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[Book Review] ‘World War Z: The Art Of The Film’

Since the first trailer was released for the zombie blockbuster, fans have been wondering how it fits in Max Brook’s universe. While this book does not offer insight as to how the writers decided on the final story, it does include the shooting script, which displays whatever remnants of the novel are left in the film. Ultimately, I’m not convinced the filmmakers chose the best way to go about the adaptation, but it would be unfair to judge this book based on my opinions on the film. What the book does offer is some cool concept art, nice production stills, lost weaponry, and an interesting look how the FX team designed the zombies with specific intent.

WRITTEN BY: Titan Book Staff
PUBLISHER: Titan Books
RELEASE: Out now
PRICE: $19.95

The vast majority of the pages of “World War Z: The Art of the Film” are filled by the actual shooting script, presented alongside some artwork. Reading the script allows you to appreciate the few elements of Brooks’ novel that actually did make it into the film. The script is sectioned off by location (Jerusalem, Wales, etc.) and the art presented coincides with that location. The book editors lay out the script and artwork nicely for the most part, offering a balance between text and image. The script itself is an intriguing read, though a bit clunky for a screenplay at times. Still, it’s nice to know they think of the script as “art”. Obviously, I would have preferred the original draft of the screenplay, before David Lindelof overhauled it, and I’m still hoping that script surfaces some day.

The actualy artwork in the book comes in the form of production stills, sketches, storyboards, and concept art. There is a nice balance of everything and it really shows how much pre-production design went into the making of World War Z. The most interesting part comes in the last 30 pages of the book, after the script is over, which show the zombie designs. There is a mix of practical and digital artwork to demonstration how much care and thought the creative team put into the design of the zombies, specifically the detailed 3D modelling.

Also included at the tail end of the book are designs for some really cool makeshift weapons that we never see in the film. These remind of me of weapons you would find in games like Silent Hill or Condemned. Unfortunately, these weapons are not mentioned anywhere in the script and no context is given. I imagine they come from that earlier draft of the script…

The book is loaded with quotes from everyone involved in the production of the film, from the director to the special effects consultants. While there are some nice quotes from the FX team about their thought process in creating a new kind of zombie, the majority of quotes are totally unnecessary and/or irrelevant to what is on the page. It would have been much better to get a description of the images, rather than random quotes.

Is this book for everyone? No, not at all. But if you are one of those audience members that loved the film and you’re interested in the filmmaking process, it’s a quality book to display on your coffee table. Titan Books have produced yet another eye-catching art book. There’s a variety of concept art, some interesting quotes, and a decent screenplay to read for aspiring writers.

3/5 Skulls




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