Mad Max: Fury Road was a highlight of the summer for me. It was easily one of the best movies of the year, and the long-awaited return to one of the great cinematic settings of my youth, the post-apocalyptic hell of The Road Warrior. It turned both of my teenage sons into Mad Max fans. No small feat, since in general they don’t show much patience with films from the 80s.
Titan Books released a gorgeous art book to accompany the release of the film, The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road, and it’s jam-packed with behind-the-scenes photos, concept art, production stills, interviews with the cast and crew, and an insightful foreword by director George Miller. I received a copy last month, and finally had a chance to sit down with it this week. The timing is actually pretty good, as the Blu-ray was released on September 1, and we re-watched the film at home last Friday.
Below are a dozen photos and art samples from the book.
Click on any of the images for bigger versions.
One of the surprising things I learned from the book was there was no actual screenplay for Fury Road — just storyboards (something which is more obvious in retrospective, given the small amount of dialog).
The cast and director used the storyboards to frame each scene, and comics artist Brendan McCarthy, who did much of the concept art, received a co-writing credit.
The book includes an enormous amount of concept art, which ultimately shaped the plot and narrative flow of the movie
Long time fans won’t be surprised to learn that Mad Max: Fury Road had a very long gestation period, and in fact Miller began work on the film decades ago, hiring a team of talented artists to create a brand new vision of the vehicles, settings, and over-the-top characters for his ambitious new film.
In fact, virtually all of the concept art in the book, by Brendan McCarthy, Peter Pound, and Mark Sexton, dates back to the 90s, before the overall story arc for the film had taken shape.
Much of the art centers on the cars, trucks, and cycles which feature prominently in the final film.
But I must admit that most of my favorite pieces center on the ruined landscape of the film, and Immortan Joe’s imposing citadel.
Here’s a few more character and vehicle studies, starting with the great Imperator Furiosa.
And the true star of the movie — the heavily-modified chase vehicles.
Teoh Yi Chie at art blog Parka Blogs has photographed over a dozen of the gorgeous double-page spreads, to give you a real feel for the book before you lay out your hard-earned money. Check it out here.
The Art of Mad Max: Fury Road was written by Abbie Bernstein and published by Titan Books on May 19, 2015. It is 176 pages in full color, priced at $39.95 in hardcover. There is no digital edition.
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