drawings, along with the script and commentary in the artists' own voices, in a beautifully printed, large format book, four-color throughout--long awaited by Matrix fans worldwide. Grossing more than $400 million worldwide, ranked as one of the all-time top-selling home video releases with over 2,000,000 DVDs sold, and winner of four Academy Awards--Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing--The Matrix has proven to be nothing short of a phenomenon. The tale of Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves), a computer hacker forced to confront his special destiny in the salvation of mankind, challenged our perceptions of reality and expanded our expectations of what a movie could be. Spencer Lamm writes in his introduction: "This book was created to express some sense of the massive planning that went into the film. It showcases the bulk of the artwork, presenting a close approximation of what was shown to the studio...Combining all the art, the Wachowskis were able to walk people through the script [219 scenes] producing, essentially, a 400-page giant comic book. Initially a tool to sell the picture, it became a detailed map for production."

Exclusive to this volume are:
* The complete shooting script by writers/directors Larry & Andy Wachowski
* The complete B&W storyboards (700+) by Steve Skroce (Spider-Man, Wolverine)
* The complete color storyboards by Tani Kunitake (Armageddon, 12 Monkeys)
* The complete and intensely intricate conceptual illustrations by Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot), presented in four double-sided gatefolds
* Introduction by Zach Staenberg, Oscar-winning Film Editor
* Afterword by William Gibson, author of Neuromancer, Mona Lisa Overdrive, and All Tomorrow's Parties
* 32-page color photo album of memorable stills and posters
* Commentary by all the artists about their work on the film, interviewed especially for this book
* Also: Thumbnail sketches by the Wachowski Brothers, deleted script excerpts, scene notes by Phil Oosterhouse (assistant to the Wachowski Brothers), three cut storyboard sequences, film credits.
* 488 pages (including 4 double-sided gatefolds and 32 page photo section). 8 38" x 10 78". Over 1000 illustrations. Complete storyboards and conceptual drawings, screenplay, more than 30 movie photos, posters, credits. Four-color printing throughout.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself." --Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), from the shooting script of The Matrix

The Matrix motion picture artwork and photography copyright (c) 2000 Warner Bros. All rights reserved.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

