Release Date: May 23, 2017
Author: Simon Ward
Purchase: Amazon [affiliate link]
This product was provided by Titan Books for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.
Ridley Scott’s prequel to his 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien is now in theaters, and whether or not you think Alien: Covenant stood up to its considerable hype, it’s hard to deny its impeccable visuals and focus on detail. One of the major factors in the series success is its design, originally crafted by the legendary H.R. Giger and iterated upon through its multiple sequels.
Titan Books has released a new coffee table book celebrating the art of Scott’s new film and gives us a glimpse into the making of his latest chapter in this terrifying saga. The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant by Simon Ward is a massive 192-page hardback chronicle featuring an in-depth behind the scenes look at how Covenant was made, as well as a slew of concept drawings and production stills.
Beginning with a forward from Ridley Scott, the book first delves into the many characters of the film, profiling each one and giving ample backstory to even minor members of the Covenant crew. From there it gives an overview of the ship itself before detailing the plot of the film accompanied by planetside set information. The first notable piece of information I gathered from this section is how detailed each set actually was, with the crew building each one using as little digital enhancement as possible.
The same can be said for the creature design, which really is the bread and butter of any Alien film. While I believed the majority of the xenomorphs, or neomorphs as they’re referred to in the book, to be CG, the stills of the various suits, puppets, and animatronics used in the film showed me that the designers wanted to keep things as practical as possible, something Ridley Scott was adamant about. Seeing the crazy amount of detail on each of these puppets creates an added layer of respect to all the men and women behind the effect on the film, especially since they probably knew the majority of their work would be covered under shadow and Scott’s perfect lighting choices.
Like all of Titan’s offerings (and I swear they do not pay me, their stuff is just that good) the book itself is of the highest quality, featuring a varied and robust layout, always bringing a new style to the page without feeling messy or unorganized. The black matte cover and binding with the silver embossed alien design makes this a great showpiece that sits comfortably next to my Aliens art book.
The quality does come at a price however, with a retail cost of $39.95, but Amazon has it on sale as of this writing for $25.44, which makes picking it up a no-brainer for fans.
With its well-written, in-depth look at the making of the film and tons of fantastic concept design images, The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant makes for a great compendium to the film and is an easy recommend, especially with that sale price.