Wednesday, May 15, 2002

The Art Of LOTR:FOTR Review - Xoanon @ 13:06 PST
From: Garfeimao

I went to the recent Book Expo in New York, and was afforded quite a treat at the Houghton Mifflin booth. They had the new The Art Of LOTR:FOTR book out on display, and I got to thumb through it nearly everytime I walked by their booth. Near the end of the day on Sunday, I was given one of the few books they had brought with them, so I am now holding it (after being dumb enough to ship it home instead of carrying it home). The book should be on shelves in bookstores all over the place in the next 2-3 weeks, as they mentioned that it had just started shipping. So, here's a little review of what's in it.

The book itself is 192 pages long, and is at least twice as thick as the hardcover Visual Companion book. This one is also in hardcover, with an overleaf of the Pillars of Argonath. The back cover is a shadowy image of one Black Rider overlooking a valley. It clearly states on the back that this book contains 500 exclusive paintings and drawings from the film, so don't expect me to go over the whole book for you. The book is split into chapters that focus on locations, costumes, armory, and creatures.

It is full of comparison pictures. You see sketches, paintings and then photos of what was actually on set, and then what it looked like after the composites had been added. One example is Weathertop. There is a stunning image of the actual rock, and then a picture of that rock with the ruins ontop, which was the artwork part of it.

The costumers out there are going to love the section on costumes. It has sample drawings for all the main characters, ideas for cloth swatches and then pictures of the final outfit on the actor. Same with the Armory section, which is both weapons, armor and flags, banners and insignia for different races and Houses. Hey, there is even an insignia for Glorfindel, who was excised from the story, so you know the detail was being put in for all sorts of different storylines. If this book doesn't help the costumers out there, nothing short of patterns onsale at the local fabric store will help.

The creatures section is fascinating, as they really get into the technicality of making the monsters come to life. I must say just about everything in this section is ugly, but then again, Tolkien's bad guys weren't trying to be sneaky about being evil.

The last page of the book claims that it will continue in The Art of the Two Towers, so now that's just one more thing to look forward to. Make sure you look for this book in the next few weeks, as it's a real keeper.

Pre-Order The Art of LOTR:FOTR Now!