Every film fan should own at least a couple “Making-of” books. These books might not meet the sheer wealth of material the special features DVD or Blu-ray can offer, but they can make great reference material you can pull off your shelf at any time or have sitting on your coffee table if you just want to kill some time and look at some gorgeous concept art.
The best making-of books offer an excellent blend of informative material coupled with high-quality images, and with the release of Prometheus, two new making-of books have hit shelves: The Book of Alien and Prometheus: The Art of the Film. One is an example of how to a making-of book wrong, and the other is an example of how to do it right.
A legendary screenwriter of science fiction and horror, Dan O’Bannon, best known for writing Alien, passed away today at the age of 63. Bannon broke out back in 1974 with the lo-budget sci-fi flick Dark Star, which was director John Carpenter’s first major film. O’Bannon not only wrote the script for Dark Star, he also edited, art designed, acted in, and handled the special effects on the film.
Then he wrote Alien, which would be his biggest film both critically and commercially. But oddly enough, O’Bannon’s most ardent fans, while they unabashedly love Alien, seem to support the guy more for his smaller cult movies like Dark Star, Dead & Buried, Blue Thunder, his segment “B-17″ in Heavy Metal, and for The Return of the Living Dead, a film he also directed.
Thanks to Harry at Ain’t It Cool for breaking the bad news and writing a nice little obit. Our condolences to Mr. O’Bannon’s family and friends.