Tuesday, 21 July 2009

HitFix Interview With Melissa Rosenberg - Twilight Saga Screenwriter -

Here is the latest addition to HitFix's series of interviews with the 'Twilight' saga cast and crew, which took place back in May, during the filming of 'New Moon' -

"Q: So are you finished with 'Eclipse' or are you on a first draft or…?

Well, I’ve finished a first draft and we’re into the next re-write. David Slade just came on-board and so now we’ll begin working with him and just prepping in May I think. But yeah, it’s been a non-stop and part of it is hard for me. Energy levels is difficult but in other ways it’s a good thing to stay in the world and stay in the 'Twilight' consciousness, you know? It's a little bit like TV in that way. It becomes like you’re long term franchise because you have 'Twilight' as your pilot and the next couple episodes, you know, there’s one and two and so it’s not something that I’m unfamiliar with. I think it maybe…that kind of [inaudible] for a television writer than it is for someone who’s used to doing, you know, one script over the course of 2 years or something like that.

Q: What’s your working relationship with each of the directors for each movie?

It’s been different every time. In 'Twilight' Catherine was on-board before I came on. So, I had her input right from the start and because we were working on a very, very tight schedule. Over the course of about a month I wrote the outline and then they said 'Can you do a draft in five weeks?' And I said 'Sure.' (Laughing.) And then they said 'When do you want to get it made because of the writers strike?' We were fighting the October 31st date, and well, what should I do? And that was a 24/7 slam fest and Catherine was very, very important in that process because I was able to get her immediate feedback. So, I’d finish a draft or scene or act or whatever and shoot it to her and get her immediate feedback right there so I could really tailor it very clearly for her and what she wanted to make it -- what she wanted the movie to be. It was a very, very collaborative process. You know as you can imagine 'New Moon' we didn’t have a director on-board when I started writing that and so that was kind of me alone. Of course the Summit folks, you know the producers of Summit, they’re all the people who I then become collaborative with and get their notes and their feedback, but it was pretty much me until Chris came on and that was November, I think. So then Chris got involved and I start tailoring it to what he’s looking for and by then the project’s kind of done and then he goes off and he starts shooting it and Chris is a writer himself so he was really able, and by the way I don’t know if you’ve met him yet?

Q: Not yet.

He’s really a lovely guy and you’ll see. So I did like one or two drafts with him and then was really able to trust him to take it from there to make any changes that might need to be made for production or for whatever reason because I trust [him because he's a] wonderful writer. But basically the script is a script and he’s got that and I jumped from there and here you go and ran on to do 'Eclipse.' So that’s been a pretty wild ride.

Q: Does writing the sequels present a whole different set of challenges than writing the 'Twilight' script?

Yeah, because in 'Twilight' you’re setting up the world. You’re introducing the world and you’re introducing characters and I was also writing in a vacuum because I didn’t know who the actors were going to be. Now, you’re going to 'New Moon' and 'Eclipse,' I could write [the characters] in my mind so it becomes a more comfortable world, you know? So, 'New Moon' is not about setting up the world, but it’s about it’s own set of challenges because 'New Moon' is very internal. I mean all of those…there’s a lot of talk about how Edward and the Cullen’s are not a part of whole middle of 'New Moon' but actually they really are. Certainly Bella’s very much alive in…I’m sorry Edward’s very much alive in Bella’s mind throughout 'New Moon.' As a reader you feel his presence. You feel that helping drive that story. Harder to do in film, you know? You have to somehow find his presence and bring it there without having thought bubbles constantly. And I think the solution is going to satisfy fans. It’s going to be very much in keeping with the book and the tone of the book. So I think it would be interesting to see how I think fans will be feel pretty satisfied with what we’re doing. One, because it’s true to the book and two because we see more Edward. So that can’t be bad."

If you click here for the entire interview, you may notice that Melissa refers to the saga as a 'trilogy' on a number of occasions and there is really very little in the way of mentions about Breaking Dawn. HitFix also interviewed Wyck Godfrey back in May during the filming of New Moon and here is what he had to say about Breaking Dawn -

"Q: What do you foresee might be the biggest challenges of bringing 'Breaking Dawn' to the big screen?

Let’s see. There’s this little character, this young character in that book, that I think is going to be really hard to …

Q: Renesmee maybe?

I think that to me is the biggest challenge.

Q: Or the birth scene is quite graphic. I mean that would take it over the PG rating.

My wife’s an OB-GYN so she says it’s a great way to get a baby out of…just chew your way through. It’s going to be like really exciting. No, obviously we’re not going to make a rated R movie. You’ve all read the books so I mean that’ll be a challenge. That’s really more of a challenge of just kind of doing it in a way where people aren’t going to walk out of the theatre because you don’t want to see that much.

Q: Well the idea of the infant thing…yeah that might also be a challenge.

I don’t know. To me, I don’t know. That’s a conceptual thing that’s a part of the mythology that I think people kind of go 'That’s a neat idea.' It’s certainly set up in 'Eclipse' you know with Claire and it’s something that I never really worried that much about it, you know, because I think it’s presented in a…it starts as kind of a platonic protective thing and evolves into friendship and to me I think it’s one of the more beautiful things of the franchise is imprinting just as an idea of finding that one person that almost supersedes every other conscious decision you make and you have this imprint on just becomes the center of your universe. I think it’s a beautiful idea.

Q: Just to confirm, 'Breaking Dawn' has not been confirmed as moving forward?


Q: Got it.

We shouldn’t even be talking about it. That’s my own fault."

I just want that official press release from Summit so we can all breathe easy....

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