What’s it Like To Visit With Bill Condon in an Edit Bay

Later today, we and other Twilight sites will have part 1 of a 2-part interview with Breaking dawn Director Bill Condon.  To give a little background of what a visit is like, Laura thought she’d share the experience with you.

Things have really changed since the Lexicon was granted a set visit back for the original Twilight. In those days, Summit didn’t really know what they had. They had photographers crawling all over their sets, people fairly easily walking up to the cast, and incredible access for set visits. For Twilight, we were there all day, and we do mean all day, during what Catherine Hardwicke described as her worst day of filming ever…as in her career ever.  To say that the weather was brutal that day is the understatement of the century; however the result was interviews with Kristen, Taylor, Mike Welch, Justin Chon, and Solomon Trimble.

Flash-forward a year later and Twilight has exploded. There are tons of websites, Twitter is now all the rage, and the set moves to Vancouver. We were invited to a set visit along with 5 other sites. We saw the scene where Sam brings Bella out of the woods. it was still cold, but not brutal and we got great interviews with Taylor, Chris Weitz, Chaske Spencer, and Gil Birmingham.

Leap ahead a couple of months to Eclipse and no media at all of any kind was on the set.  The uber pace to get the movie out for the summer wasn’t going to work for one.

With Breaking Dawn Part 1 again, no visit on set, but we and roughly a dozen sites got to talk to Bill Condon in the editing bay where they cut the footage for Breaking Dawn, and we must not have scared him off because this year we were invited back in late June.

So what is it like? Well the first thing that hits you is the level of security. Literally it’s a gated and guarded complex along with ID checks and passwords (no I’m not kidding).  Once you get inside, you’re at the most normal building ever. I don’t know what I was expecting, something that shimmered or gleamed maybe. The reality is you go through the door and I felt like I was back in Queens at my first apartment in a two family house. Not even kidding. The rooms are pretty tight. With 12 people we were sitting on the one sofa, three chairs, the floor and each other. We watched the footage that was later shown at Comic Con and the scene where Bella wrestles with Emmett. The screen is a computer screen, a big one, but we’re watching on a MAC.

What was interesting, was that as we were watching the footage, the staff from Summit, Bill’s editors, and Bill were watching us.  Without calling out specifically who had what reaction it was ranging from smiles, to thumbs ups, to wide-eyed panning the room, to one person looking like they’d swallow an entire bottle of Tums if it was offered.  I get it. What better test audience than a room full of Twilight site ops. If you screw up, you’re going to hear about it in a hurry.

In any case what followed was a thirty minute conversation with Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon. We will feature part 1 of the interview today at noon eastern and part 2 tomorrow at noon. Talking to Bill is like talking to your uncle.  There’s no pretense. It’s just utter honesty and passion. He cares what you have to say. He listens and chooses his words carefully.  He’ll say in three words and a look what others can’t express in a paragraph.  It’s a gift. Every actor talks about what a thrill it was to work with Bill Condon because of his calm and willingness to listen and collaborate. We only had 30 minutes, I can only imagine what six months with him was like.

Before we left, we handed Bill a thank you from fans. A Lion and Lamb trophy for taking all things Twilight seriously. You can catch the video  below.

After the interview was over we headed over to the Lionsgate offices where we were treated to lunch and got to prescreen two movies: Step-Up Revolution (best I can say about the movie is it wasn’t as painful as the last one…nuff said) and The Perks of Being a WallFlower.  I can’t say this strongly enough GO SEE THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. I was blown away. It’s been killing me that I’ve been embargoed since June and not able to talk about this with anyone! After it screened I said to one of the PR people at Summit, “So are you making room in the trophy case for another OSCAR?” If this film is not nominated for Best Adapted Screen Play, Best Supporting Actor (Ezra Miller), and Best Movie, I’ll be stunned. It’s that good and a must see.  Emma Watson (and this is a good thing) has no trace of Hermione Granger in her performance. I was looking at a portrayal of a very lost teenage girl.  Logan Lerman will at the same time melt and break your heart. Ezra Miller’s utterly honest and layered portrayal makes you feel like you’re watching your best friend. At one key point, you feel like you want to walk through fire to help him.

After all this was over we took a two-hour trip back to our hotel in rush hour. Our driver was great. After just sitting there in traffic we detoured through Beverly Hills to see how the other half lives.  It was a wild ride in a van without great ventilation. Between bouts of nausea we gawked at things like Will Smith’s house and checked into the grotto of the Playboy mansion on FourSquare (no we weren’t there, but the reaction on my timeline was great)

Comments

  1. So lucky. Thanks to all the fan admins who represented us.

  2. THANKS for the intro, i’m sure it was an extraordinary experience :)
    I was PLANNING on going to see The Perks…. but now IM for SURE going :)

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