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The Art Of District 9: Weta Workshop [Hardcover]

Daniel Falconer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 43.50
Price: CDN$ 27.27 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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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Review

'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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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
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
By Parka HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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.)
Was this review helpful to you?
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!
Was this review helpful to you?
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 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
43 of 44 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
By Parka - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
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.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I might have peed a little July 18 2011
By SixFootEwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'll keep this short since there are 15 other 5 star reviews, but this is a model for what all other "art of" books should be. Complete design evolution of characters and weapons, along with photos of final Weta props. The book even shows a lot of the graphic design: everything from the alien language to the human corporations. So many awesome. Buy! Buy buy buy!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!!! All "art of" books should be this good. Dec 30 2010
By iXlad66 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A must have if you loved the production design of the film or if you are a sci-fi/fantasy artist looking for inspiration.
Unbelievable photos and reproductions of District 9's concept art.
Destined to be a highly sought-after collectible book.
Get it while you can!
Glad I ordered two copies.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great art book March 24 2011
By P. Wohr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lots of really great concept work in this book. I would definitely recommend it to any one who liked the art style of the movie and wanted to see more about the process. There are plenty of examples of iteration showing how the art evolved into it's final incarnation. If you like sci fi art, concept art, and this movie then you will probably like the book as much as I did.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent art from an even better team. Jan. 11 2011
By Gwyllabrach - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Finally. FINALLY! An "Art of" book that actually has art in it. And not just the approved art, but loads of concept art to boot. More so than even I thought had been created. It's always so frustrating when a movie studio releases a "Art of" book on a movie and there's very little to show for it. I don't want to see movie stills. I want the process that arrived to that point. What did they do for the first three months of production? Did they immediately arrive at the final product? Were there even artists hired to do concepts? I don't need to know the actor's schedule, or the conditions they had to deal with on set, or even a production diary. I want art! And this book delivers.

You have to hand it to the folks at WETA, they've done it again. I haven't been disappointed yet by one of their productions and their latest release doesn't disappoint by a long shot. I'm always amazed by the spectrum of talents by the WETA team and have been religiously following them since before The Frighteners. And, boy, do they fill this book with concepts. Like:

Did you know there were actually two exo suits? Well, they're there in all their biomechanical glory.

Or that the aliens were actually lumbering brutes meant to be portrayed by a man-in-a-suit? Dozens of concepts of aliens based on Blomkamp's original short film are there. Many are a radical departure from the approved aliens in the movie. You'll be amazed by the routes that could have been taken.

How about this. Did you know that in the original treatments, Neil Blomkamp had a slaver race of aliens that ran the show? Oh yeah. Wicked creepy. Buy the book and see them.

This is a great book. Even the design harkens to the imagery seen in the film. It looks remarkably--on first glance--like a book on street graffiti. And considering how the aliens plaster themselves in refuse and how their writing captures a graffiti-like look, it's not hard to see why.

I can't give enough praise for this book. Go on, add it to your collection. I'm more than happy I did.
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