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Ghostbusters: Afterlife: The Art and Making of the Movie Book Review

 By Paul Rudoff on Jun. 8, 2022 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Books
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Shortly after the movie was released to theaters, Titan Books published the hardcover book, "Ghostbusters: Afterlife: The Art and Making of the Movie" by Ozzy Inguanzo. Read on to find out more about it...

Before I get into this, I would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the Spook Central VIPs for providing the funds that allowed me to buy this item and review it for all of you. This item was NOT provided by the manufacturer.

The hardcover book, which measures 12"x11"x0.75" and contains 192 pages, comes sealed in plastic with a dust jacket. Underneath that dust jacket, you will find a front cover bearing a rusted and cracked logo.

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The inside flap of the dust jacket carries this description of the tome.
In Ghostbusters: Afterlife - The Art and Making of the Movie, author Ozzy Inguanzo provides a comprehensive look at the making of the next chapter in the original Ghostbusters universe. When a single mom and her two kids arrive in the small town of Summerville, they begin to discover their connection to the original Ghostbusters and the secret legacy their grandfather left behind.

This lavish hardback explores the creative spirit and remarkable legacy behind the film, providing in-depth insider access to its development and production. Experience the journey from script to screen through an extensive collection of behind-the-scenes images and designs, including concept art, storyboards, sketches, and models, showcasing the unique process of capturing the spirit of the original film through new and iconic visuals, creatures, costumes, props, and one of the most beloved vehicles in cinema history. Accompanying hundreds of stunning images are exclusive insights from key creatives, including writer/director Jason Reitman, producer Ivan Reitman, the production designer, cinematographer, costume designer, visual effects designer, and the special makeup & live action creature effects designer -- making it the ultimate movie companion for fans and film lovers alike.
If you're thinking that this is the Afterlife equivalent of "Making Ghostbusters", you'd be wrong. It's more like the "Ultimate Visual History" book, since there is no screenplay, and it relies heavily on large photographs and artwork. Thankfully, all of those photos are unaltered, as far as I can tell. Ecto-1 has its hood emblems.

The book is broken down into the following sections:

6. FOREWORD - A few words from director Jason Reitman.

8. PART I: PAST IS PROLOGUE
10. PASSING THE PROTON PACK
18. CAPTURING THE SPIRIT
36. WELCOME TO SUMMERVILLE (EST. 1928)

54. PART II: SPIRITS OF THE PAST
56. THE HAUNTED FARMHOUSE
74. THE SECRET ROOM
88. UNDER THE TARP

108. PART III: GHOSTBUSTING
110. MEET MUNCHER
128. TEMPLE OF GOZER
152. HARBINGERS OF THE APOCALYPSE
174. AFTERLIFE

192. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS - Credits for the book above the cast and crew photo taken on the farmhouse set.

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(click to enlarge)

The sections are pretty self-explanatory, and the book generally covers everything in the order seen in the movie. Of course, DON'T READ THE BOOK BEFORE WATCHING THE FILM!

Ozzy drops in quotes from the movie in his phrasings. For example, on page 22, he writes, "With the tools and the talent, Reitman conjures up a familiar ominous sensation that escalates to a chilling crescendo..." Some elements of the movie have more time spent on them than others. The detail of events towards the end of the movie are decidedly lacking. It would have been nice to have had more behind the scenes photos of the Original Ghostbusters, and a more in-depth look at the path they took to bring Harold Ramis back to the big screen. Surprisingly, there are no photos of Bob Gunton on set as Ghost Egon. You only see him among the crowd in the cast & crew photo at the very end. I expected to see one or two of the photos that were released online as part of the Stan Winston School article (before they were quickly taken down). Like the movie itself, the book spends a lot of time up front, and then races towards the finish line at the end, leaving one feeling like something's missing.

For the most part, the information is solid, though there are a few errors. On page 37, the photo caption says that "the old wooden grain elevator was added digitally in post-production". That structure exists in real-life up in Alberta, Canada and (to my knowledge) has appeared in other movies. Only the text on it that reads "The Summerville Grain Co." was added digitally to it. Page 155 says that Bug-Eye Ghost was "inspired by [...] The Real Ghostbusters". The ghost originated in the Kenner toyline, though later it had a cameo in The Real Ghostbusters episode "The Halloween Door". On page 158, a photo of Jason setting up the deleted scene of the Mini-Pufts in Wertheimer's is captioned as being at Walmart.

There is a little bit of deleted scene photos and information, if you're paying attention. On page 191, it says that Phoebe has this line in the movie: "We caught a ghost tonight! It was the most exciting thing I've ever done in my entire life..." At the Sheriff's station, Phoebe only says the first sentence (at 1:09:45). The second part of this line is not in the film, as noted in the transcript. Either Ozzy was quoting from the script, or part of the line was cut from the film. Maybe if we had an "assembly cut" or some deleted scenes, we'd know for sure. -sigh-

Here is a list of some deleted scene photos you can find in the book, as noted by MrMichaelT with some additions by me:

1. Phoebe Making Popcorn with a Proton Pack
- Page 6 gives this description: "A girl finds a dormant proton pack lying dead in a basement. She carries the heavy pack out into a cornfield and fires a proton stream into the crops. They explode like fireworks into a cloud of raining popcorn. She screams and inadvertently begin catching them like snowflakes on her tongue."
- Page 10 features a photo of Phoebe with thrower drawn in field, Jason filming her.

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(click to enlarge)

- Page 24 features a photo of Phoebe catching popcorn happily.

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(click to enlarge)

2. Phoebe Gets Doritos Fired At Her
- Page 45 - There's a Doritos chip in Phoebe's hair as she sits with Podcast, which indicates this scene originally took place after the shot of the classmate firing Doritos at her seen in Trailer #2. The chip is not in her hair in the final film, indicating that it may have been digitally removed once the preceding scene was cut.

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(click to enlarge)

3. Phoebe & Podcast Walking with Red Wagon at the Foundry.
- Page 110 features a photo.

4. Mini-Pufts Attack at Wertheimer's hardware
- Page 158 features a photo of Jason setting up a shot with Mini-Puft stand-ins.

There is also some concept art for ghosts that don't appear in the film. I assume these never got past the concept stage.

Page 142 - Dimetrodon ghost, an ornery school teacher, Class III Demon from the 2nd Circle of Hell, and cosmic terror inspired by the Lovecraft mythos.

Page 154 - Balloon ghost, possessed chicken sandwich, School crossing guard ghost ("Louise was one of the best crossing guards in Summerville until that runaway school bus took her down."), and Rancher ghost ("This rancher had an unfortunate encounter with a young steer that had a bad temper.").

Page 155 - Assorted Miner ghosts, named Dynamite, Pick Axe, Lunchbox, Coats, and Shovel.

I don't think there's anything more I need to say, so here are some page spreads that were released online.

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(pages 56-57, click to enlarge)

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(pages 96-97, click to enlarge)

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(pages 120-121, click to enlarge)

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(pages 152-153, click to enlarge)

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(pages 156-157, click to enlarge)

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(pages 160-161, click to enlarge)

"Ghostbusters: Afterlife: The Art and Making of the Movie" by Ozzy Inguanzo is available for purchase right now and, despite its flaws, is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It carries a MSRP of $39.95 US/$53.95 CAN, but you can definitely find it cheaper at Amazon.

The book was purchased with my own money. Titan Books never responded to my requests for a copy at the time of release, despite Spook Central being a site specifically dedicated to the making of the Ghostbusters movies.

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