It looks like the historic May Building in Downtown Hollywood is being converted to a film museum slated to open in 2016. A number of film studios including Lionsgate are making donations, and they have some impressive patrons contributing to the 250 million dollar project.
According to the Hollywood Reporter
The Academy’s board of governors approved the plans unanimously at a meeting Wednesday night. The Academy and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which owns the May Co. building, have agreed to a 55-year lease, with a 55-year option to renew, the Academy said.
Launched in early 2012 by campaign chair Bob Iger and co-chairs Annette Bening and Tom Hanks, the campaign has raised $100 million through private donations toward a $250 million goal, which includes an endowment that will support the museum’s operations. “The early response to our fund-raising campaign has been outstanding and is incredibly encouraging,” Iger said.
The campaign chairs and their families have all made donations, along with such past Academy governors, presidents and their families as Bill Condon and Jack Morrissey, Richard and Bonnie Cook, Rob and Shari Friedman, Sid and Nancy Ganis, Jim and Ann Gianopulos, Gale Anne Hurd, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, Hawk and Molly Koch, John and Nancy Lasseter, Walter Mirisch and Lawrence Mirisch, Bob and Kay Rehme and Tom and Madeleine Sherak.
As much as we love the Twilight movies, most fans realize that it’s not in danger of winning an OSCAR for best picture. However we do have an OSCAR winning director behind our final movie and here’s what he had to say to USA Today about Twilight and the awards season.
The early campaigning, veterans say, is inevitable, given the crush of competing awards. But even Oscar winners say the season, which seems to arrive earlier every year, can make people crazy.
“Do I miss the kind of movies you get in the Oscar season? Absolutely, and I plan to go back there,” says Bill Condon, director of the final two Twilight films and winner of the adapted-screenplay Oscar for 1998′s Gods and Monsters.
Condon, who also received another adapted-screenplay nomination for 2002′s Chicago, says the awards season is ripe “for smaller-scale, personal movies. Finding them is the trick.
“Do I miss the craziness of (the season)? Not at all,” he says. “It’s so non-stop, it’s almost debilitating.”
Yesterday we brought to you part 1 of our exclusive interview with director Bill Condon. Today we bring you part 2:
Becca: So Stephenie takes a huge chunk of this book and puts it in Jacob’s perspective.
Bill: Well, the last film, not this one so much.
Becca: It is part one, ok.
Bill: That was interesting in that, to go inside the wolves and everything, but here, it’s Bella. It’s all Bella.
Kallie: One of the scenes we saw, no it was one of the stills that we saw, of it looked like it could be Renesmee communicating, The first thing that hit on twitter was ‘What do you guys think is going to happen, is it going to be like the wolves? Is it going to be different?’ Have you even, I am sure that you have approached it, but is that clear in your head how you want it to be seen?
Bill: Yeah, and it’s not like the wolves. [Bill wipes forehead in relief and all laugh]
Kallie: I wasn’t even sure I would get that, so I am happy. Awesome.
Bill: It’s definitely own thing. You know that’s what’s fun, cause we do have, now you have this whole different power and this whole different way of communicating. And that means we get to play with a whole different visual approach.
Nikki: How tuned into the fans and people’s critiques are you? I mean it seems with a series that is so popular, it would be film making by democracy maybe?
Bill: A little bit. I think that’s very true. I think we are right from the script stage what are favorite things, what you feel comfortable with, visualizing in a different way, and then obviously I read everything written, every good and awful thing. So very, very tuned into that.
Laura: Picking up with what Nikki said, our fandom, and there are definitely some fan favorite scenes that we can see have ended up in the movie, by just stills or you know, looking at the trailer, are the two that I can think of right off the top of my head. With the arm wrestling thing, I can’t tell you how many people are thrilled about the arm wrestling. I mean I don’t think I have ever gotten so many RT’s off of arm wrestling in my life. That and just the inclusion of Garrett, and sort of that character and his speech and what he does, so I guess what’s, and you know there’s other fan favorites that got cut from the first one, like the dog bowl thing. Is hard for you to decide what stays and what gets cut? Or humor sometimes, is it easier to put humor in this one then it was the last one?
