The Best Movie & TV Book Gifts of 2014

Godzilla: The Art of Destruction

Godzilla: The Art of Destruction: Say what you will about the Godzilla reboot, but one thing you can’t knock is the visuals of the film.  Gareth Edwards had some great concept artists working on the film, and you’ll see that in this book.

This visually stunning book presents an extraordinary new vision for the beloved character through a dynamic selection of concept illustrations, sketches, storyboards, and other pre-production materials. Godzilla: The Art of Destruction is the definitive book on one of the most anticipated films of 2014. Featuring interviews with the director and key crew and cast members, the book tells the complete story of the making of Godzilla from concept to final frames. Comprehensive and enthralling, Godzilla: The Art of Destruction is a book that no fan will want to be without.

Preview the book now on YouTube.

The $11 Billion Year

The $11 Billion Year: From Sundance to the Oscars, an Inside Look at the Changing Hollywood System By Anne Thompson $20: This book takes a look at one year in the changing Hollywood system, and /Film is even mentioned (briefly):

“This chronicle of 2012 is a slice of what happened during a watershed year for the Hollywood movie industry. It’s not the whole story, but it’s a mosaic of what went on, and why, and of where things are heading.” What changed in one Hollywood year to produce a record-breaking box office after two years of decline? How can the Sundance Festival influence a film’s fate, as it did for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Searching for Sugar Man, which both went all the way to the Oscars? Why did John Carter misfire and The Hunger Games succeed? How did maneuvers at festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW), Cannes, Telluride, Toronto, and New York and at conventions such as CinemaCon and Comic-Con benefit Amour, Django Unchained, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Misérables, The Life of Pi, The Avengers, Lincoln, and Argo? What jeopardized Zero Dark Thirty’s launch? What role does gender bias still play in the industry? What are the ten things that changed the 2012 Oscar race? When it comes to film, Anne Thompson, a seasoned reporter and critic, addresses these questions and more on her respected daily blog, Thompson on Hollywood. Each year, she observes the Hollywood machine at work: the indies at Sundance, the exhibitors’ jockeying at CinemaCon, the international scene at Cannes, the summer tentpoles, the fall’s “smart” films and festivals, the family-friendly and big films of the holiday season, and the glamour of the Oscars®. Inspired by William Goldman’s classic book The Season, which examined the overall Broadway scene through a production-by-production analysis of one theatrical season, Thompson had long wanted to apply a similar lens to the movie business. When she chose 2012 as “the year” to track, she knew that box-office and DVD sales were declining, production costs were soaring, and the digital revolution was making big waves, but she had no idea that events would converge to bring radical structural movement, record-setting box-office revenues, and what she calls “sublime moviemaking.” Though impossible to mention all 670-plus films released in 2012, Thompson includes many in this book, while focusing on the nine Best Picture nominees and the personalities and powers behind them. Reflecting on the year, Thompson concludes, “The best movies get made because filmmakers, financiers, champions, and a great many gifted creative people stubbornly ignore the obstacles. The question going forward is how adaptive these people are, and how flexible is the industry itself?”

The Wes Anderson Collection $24: This book actually came out in 2013, but since we didn’t do a holiday gift guide last year I decided it was worth including in this year’s feature. Matt Zoller Seitz provides the best overview of Wes Anderson’s filmography, including previously unpublished phoots and artwork:

Wes Anderson is one of the most influential voices from the past two decades of American cinema. A true auteur, Anderson is known for the visual artistry, inimitable tone, and idiosyncratic characterizations that make each of his films—Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom—instantly recognizable as “Andersonian.” The Wes Anderson Collection is the first in-depth overview of Anderson’s filmography, guiding readers through his life and career. Previously unpublished photos, artwork, and ephemera complement a book-length conversation between Anderson and award-winning critic Matt Zoller Seitz. The interview and images are woven together in a meticulously designed book that captures the spirit of his films: melancholy and playful, wise and childish—and thoroughly original.

Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy

Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy $27: For a Star Wars fan that already has it all, including the JW Rinzler Making Of books.

For the first time, Lucasfilm has opened its Archives to present the complete storyboards for the original Star Wars trilogy—the world-changing A New Hope and its operatic sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi—as well as never-before-published art from early conceptual and deleted scenes. From the opening chase above Tatooine in A New Hope to the Battle of Endor in Jedi, this book presents the visual inspiration behind now-iconic moments. Readers can finally see a full set of storyboards by legendary artist Joe Johnston, as well as early boards for Episode IV by Alex Tavoularis and for Episode V by Ivor Beddoes, rarely seen Episode VI boards by Roy Carnon, and Ralph McQuarrie’s never-before-seen storyboards for Episode V.

You can preview this art book on YouTube.

Revival: A Novel By Stephen King

Revival: A Novel By Stephen King $17: The latest novel from Stephen King has been getting some good buzz.

A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life. In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. The men and boys are all a bit in love with Mrs. Jacobs; the women and girls feel the same about Reverend Jacobs—including Jamie’s mother and beloved sister, Claire. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town. Jamie has demons of his own. Wed to his guitar from the age of thirteen, he plays in bands across the country, living the nomadic lifestyle of bar-band rock and roll while fleeing from his family’s horrific loss. In his mid-thirties—addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate—Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings. This rich and disturbing novel spans five decades on its way to the most terrifying conclusion Stephen King has ever written. It’s a masterpiece from King, in the great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe.