"The corner has been turned, where the impossible becomes possible," writes film editor Zach Staenberg in his introduction to the high-octane science fiction sensation that captured four Oscars less than a year ago. Illustrating the arduous production process, this hefty tribute showcases everything from Steve and Andy Wachowski's original stick figure sketches to the conceptual designs and dynamic, scene-by-scene storyboards (drawn and commented on by Geof Darrow, Steve Skroce and Tani Kunitake) that convinced Warner Bros. to green-light the project. Although some stunts, like Trinity's dive into a window from the top of a moving El train, were aborted because of safety and budgetary concerns, the movie closely mirrors the seamless narrative of the storyboards. In addition to the visuals, this comprehensive volume includes a final draft of the shooting script as well as scene notes and deleted script excerpts provided by Phil Oosterhouse, assistant to the Wachowski brothers. One cut that fans will find of particular interest occurs in the first scene. What was initially a segment addressing the consequences of leaving the Matrix and everyone in it is replaced by Trinity's thrilling introduction and narrow escape. The final pages will whet the appetites of Matrix enthusiasts further with an offering of several full-color promotional film shots and an enthusiastic afterword by renowned SF author William Gibson. As the first and only movie companion licensed by the Wachowski brothers, this pictorial feast is a must-have for SF fans and Matrix loyalists this gift-giving season.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-The Matrix, according to science-fiction author William Gibson, is "something very special: a big, muscular `effects' movie that's wildly generous with visual thrills,-and, most important of all, has a good heart." Substitute the word "book" for movie and you have a decent description of this title. It includes storyboards, both black and white and in color, with commentary by the artists; conceptual drawings; movie stills; information about cut scenes; scene notes; and the shooting script. The storyboards are essentially a graphic presentation of the movie. It is particularly fascinating to read the artists' own comments about their work. Fans of The Matrix and film-studies students will appreciate this glimpse into the preproduction process. The only disappointment is not hearing from the Wachowski brothers themselves, but they are apparently hard at work on the sequels. This is a large, beautifully designed book, with high-quality paper and sharp, striking pictures. It includes four gatefolds of marvelously detailed conceptual drawings. A browser's delight.-Susan Salpini, Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome. Simply awesome... June 8 2003
This book gave me the feeling I had when I saw *the matrix* for the very first time. Overwhelmed, in a good way.
It must have been a major undertaking to make this visual *history* of the movie. The art, altho most isnt full color, is spectacular. It was a great visual journey that speaks of the movies graphic novel beginnings.
I actually bought this book as a special birthday gift for my 12 year old son who loves both this movie and comic art (well, art in general) It is quite expensive. The cover price is $60 altho I got it for $50 at a local store. Still expensive and I had my second thoughts about buying it, especially for my son. I just felt that the book was very sturdy. Nice heavy hardcover, large format and thick, glossy pages. It seemed like a book that would hold up. An in truth I have spent more on video games for him that he was *finished* with in a few days. I think this will be a book he enjoys, reads,is inspired by and learns to draw from for a very long time.
In a way this book reminds me of the the *art from star wars* series. Possibly, those books were a *bit* slicker with their many color pictures, perhaps for more mass appeal. But looking back, I dont see them to be as dynamic as this one.
Honestly, I cant wait for my sons birthday so I can un-hide this book and lose myself in ...well....the matrix.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Book for the true Matrix Fan. Aug. 21 2001
This book is definitely a must-have for any matrix fan. This book goes in depth about each scene in the 1999 Blockbuster hit movie.
It includes mostly black and white illustrations and some colored ones of each and every scene. It's as if you're watching the movie in a book. Along with the illustrations are many commentaries to let you know what the Wachowski brothers were trying to accomplish. If this isn't enough, even the Wachowski brothers have commentaries in this book.
There are also illustrations in this book that are NOT in the movie. Commentaries will tell you why these scenes were omitted.
This book is pulling out all the stops to the movie, so why not add more? If illustrations and commentaries aren't enough for you, there's the ENTIRE script of the movie. It includes omitted dialogue.
Still not enough for you? Well then I'll go on. There's the full credit listing for this awesome movie. There's also a page for the Academy nominations and awards this movie has received...including the acceptance speeches. Okay okay, so these things aren't such a big deal, but I can only show you the door...you have to walk through it (Read on).
So you've decided to read more? Well, besides the illustrations, commentaries, unedited script, script commentaries, full cast and credits, awards page, there's 27 FULL PAGES of COLOR photos taken directly from the movie. There's the movie cover taking up a full page to start off with. Trinity, Neo, Morpheus and the Agents all have pages too. Let's not forget the Morpheus and Agent Smith fight scene, Tank, Cypher, Dozer, Apoc and Switch...they're in here too. There's the shootout scene, the rooftop scene and more all in this book. These are beautiful, high quality color photos taken from the movie and put into this book for your enjoyment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful. Feb. 25 2001
By A. Ross
Undoubtedly this is the most lavish publication of a screenplay in the brief history of published screenplays, and it's hard to imagine it being topped any time soon. The title makes the book's priorities clear, this is a book about the art behind the film, and how it was used to bring the Wachowski Brothers' vision to life. In reading the book, it's made abundantly clear that The Matrix was a film with a vision first, and then a script. And, like it or not, the storyboards did more to tell and sell the vision to the money men and get the movie made, than the script could ever have hoped to. This is a lesson that those in the screenwriting community would do well to file away in the back of their brains. Sometimes (albeit very, very rarely) the story in your head simply can't be fully communicated in screenplay form to those who count, you might have to look to simple storyboarding to tell/sell the whole story. It should be noted that in the case of The Matrix, these were high-end storyboards by professional comic book artists. From the Wachowski Brothers's stick figures, to 700 scene-by-scene storyboards, to conceptual art, it's all in here, including scenes that were never filmed for safety or budgetary reasons, as well as the shooting script and ten pages of script notes and deleted scenes from the script. The one major flaw is the absence of any commentary from the Wachowskis themselves. And naturally, there is a bit of filler near the end, but on the whole, the book's deisgn reflects the attention to detail and high quality of the film-and repeatedly reminds you that there are two more Matrixes to come. Thankfully, unlike "Making of" film books, the emphasis is on the storyboards and script, and thus the story, rather than the technical effects wizardry that makes it all happen onscreen. Read more ›
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment does not come cheaply Feb. 15 2001
By A Customer
After hearing about this book, I , like many other matrix fans waited with anticipation for it's arrival. After weeks of delay it finally arrived and i bought it without even opening the plastic wrapping. When i got home and opened my prize i was shocked to find over 400 pages of rough and ugly looking storyboards. Apparently the wrapping was meant to hide this appalling book instead of protect it from damage... I realize it's an "art of" book but the poor quality of it was absolutely the biggest disappointment i've ever had with any movie tie-in book. What about the computer effects? the cinematography? this is also a great part of the art but is totally ignored in 400+ pages.(i guess i have to wait for "the making of the matrix" if it's ever published ) If you're into movie books and NOT comics stay away from this one. The day after i bought it i returned to the store.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Matrix movie IS art
This is one of the best "Art of..." books. The drawings are simply fantastic, the captions are very informative and it really acts as a companion to the movie, rather... Read more
Published on June 16 2003 by "johnsmith2004"
3.0 out of 5 stars I expected more
The art of this book is great, however I missed more photos of the real movie and also off-screen photos to make the work perfect, because the movie deserves. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2002 by Roque Maria Neto
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for budding and aspiring writers or comic book fans
I have to stress this out, this book is good mostly for the hardcore fans of the movie who happen to be admirers of comic book genres. Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2002 by Hengky Tanoyo
5.0 out of 5 stars How could'nt you like it?
This is a book i've been looking for a long time!! This book is consited of not only the greatest comic art but the greatest story line from a comic book to be converted into a... Read more
Published on July 20 2001 by Tim Collier
5.0 out of 5 stars The most amazing storyboard book I've ever seen
As a Marvel Comics fan, I always enjoyed the drawings of Steve Skroce. I always liked his dynamic style and the ballistic exaggerations he draws. Read more
Published on July 3 2001 by Roberto G. Macedo Alves
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love this movie, you will need this book...
I picked this book up at the Fangoria convention in NYC the other day, and I was amazed. It has everything you could possibly want to know about the creation of this brilliant... Read more
Published on April 8 2001 by Jason Thomas Landis
3.0 out of 5 stars The Art Of The Matrix
I'm gonna pretty much write the same kind of review that everyone else has been posting. It's cool to get ANY kind of book related to "The Matrix" to be published, but... Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2001 by "phbowles"
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for Matrix Fan
This book is really nice if you are a fan of the Matrix. But, it is especially nice if you are a comic book fan like the Wachowski Brothers seem to be. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2001 by Fred Shigelbort
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Matrix: Mostly a Hardback Comic Book
Impressive at first glance, it turns out that most of this weighty book is dominated by a "storyboard" that is little different than a comic book, albeit one dramatically... Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2001 by The Mighty Hudson
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