Based on the NBC series, The Art And Making Of Hannibal: The Television Series is an art book with background information on set design, the various characters and cases that give the show its particular aesthetic.
After watching the series, shortly to start its third season, you will know the heart on a platter on the cover of The Art And Making of Hannibal The Television Series is the probably the tamest image of the book.
Publisher Titan Books has a reputation for great books on the production of various TV series and films, and thankfully it becomes obvious even just quickly rifling through that this one is no exception.
Just like the show, the book’s content follows a dinner-course theme, with contents divided into ‘Apéritif’, ‘Èntrée’, ‘Main Course’, ‘Sorbet’, ‘Dessert’ and ‘Digestif’ sections.
However, since the book doesn’t follow an episodic format, or hardly any discernible format in its content at all, these sections are nothing but a thematically fun idea, and don’t prove helpful in finding a particular scene or case without consulting the table of contents at the beginning.
What the book lacks in organisation however, it more than makes up for in sheer, raw content.
The photos immediately catch your attention, both with beauty and gruesome detail. In fact it can feel quite different to get a detailed look on a corpse mutilated in various artistic ways rather than to have the camera give you a short look on it during an episode.
It is both a bow to incredibly set design craftsmanship as to the mind that created the morbid display, a huge part of Hannibal’s overall aesthetic.
Each character is featured in the book with a one-page interview with a big character photograph.
Comparing to the interview length for example in the Lord Of The Ring Making Of books this seems really short, as much as the focus on the often otherwise anonymous technicians and artists is appreciated.
Roughly the book can be divided into these character profiles, close looks at the victims and fantastically detailed looks at the sets, such as Hannibal’s office or the Hobbs’s cabin, even featuring 3D models, blueprints and drawings. The whole thing is rounded off by features that don’t fit in any of these categories, such as food and sound design.
As any good Making Of publication should be, this one is chock-full of beautiful pictures. Both the familiar pictures taken during filming as well as all the new detail shots look gorgeous on thick paper with a faint sheen that is thankfully forgiving on thumb prints.
While the book is certainly heavier on pictures than text, it will leave you fully informed on all important points of the design process and introduce its characters more fully. The Art And Making Of Hannibal: The Television Series is a must for every Fannibal and a great investment for anyone interested in set design.
Publisher: Titan Books
Release Date: 5th May 2015