Book Review “The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania”

Author: Tracey Miller-Zarneke
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: September 25, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I am huge fan of the classic Universal monsters and films like Rankin/Bass’ “Mad Monster Party”. “Hotel Transylvania” feels like a 2012 new take on classic horror monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, Werewolf, and the Invisible Man. The film is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (who also delivers a great foreword), creator of “Samurai Jack” and executive producer and director of “Star Wars: Clone Wars” animated series, so you know you are getting quality. “The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania” is a very fun and very informative look into the film and its production. Titan Books scores again for sure. When I honestly see that they are doing an Art/Making of book, I get psyched because they never you let down. This book also got me 100% more excited to see this film now. Fans of classics monsters, definitely check this out!

The film features the classic monsters but in more modern settings like Dracula owns a monsters-only hotel. I think that is a fun twist and should please both kids and parents alike. This book not only covers the beautiful art of this animated CG film but also dives deep into the production. There are over 400 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital art. It is nice to also include the digital aspect of the film since it really gives an insight into how much work went into this film. I am just a huge fan of concept art, I don’t know what it is but I love seeing the artists different conceptual designs. Besides all art there is also numerous interviews with filmmakers and crew chatting about the creating this film.

This book is authored by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, who has credited roles on the feature films “Meet the Robinsons”, “Chicken Little” and “The Emperor’s New Groove”. So this lady actually knows animation very well. If you still need more proof, Tracey has also written a bunch of other amazing “art of” books including “The Art and Making of Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs”, “The Art of Kung Fu Panda 2” and “The Art of How to Train Your Dragon”. The book is very well presented and just looks amazing. The colors are very sharp and really pop off the pages. If their goal for this book was to really deliver us the world behind the film, “Hotel Transylvania”, (which I am sure it was) then they did their job very well. Highly recommended!

Book Review “Making Tootsie: Inside the Classic Film with Dustin Hoffman and Sydney Pollack – The 30th Anniversary Edition”

Author: Susan Dworkin
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Newmarket Press; Expanded edition
Release Date: August 28, 2012

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Who doesn’t love “Tootsie”. It showcases Dustin Hoffman in one of his best roles to date. It was named #2 of the 100 Best Comedies of the Twentieth Century by The American Film Institute (#1 was Some Like It Hot). This book was originally published back in March 1983. This 30th anniversary edition is presented as a film study. Thanks to Newmarket Press, this book is back in both print and e-book editions.

The writer Susan Dworkin was the only journalist Pollack and Columbia Pictures permitted on the set and in the editing room. She is a playwright, award-winning documentary writer, and Ms. magazine contributing editor. She conducted in-depth interviews not only with its director and star but also with the costume designer, the film editors, costars Teri Garr, Bill Murray, and Dabney Coleman, and many others. She really understands and loves this movie and it shows through her work.

This short but sweet trade paperback is a very each read and very informative. There are also 52 beautiful photos from the film and production. This is a must for all fans of this film and lovers of great cinema. So get ready to travel back to 1982 with director Sydney Pollack and actor Dustin Hoffman and the wonderful collaboration that created one of our best enduring classic.

Book Review “The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy”

Author: Jody Duncan Jesser
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: July 20, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

First things first, let me clear this up right off the bat (get the pun?). This book is labeled as a “Art of” book but really this leans a lot more in the “making of” aspect. It you look at it from that prospective then it works well. I would have love to see a full on “art of” book though. Director Christopher Nolan really did an amazing job of reviving the Batman franchise. Casting Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader was such an amazing choice, as he was perfect for the role. “Batman Begins” was a really sharp reboot of the franchise exploring the origins of billionaire Bruce Wayne to Batman. “The Dark Knight”, which is my personal favorite in the series, took the franchise to such a high level putting Batman against the Joker (plays by the late Heath Ledger). The final film of Nolan’s trilogy, “The Dark Knight Rises”, provided a very exciting and satisfying closing to this trilogy. Bane is one of my new favorite villains, played by Tom Hardy, who was out of this world. “The Art and Making of The Dark Knight Trilogy” focuses on the complete behind-the-scenes stories from each of these three epic films. Die-hard fans of The Dark Knight should know that this is a no-brainer.

