Monday, January 5, 2015

Were It Not For The Furious Gods, Prometheus: The Art Of The Film Would Be Indispensible To Fans!

The Good: Decent stories, Great artwork, Affordable
The Bad: Repetitive, Nothing exclusive, Incomplete
The Basics: Prometheus: The Art Of The Film is an excellent tool for building hype for the film Prometheus and it is a wonderful resource to moviemakers, but there is nothing unique to it, which makes it more dated than timeless!

Back when Prometheus (reviewed here!) was first released, I was incredibly excited about the film. In fact, despite the problems with the plot of the film, I remain a pretty active fan of Prometheus. My wife seems to have tapped into that and she has picked me up a decent number of Prometheus-related gifts. The latest gift that is related to my love of Prometheus is Prometheus: The Art Of The Film. Prometheus: The Art Of The Film, by Mark Salisbury, is a book by Titan Books, a publisher that seems to specialize with releasing coffeetable books to coincide with genre blockbuster film releases.

Such is the case with Prometheus: The Art Of The Film. Salisbury wrote the book well and the sources are incredible, but in a world where so much information if available at the tip of one’s fingers thanks to the internet, books like Prometheus: The Art Of The Film lose their edge. In the specific case of Prometheus: The Art Of The Film, Salisbury and Titan Books run into the dual problems of not being exclusive/thorough enough and having to compete with a pretty impressive documentary. The former problem is one that has to irk people like Salisbury; just last week, artwork surfaced for a film that was being pitched around the time of Prometheus’s conception, an Aliens sequel featuring Ripley and Corporal Hicks that was the brainchild of director Neill Blomkamp. There is not even the faintest allusion to the project in Prometheus: The Art Of The Film and, considering the breaking news on the subject was art-related, print media once again takes a hit to the awesome power of the internet.

Unfortunately, Prometheus: The Art Of The Film is competing directly with The Furious Gods: The Making Of Prometheus (reviewed here!), a documentary that was released with the Blu-Ray version of the film. This is unfortunate because in Prometheus: The Art Of The Film, Mark Salisbury culls a number of great behind-the-scenes stories about how Prometheus was conceptualized and visualized . . . but the documentary includes all the same stories and more!

The benefit, of course, for Prometheus: The Art Of The Film is that it is a solid, stable book (those who want to take time to appreciate the artwork can linger on the pages as opposed to pausing a Blu-Ray) as opposed to a flickering screen.

As the title suggests, Prometheus: The Art Of The Film is a nonfiction, hardcover, book which explores how the film Prometheus was made. The writing is from Mark Salisbury (with a forward by Ridley Scott) and it is Salisbury’s relaying of a number of stories from the creative staff and stars of Prometheus. Salisbury charts the course of the creation of the film from the first pitches to the major rewrites through the storyboard sessions. He then got extensive interviews with creative personnel associated with the creation of Prometheus - costume designers, ship/vehicle designers, set dressers, etc. – in order to get the stories behind how the look and feel of Prometheus was developed. The level of thought behind every aspect of the designs in Prometheus is impressive and Salisbury catalogues the stories well, from the various thoughts behind the spacesuits that Shaw would wear to the various revisions of the Ampule found on the alien planet!

What makes Prometheus: The Art Of The Film worthwhile and still worth picking up for die-hard fans (even after they have watched the documentary) are the book’s extensive photographs. Prometheus: The Art Of The Film is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes production pictures that incredibly detail the entire process of conceptualizing and creating the iconic images of Prometheus. The photographs are presented on beautiful, glossy, pages and anyone looking to make a science fiction epic will appreciate the level of detail captured in the pictures in the book. They are worthy of study.

Titan Books originally asked $39.95 for Prometheus: The Art Of The Film, but as the hype for Prometheus has died down, so has the price of the coffeetable book deflated. The advantage of this is that at clearance prices, Prometheus: The Art Of The Film becomes an indispensable asset to die-hard fans instead of a cashgrab. Despite being trumped by The Furious Gods, Prometheus: The Art Of The Film remains worthwhile and enjoyable.

For other Prometheus-related and film tie-in reviews, please check out my reviews of:
NECA Prometheus Holographic Engineer (Pressure Suit) Action Figure
Watchmen Portraits By Clay Enos
The Official Star Trek Prop And Costume Auction Book


For other book reviews, please check out my Book Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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