Bill: I think so. I think that’s true. I think the dog bowl is a good example of that. We’re trying to fit that in to the long version, you know, the one movie. It a whole different, I thought in that case, it was important to stay with Bella. Again, it was all like, but now we’re trying to find room for it in kind of, a different pace film. But here, I got to say, let me think, there are one or two things that we shot like that that didn’t make it in the film. Not as much as in the first one. I hope they won’t miss too much.
Kallie: What were your favorite and least favorite scenes to shoot and film.
Bill: Oh I always thought it was a challenge, and I was curious how other directors dealt with it. When you are shooting the Cullens, they don’t drink coffee or tea, they don’t smoke, they don’t sit, they don’t walk. So you know it’s like, you’ve got… that turned out to be nothing compared to putting 27 vampires in a room. So even though, there’s that. Twenty-seven statues having a big emotional scene, was a challenge. I love the scene, but that was a nightmare.
Kallie: But good, was there anything really great in the one that you went back .
Bill: Oh yeah, so much of it. I have to say the whole…I think having Michael Sheen play such a crowning role in this is such an exciting thing. Way beyond what he’s done in other ones, you know. He really is, as you know, on the field, he’s a dominant presence in the film leading up to that. It just brought a different energy to the whole thing. It was great.
Lee: That’s a very good point, because it’s very visually striking that he has a Summit Marshall look (classic battle figure) to him, and that was a conscious decision that it would look almost like he was going into battle. Like a Prussian uniform.
Bill: Absolutely. That combined with, it’s sort of like you know, in his mind it’s a ceremonial kind of duty. To go a judge on this thing. So yes he is going to battle, but it’s the College of Cardinals coming, you know he’s the Pope. You know, so he’s all robed up for the whole thing.
Jack: The fun thing from the trailer this morning is you’ll see, in another instance in history where that actually happened with the immortal children. It’s not just the battlefield at the end. You’ll see them sort of, going around the world and doing cleanup.
Greg: Just like the book.
Kallie: We’re going to have a lot of twitter Pope jokes. All of the fans are going to be like why are all the fan sites tweeting about the pope.
Andrew: With this being the last film are there any sort of, tribute moments for the fans.
Bill: Yes. We start in a subtle way with the overture, of all the themes.
Lee: The red to white, you know I thought was, brilliant.
Bill: Yeah, it’s going to be fun. I have to say there are a few that we are very excited about. Won’t talk about that there.
Laura: I’m probably going to get strung up by fans if I don’t ask this question, how do you balance the romance now with a movie that is a little more action heavy. You know, a little more fight to death kind of thing. How do you find a way to fit that in? Is that kind of tough?
Bill: it’s interesting, because also the triangle is over. So it doesn’t have that, but the thing that has replaced it is, obviously their love for each other, but their love for Renesmee. So that she becomes the focus, of all the strongest emotional moments in the movie. And then, I think again I think it was something that started in the first movie, but there is a sense of, these are grownups now. So it is, they are married and they take time out to express their feelings for each other, but it is not in that same kind of yearning way, that teenage yearning way. It’s very mature. I think people will be surprised by that.
Kimmy: What was the most challenging thing to do involving Renesmee and having her grow up really fast?
Bill: Everything. You know I think that the secret is out on this probably, that we age her more quickly in the movie than in the book. I think that is the biggest and potentially scariest change that we made. But it was, when you try to imagine, some of those scenes, especially the field at the end, and all of that happens with a toddler, it just, it’s a wonderful idea, on the page that was tough to imagine visually. So that meant we age, and believe me she starts as a baby, so we watch that progression. It’s not, I think that some people have been concerned that, it’s all Mackenzie Foy. It’s not, it’s all Mackenzie Foy’s performance, but it’s, in a very complicated way combined with you know, girls of different sizes. That was always really unwieldy. And it’s something you know, we still can’t show, cause we don’t have it yet. It’s still in process.
Jack M: Much like you were commenting last night Laura, that Renesmee being in part one, where the baby name is introduced for the first time, and you see everyone’s sort of… the reaction to it [referencing the non-verbal communication between Edward and Jacob about the unusual name]. It’s not spoiling anything to say that there is that beat in part two, where Bella is dropping Renesmee off at Charlie’s house and Charlie comes out and says…
Bill: Yeah, she…
Jack M: She’s grown 6 inches.
