Book Review: Designing Movie Creatures and Characters

The full title of the book is Designing Movie Creatures and Characters: Behind the Scenes with the Movie Masters. The title cannot be more accurate.

The movie masters included are ADI, Aaron Sims, K.N.B. (Robert Kurzman, Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger), Carlos Huante, Steve Wang, Patrick Tatopoulos, Mitch DeVane, The Art of Making Molds, Monster Materials, The Science of Appliance, Kazuhiro Tsuji, Mark Setrakian, Jon Dawe, Beth Hathaway, Jeff Himmel, Spectral Motion (Mike Elizalde), Brian Steele, Weta Workshop, Cristina Patterson Ceret and Walt Conti.

Through each of them, they have create creatures, models, sculptures, animatronic characters, make up for countless blockbuster films. Titles include old movies like King Kong, Jaws to modern day blockbusters King Kong (Peter Jackson), Chronicles of Narnia, Hellboy, etc.

Each design studio or artist is given a few pages of coverage in this book. They talk about their production process, sculpting the models, mold making, doing make-up for actors, the type of equipment they use, challenges they face and compromises made. Each studio has they unique way to creating these characters and their specialty. The work is always different, depending on the plot requirements. The huge number of studios, artists and movies provides much insight into how these movies are made.

This book is great for sculptors, animators, or anyone with interests in movie making involving non-human characters.

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