Twilight Saga's series author breaks down Breaking DawnBy Rebecca Younger
November 16, 2011
THE Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 sees the three main characters, Bella, Edward and Jake, continue on their journey into adulthood, beginning during the busy final days of preparations for the wedding of Bella and Edward.
With this installment, the saga explores more adult themes like marriage and family, and what you would do to protect those you love unconditionally.
Series author Stephanie Meyer explains: “I’ve always liked stories where the characters get to grow up.
“I didn’t like them when they were frozen in one period, where you have this person who’s always the same age and doing the same things.
“I loved Anne of Green Gables _ that she grew up, got married, and had six kids. Then her kids grew up and got married… it feels like life. There’s progression. So I always intended to take the Twilight story through the generations. When I first got started, I loved what I was doing so much, it was such a beautiful creative release that I saw myself just going on through the generations and writing about them forever. I didn’t ever want to quit.”
The author also takes on the role of producer for this and the last instalment of the film series, which were shot concurrently, and was therefore on set on a daily basis throughout production.
“Actually the producing I’ve done on these two films, hasn’t been very different from what I’ve done on the past movies,” she said. “Really the producer title hasn’t changed my role much. All along, I’ve been very much a part of the decision making process, while also having to compromise. But, it is different having to worry so much about the weather and are we going to be able to shoot tomorrow. That’s a new experience.”
Since the novel Breaking Dawn, with sections told from both Bella and Jacob’s point-of-view, weighs in at a lengthy 754 pages, discussion began early in the process about splitting the dense story into two films.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 focuses on Bella creating her own family, and Part 2 is about protecting it.
Joining the ranks of previous Twilight saga directors Catherine Hardwicke, Chris Weitz, and David Slade; Academy Award-winning filmmaker Bill Condon joined the team for these last two instalments.
“What was interesting to me is that each of those previous films is very different, one to the other,” comments Condon. “Each director has had a completely different approach to those movies, even though the story is continuous from one book to the next.
“There’s a unity in the writing, both of the books and the scripts. But within those constraints, each director has done something very different.
“I was excited by that fact that the fourth movie especially seemed really different from the others. And then, the fifth is very different from the fourth. So, it is a chance to put your mark on it.”
Meyer said she enjoyed the collaboration with Bill because he was very easy to talk to and also very open with what he was doing.
She added: “I’ve never worked with a director who will let you see rough cuts; maybe because he knows how good it looks… he’s proud of it.
“He has such a feel for pulling the humanity out of the fantastic situation, which is what I really like to do. On that level, we connect.
“He was able to get some really beautiful things with Bella and Edward in that moment where she’s choosing to die and Edward’s reaction.
“I think the reason why the birth scene is so emotional is because Bill’s touching on that human reaction to the loss, rather than the human reaction to the gore. Bill has a real sensitive touch for that.
“Also, it’s been fun working on the wedding – he’s had some great ideas about music that are so romantic. I think it’s going to be really beautiful.”
Condon was anxious to work with the young leads in this female-driven story.
“The fact that the central character is a woman – who is played by Kristen Stewart – was a big turn-on for me,” he said. “I’ve been a big admirer of Kristen’s, based on the other movies plus a couple of other things I’d seen her do.
“To be able to be her partner as she took this incredible journey across these two movies was number one on my list of reasons to do the project.”
The compliments were returned by Stewart, who has portrayed the main heroine Bella Swan throughout the film series.
“Thank God for Bill Condon. You need someone who’s on top of the details, so you can lose your mind and just feel it. Working with every director is a unique experience, just as is every friendship you have in life,” she said. “Bill is not only one of the nicest people to be around but he’s an awesome director, which is good to have on this last one because this one was intimidating to say the least.
“It’s pretty ambitious. It’s insane to be involved with one thing for so long, because you really do bottle up an energy to the point where it’s going to explode and you hope to God that you’re working with people that know how to catch it.”
Robert Pattinson, who completes the saga in his role as the vampire Edward Cullen, added: “Bill’s great. He has such a hard job. It’s been such an intense shoot for so long and he’s stayed calm, nice, and very pleasant throughout the whole thing. He’s extremely talented and cares a lot about the project.
“Also, Bill’s got a very different story to work with and a lot of people could’ve balked at the subject matter, but he embraced it. He liked the horror aspects, which is quite bold for a series that’s known for its romantic aspects. That’s interesting because there’s no point in just emphasizing the bits which they’re known for – make it exciting and different. I really respect him for that.”
Returning as Edwards love rival Jacob Black, Taylor Lautner liked the fact that Bill’s number one focus was on the characters.
“Breaking Dawn deals with so many that we were definitely going to need somebody that could handle it, not an easy job,” he said. “The crazy thing is that, as the characters were growing up in the movies, we were as well.
“I was looking at pictures of us from Twilight and we looked so young. It was crazy. I was sixteen years old. It’s an awesome experience because we’ve been able to grow up together for the past three or four years.”
n The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is in cinemas from Friday, November 18, certificate 12A.