344 Books

 Tarsem’s THE FALL  Tarsem’s THE FALL

Tarsem’s THE FALL

Visionary director Tarsem Singh first approached us while working on his landmark movie The Fall. He had self-financed this incredible fantasy film, and now needed to find a distributor. The only problem? He was still fine-tuning the edit, and didn’t want to show anything other than the final cut. He needed something that would show the magical images and epic scope of the film... without showing any of the actual film.

Turning an Archive Into a Book

Tarsem entrusted us with over 7,000 still images taken on set by renowned photographer Stephen Berkman (and a few from the studio of his Oscar-winning costume designer Eiko Ishioka) with the mandate of creating an object to entrance movie distributors. The result was an 80-page hardcover book almost as epically scaled as the film at 14×17 inches and protected by a custom plastic sheath that put the iconic paper mask on Alexandria, the hero of the film. 344 produced the entire book from conception to printing, on time and on budget. 

Getting the Details Right

We created custom lettering for the book title, and were delighted when Tarsem later chose it to serve as the main title for the film itself. The geometric pattern of the custom end sheets was based on one of the Indian temples seen in the film.

Tarsem was eager to feature a photograph of the Chand Baori steps in Rajasthan. The location was secured with safety fencing that had been digitally removed for the film, but that footage wasn't useable for our book. A 4K film frame has about 8 million pixels. For crisp print reproduction we needed 43 million. Luckily, we had access to a gorgeous high resolution photograph taken on set, but removing the fencing at this resolution took 24 hours of retouching.

Credit Where Credit is Due

The majority of the photographs in the book were taken by Stephen Berkman, with supplemental images by set designer Ged Clarke, costume designer Eiko Ishioka, and by director Tarsem himself. We devised an index of miniature spreads that quickly allows the reader to see who did what.