Escapism; Our Books

Monday, 4 January 2016

Now and then we all need some time out. My favourite way to do this (when I get a quiet moment) is to read.
It's rare that I should read a story - 'Water for Elephants' being the exception - I prefer a different kind of book. One that takes you into the mind of someone creative and daring. One that inspires and motivates. One that leaves me wanting to turn every last page until they are old and worn out.

I have always loved the world of cinema, it is a long time dream of mine to be part of a big budget movie, or a theatre production for that matter - yet I never liked to know how the magic was made. I wanted to keep it a secret so I could pretend that these far off places existed and these amazing adventures were just waiting to be had. Then Dan came along.
His career in Animation and CGI relies on creating the magic - so that world was revealed to me, too, and it was more exciting than I could have ever imagined.
I still don't like to know which parts of a movie are a set and which parts are real -  I want to keep that a secret still so I can visit those places in my daydreams, but I love to discover how every other part is imagined and created - and that is where our book collection comes in.

Art Of Books

We collect 'art-of' books. Behind the scenes treasures that show appreciation to the people who work tirelessly to create the films we know and love. It's amazing to see how things progress from a mere sketch, to a storyboard, to a painting, to a living film.
For example, did you know that for each 8 seconds of on screen animation, it took animators a week to sync characters mouths and facial expressions to actors voices in the original 'Toy Story' movie. Or that it took a team of 650 people 3 years to create 'Frozen' - and that they had to invent completely new computer programs to design the film and its characters and get it to the big screen?
Things like that is why I am in love with these books. You get behind the story and learn what it takes to make a good film into a great film - and how much hard work goes into it. You see sketches and ideas that would otherwise have gone unseen and unloved. You see how films could have been - and wonder if you'd have loved them so much. You discover characters or costumes that didn't make the cut and how ideas and plots developed to create the story you could delve into again and again.

'The Art of Tangled'
'Tangled' is one of my favourite Disney movies, so this book is just perfect for me. Dan surprised me with it for my birthday last year and it has become a firm favourite in our collection.
This book is filled with character developments; where you can see how different artists envisaged Rapunzel and the different mediums they used to create her, scene setting; to find out about how Rapunzel's tower was imagined up as well as the kingdom and the castle, and plenty of concept art, too.
The book is split into sections and is beautifully illustrated with full page images as well as story boards and sketches galore.

'The Ballad of Rango; the art and making of an outlaw film' 
This underrated movie (featuring the voices of Johnny Depp and Bill Nighy among others) is one of mine and Dan's favourites and I bought him this book for his birthday last year.
It starts with a foreword from the movies director and is filled with amazingly detailed sketches, concept art pieces and much, much more.
This film, although strange, is visually stunning - from the feathers on the birds, to the scales on the reptiles, it is unbelievably detailed for an animated/CGI piece and it is so inspiring to see the creative process it went through.

'The Amazing Spiderman; Behind the Scenes and Beyond the Web'
This is the newest addition to our collection which Dan treated me to for Christmas. 'The Amazing Spiderman' (1&2) are part of my top 5 favourite films and I was so excited when I unwrapped this.
Dan said it was pretty hard to get hold of and it comes in an impressive hardback slip case.
It is absolutely bursting with information and details; Storyboards, cast interviews, movie stills, production and development, concept art and so much more.
It is a fascinating read and a must have for a Spiderman fan like myself. It is so hard to put down, but I am taking my time to get through this and making sure I take it all in

I'm sure people in 'the business' could get a lot more out of these books than I do, but I still love to read and own them. I am looking for more books to add to our collection - I have bought Dan 'The Art of Big Hero 6' for his birthday later this week and I cant wait to see his face when he unwraps it! I also want to own 'The art of Ratatouille', but please do let me know if there are any others you would recommend!

What are your favourite books, and do they help you to escape?


  1. omg I love it! Its so well done. I love drawing and this is amazing

    1. Thankyou Paula! If you love drawing I'd certainly recommend these books!
      Thankyou for reading!