There are eleven chapters included in the book.  The first focuses on “Screenplay”, the birth of the scripts and inspiration from the comics.  The second takes a look at the “Production Design”, which is key to this series.   It focuses on the sets, shooting locations and includes some nice concept art. Next up is “Cast”, which focuses on picking Christian Bale to play Bruce Wayne but look at all primary roles. Chapter four is titled, “Costumes & Makeup” and goes into details on Bat’s suit, the Joker’s makeup etc. The next three chapters are titled “The Shoot” and covers each of the film in the trilogy during production.  Special effects coordinator Chris Corbould takes the lead in the next chapter “Special Effects & Stunts “, covering the fight sequences and stunts from the three films. Next up, Lee Smith covers “Editing, Music, and Sound”, also includes quotes from composers Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. “Visual Effects” is a great chapter, especially since it was a critical part of the franchise.  This series used multiple different types of visual effects ranging from models and miniatures to CGI.  The last chapter focuses on the franchises “Marketing” and various aspects of promotion for these films. I mean can you ask for more? I think not.

Author Jody Duncan Jesser, editor of Cinefex magazine since 1992, really delivered a very intensive and thorough look into this franchise. She is no stranger to “making of” angle for Hollywood films having worked books for “Terminator 2”, “Jurassic Park”, and “Avatar”. She includes many in-depth interviews with Christopher Nolan and the films’ key cast and crew, including cowriters David S. Goyer and Jonathan Nolan, cinematographer Wally Pfister. There is much detail into the creative process behind the epic “Dark Knight” Trilogy, which is backed with (some) art and beautiful never-before-seen photography. The book runs over 300 pages and includes hundreds of photos, so it guaranteed to please any fan of the series. The book also includes a foreword by Christopher Nolan and an intro by Michael Caine. If that all isn’t enough there is also Nolan’s tribute originally published in Newsweek in 2008 about Heath Ledger, titled “Charisma as Natural as Gravity”. As good as this book does in covering each film, I also really enjoyed and highly recommend this book: “The Dark Knight Manual: Tools, Weapons, Vehicles and Documents from the Batcave”.


Related Content

Matthew Lillard talks about his directorial debut with “Fat Kid Rules the World”

Matthew Lillard has appeared in over 70 films and is probably best known for his roles in Wes Cravens “Scream” and the live action “Scooby-Doo” films. Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Matthew about making his debut as a director with the film “Fat Kid Rules the World” which is an adaptation of the K.L. Going novel of the same name.

Adam Lawton: Can you give us a brief overview of the film?
Matthew Lillard: In the first few frames of the film the main character Troy Billings who is an obese teenager tries to jump in front of a bus. He ends up being saved by a punk rock guitar savant and the two start a band. The film is really about their journey as friends and them finding themselves.

AL: What drew you to the project?
ML: I was the kid who was lost in high school. I feel like 95% of the world feels like they don’t belong in whatever high school situation they are in. I felt like the story of Troy’sjourney depicted my experience in school. I think there are kids out there that need a movie like
this. The film is very honest and we just wanted to deliver that to those who need it.

AL: What was the hardest part of both directing and acting in the film?
ML: I actually cut my part out of the final frames of the film as it just didn’t work. Thestory is very fast and tidy and I felt my stuff really kind of lagged.

AL: How did Pearl Jam’s Matt McCready become involved with the scoring of the film?
ML: I had told my agents that I was directing a film and they asked me if I had anyone in mind to do the music. I told them no but the film was based in Seattle. They brought up Matt’s name and that he was looking for a film to score. He came on board and changed the quality of our film. He made a huge impact on our movie.

AL: What are the film’s release plans?
ML: The idea is that any one in America right now can go to and request a screening of our movie in their local theater. Once there are enough people to pre-buy tickets the screening will happen. It’s kind of a new way distributing independent films.

AL: You used to fundthe film. How did you become aware of that?
ML: I have had tons of friends that have used it in the past. It was a pretty amazing experience as we raised $158,000.00 in 31 days. It just helped propel the film as there is always the chance that an independent film can drift off in to oblivion. The support we have gotten from the community has really allowed us to find a new avenue to distribute this movie.

AL: What other projects are you working on right now?
ML: I just finished a film with Clint Eastwood titled “Trouble with the Curve” that comes out this fall. I also will be leaving soon for Australia to start work on “Nims Island 2”. I am always looking for films to do and hope to be doing another one in the next 6 months.