Laura: Was that your toughest? Do you think that your toughest FX challenge in this film is Renesmee?
Bill: I think it is, because it’s really, it’s the guys who did social network, but each of these movies, Bella’s emaciation and then in this movie, Renesmee, is new ground. You know, they are really discovering, so it’s a lot of trial and error here. But when it works, and it’s all going to work, the stuff that we have seen that works, is really magical.
Michelle: With the new trailer that just came out, what’s the process like for choosing which scenes go into the trailer, and the balance between not showing too much, and then not giving the fans enough.
Bill: A lot of arguing (everyone laughs) I think always, you know, Tim Summerfield and the team at Summit, and the vendors they use, create that trailer and then we all get to weigh in on it. What’s interesting and I am curious to know what you guys think, because I think we show enough in that trailer, and my only worry about it is, do people remember, that it’s still a teaser. In other words, that it’s not the whole movie. There is so much more then that shows and the next trailer will show more of it. In other words, the scope of the movie is suggested by the trailer, but I worry because we have seen others that people will think oh that’s it. They have shown their best stuff, and we haven’t. So do you think that people remember still that it’s only a teaser?
Becca: Yeah, I think. I was shocked by how long it was…it was long.
Jack M: How long was teaser number one?
Jack P: 30 seconds
Jack M: So now this is 60. And then we go to 2:30.
Becca: That makes sense. I was just thinking teaser, I was thinking .30.
Laura: More action packed, like wow, they packed a lot in there.
Lee: There’s so much sweep to it, because what you get in this trailer more than anything, is scope.
Bill: Good, I’m glad.
Lee: That’s what your pushing for, is you get this feeling cause everything is sweeping and long angles, you see it moving all the time so it really does capture that.
Jack P: Did everyone want more after seeing it?
Nikki: I don’t want too much, just exactly enough to make me think about what I want.
Elena: Between the stills that we have seen in EW, and the trailer, and teasers and so forth, I mean we’ve seen Vampire Bella, we’ve seen Renesmee, we’ve seen most of though not all of the new faces, and back in part 1, we all knew that there was the one thing that we weren’t going to see, until we saw it on the big screen, which was the dress, is there any like one particular thing, for part two that we are just going to have to wait for the big screen for the big reveal?
Laura: And he’s not telling.
Becca: I was watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 last week and I was thinking how when they protect the castle and that shield, I was wondering if that’s like a similar effect that you are doing with Bella.
Bill: You know it’s interesting, it isn’t. You know, what the challenge of it is, these are mental powers, right, that we are physicalizing. Well you know the mist, that’s obviously quite physical. Her shield, we’re truly trying to walk that line so that you remember that nobody else can see it. You are getting it more, Bella’s point of view, but it’s very, um, subtle.
Laura: I think you alluded to it before, one of the fans’ favorite parts from Breaking Dawn 2 is Garrett’s whole speech, and everything which, can be an awesome speech, but I can also see it could be a little draggy. Was that difficult as a director, do you have to do a lot of different cuts and things for that kind of thing? How was it doing that kind of speech?
Bill: Lee Pace, you know. Like he gets to, and it was so fun, because Michael Sheen was on the other end going on and on, getting all of his speeches and stuff. So it was like, Team Cullen was there. Kind of what it was. And you know he’s a great actor, so he got to really go to town on that one. So yeah, it wasn’t a problem, no.
Michelle: Now besides, you talked about it earlier, having Renesmee age quicker than in the books, is there anything else that is drastically different in the movie than you see in the books?
Bill: Couple of thing.
Someone: Kill off Edward.
Greg: There is no Edward in this one.
Laura: The music plays such a big part in this, and I know you are going to be going off to go and do that again. Is there any part in particular that you are really looking forward to you know, underscoring, with music, and if you could, could you tell us a part that you might be looking forward to hearing the music with?
