The Best of Book Reviews: looking back at a few of my favorite books.
(Review republished with permission from partner site MovieArtBook.com)
As a big fan of what Mr. Nolan has done with the Batman character in his "Dark Knight Trilogy", this book is 300+ pages of pure joy! Every aspect of the filmmaking process is detailed in the book, accompanied by hundreds of photos (many of which I have never seen published before).
Here are the Chapters contained in the book:
1. Screenplay - how the concept of the films was born with Nolan & David Goyer, writing the scripts, and taking inspiration from the comics when crafting the story.
2. Production Design - building the sets, scouting & dressing locations, designing Batman's vehicles. Includes some concept art.
3. Cast - casting the characters, insight into the actors' process. One of the best aspects of the films is that Nolan assembles a very strong cast, even in smaller supporting roles. Obviously, much of the focus is placed on selecting Christian Bale to play Bruce Wayne.
4. Costumes & Makeup - discussion about the costumes of the film, including plenty of costume sketches. Includes detail about the evolution of Batman's suit, the Joker's makeup, Bane's mask, etc.
5. The Shoot: Batman Begins - a chronicle of the 129-day shoot, Nolan's directing style, filming on location, shooting the Tumbler chase, etc
6. The Shoot: The Dark Knight - filming in Chicago, IMAX cameras, the hospital explosion, etc.
7. The Shoot: The Dark Knight Rises - filming in Pittsburgh and India, shooting the opening plane sequence practically, destroying a football stadium, etc.
8. Special Effects & Stunts - insight into the stunt work with effects coordinator Chris Corbould. This covers most of the big fight sequences and stunts in the three films and how they were achieved.
9. Editing, Music, and Sound - Lee Smith on editing the films, and specifically how be cut effectively between parallel story lines and action. Scoring the film, including quotes from composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. Designing the film's sounds and mixing them effectively with the music (they discuss the clarity issue of Bane's voice).
10. Visual Effects - It seems like these films used every method of visual effects available, from models and miniatures to computer-generated effects. Specific topics include creating digital bats and the monorail crash in Batman Begins, the ferry boat sequence from The Dark Knight, and the stadium explosions in The Dark Knight Rises.
11. Marketing - A discussion about the promotion of the films. This includes traditional methods like posters (with over a dozen poster images in the book) to the unique "viral marketing" that emphasized social media to get the audience to participate in the marketing. Other topics include screening the IMAX prologues and San Diego Comic-Con.
The book also includes a foreword by Christopher Nolan and an introduction by Michael Caine. Also, printed at the end of the book is a tribute that Nolan wrote about Heath Ledger, titled "Charisma as Natural as Gravity" (originally published in Newsweek in 2008).
This is the best book about the Batman films I have ever seen, and it is one of the best "making of" movie books in general. The detail in both the text and the photographs is very impressive, and I am so excited to be able to have this wonderful book in my collection.
ART OF THE FILM
features detailed reviews of books related to the art of film & television.
You can support the site by shopping using the Amazon link below.