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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Monster Book

I've spent the last two months or so working as the production designer on a student film called "The Book Eater".  Sets, props, costumes, and...yeah, that was about it.  I got involved because the director is a friend of mine, and also there's a monster book that terrorizes a bookstore owner (sounds like fun to me!).  I'm going to spend the next several posts talking about the different pieces that went into making the film happen.

First, I'm just going to look at the hero prop of the "Gorgonomicon" book.  I made three books for various parts of the film, and this is the one that just sits and looks pretty for the actors to interact with.

The construction is based on Dave Lowe's Creepy Old Book Making how-to.

The book is built around an old dictionary the director found. 
...It's also built backwards.  It was decided that this would add a little extra mystery to the prop.
Foam core, cereal box, duct tape, and hot glue form the structure of the cover.
A little paper towel corpsing with cheap craft paints finished it off nicely.  I decided to dry brush a darker shade and gave it a light clear coat on top to make it appear a little more like some sort of weird leather.
A few of the camera-ready pages of the hero prop featuring Latin poetry in some font out of Lord of the Rings, and fake woodcuts of rampaging sea creatures.  Incidentally, both images are references to existing monsters (if anyone recognizes both, I'll be really surprised and give you a virtual high-five). 

More "Book Eater" to come...


  1. Beautiful detailing man. I'd love to see those interior pages close up.

    keep updating us on your project, I definitely want to check it out when it's complete.

  2. Awesome work on that book. What a great prop. Keep us in the loop of how things are going.

  3. Looks fantastic...love the name "Gorgonomicon" ...also love the concept of it opening backwards...you just started a new trend for 2012..mark my words :)

  4. Turned out GREAT! Did you cut the letters out to create the embossed look (that's what it looks like)? Looking forward to the following posts.

    I'll take a stab at the real monsters...a giant squid or colossal squid? Do the images refer to Aristotle (hence the greek temple in one) and Pliny the Elder in the other? Both ancient naturalists who first described giant squids.