Takashi Miike talks about making “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”

Takashi Miike is know for his controversial Japanese filmmaker style. He is know for directing ultra-violent films like “Ichi the Killer” and “Audition”. His last film was the amazing “13 Assassins”, a remake of Eiichi Kudo’s 1963 film. Takashi took some time to answer some questions about his new film “Hara-Kiri” and shooting in 3D.

Q: What was your inspiration for choosing “Hara-Kiri” as your next film?
A: It just so happened that this kind of epic film was my next film after “13 Assassins”. I don’t plan to make only films like this. The touchstone benchmark is quality over quantity. By quality, I mean what kindles your heart or whether or not it makes you feel free as you devote yourself to the filming. Next fall, I will shoot a TV drama for late night television that is ruinously low-budget. But with low-budget works comes an excitement that can only be relished through low-budget.

Q: How do you compare your film to the original from 1962?
A: What excites me about resurrecting this film from the past is being able to feel first-hand the existence of the universal human suffering which “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” depicts at its core as it transcends time, genres and countries. My new versions share everything in common with the old films yet everything is a little off. Since things like originality or being finicky about some worthless triviality were thrown away a long time ago, one cannot compare two works by lining them up next to each other. They are only connected in tandem as part of the flow of time in which they were created.

Q: Tell us about your experience working with Ebizo Ichikawa and Koji Yakusho? A: Ebizo Ichikawa is the real deal when it comes to being the prize of kabuki. He is the king of traditional performing arts in Japan. He is a man without a net challenging frontiers with a great deal of curiosity. He made the set a fun, stimulating place day after day. I am looking forward to even more exciting things from him. Koji Yakusho is a living treasure in Japanese film. He always seams up the frayed edges in my clumsy directing in an artful way. He is a living treasure of modern Japanese film who leads you into the special world of filmmaking. He always teaches me Japan’s unique virtue of humility. Also, his wife is a lovely lady filled with elegance.

Q: Can you reflect on the film’s music by Ryuichi Sakamoto?
A: From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciated Ryuichi Sakamoto providing such wonderful music. The souls of the characters in the film squeal in the soundtrack. And these sounds aren’t rammed down-your-throat and don’t really come so far forward. His music fills the theater like air with a certain stillness and quietness yet its sureness and authority remain. Ryuichi Sakamoto is an artist who sees through the deception of the essence of 3D.

Q: Can you tell us was your biggest challenge shooting in 3D?
A: Nothing changed for me shooting a movie in 3D. It was the same on set experience as any other film for me. The only difference was that the speed of shooting was slightly slower than normal. All in all, this film will probably be a welcomed development for those who already pursue stereo spatial visuals in the world of 2D via lighting and camera angles. There was no change to my approach other than I was able to go brag to the director shooting at the studio next door and say, “Huh? Yours is flat and level? Ours is bumpy and convexo-concave.”

Q: With 3D being the big craze, what are your expectations for the audience?
A: I would be most pleased if the audience feels that what can be expressed in 2D can also be expressed in 3D. For the people who are not fans of 3D, I hope they will say, “Wow! 3D works.” It would be perfect if older audiences would say, “How interesting the way this film bursts out and sucks me up.” I guess for the next few years this situation will continue where 3D is just one option for making a movie. And the audiences will probably decide and determine what happens after that. I definitely anticipate making more 3D movies. Next, if I have the chance, I want to have things that shouldn’t come out of our bodies be hurled at the audience.

Future of History Making Pyramid Sound Studios Remains Uncertain

Future of History Making PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS Remains Uncertain – Bridge Construction Could Put an End to Ithaca New York’s,  Studio’s 35+ Year Legacy 

Touted for Recording ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL and bevy of local artists.

The fate of PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, a recording studio world-renowned for spawning the onslaught of American heavy metal in the 1980’s and beyond, has quickly captured the attention of long-time Ithaca, NY residents, recording artists, and friends of business owner Alex Perialas.

At Wednesday’s Planning and Economic Development Committee meeting, several local musicians and educators urged city officials to take demolition of the studio off the table.

PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, launched by Perialas in 1974, has recorded artists from Bad Religion, Anthrax, Testament, Overkill, Agnostic Front and Brian Wilson to local favorites The Horse Flies and Donna the Buffalo, as well as student projects.PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS is a pinnacle in the local area, being that local musicians do not always have the ability to travel to New York City, Los Angeles, etc. to record their albums. Located directly next to the Clinton St. Bridge, which is undergoing heavy construction until November, the building is at risk of being condemned as a result of the project, stirring alarm among the local and online community.