Bill: You know the thing is, it’s that 25 minutes on the field. Because it’s so, again, it’s so big. The actual scoring period is longer than it’s ever been. We’ve added an 80 piece orchestra to a big chunk of the movie there. So it has again, it has the kind of sweep that you were talking about, and that’s Carter Burwell really, kind of bringing home all of the stuff that he’s seeded in. You know, I think you will be surprised to know that a theme that you already know from Breaking Dawn part 1 is actually the Volturi theme. He hinted at that in the 1st movie. You know, there’s things, where again, I think the pleasure of him getting to complete the whole thing, is really strong in that part. I can’t wait; it’s going to be thrilling. I think I’ll be Skyping with the Orchestra behind me. [Initial plans called for Bill Condon to video Skype call into Comic Con and to be there live. It was then rethought due to being worried about fan reaction if the technology went down and he couldn’t speak. Therefore Bill Condon pre-recorded his Comic Con intro.]
Jack M: Bill will be in London while everyone else is in Hall H. And it’s back at Abbey Road studios on one of those historic stages again.
Bill: We couldn’t change it cause of the Olympics.
Jack M: Well you could if you don’t mind paying 6 times for hotel rooms. It’s ridiculous.
Jack P: Anything else. Greg?
Greg: I don’t have any questions. (Everyone laughs). Bill what was it like to work with Greg?
Greg: Don’t answer that.
Laura: Costume wise, cause all of these vampires look so incredibly different, can you talk a little about how much did you collaborate with Stephenie Meyer and the costume designers and what went into each one getting those looks just right for those?
Bill: You know the big challenge there was they all are different. They are all from around the world.
Jack M: Or around the country
Bill: we started from the back in a way. Michael’s[costume designer Michael Wilkinson] big question always, was how are they going to look together. So it’s like, you can’t have, the Irish people in bright plaid (everyone laughs). So it’s retro fitted from that, from what they look like in the field. And obviously, a lot of them didn’t come with trunks of clothes and things. Certainly the Amazons don’t have a lot of things and changes, but they do have other things. So that was a big, that was the way we did it, making all these distant things into a unit.
Andrew: It seems like kind of, I don’t know, this is kind of a wrap up question, it seems like there is a lot of secrets. It’s funny because we’ve all read the book–
Bill: Right, right.
Andrew: So was one of the intentions from the beginning to set out a few surprises for readers:
Bill: I don’t think it was a conscious thing, let’s do that, but I do think it’s…, I don’t know. It’s part of the pleasure. I was so proud of the fact that there had been, no image of the wedding dress before the night that that movie opened. And I think that it just makes the experience. To not know everything, that is all it is. But it wasn’t a, ‘No like we’re going to mess with people’s heads!”, you know. That wasn’t the idea.
Laura: The tale is in the telling. We know what happens, but it’s how it happens. The tale is in the telling.
Bill: Yeah, how it’s executed.
Jack P: You want to save some surprises for the actual movie going experience.
Jack Morrissey: So whose gonna to do this, anybody? (he’s holding a gift bag that we had him sneak into the studio)
Kallie: This is from us (as Jack hands the bag to Bil)
Laura: I guess I’ll do it. So for everything you’ve done for all of us embracing everything Twilight and TwiHard and taking us seriously we truly appreciate it. So even though you may not win an OSCAR for this one, but here on behalf of TwiHards everywhere is your very own Lion and Lamb award . (Bill then unwraps a large trophy that has a lamb on top, had the name of every website involved in the visit and the engraved statement “TO BILL CONDON, FOR UNFLINCHING SUPPORT OF ALL THINGS TWILIGHT, WE PRESENT YOU WITH THE FIRST EVER LION AND LAMB AWARD THE FANSITES OF TWIHARD NATION
Excellent Photo Gallery of Bill getting his trophy here. Video of it below.
Bill Condon Edit Bay Q&A
Bill: Do you want to talk first or then see another one or what should we do next?
Jack Pan: Do you guys Do you want to see the second clip?
(Laughter, Everyone starts shaking their head yes)
Laura (Lex): Or you could just play the whole movie, we’d be down with the whole movie going, you know (everyone laughs)
(They then roll a second clip of Emmett and Bella arm wrestling)
Bill: There you go, probably days from our goal. That rock is going to look like a rock on the inside. (everyone laughs)… Yeah, so you are seeing all the flaws. (He’s commenting on so of the CGI still being in the rough stages. We saw the wrestling scene between Bella and Emmett. In it they rest their arms on what is supposed to be a large rock which looked a lot more like foam because it was still in process. In our viewing Kristen also tackled what looked like a carton cougar.)
