While some approaches in the “Art of” or “Making of” category of film books provides explanatory text describing the moviemaking process, others are primarily photo essays. Both approaches have their merits. Titan Books has offered a mix of the approach with its Elysium: The Art of the Film, reviewed here, while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the Art of the Film, reviewed here, was a more visual snapshot of the filmmaker’s journey. Although it has less explanatory material and more in-world story background, the new book The Art & Making of Independence Day: Resurgence is most like Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films, reviewed here.
Like the Planet of the Apes work, The Art & Making of Independence Day: Resurgence covers a behind the scenes account of two films, here the original 1996 Independence Day and this year’s sequel. The reader is reminded of the history of the key characters in the original film in the first third of the volume, which also provides a review of the movie’s key special effect scene–the alien destruction of the White House. Not only providing movie stills, we get to see the relative size of the model used for the building and the process for the explosion. This sets up a good introduction for the special effects for the next two sections of the book: the rebuilding of Earth after the first invasion, and then the return of the aliens that is the focus of the sequel.
Titan’s usual quality hardcover design and thick full-color pages include in-universe accounts of the next generation of Earth’s defenders, followed by concept art and sketchwork, extensive coverage of space vehicles and fighter plane designs and futuristic weaponry. Director Roland Emmerich provides a foreword introduction.
The photography choices and selection of alien and ship designs featured by book creator Simon Ward provide a good overall look at the franchise through both films. Fans who missed the contemporary “making of” book and waiting for a look behind the original film will appreciate the inclusion of the original blockbuster film, and fans of the new film will be rewarded with full end-to-end, concept-to-screen coverage.