These pamphlets in Wes Anderson’s Criterion Collections are worth the price of admission. They’re filled with drawings, interviews, and behind- the-scenes insights. An analog version of a blu-ray’s bonus features.
Here Wes shares a glimpse of his process:
When I’m writing, I keep notebooks of my ideas for sets, props, and clothes. I incorporate some of these ideas into the script, but I set the majority of them aside to give privately to the different department heads during preproduction. In the past, I have occasionally forgotten some of my favorite ideas until it was too late – – for example, after the movie is out on video. To prevent this from happening on THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (which contains more perhaps unnecessary visual detail than both my previous films combined), about three months before we started shooting, I asked my brother Eric, a skilled illustrator, to help me create a set of drawings that would include much of the information I wanted to communicate to the crew — and that would also suggest the overall look and feeling of the movie.
We had already found the house where I wanted to film (in the Hamilton Heights section of Harlem), and our production designer, David Wasco, had provided us with a set of blueprints, so I was able to very specifically plan the contents and arrangements of each of the rooms, and Eric was able to meticulously render them. Eric was, in fact, so meticulous that many of the sets had already been constructed by the time he finished the drawings. Eventually, however, his illustrations became the standard equipment on the walls of the production offices and art department and in the notebooks of everyone on the crew — a sort of manual to keep next to your script. We include a copy here for you.
— Wes AndersonCriterion Collection Pamphlet. The Royal Tenenbaums
Eric Chase Anderson is underrated.
Is Wes Anderson the filmmaker with the highest percentage of his movies in the Criterion Collection? 9 from 10? I’m sure the French Dispatch is lurking at the door.