Mark Salisbury is the former editor of Britain’s distinguished movie magazine, Empire, and author of a number of books about film, including Alice in Wonderland A Visual: Companion and Burton on Burton. His latest book is Prometheus: The Art of the Film, a gorgeous 192-page hardcover companion to Ridley Scott‘s return to science-fiction, Prometheus
Published by Titan Books, Prometheus: The Art of the Film includes a foreword from director Ridley Scott and two essays: A Return to Science Fiction, in which Scott summarizes why he wanted to revisit the universe he created in Alien and how the progression of a story that was originally conceived as an Alien prequel mutated into an original science-fiction story.
There other essay, Designing Prometheus, is written by production designer Arthur Max. Max, a regular collaborator of Scott’s, began work on Prometheus in 2009, gathering prints of classic 1950’s and ’60’s sci-fi illustrations while he and his team of artists and designers churned out original concept drawings and computer renderings.
Max, who has a collection of degrees in science, art, and architecture, wanted to explore where fantasy intersects reality by culling ideas from NASA and futurists’ predictions for what technologies may look like in the late 21st century. Ridley Scott even consulted with a specialist in space geology to design the look of a newly-formed planet and what kind of weather would inhabitants of a moon like LV-223 experience due to the composition of its atmosphere.
Prometheus is such a visual experience that it requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate everything that’s happening in a given scene. Luckily, that’s where Salisbury’s fantastic companion book comes in. You can drool over the stunning production design and discover little details that you weren’t able to study during the two-hour film.
The book contains numerous full-page illustrations and detailed images of spacesuits, vehicles, and the film’s numerous sets and interior locations like the Pyramid, the Ampule Chamber, and the Juggernaut’s telescoping pilot chair. You can also study the film’s various alien lifeforms, including the worm-thing (Hammerpede), Shaw’s squid-baby (Trilobyte), and a certain hostile organism known as The Deacon to the film’s designers and monster makers.
Overall, everyone should pick up this book. If you loved Prometheus and are craving more, it’s here. If you were slightly disappointed and wanted answers to the film’s numerous questions, you’ll find some of them in this book. Aside from the amazing photographs and illustrations provided within, there’s a great amount of text from Scott, Max, writers Damon Lindelof and Jon Spaihts, and creature/special effects supervisor Neal Scanlan that detail every aspect of the film’s production.
You can currently pick up Prometheus: The Art of the Film for $23.97 on Amazon – you can’t afford to pass that up. This book is an absolute must-have companion for anyone who loves Alien or Prometheus.
While you’re at it, consider picking up other recent releases from Titan Books including The Book of Alien and Aliens: Colonial Marines Technical Manual – they’ll no doubt make excellent additions to the elaborate shrine (or IKEA bookshelf) you’ve constructed to store your various geek books and reference materials.