In a few short hours, millions of "Twilight" fans in the United States and around the world will finally get their chance to see "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1," the second to last film in the series. Clearly the most difficult to adapt out of all of author Stephenie Meyer's novels the process was complicated by the fact it was broken into two films that were shot back-to-back and in locations as diverse as Baton Rouge, LA (tax credits), Vancouver, B.C. (home of "New Moon" and "Eclipse") and Brazil. Speaking to star Taylor Lautner (in an interview embedded in the top of this story), he knew what he was in for.
"I knew it would be tough and it was as tough as it would be," Lautner says. "Sometimes we would literally be filming - because we didn't shoot it in order we filmed it on location. So, sometimes we'd be shooting something from the beginning of the first movie in the morning and then after lunch we are shooting a scene from the end of the second movie. And there is so much going on in-between there and our characters change so much. My character changes so much in the first movie alone, but from the beginning of this till the end of the second? He's a completely different guy."
Lautner adds that there were three factors that assisted him during the shoot.
"[Director] Bill Condon - huge help. Stephenie Meyer on set - huge help. The books - just being able to literally look in the books and read the scenes and just thinking about where my character is at that point," Lautner says. "A lot of things helped. I couldn't have done it alone."
For Condon, the man behind "Gods and Monsters," "Kinsey" and "Dreamgirls" saw an opportunity to partially return to his horror/genre roots.
"I started out making horror movies and I always wanted to make another genre movie and this specific book feels the most like a horror movie Certainly the last half," Condon says. "There is also this incredible connection to the audience and there is something about making a movie where so many people care and so many people are watching. It adds to the intensity of it."
The infamous birth scene at the end of "Pt. 1" is much more intense than some might have expected for a PG-13 film, but as always, the MPAA continues to surprise in what they find suitable.
"Not one comment about that scene [from the MPAA]," Condon reveals. "There was a little hiccup with the honeymoon, but not at all with all that birth stuff. It's pretty typical of what you hear [about the MPAA]. I was sort of glad we got away with that."
For more of Condon's thoughts of shooting "Breaking Dawn" as well as his experiences with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, click here.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Pt. 1" opens nationwide at midnight.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.