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I was nine when the first Star Wars movie came out. We didn’t know it was the first, it was just “Star Wars.” And then…age ten…two whole digits! That’s when the adults won’t stop asking “what do you want to do when you grow up?” I thought for certain I’d be building monster suits and model spaceships, and soaked up everything on the subject all through the 1980s renaissance of sci-fi and adventure movies.
The Winston Effect: The Art & History of Stan Winston Studio — Jody Duncan — ISBN 1845761502
Life took a different creative turn at age 14 when I got my first computer…and career-wise maybe that was for the best, as practical effects are an increasingly rare treat. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe monsters and spaceships get under your skin, but I still have a love of these subjects. Thankfully we have conventions and cosplay, increasingly-lavish Halloween displays and maker hobbies in general to scratch some of that “road not taken” itch.
No Strings Attached: The Inside Story of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop — Matt Bacon — ISBN 0028620089
Here are a few books I’ve collected over the years. Some are instructional, others are showcases or personal memoirs. All are very visual and picture-dense, packed with in-progress, off-camera and skin-peeled-back views of models and monsters. When looking for inspiration for the next Adafruit Halloween tutorial, or a personal cosplay project, or just a dose of feel-good brain chemicals when the world seems like a lot, I’ll often pull one off the shelf and flip through for inspiration.
Rick Baker : Metamorphosis — J.W. Rinzler — ISBN 1944903437
Do you have some personal favorites that aren’t in this stack? Sound off in the comments!
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