New Moon Set Visit, Day One: Twilight's Volturi Unveiled
Get a detailed first look at the new villains of Twilight: New Moon in Part One of RT's New Moon set report.
On set, I got the feeling that the New Moon production was moving along at a faster clip than normal. It made sense, given that Weitz had an unusually tight window in which to film and edit the film, after which the third adaptation, Eclipse, would itself rush into production under director David Slade. So accordingly, the shooting schedule jumped back and forth between entirely unrelated scenes, as we moved directly from the Volturi chamber to the darkened Port Angeles street, where Bella would see visions of Edward trying to save her from imminent danger.
Robert Pattinson stood patiently against a green screen as Weitz rehearsed camera movements to film Bella's hallucinations. A long camera track ran the length of the stage, perhaps to use film speed techniques to create Edward's disorienting "appearance." A remote-controlled camera set on a mini crane moved fluidly to capture Pattinson, murmuring lines of stern warning.
At a nearby computer station, techs called up a previously-filmed scene: Bella on a darkened street, hopping on the back of a motorcycle. The Edward apparition was transposed into the background of the shot; computer generated effects would be added later to enhance the scene. What exactly the effect will look like is still up in the air.
"We are still in the late R&D phases of what Edward looks like when he's hit by sunlight, what the vampires look like when they're hit with sunlight, the diamond effect," Weitz told us by phone. "And also the hallucinatory effect that Bella has when she hears Edward's voice and she imagines him there." (Read our full interview with Chris Weitz here.)
The Edward-as-hallucination is a particularly good solution to the severe (some might say, tragic) lack of Edward in Meyer's source novel. When a distraught Bella finds herself in jeopardy in the book, she merely hears Edward's voice. When it will happen in the film, we'll actually get to see Edward -- an almost necessary fix, considering how Pattinson-less New Moon might be otherwise.
"New Moon is very internal," Rosenberg explained. "There's been a lot of talk about how Edward and the Cullens are not a part of the middle of New Moon, but actually they really are. Certainly, Edward's very much alive in Bella's mind throughout New Moon. As a reader, you feel his presence; he's helping drive that story."
She continued: "It's harder to do on film; you have to somehow find his presence and bring it there without having thought bubbles, constantly. And I think the solution that we found is going to satisfy fans. It's very much in keeping with the tone of the book, so it will be interesting...I think fans will feel pretty satisfied with what we're doing. One, because it's true to the book, and two, because we'll see more Edward! Can't be bad."
As with the first film, certain changes are necessary to fit the medium of film. Rosenberg's philosophy is that as long as the viewer's experience is the same, Meyer's book has been faithfully adapted.
"Things have to move out of an internal place and into an external, visual reality," she began, "so there are many things I changed. But as long as we hit the emotional experience, I think, it will resonate the same way. Twilight was that same thing. There were a lot of things that were in the book that weren't in the movie, but because we hit the emotional stepping stone all the way throughout, you took the same journey that you took with the characters in the book, and that's what's really most important about an adaptation; you have to take your audience on the same emotional journey, take your characters on the same emotional journey, as they do in the book and then everyone will have the same experience."
Check back Monday as we launch our regular "New Moon Mondays" series with Part 2 of our New Moon set visit, in which we spot Robert Pattinson's bare chest and see Edward get beat up, get kicked off set during a difficult scene, and speak with more cast and crew.
Click for more Twilight: New Moon coverage on RT, including our recent interview with director Chris Weitz.
And why not peruse more New Moon set reports? Check out different takes from our friends:
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Set Visit - Day One at HitFix.com
The Twilight Saga: New Moon Set Visit Part 1 at Fandango.com
New Moon Set Visit: A Fan's Perspective at MSN.com.
Vampires in Vancouver: All the Details From Our 'New Moon' Set Visit at Hollywood.com