Jack Pan: So do you guys, maybe quickly just want to run down your sites and we can start the Q&A?
(Everyone agrees, some say sure)
Kaleb: I’m Kaleb Nation, I’m from TwilightGuy.com
Heidi: I’m Heidi, from Twilight Facebook
Lee: Lee from Twilight Moms
Kimmy: I’m Kimmy from HisGoldenEyes.com
Michelle: I’m Michelle from BellaandEdward.com
Laura: Laura from Twilight Lexicon
Kallie: Kallie from TwilightSeriesTheories.com
Sheila: Sheila from Team-Twilight.com
Elena: Elena from Twilightish
Becca: Nikki and Becca from Letters to Twilight
Erin: Erin from Twilightish
Andrew: Andrew from Twilight Source
Bill: (Hand Gestures to Jack Morrissey) Jack from Team Jack
Jack: (Looks at Bill) Team Bill Condon
Bill: (Looks at people sitting to his left) Ian Slater, Ginny Katz. We edited the movie together. (Looks at back of the room) And Greg Yolan… in charge of everything else
Jack M: Greg Yolan from Team Jack
Greg (waves): I’m Greg
Jack Pan: So who wants to start? (No one says anything)… They were all so blown away.
Jack: I couldn’t follow it
(Everyone laughs again)
Laura (Lexicon): I don’t know, I guess I’ll dive in. The teaser (the first one) came out today and I think we all probably played that like 3 million times, not that there is anything wrong with that. And one of the things I really liked is you saw glimpses of alternative points of view…
Laura (Lexicon): Can you talk a little bit about how did you those; maybe that’s a collaboration between you, Melissa Rosenberg, and Stephenie Meyer, to decide which are the alternative points of view, and how much fun was that to film something that is not in the book, other than saying we traveled some place and came back. Like how much fun was that, to go to that space?
Bill: Ya, I know, exactly like, for example; The Denali’s right? In the book they come, and it just felt like, to get our lead characters on the road together, in 3 different areas, was like an important thing just for the scope of the movie. I think you’ll see. You get a glimpse of it from the size of the main title. With this movie, it’s all about scope in a weird way, and it’s all about like, canvasing the world for all these vampires. So, that actually was, in very early days we made that decision to do that, It’s a challenge because, we introduce, I think it’s 23 new vampires, right? And, we do it in the second act, and by the 3rd act they’re on the battlefield and you have to get to know them very quickly. Actually it was great fun for the actors. Cause they all realized that they only had a moment or two, where they had to land what it was that they did. So it was part of what drew me to it. That it is a completely new part of Twilight that is getting introduced in this movie.
Laura (Lexicon): Any one of those alternate point of view your favorite or is that like picking between your kids?
Bill: Yeah, it is. Definitely.
Kallie: Well, I’ll go next. You mention the 23 new characters. I mean, that is profound to me. We were talking about it at breakfast, that that’s just a huge number of people to be working with on one set. We saw a glimpse of it in the trailer. Of all of them lined up together.
Bill: Yeah, Yeah
Kallie: How was that as a director? I mean it’s kind of a feat to tackle that many characters.
Bill: It was like, putting on a play. You know, we did something that you never do in movies. As you know from the book its 100 pages of the book. Its 25 pages in the script. Taking precious time with the crew standing around. We took a day and I staged it like a play, and we did the entire 25 pages. And we just like, beat by beat by beat we had the actors. So that it was just like staging a musical number almost. You know, cause you’ll see it. In order to make that feel like it has life. It doesn’t get monotonous to be there. I don’t think it does you know, it’s part of like really making sure that you are doing very different things through all that, section of the movie. But it was good.
Andrew: And do they equal amount of screen time? Like how was that balanced out?
Bill: No. Um, you know some of them have more. The Denali’s are more prominent, I would say. Garrett is more prominent. The Irish people are more, you know, jolly Irish people.
Bill: Some of them, you know, I think that you couldn’t do that honestly. Some of them were there to kind of fill out the sense of being across the world. But I have to say each of the actors again, even they, had their moments. They had little things that made them kind of pop.
Kaleb: How close is what we just saw here to the finished version without adding CGI and things like that?
