Geek Pick of the Week: The Art and Soul of Dune

If you love Dune, or just learning about how big budget Sci-Fi films come together, Insight Editions’ The Art and Soul of Dune is the perfect addition to your Christmas list.

As the Holiday season approaches, we’re bringing back our Geek Pick of the Week. Each week leading up to Christmas, we’ll be highlighting a cool product we’ve found that we feel would be the perfect gift for geeks of all kinds. Use these to help fill in your own wish list or find the perfect gift for the nerds in your life. Click HERE to read more about previous Picks of the Week!

Denis Villenueve’s new take on Frank Herbert’s classic is delighting long time fans and general movie lovers alike. As such, you might be thinking of ways to dive deeper into the film and story, beyond simply picking up the original novel (which you should ALSO do). Or, if not for yourself, you might have a movie lover on your shopping list this year and on the hunt for something special. In either case, you’re in luck with The Art and Soul of Dune.

Insight Editions normally brings the goods when it comes to their media tie-ins. I love all of their Star Wars reference books, and their Game of Thrones and Dark Crystal art books are among my favorite behind the scenes titles. They always manage to dive deep into the material, while offering a candid glimpse into how the property is made. The Art and Soul of Dune is no different and I completely DEVOURED it.

This is so much more than a regular art book, though there’s more than enough gorgeous pieces to enjoy throughout. Tanya LaPointe, the film’s executive producer, also serves as the author behind the book, which means we’re given some incredible insight into the filmmaking process.

From covering how Denis Villeneuve was brought onto the project, the casting process, pre-production work, and detailing the unique challenges of bringing the book to the big screen. Just about everything you could want in a behind the scenes book is here. Hell, LaPointe even goes into detail on scenes that were cut from the film (a surprising amount included here) and the REASONS why they ended up on the cutting room floor. There’s also a look at an alternate opening the film had planned, which would have started off with Duncan Idaho infiltrating the desert.

Even better, the book is organized in a really clever way. For the most part it lays things out chronologically, taking a look at the very beginning of the filmmaking process while following the basic beats of the story itself. This way you can follow along chronologically with the film itself, while getting insights from all throughout the process.

It also groups things together, so you can get all your House Atreides and House Harkonnen info in a single chapter (for the most part), without having to jump around too much. It’s impressively handled and makes it easy to read cover-to-cover OR coffee table style (flipping to random pages). The result is a behind the scenes tome that’s insightful, surprisingly comprehensive, and feels candid in the information offered. It’s a genuine treat for fans of Dune and people who love film and want to know more about the filmmaking process in general.

Of course, I can’t ignore the oodles of gorgeous art contained inside. The large size of the book allows plenty of room for the images and artwork to shine in gorgeous detail. I loved seeing how the early designs influenced what ultimately made it to the big screen, and the thought process that went into them. Beyond the art, there are a hefty amount of images from behind the scenes of the set. Including a few from deleted scenes that didn’t make the cut.

All in all, Insight Editions have once again delivered an excellent tie-in book. I learned so many interesting things about the making of the film, and being able to see some of the on-screen designs in better detail allows me to appreciate the amount of care that went into bringing it to life. As both a Dune fan and someone who loves movies, this is the type of book I’d love to find under the Christmas tree this year.

The Art and Soul of Dune is available now online and major book retailers. If that’s not enough, there’s even a suped-up special edition that adds a WHOLE bunch of goodies fans/collectors would love. That one can only be ordered directly from Insight Editions.

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Jordan Maison
Editor-in-Chief: Writer and cartoonist who went to college for post-production, he now applies his love of drawing, movie analysis, filmmaking, video games, and martial arts into writing.