It’s time to review an art book that I got a while back. It’s fairly short, but I wanted to take my time with such a Legendary (Get it?) piece. It’s definitely very detailed and it’s always fun to see the behind the scenes action. There were quite a few ideas that were ultimately left out of the film and many of the Godzilla designs are fun to look at. I haven’t read many art books, but this is definitely one of the better ones.
Now, keep in mind that the book use the power of friendship angle quite a bit. The staff constantly talk about how each other was perfect for the role and how they’re the best at what they do. It can be a bit much when you hear someone say that for every film, but they probably feel obligated to say such things. Others are probably genuine about it though as you really get to see the actors become the characters and you really can’t think of anyone else doing a better job. Genuine or not, it can just get a little repetitive, but it’s hard to avoid such a thing here.
The more interesting parts of the book are when they discuss the landscape and the unused ideas. For example, they almost had Muto evolve into a new form, but they thought that it would be a little much. There was also going to be a dogfight between Muto and some of the Airplanes, but the EMP ability forced them to take this out. There are quite a few scenes that didn’t make the cut and it’s fun to hear about what the film could have been lie. Likewise, Godzilla went through quite a few design changes as the film went on. They played around with a possible fish design and there are also a panda faced one that was intriguing. Some of them definitely looked intense and I really liked the T Rex version. They felt that it looked like too much of a T Rex though so unfortunately, it was not meant to be.
To this day, I’m not crazy about Godzilla’s face in the film, but the rest of the design is pretty spot on. It’s also interesting to hear how much of a role CG-I plays in film making nowadays as they basically animated all of the scenes before they actually filmed them. In theory, that means that they could practically release a rough version of the film just using the CG. It wouldn’t have as many details and some of the human elements would be interesting, but it would be cool to see the CG-I go at it.
The book is about 165 pages, but you have to keep in mind that it is a lot shorter than it looks. All of the pages contain an image of some sort and many times this leaves little room for text. Sometimes you’ll have two pages in a row that are covered by a giant splash page. They always look pretty glorious, but this will speed up your completion of the book. If you were to just take the text, I’m confident that the size of the book would probably be cut in half or maybe even less than that. It’s possible that this would be condensed into around 40-50 pages. The book is divided into 3 parts, I forget the titles, but it goes chronologically.
First off it the pre production and then the book takes you through the complete process until Comic Con arrives and the book basically ends. One thing that is puzzling is the sudden end of the book. There is no after word or farewell to the readers until next time. There’s simply no closing statement of anytime and it just abruptly ends as the book is talking about the halo jump scene. It feels like the book must have been rushed out at the last minute or something like that. Ah well, it happens I suppose.
Overall, This art book is very informative and it makes for a good read. Making a film definitely sounds like a tough job and you’ve got to have a very strong support group if you want it to ultimately be a success. There will always be alternate roads that the film could have gone, but they felt like the right scenes were included. I disagree with the decision to have Godzilla’s first battle happen off screen, but I’ve always been a big action fan. I definitely recommend checking this out at some point if you really enjoyed the film or are a hardcore Godzilla fan. Even if you’re just interested about the film making process, this book will make for a fun read. Now, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the art book for the next Godzilla film!