Bill: Right, it’s the cut. So, the cut is done. [Note: the footage in the first clip was identical to what was shown at Comic Con]But the big thing is, it’s all Bella, you know, whatever little Spider Monkey thing is there, won’t be there yet. All those things, when she gets on the rock for example, she, the whole point of it is that she just finds a…she creates her own hold by basically, pushing through the rock[referencing the scene where Kristen Stewart scales the rock to get at the climber and was reacting to non-existent falling debris]. So that’s going have a lot of debris, a lot of stuff as she’s going, going down. She’s creating all this stuff so that all these elements aren’t in there yet. But the cut is the cut.
Jack M: Laura was nervous over dinner last night that it was going to be like last year’s edit bay visit where you got the opening Volturi scene, and …
Bill: Oh, and then it goes away
Greg: You guys were responsible for that (jokes)
Bill: That’s right
Laura: We jinxed it [At last year’s visit the websites saw an entire scene that was originally slated to start the movie. It was set in Volterra and it was the Volturi being informed that Bella and Edward were getting married. The scene heavily featured Marcus, Aro, Caius, Felix, and Demitri and a receptionist that was given to Felix and Demetri for lunch. It was cut from the final print because it was felt that it was more important to get to the Bella and Edward connection right away.]
Laura: You talk about the 23 which, that’s got to be an amazing job just to cast 23 people and you’ve got all sorts of people. Of those 23 vampires, which was the easiest one to find and which was the hardest one to find?
Bill: Ooh that’s a good question. Umm, you know like Lee Pace was like an obvious Garrett. So that just happened. There’s some of them, you see them, and that’s it you know. The hardest, you know, the Denali sisters, just getting them all to feel like they are from the same family, but having those different qualities, that was sort of a mix and match. Took a little time.
Lee: Do you prefer to shoot so tight that there is very little room for variation or based on the collaborative nature of putting together final cut, how much is collaboration and how much is deliberate in terms of choice? Or is that just situational?
Bill: Well, it’s all collaboration here and obviously these movies get created by large part in this room with the three of us[referring himself, Ian Slater, Ginny Katz . So I have to say at this movie it’s really new for me. We have 2,000 effects shots. I think that’s as many as Avatar. So, it’s like an animated movie. The last, that thing on the field, I don’t really want to promote this cause I feel like it takes away from the magic of it, but that was, as you know, all on green screen stage. So we’re, between that and you know the powers and every part of it feels like its still being created. We’re still, we have these sessions every day where we look at shots, maybe the 20th version of a shot, so it feels as though we’re still in production too you know. (Looks over at Ginny Katz) Ginny you want to say anything more about that?
Ginny: No. (Everyone laughs) You said it. I mean there are multi cameras all the time so there are a lot of choices.
Kallie: Well based on that, having filmed both the movies at the same time, I kind of already feel like I know your answer and what it’s going to be, but was it good or bad, I mean what was it, what was the good, what was the bad, of having them spaced out so far, being released.
Bill: It’s funny I was with, I shouldn’t say. I was with Eric Feig the other night and he was saying they are thinking of doing the last Hunger Games as two movies, and what advice would you give the director and I was like don’t do it (Everyone Laughs). I think that’s going to take even longer to shoot but ,yeah I would say, having to do it, distance and going through the experience of movie one was helpful, then in putting movie two together. At the same time it’s …we’re cutting stuff that we shot a year and a half ago, we’re recently cutting, so it does feel like God it’s a long time. I’m eager. When we originally started, the original idea was going to come out in July, if you remember, then it got pushed. So I am kind of at that point where I’m just so excited to show it to you. I want people to see it now. I don’t want to wait anymore then you do. But we needed the extra time though; it was bigger than we thought.
Becca: Did you touch part two at all, while you were editing part one?
Bill: Ginny always cuts right up to the camera. And Ian too.
Jack M: You want to explain to them that term, cutting up to the camera?
Bill: Like would go home on Friday and see everything that we had shot up to a few days before. So we had a cut of both movies before we started BD1.
Jack M: One long movie.
Ginny: We set part two aside, concentrated on what we needed to do first and then when that was done we were all ready.
Andrew: This question may be like really direct, but what does happen at the end of this movie. Cause like in the trailer, there’s this build up.
Greg: Jack’s sitting close enough to reach over and go like that (makes motion like picking him up) to you.