Warner Bros.: Hollywood's Ultimate Backlot

Warner Bros.: Hollywood’s Ultimate Backlot $21: I love walking around the Hollywood backlots — there is so much Hollywood history and magic in every little corner. I love the Hollywood’s Ultimate Backlot books because they give as a glimpse at the backlots in their glory days, (Sadly, today most of the production on lots is network television shows and not big screen movies.)

Movie studios are the wondrous, almost magical locales where not just films, but legends, are created. Unfortunately, these celebrity playgrounds are, and always have been, largely hidden from public view. Although some movie studios offer tours, few guests from outside the Hollywood community have ever been witness to the artistry, politics, and scandals that routinely go on behind the soundstage walls and away from the carefully orchestrated scenes visible to them from their tram carts. In this book, studio staff historian and Hollywood insider Steven Bingen throws open Hollywood’s iron gates and takes you inside the greatest and yet most mysterious movie studio of them all: Warner Bros. Long home to the world’s biggest stars and most memorable films and television shows, the Warner Bros. Studio lot functions as a small city and is even more fascinating, glamorous, and outrageous than any of the stars or movies that it has been routinely minting for more than ninety years. Accompanied by stunning behind-the-scenes photos and maps, and including a revealing backstory, this book is your ticket to a previously veiled Hollywood paradise.

Star Wars The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight $16: Yes, another book about the original Star Wars trilogy but this book collects all of Ralph McQuarrie’s beautiful concept art in one place and presents it as a children’s picture book.

The classic tale of good versus evil set in a galaxy far, far away, quickly became a cultural phenomenon during its time, inspiring a generation of story lovers and storytellers. Now, the original trilogy of Star Wars shines anew with the vibrant concept art of Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary conceptual designer behind the original trilogy. Collected in a picture book for the first time, McQuarrie’s art is paired with captivating text by New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi-a winning combination that will delight Star Wars fans old and new and delight generations of readers to come.

 

James Bond Encyclopedia

James Bond Encyclopedia Updated Edition Hardcover Book $26: I’m sure any James Bond fan would dig this encyclopedia.

The newly updated James Bond Encyclopedia explores every aspect of the 007 story, including Skyfall, the most successful Bond film ever made. Created in full collaboration with EON Productions, producers of the Bond films, and illustrated with more than 1,000 amazing photographs, the book takes you right inside James Bond’s world, from 007’s history to his style and personal tastes. A-Z sections bring you face-to-face with every aspect of his thrilling career. Meet the criminal masterminds he has defeated and the beautiful and dangerous women he has encountered. Jump inside the vehicles, explore weapons and gadgets, and discover background information on key filmmakers and the making of each Bond film. The James Bond Encyclopedia is a must-buy for any Bond fan.


ZZ77B5BDF1

Of All the Gin Joints: Stumbling through Hollywood History $14: This book isn’t about movies but is a cocktail book framed around classic stories from Hollywood’s golden ages and the crazy stories behind the scenes.

True tales of celebrity hijinks are served up with an equal measure of Hollywood history, movie-star mayhem, and a frothy mix of forty cocktail recipes. Humphrey Bogart got himself arrested for protecting his drinking buddies, who happened to be a pair of stuffed pandas. Ava Gardner would water-ski to the set of Night of the Iguana holding a towline in one hand and a cocktail in the other. Barely legal Natalie Wood would let Dennis Hopper seduce her if he provided a bathtub full of champagne. Bing Crosby’s ill-mannered antics earned him the nickname “Binge Crosby.” And sweet Mary Pickford stashed liquor in hydrogen peroxide bottles during Prohibition. From the frontier days of silent film up to the wild auteur period of the 1970s, Mark Bailey has pillaged the vaults of Hollywood history and lore to dig up the true—and often surprising—stories of seventy of our most beloved actors, directors, and screenwriters at their most soused. Bite-size biographies are followed by ribald anecdotes and memorable quotes. If a star had a favorite cocktail, the recipe is included. Films with the most outrageous booze-soaked stories, like Apocalypse Now, From Here to Eternity, and The Misfits, are featured, along with the legendary watering holes of the day (and the recipes for their signature drinks). Edward Hemingway’s portraits complete this spirited look at America’s most iconic silver-screen legends.

Wicked Crispy: The Art of Jeff Victor $35: I’ve been featuring Jeff Victor’s art on the site for years now. You probably recognize his evolution of series which chronicles an actor through portraits spanning their career. Jeff’s first book was funded on kickstarter, and now you can buy it!

Strictly limited to 500 copies, this edition is a beautifully printed and bound physical copy. Features 88 full color pages of art, including my “Evolutions”, Film Art, a sketchbook section, as well as a few tutorials. There are two ways you can order: -The regular book release, which comes signed for $35 -The deluxe edition, which includes a slip case, and an interior sketch for $55. Only selling 50 of these to the public that didn’t pledge to Kickstarter. Both include a digital copy of the book.

Continue Reading /Film Holiday Gift Books Guide >>

Cool Posts From Around the Web: