Chappie: The Art of the Movie is a Fantastic Movie Art Book
Hardcover: 144 pages
Publisher: Titan Books (March 3, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.7 x 12.1 inches
I am a huge fan of art books, and movie art books in particular. I love seeing concept art, and contrasting that to the finished product on screen. I love the artistry poured into details that very few, if any, notice. This book, Chappie: The Art of the Movie tickled my fancy in a very particular way. I have seen a great variety in these books, some have elaborately written narratives walking you through the conception and completion of a film, with insights and anecdotes, and some read like technical manuals devoid of any connection from an author to the material. This book, lies between those two extremes, in the best possible way. Let me try to explain; this book is separated into four main sections after the foreword and introduction.
The Meat—which explores the human characters, The Metal—which explores the androids and Chappie, Locations—which explores the buildings and sets, Vehicles & Gear—which explore the weapons, cars and trucks. Each of these seconds is broken down to specific elements within each section. It is fittingly technical in layout, and fits with the overall theme of the film. What makes this work is Peter E. Aperlo has written descriptions and explanations of each individual element. Taken as a whole each part and page flow together very well, but if taken and explored independently in any random order, the book still fits together. The layout order is by no means the necessary reading order, leaving you free to sit back, scan through the pages, read, and explore in any way you desire.
Within each section, the descriptions and details found are wonderful. For example, in the section for Yolandi, there is a character description, and how the character compares to the actual person. This is particularly interesting because both Yolandi and Ninja are essentially playing fictitious caricatures of themselves in the movie. The descriptions of the character are paired with insight from the performers and filmmakers. As well, as set photographs and concept art and character designs. For The Metal sections, the information becomes a little more abstract and technical. For example, in the section dedicated to Chappie—that is the largest single selection in the book—there are concept designs, technical designs, damage and modification progression, and details on the animation and motion capture used for filming. While reading the book this section is honestly where I spent most of my time, there are so many details here it would take hours to absorb it all.
If you were a fan of the film Chappie, you are bound to enjoy this book. If you are like me, fascinated with the art of filmmaking, and behind the scenes information from character design to set design this is one you will want to pick up. If you are both a fan of the film and a film geek like me, you need this book, and will love every page.