Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy' is More Making Than Art

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 - by Maurice Mitchell 2


The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy is good, but is less art and more making of the three films Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

The book is published by Harry N. Abrams and written by Jody Duncan Jesser, and Cinefex magazine writer Janine Pourboy. It's a decent size at 9.2 inches x 1.1 inches x 11.9 inches and weighing a whopping 4.5 pounds. If Batman could keep it in his utility belt, he could knock out the Joker.

It's 304 pages of behind the scenes stories and quotes. The pages start out with the quote from Henri Ducard: "Your parent's death was not your fault...But if you make yourself more than a man... if you devote yourself to an ideal...then you become something else entirely. Which is? A legend, Mr. Wayne."
Here's the official description:
"In 2005, director Christopher Nolan redefined the Batman legend with Batman Begins, starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader. A fresh, dynamic reboot of the franchise, Batman Begins explored the comic book hero’s origins and his evolution from billionaire Bruce Wayne to dark avenger who fights crime and corruption in Gotham City. A 2008 sequel, The Dark Knight, took those compelling, character-driven foundations and raised the stakes, pitting Batman against a deranged master criminal, the Joker, in an all-out war for Gotham’s soul. Now, the final film of Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, is 2012’s most anticipated film release.

"The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy tells the complete behind-the-scenes story of these three monumental films. Based on in-depth interviews with Nolan and all of the films’ key cast and crew—including cowriters David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, cinematographer Wally Pfister, and more—the book reveals the creative process behind the epic Dark Knight Trilogy, supported by lavish art and never-before-seen photography."

Here's the video preview of the book:

I was disappointed that it focuses very little on the artwork. We get many great photos of the filming though. My favorite is the shot of the life size Bat-Pod sitting on Nolan's patio while his wife and son look on.
Most of the book tells the story of the making of the film and the challenges they face. There are great stories and quotes, but very little you wouldn't find on the Internet, or in online interviews. It's nice that they put it all in one book though.
On the other hand, there is very little concept art and only one storyboard. Contrast this with book on Inception: The Shooting Script which was full of dozens of drawings and pages of storyboards.

There is no concept art for Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), which Gary Oldman (Commissioner Gordon) described as "fantastic." Only two images of Bane (Tom Hardy).

There's no list of the artists that worked on The Dark Knight Rises (like Tully Summers) but they do mention Jamie Rama in connection with The Dark Knight bat-suit design. Most of the time they focus on the work of Production Designer Nathan Crowley and Costume Designer of Lindy Hemmings. These guys are at the top of their game and did a lot of the designs, but they didn't work in a vacuum. The book gives vague terms like "artists" when acknowledging the contribution of other illustrators. The Avengers book had a complete list of all the illustrators who worked on the film. This book has none.








I can only assume they put everything in The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave because this book is empty.

The book is good if you're not familiar with the filming of the other movies and don't care about concept art and storyboards. Otherwise, it's a disappointment.
2.5 stars out of 5


Have you read the book? Would you read it?

About the Author

Maurice Mitchell
Lover of science fiction and art.

2 comments:

  1. Heyy but there IS a Catwoman concept art out here :P The Bane art looks v cool & so does the Catwoman one!

    ReplyDelete
  2.  Thanks Neil. I'll find that concept art yet! It's been my most challenging research project so far.

    ReplyDelete

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