Jack Pan: You have an idea of what happens.
Bill: Have you seen Prometheus? (Everyone laughs)
Laura (Lexicon): You talk a little about the CGI, and all that going on. These vampires all have different powers. We saw a little bit of it in the trailer. We could see what they were doing with Benjamin, with the water, and if you could pause it just exactly right you kind of caught what was going on with Alec. That was a real tough pause. Thank you very much four times, to get that. So how did you discuss with the actors like this is what. I mean obviously they read and this is what their power is. Did you discuss with them, this is kind of how we thought this was going to be approached? How did you go about that?
Bill: No, with each one of them, Rami Malek for example, he was really, he came with all these variations on where that power comes from. Is it from here, is it from here? [points to his forearm, then wrists, then finger tips] You know how his physical movements would cause these huge, you know, control the elements basically. How he could do that. He does it. He has like three big scenes, three different big things that he does. He was wonderful, the way he internalized it. He sort of, you can’t see much there, cause that’s him showing off in the first scene, but in the other ones he takes incredible pleasure in what he can do. So um, yeah, I think um, Cameron [Cameron Bright who plays Alec] had been waiting a long time to show what he can do. So he was totally into it. He’s like a “gangsta” vampire. (Everyone laughs).
Nikki: The first one has a definite look and feel to it. This one feels very new and clean and contemporary. And just from what we saw, a little bit different. What’s the thinking behind that?
Bill: You know it’s funny, cause we even, like very early until it became to unreal and I thought probably a mistake, but when I first got involved, I thought this movie should be in 3d. Because we are crossing over into Bella. We always heard what they do when they hunt and what they do when they come home and what it’s like to see at night, to be able to see so clearly, but we never experienced it. Now we get to. So even though we didn’t do that, you can see like, even that shot going over her shoulder, that’s shot with hi-def camera [a scene of Bella running through the forest at break-neck speeds during her first hunt]. So it’s the first thing that’s not on film. Just to get that super clarity that happens from her point of view. So yeah it does, I have to say, you know, ultimately they are going to be one movie. And that’s going to be an interesting thing, I haven’t even actually looked at it that way yet. In fact, we’re just starting to put that together.
(frantic gesturing starts among the executives in the room. Someone mumbles to Bill, “I don’t think that info is out there yet.” More chatter, Someone “well we could have guessed someone would do that at some point.”)
Laura: We heard nothing
Bill: But um, this one is really, it does have a different feel, no question.
Sheila: Do you feel you changed kind of your vision from the first one to the second one, because it does feel very different.
Bill: No. I think it was because obviously, we shot them at the same time. It was always meant to have a different feel. You know it’s all informed by Bella, you know it’s always Bella. First movie, its Bella’s intimate experiences, you know with all these incredibly important moments in her life. And then in this movie, it’s one big idea, vampire mother. And I guess who turns into a warrior. But it is about following her journey. And that kind of informed everything.
Stand by for part 2 coming tomorrow!
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)
“The fact is, these are actors playing parts, and maybe it’s not such a bad thing that people be reminded of that,” Bill Condon tells EW. “Both of these actors gave heart and soul to the Twilight movies, not only during shooting, but also by navigating so graciously the whole life-in-a-fishbowl aspect of the phenomenon. Above all they have always shown great respect for the fans who made these movies such a success. Now it’s time that some of that respect be returned to them.”
Check out EW and grab the issue this Friday on newsstands.
From our standpoint: Bravo, Mr. Condon, bravo. We are looking forward to the final chapter in a film we have been covering since 2008 and a book series we have been covering since 2006 when people said “What’s Twilight?” and “Stephenie who?” We can’t wait to see the final installment from actors, production team, and everyone who has given years to this.
Bill Condon has been elected to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Board of Governors. Among the many things this organization does is put on the OSCARS every year. Bill Condon is not only an OSCAR winner himself, but he also produced the show on one of it’s more entertaining years. According to the LA Times, Bill Condon will specifically represent the interests of writers on the board. Other board members include Ed Begley Jr., Annette Bening, and Tom Hanks as well as many high-profile individuals who are active behind the scenes in PR, editing, cinematography, etc.
Congrats to Bill!
Hit Fix caught up with Jackson Rathbone at Comic Con.