Book Review: The Art of Pan

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The Art and Making of Pan

While I had planned to watch the movie Pan, I decided against it when most reviews quite unfavourable. If you have not watched the movie, this book doesn't give away much in terms of storyline, except the part where they tell you that Hook's going to be the badass pirate Blackbeard in the future.

The Art of Pan is the film's visual companion with a mixture of art and production stories. It actually has quite a lot to read on the filming process, written in a style you normally associate with film magazines.

The book features a good amount of artworks and behind-the-scenes photography. However, the artworks are a mixed bag for me. The scene paintings are a hit and miss. Some are good but most are photo-based artworks with art thrown on top to take advantage of the textures or background provided by the photo. Photo-bashing can be fantastic if done right, such as those you see in The Art of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. In this book, sometimes the scenes don't feel right because of the inconsistent lighting. There are some nice pieces, sure, especially the pencil character sketches (too few anyway).

Set designs are nice, especially for the tribes and their huts. So are the wonderful costume designs. I like the section on the village as the designs there look much better.

Overall, as I've said, it's a mixed bag but slightly more towards the positive side. It's not a must-buy but it's worth checking out or flipping through if you can do so.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Art of Pan is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

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