“This is one of those things that is a state and city project where they’re replacing a 70-year-old bridge and its right in our footprint, if you will. With the building of this new bridge, there’s a chance that if they aren’t careful, they could do damage to the studio,” states owner Alex Perialas. “I’m currently working with the administration to land on an amicable solution to the situation. This has been a landmark facility for years. We pretty much created a style of music here that people had never heard of before. It would be a shame to lose such an integral part of music history due to this temporary construction.”

Jeff Klaus, professor of education at Ithaca College and member of The Horse Flies, addressed the committee Wednesday, “What is housed inside that scruffy building is a building within a building that’s purpose-built to be a studio.”

Klaus and his colleagues noted that 109 E. Clinton St. is a commercial garage space, which is located closest to the bridge project, while the recording studio is located at 105 E. Clinton St. The supporters stressed that the garage and the studio are two separate buildings, though it may not appear so on the outside.

In many ways, both the mayor’s and the common council’s hands are tied, given that the construction on the Clinton St. bridge is federally funded. Earlier this week, supporters of PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS launched an online petition to help save the historical building. Thus far, over 550 people have signed. You can sign the petition at this location.

For more information on PYRAMID SOUND STUDIOS, visit this website:


Related Content

Ti West talks about making this latest film “The Innkeepers”

Ti West is a name you should know if you are a fan of the horror genre. He  is known best in the genre for writing and directing the amazing film “The House of the Devil”. His new movie from Dark Sky Films is called “The Innkeepers” and is being released on Blu-ray/DVD on April 24th. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with him about that film and what he has planned next.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you come with the idea for this classic ghost story “The Innkeepers”?
Ti West: I hadn’t made a ghost story, so I wanted to do that. When we shot “The House of the Devil”, we lived in this hotel and all this weird stuff happened during that time. I didn’t think anything about it because I was just stressed about making the movie. So about a year later, I started thinking I wanted to do a ghost story and I thought to myself, what if it took place in the hotel we lived it and just went back and shoot it there. I know it already exists in Connecticut and I know there is a tax return for making movies there. It worked out well. I wrote it before asking them and then I paniced, in case they said no. Then I would have wrote a movie about a place we couldn’t shoot it. It would be writing a John Wayne movie, then being fucked cause you can’t cast him [laughs]. Thankfully, they said yes and the rest happened very quickly.

MG: Sara Paxton nailed this role, how did you get her involved with the film?
She came through the normal channels, just auditioning. I didn’t know the rest of her work. when she came in to meet, she was just so awkward, goofy and clumsy. I never would seen that coming and I found it so fascinating and charming. Then I went and watched her movies and she wasn’t like that at all. I wanted to exploit that. That made me push for her. I knew she was doing to be very relatable in the role.

MG: What was your most difficult task in making the film?
TW: This one was oddly pretty easy. Which means the next one, I will be completely screwed [laughs]. We made it so quickly, so that was hard, there was never a moment to breathe. The saying during shoot was that we were just waiting for the other shoe to drop and it was like that the whole time. It never really dropped. Maybe since I had two really hard experience before this and then “House of the Devil” was just really hard to make that movie, I think I was just expecting the worse. This was just so much easier.

MG: The film takes it slow in the beginning but delivers in the end, tell us about that tactic used in a few of your films?
TW: I don’t think about it so much. To me it just seems like the only way for me to make the movie. when its done everything uses the term “slow-burn” and I am like “really”? I understand what they mean but for me I see it as you need to have all this done to make it work, so I just do it. It is like hearing you voice on tape and thinking you don’t sound like that…but you do sound like that. I fell like that might be the way with me and the way I make movies.

MG: What do you enjoy most about working in the horror genre?
TW: It’s been good. I feel like I got a few movie in me and then I got to take a break. I don’t to start repeating myself. The last movie I wrote, I remember writing “She slowly walks down the hall” and I thought to myself, “I can’t believe I am writing this again”. What has been good for me in the genre is that I feel it is an experimental genre. Most people do the same thing over and over and I don’t necessarily like doing that. It is nice for me to make six horror movies in the last six years and they are all very different. The style is different. The stories are different. You can do all sorts of different stuff in the genre so I think that is appealing from a filmmakers perspective.

