The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design by Daniel Falconer

9/10 This book is, simply put, beautifully stunning.

Are you a fan of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ movies? Have you spent hours watching the behind the scenes discs, marvelling at the creation of Middle Earth for the silver screen? Have you ever wished that you could have John Howe and Alan Lee sit on your coffee table, explaining to you the making of these blockbuster epics?

OK. I admit, you may never have imagined either of the conceptual designers for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies sitting on your coffee table – I imagine, if your coffee table is like mine, it wouldn’t hold up wonderfully well.

But thanks to ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Chronicles: Art & Design’, you too can have Alan Lee, John Howe, and many more of the geniuses from Weta Workshop shed some light on the making of this latest Hobbit movie.

Coming in at 240 pages, and compiled by Weta Workshop senior concept designer Daniel Falconer (who many will remember from his repeated appearances on the behind the scenes footage from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies), this book is probably one of the more impressive coffee table books I could recommend to you at the moment.

I happened to love ‘The Battle of Five Armies’, but more than that, I have always loved learning about how these Tolkien-inspired movies were made. From the concept art and through each step of creation until final realisation, no movie could come close to the beauty that was created for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

And now, without having to boot up hours’ worth of DVD features, I can wander through the creation of The Battle of Five Armies. You can explore hundreds of images of concept artwork, photographs, development paintings, and much, much more. And to accompany almost all of the images are blurbs from the designers involved – everyone from Alan Lee, John Howe, and Daniel Falconer, through to Weta Workshop Design and Special Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor, Production Designer Dan Hennah, Costume Designer Ann Maskrey, and many, many more.

This book is, simply put, beautifully stunning. For any fans of The Hobbit movies, or fans of movie making in general, this is a must!

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