Oct 4, 2013

Elysium - The Art Of The Movie

Did you guys get a chance to check out Neil Blomkamp's latest third world scifi epic, Elysium? It seems like it was pretty unanimous that the movie could have been better from a plot and character development perspective, but ultimately I felt like visually it offered a ton of eye candy, courtesy of a top notch team of visual designers over at New Zealand's WETA Digital. If anything I was left wishing they had a little more time to flesh out the story and the motives of certain characters, like the strangely flat power hungry Elysium chairman and Matt Damon's underdeveloped character. The movie offered little tastes of a rich world that I wish we could have seen more of, like the incredible Torus colony that the rich live on, but ultimately I'm sure it was trimmed down due to budget limitations.

Exoskeleton concept by Aaron Beck (Via)
Now the folks at Titan books were kind enough to send us a copy of the art book for the film, but we decided to wait a bit before previewing it as a spoiler courtesy (The book gives away a bunch)..Now that the movie is mostly out of theaters, I did a little preview of this excellent art book for you guys to check out. In terms of value I think it's one of the best art books I've seen in a long while, bursting at the seams with concepts unlike anything I've seen before. The amount of commentary offers a very interesting look at visual choices made during different stages of production, including the original plan of doing rubber masked cyborgs (Actors with prosthetics) due to early budget restrictions that would have prevented the use of CG.

If you're into scifi art, regardless of the merits of this film I couldn't recommend all 176 pages of this art book more. The sheer variety of cool designs was pretty incredible, including the very distinct visual languages for the more apocalyptic, kitbash-centric earth and the utopian, clean aesthetic of Elysium. If you haven't already, pick up Elysium - The Art of the Film on Amazon for $25.

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