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The Art Of Avatar: The Way Of Water Book Review

“The Art Of Avatar: The Way Of Water” is a must own for Avatar fans.  

The now Academy Award nominated “Avatar: The Way Of Water” has been a hit since its release last month. For those that can’t get enough of the world of Pandora, “The Art Of Avatar: The Way Of Water” is the perfect companion piece to the hit sequel. 

Written by Tara Bennett, “The Art Of Avatar: The Way Of Water” is a hardcover concept art book in the vein of the wonderful Art of Star Wars books that are released alongside the films. The book kicks off with a foreword by director, collaborator and friend of James Cameron Robert Rodriguez before delving into the main content. Naturally, the DK Book is loaded with digital concept art, sketches (including some by James Cameron himself), concept notes, Weta workshop photos, models and miniatures, paint overs, vehicle designs (some with interior and exterior models), character designs, prop designs (yes, physical objects were made for this film too), weapon designs, and more, but there’s a whole lot of written content here as well. Alongside quotes from team members, Bennett sheds light into the collaborative design process, the visual aesthetics of each location, the creation of the water world of Metkayina and the RDA, real world influences (by land and by sea), behind-the-scenes stories, the visual effects (like how to show the ages of the Sully family), an overall picture of the production process, team members, and even an overview of the digital costume designs. The book closes out with acknowledgments and an author bio. 

Whatever one may think about the movie itself, there’s no denying that it is a visual feast and this book release gives a rundown of director James Cameron’s vision for the sequel and the world of Pandora. Of course, it’s not a movie of a singular vision and this book shows just how many artists were responsible for making the imagery come to life. Thanks to artists like Dylan Cole, Steven Messing, John Park, Ben Procter, Constantine Sekeris, Fausto De Martini, and Legacy Effects, we (the reader) see how the movie came together via the meticulously detailed artwork of everything from fishing spear designs to the physiology of the Metkayina. It’s a truly exhaustive book that breaks down set pieces, locations, character wardrobes, and just about every visual aspect of the film itself. You truly get a grasp of the massive world building that took place here. It’s incredibly insightful not only to fans but to artists and filmmakers looking to get a glimpse at pre-production work. 

Fans will no doubt also get a kick out of seeing some concepts that didn’t make it to screen like the Pandora version of the Otter. Reading about (and seeing) little elements that didn’t make it to screen is always a treat as it’s fun to ponder and or see what might have been.

Overall Thoughts: “The Art Of Avatar: The Way Of Water” makes a big splash (pun intended) and is highly recommended for fans of the sci-fi franchise. 

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January 25, 2023 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , ,

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