Over the years we’ve covered a wide range of hard-to-find projects on PaperSpecs; celebrity invitations, super-expensive wines and spirit packages, you name it. But we’ve really had to venture into the Internet outback to hunt up images of this one. Stands to reason, I suppose: The boogeyman only reveals himself when you least expect it. In this case, the boogeyman is a real-life recreation of the pop-up book at the center of the 2014 Australian horror film “The Babadook.” In all, 6,200 copies were sold in a 50-day online campaign for about $60 each, with the first 5,000 autographed by “Babadook” writer/director Jennifer Kent.
Before you can appreciate this volume, it probably helps to have some idea what role it plays in the film. Cue trailer:
Pretty frightening, no?
Director Kent partnered with paper engineer Simon Arizpe and illustrator Alexander Juhasz to bring that accursed volume to life, publishing the book through Insight Editions.
“All the specifications of the book are the same in the limited edition copies as they were in the film version, such as the color, binding and trim size,” Simon tells PaperSpecs. “However, the film only shows a few pages from the book. In creating the limited edition we used those same pages but also designed several new pages to complete the story.”
“In regards to the paper there was no special finishing,” he adds. “When working on a pop-up book I like to use uncoated/unfinished paper because it lets the pieces stick together more strongly when glued. After the paper is printed the pieces are die cut then each spread is assembled.”
Needless to say, this all required a herculean effort to pull off.
“I am based out of New York, Jen the director and Kristina the producer are in Australia, and Alex the illustrator is in Montreal,” Simon explains. “Because of this, we had to do a lot of late night/early morning Skype meetings to make sure we could find a time when everyone was awake. But we were all good sports about it, and for a while I always knew exactly what time it was in Sydney.
“For me what was really great about this project was that everyone involved was so passionate about working on it. Everyone wanted to make the best possible book we could. That doesn’t happen on every project. Also, it’s a horror pop-up book! When is the next time I am going to get the chance to make that?”
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