Book Review: The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road

While you're hitting your third and fourth viewing of George Miller's MAD MAX: FURY ROAD this summer, it's quite possible that your interest may go well beyond what's on the screen and your thirst for how it all came together may leave you parched. Well, look no further that The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road by Abbie Bernstein to quench that thirst. Filled with a ton of concept art, backstory, production info, interviews with cast and crew, and so much more, this immersive book is THE go to book for not only fans of the film, but fans of "the art of" books in general.

With an opening by George Miller, the book takes you into the inception of the film, which began completely as storyboards and concept art, based on a basic story outline from Miller. The book is broken down into chapters on the various settings, characters, vehicles, and sequences, all of which are full of concept art and parts of the original storyboard, giving you a fully illustrated and written explanation into the process of creating each aspect. If you love concept art and seeing the various versions that led to the final design, then this has got plenty for your eyeballs to gloss over.

Want to know more about Immortan Joe? The Wives? Nux? Furiosa? Coma The Doof Warrior aka The Flame Guitar Guy? How about an illustrated map of The Bullet Farm, Gas Town, and The Citadel? It's all there with explanations, illustrations, and a deeper look into the history of each character, setting, vehicle, or tiny piece of equipment. So, if you're looking for a thorough companion piece to the film, The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road absolutely delivers.

"That's what we've been striving so long to achieve all along...a 'movie' movie. It is my cautious hope, that the result of our labors will follow you long after you've left the cinema." - George Miller, from his intro

Personally, I dug the massive amount of concept artwork the most (which I desperately wish I could share more of here). It's always cool to see how different characters were developed, seeing how they started right down to how they end up appearing onscreen. From Mad Max to Furiosa to Nux and beyond, we get a taste of how they looked at their earliest inception, with some of the looks exceptionally different (but no less cool) than the final version. Additionally, we've heard George Miller talk about the world of The Wasteland and how much thought has been put into it and this book gives a great peek into the vastness of it overall. You can't help but hold out hope that the director will be able to take us to some of these great locales in future films as it really feels like they've done some extensive "world building" here.

It seems like there's an "Art of" book out there for just about every big release, but they don't always deliver as much as they could. The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road, however, is that rare book that, much like the film, fires on all cylinders. As someone that loves the art of filmmaking and conceptual artwork in general (or, hell, just awesome art in general) this book is a must have. Well worth the petro to add this to your collection.

Buy the book HERE and make sure to check out MAD MAX: FURY ROAD as much as you can while it's in theaters (if you dig it, of course). I'm on my third viewing now. At least two more before it's gone. See you in Valhalla!

Extra Tidbit: Oh, and if you're looking for some badass tunes, pick up the score by Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL. Best track: "Brothers in Arms"



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