World War Z: The Art of the Film [Book Review]

Chris Savage

World War Z The Art of the FilmI’m sure most of you have seen World War Z by now. If not, I’m sure you have certainly had a look at a review or two and you will soon realize that World War Z will either be a film you absolutely love or simply hate, and wish this one was just dead and buried and never heard of again. And then, well, there are those that just think, “meh”, but either way, it is definitely getting people talking. [See Flay’s Review]

As for me, I’m yet to see this one, but I was giving the opportunity to check out the companion piece from Titan Books, World War Z: The Art of the Film, and while I sadly can’t compare it to the film, I can say, if the film is anything like the art in this book, then we are certainly in for a visually stunning time.

However, after seeing the trailers and the cgi zombies, I doubt the concept has transpired that well to the screen.

In any event, World War Z: The Art of the Film, features the entire screenplay written by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof. The script follows the United Nations employee Gerry Lane, which is played by Brad Pitt in the feature film, who travels the world  to stop the pandemic which is threatening the entire world, and well, time is not of the essence.

In exchange for the safety of his family, Lane goes on a mission to find the source of the outbreak and stop it before it is too late, as he travels to certain parts of the world including such places as North Korea and Jerusalem.

You know, the film seems as if it is an intelligent zombie flick, but it just didn’t seem as if there was enough character development throughout, or perhaps that is just me. Still, it was a good read.

Anyway, the real joy of this companion book is the treasures featured inside. the artwork is stunning to say the least. The storyboards are a great addition as we get to see how the initial vision was portrayed, and the detail is second to none.

Along with the storyboards, we are given brief thoughts from the people who were working behind-the-scenes, and what they make of the zombie apocalypse, as well as the epic scale they went to, to bring the film to life on the screen. It definitely gives more depth and a much better understanding of the film itself.

My main problem with the footage that I’ve seen of the film is the inclusion of the cgi zombies, it’s just a no go for me. Thankfully the artwork in the book is pretty stellar. The zombies are well designed and basically, they look like they would fuck you up if given the chance. We also get to see the full extent of the epidemic. There are hordes of the flesh hungry beasts just vying to get a taste of your flesh. Especially the moment when we see the tower of zombies, pretty impressive if you ask me.

As well as the storyboards and the stunning production art, we are also given a glimpse into some sketches of the tools and weapons, and again, I’m unsure if some of these are used in the final product, but still, they are a great addition.

We get to see simple tools/weapons like a pick-axe or a makeshift axe, and then we are greeted to something more interesting like the ‘soup tin shot gun’ which is basically what it says on the can. A weapon which fires soup tins and the invading zombies. Then there is the ‘shovel twist cutter’ which catches the zombies neck and you simply turn the stick to decapitate the flesh-hungry beasts.

If there ever was a zombie apocalypse, I’m going to be attempting some of these weapons, forget the shotgun, bullets are few and far between, you’ve got to use whatever you can get your hands on.

The folks behind the book, illustrator Seth Engstrom and Robbie Consing of storyboards, have done an excellent job here as well as all the designers and artists and Titan Books who put the book together. It’s a great addition which I suggest you guys check out.

It definitely gives you a better insight into what they had in mind in the initial stages, before the trouble began with the film and the escalating budget. So, if you were a little dissatisfied with the film or you simply want to know more, World War Z: The Art of the Film is definitely worth a look.

If this is something you’d be interested in checking out, hit up Titan Books.

4.5 / 5 stars     


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