MG: How do you compare “The Innkeepers” to your past films like “The House of the Devil”?
TW: Once the past films are done, I really don’t think about them anymore. “The Innkeepers” feels like the only movie I have made right now because it is all around me. I work with the same crew already, so for me I think of it as those experience that all of us had a friend then more the content of the movie.

MG: What can you tell us about your upcoming films “V/H/S” and “The ABCs of Death”
TW: Yeah, I did those two anthologies last summer and then both come in this Fall. It’s weird, I didn’t think about myself as an anthology person but I liked the people that were working with. They told me I could get this much money and I could do out and make whatever I wanted. That is a really appealing offer. The only instructions were that with “V/H/S”, it has to be aspects of found footage and horror and that was it. I was able to cast whatever I wanted and make whatever I wanted. with “The ABCs of Death”, they gave us a letter and left me alone. We had to deliver it by this date and we had this much to do it with. It is certainly not a lot of money but if you are smart with it, it can work out well and worth it.

Book Review “Disneynature’s Chimpanzee: The Making of the Film”

Author(s): Christophe Boesch, Sanjida O’Connell
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Disney Editions
Release Date: March 13, 2012

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I look forward to Disneynature’s films every Earth Day for the last few years. This year’s installment “Chimpanzee” has been my most anticipated. Well, let’s say that I was very impressed with the film and Tim Allen’s narration. Once I let the theater, I knew I had this book waiting for me at home and I rushed back to dive right in. The book is a little short overall compared to past making-of books from Disneynature, but it is extremely informative and satisfying. If you have seen the movie or even just love nature books, I would rush out and pick up this impressive companion book.

Disneynature’s goal with these films have been to inform their audiences and hope increased awareness with the film’s topics.  This book goal is not only to tell the making of the film but also to focus on the future for these apes. “Disneynature’s Chimpanzee: The Making of the Film” follows the entire process of the movie’s producing,  ranging from the filmmakers pitch to Disneynature to the filming challenges on location in the heart of Africa. I have a lot of respect for the filmmakers and cameramen on this shoot.  They did not have it easy and really sacrificed a lot in order to get this movie made and get the shots needed.  It also features a lot of commentary on the chimpanzees’ background and their territory wars (as the film focuses on).

This hardcover book not only includes a beautiful slipcover, I actually really like what was underneath it more.  There is a beautiful painting of a chimpanzee on both the front and back covers.   Besides just the filmmakers tale of production, there is also much focus on the relationship between Freddy (the packs leader) and Oscar (our little star of the film) is told through stories and also amazing photographs.  The images in the book are very crisp and colorful as well.  I would highly recommend this book and see this movie if you haven’t already, since it tells a great story and is very inspiring.

“Disneynature’s Chimpazee” The Making Of Book Giveaway [ENDED]


To celebrate the theatrical release of “Disneynature’s Chimpanzee”, Media Mikes would like to giveaway 5 copies of Making of The Film Book authored by Christophe Boesch and Sanjida O’Connell. If you would like to win one of these great prizes below, all you have to do is “LIKE” our Facebook page and then post “Chimpazee” and the name of your favorite Disneynature movie to date or leave us a comment below if you don’t use Facebook. This giveaway will be open until Sunday April 29th at Noon, Eastern Time and is only open to residents of the United States. Only one entry per person, per household; all other entries will be considered invalid. Once the giveaway ends, Media Mikes will randomly pick out winners and alert the winners via email.

Book Description:
Chimpanzees are our closest living relatives in the animal kingdom. They share 98 percent of our genetic makeup; yet despite our many commonalities, some aspects of chimp behavior remain a mystery to us. Biologists studying chimpanzees have made significant discoveries about our primate cousins, but the bulk of that knowledge has been gained relatively recently. We still have much to learn, and the need to learn is great; chimpanzees are highly endangered in the wild, and some primatologists believe that they are at the brink of extinction.

In the hope that increased awareness will brighten the future for these great apes, Disneynature has released a film following in the footsteps of Earth, Oceans, and African Cats. That film is Chimpanzee. Chimpanzee: The Making of the Film chronicles the entire process of the movie’s creation, from the idea that the directors pitched to Disneynature, to the challenging filming that took place deep in the heart of Africa. Using their own words, the filmmakers discuss ground lost and ground won—both in the context of the chimpanzees’ territory wars, and the progress of the film itself.

