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The Art Of District 9: Weta Workshop [Hardcover]

Daniel Falconer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.50
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Book Description

Dec 13 2010
The Art Of District 9 gives fans a behind-the-scenes tour through the most visually and technologically stunning film of the past decade. Written by Weta Works insider Daniel Falconer—a special effects wizard who worked on The Lord of the Rings and The Lion, the Witch and the WardrobeThe Art Of District 9 will answer the question everyone has been asking since the movie’s 2009 release: How did they do it?

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The Art Of District 9: Weta Workshop + Elysium: The Art of the Film + The Art of Remember Me
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'What makes Blomfeld's film so radical is the clarity and force with which it proves that science fiction can tell us as much about the world we live in as any social documentary. ' Telegraph 'A towering achievement.' The Times 'The digital effects are so great they make it look like a documentary from hell.' Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

In 2009 Weta Workshop created a world so uncannily realistic that the special effects (in addition to an undeniably poignant plot) helped a low-budget film with an unknown cast become a blockbuster hit. Movie-goes, bloggers, and critics could not stop talking about Neill Blomkamp's first feature film, District 9, the newest alien movie that has raised the bar for science fiction thrillers in the new century.

Weta Workshop's artists created the special make-up effects, physical characteristics, alien weaponry, props, armor, custom vehicles and spaceships that were all stylized in a foreign yet familiar graphic language that defined the film's distinctive alien aesthetic. This book illuminates the creative design process, detailing two years of interaction between Weta's artists and director Neill Blomkamp in the form of hundreds of images of concept art from both the designers and director, stunning photographs of the props and sculptures, and insightful remarks from the artists themselves. Many of the images included in this book have never been seen before, including work cut or barely glimpsed in the finished film. Written by designer Daniel Falconer with a foreword by Neill Blomkamp and introduction by Richard Taylor (multi Academy Award winning special effects and make-up artist and head of Weta), The Art of District 9 offers an unrivalled, front row glimpse into the creative minds and hands that shaped this amazing film.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It has more than what you saw in the film Jan. 4 2011
Length: 1:04 Mins
Weta Workshop is a brand that's synonymous with quality creative work. The Art of District 9 is another testament to the amazing work they do, on top of what they have already done - Avatar, Lord of the Rings, King Kong and Narnia.

The Art of District 9 is a 160-page hardcover. This book actually cost a few dollars less than typical art books of this size. This is a fantastic bargain.

The book is filled with concept art. Most of the things you see are in their various stages of development, from the idea to the final designs. There are lots of iterations for character designs, the aliens, props, weapons, the mothership and many other stuff. All the visuals in the book are in high resolution with great detail.

What you see in the film is actually a small part of what's presented in the book. You can see a discarded concepts like crazy Organ Retriever which can harvest organs at the press of a button (I suppose), and then there's the variation of the exo suit which was designed to the stage where a life-size model was created and then dropped - I can't even begin to imagine how it feels like to have work at that stage of completion thrown out. And there are a few impressive mothership designs which weren't used as well.

Other than the illustrated art, there are also lots of pictures on the sculpts created. What impresses me are the weapon designs. They look really good, and they are printed really big, and there are lots of them.

Lead conceptual designer Greg Broadmore, creature designer David Meng, Neill Blomkamp and other artists provide good insight into the conceptualization process with their commentary.

This is one of the better art books for 2010.

Highly recommended.

(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 Awesome! Jan. 9 2014
By Mace
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great Book! Goes into a lot of detail about how the film was created from start to finish. Amazing work!
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When i say forgotten, i mean it in the sense that there was little to no marketing done for this flick, but it rocked our world. Everyone knows what transformer movies are, not as many will think so quickly to District 9. Given that, one must look back at what became of older films that at the time were successful but not extremely popular, and looking back now they sort of helped revolutionize the cinematic world more than some of their bigger budget cousins.

Thankfully, due to the internet, District 9 didn't have to bomb at the box office like Blade Runner did, and rode on a wave of positive reaction of those who did go see it.

This book is a wonderful view, not so much into Weta, as to how the world was shaped for the flick. Its not too character centric and its very well balanced in content. Hard cover and for under $30, knowing the material that would have been included, its definitely a safe choice for the sci-fi fan to spend their cash on, and expand the universe within their art book collection.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING. July 30 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Just loved it. VFX at its best, under a tight budget. Great film, great effort. The book says it all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Explore deeper into the world of District 9 Dec 22 2010
By bulog
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There's a lot of great stuff about the film District 9 that won't be necessary to go into here, but what makes the film work is how it feels visually, and exploring this book completely covers every single aspect of that. Unknown to me at the time when I first saw the film, is that they had planned on having 3 different types of aliens in the film that were refugees in South Africa, and within that slum area of District 9 existed a microcosm of society that would have weighed it down too much. What I love about these books are them displaying the process of world building for films, and that is exactly what you see here, from all the concepts of what the prawn aliens were going to look like, to the tests of what the man-in-suit aliens were supposed to look like, to the different types of technology and weapons, and their actual uses, are brilliantly presented here, all from the archives of the WETA workshop. Definitely a must have for any sci-fi fan, film buff, or art lover.
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