The filmmakers’ perseverance was rewarded when they happened upon the chimpanzees that would become the focal point of the movie: Oscar and Freddy. Orphaned at three, Oscar had little chance of surviving without a mother to nurse him and teach him to sustain himself. So it was quite surprising when the alpha male of the group, Freddy, adopted the baby and began taking care of him.

The heartwarming and remarkable relationship between these chimpanzees is captured within this book through anecdotes told by the filmmakers and stunning photographs taken in the Taï forest. Their story, as well as the story of the film’s production, will prompt both laughter and tears, so make sure to grab a hanky!

Book Review “Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of Heart of Glass”

Author: Alan Greenberg
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Our Score: 4 out 5 stars

Werner Herzog is easily one of the world’s greatest filmmakers. His films include “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”, “Nosferatu the Vampyre”, “Grizzly Man”, “Rescue Dawn”, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and of course “Heart of Glass”. This book is an up-close and rare look into the making of “Heart of Glass”, courtesy of friend and collaborator to Herzog, Alan Greenberg. Herzog is known for his unique approach to filmmaking and it is shown throughout all of his films. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but it is one of those rare books that you honestly can’t put down. Page after page this book is extremely interesting and informative.

Alan Greenberg and Warner Herzog have known each other for almost 40 years and there is no better person to cover this material. If you have seen “Heart of Glass”, you know it is a very dark and haunting film but easily one of Herzog’s best. In this book you will find out many interesting facts that many have never known. Greenberg revealed that Herzog, in an attempt to control his actors, hypnotized them before shooting their scenes. I wouldn’t give it a second thought when it comes to Herzog’s style.  That is only the tip of the iceberg reveled about the production, I want to say more but I don’t want to spoil it.  Read for yourself.

This book is fully backed by Herzog as he provides both the foreword and the afterword. I have read many “making-of” books and none of them have felt as real as this one does. It feels more like a novel spilling insider secrets that have been hidden for years. I also need to point out that the book also has very personal and crisp color photos lying within the middle of the book, very nice touch to complement the book. I recommend this book highly to all fans of Werner Herzog, but I warn you expect to finish the book in one sitting.

Book Review “Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie”

Authors: Mark Millar, John Romita Jr, Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: February 23, 2010

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The movie “Kick-Ass” is easily one of the best comic book adaptions in the last few years. It is an originally idea with the recent remake Hollywood craze. The film is based on the bestselling comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.
The book plays like a giant comic book and really gives great details into the characters and the making of the film. It is very colorful and is a real page turner. My only major complaint is that is not hardcover, this would have made an awesome coffee table book.

The book starts with a great introduction from its creator Mark Millar.  It is split into three main parts: “The Beginning”, “The Movie” and The Future”.  “The Beginning” focuses on the film’s fast track from the comic page to the theater screen.  “The Movie” focuses on each of the character from the film individually including Dave Lizewksi, Marty & Todd, Kick-Ass, Hit-Girl, Big Daddy, Marcus, Frank D’Amico and Red Mist.  Also included in this section is focus on the production, the origin of Big Daddy & Hit Girl, and the films big ‘kick-ass’ finale.  The content in the book is so detailed and jam-packed that you almost need to go back and re-read it multiple times to make sure that you get everything.  Also there are so many pictures I found myself flipped through the book just to scroll through the art work.  Of course “The Future” section, talks about the second film as well as the follow comic to “Kick-Ass”.  I know the comic already was released following the book but I have a feeling we will be holding our breaths for a long time for a second film…(insert sad face).

“Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie” goes into major details of this comic book superhero phenomenon went from the page to huge Hollywood movie.  The book showcases Mark Millar’s early comic book script pages.  Amazing artwork from John Romita Jr. are included throughout the book and even new pages drawn especially for the movie.  There are also a bunch of exclusive contributions from the cast and crew and that is what makes this book definitely than the normal making of/art book.  This feels really hands on and personal from the cast/crew.  Lastly there are also hundreds of movie photos, sketches, storyboards and pieces of production art.  If you are fan of this series it is a MUST to piece of this book.  If you no familiar, it is a great introduction to “Kick-Ass” and is guaranteed to turn you into an instant fan.