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Dakota Fanning, Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel talk to the press
2:00 p.m. PT First off, an apology. It was never my intent to live-blog every press conference *except* for the Wolfpack. It was all about timing. I didn't plan on live-blogging The Cullens either, but I had enough time between panels to set up a post an other things. With the Wolfpack, I did not. Neither the Cullens *nor* The Wolfpack were especially interesting, but I probably should have either done both or neither...
David Slade, Melissa Rosenberg, Wyck Godfrey chat with the press
1:25 p.m. PT. Apologies for taking a break there. After Taylor Lautner and then Kristen Stewart and then Robert Pattinson and then The Cullens, my fingers needed a break. Up now? Director David Slade, screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg and producer Wyck Godfrey.
More after the break...
1:29 p.m. So, David Slade, why should people go to see "Eclipse"? "If it's not in the middle of the World Cup and there's nothing good on TV..." He calls it the most mature book of the franchise. He hypes up the romance, but also the theme of vengeance and the action scenes.
1:30 p.m. Slade says the decision to use all of the close-ups comes from pre-planning, but also letting the characters and themes dictate the cinematic vocabulary. He adds, "I think that the most interesting thing to look at in the world in the human face." He notes that with close-ups come selective focus.
1:32 p.m. Slade began his process by having one-on-one meetings with each of the actors, meeting to discuss what they thought about their characters. A second meeting discussed the script, followed by additional individual meetings to get at new details. By the time everybody gets together for ensemble rehearsal, they don't need to talk character anybody.
1:33 p.m. Melissa Rosenberg had expected this to be the easiest script to write, but it turned out to be the most complicated, since all of the action is backloaded into the third act.
1:34 p.m. How much of a free hand was Slade given? He was told to keep continuity, but he was allowed freedom in terms of the aesthetics. He changed the sets, including the Cullen kitchen and Bella's bedroom. "I was given freedom only just to respect what had come before," Slade says. Godfrey points out that Slade had worked with young actresses before, meaning Ellen Page on "Hard Candy."
1:36 p.m. DVD extras? "Well, the nude scene that you shot that wasn't in the book," Godfrey says to Slade, presumably joking. There were a number of scenes which felt "excessive. Godfrey says that a scene with Angela and Bella had to be cut because it didn't fit with the momentum, but it was a good scene and it'll return on the DVD. There will also be lots of behind-the-scenes footage focusing on CG, the stunts and whatnot. Shocking, right?
1:38 p.m. Rosenberg said that she wrote the first "Twilight" film with a lot of humor, but that the humor had to be knocked out of the movie due to tone and timing. She says that with a greater confidence level in the storytelling, more of the humor has returned. She credits Wyck with providing one of the film's best lines, regarding Jacob (not gonna spoil it for ya).
1:39 p.m. Slade says that Billy Burke was given more room to improvise than any of the other cast members. More love for Billy Burke! Anyway, Slade says that more comedy just evolved on the set this time.
1:40 p.m. Godfrey can't come up with anything "Green" they did in the production of the movie. Slade points out that they were very concerned about the conservation of the natural environments in which they filmed.
1:42 p.m. "It all happened really quickly," Godfrey says of swapping Victorias. He says only that "Rachelle became unavailable." He says that Bryce Dallas Howard had been in the discussion earlier and that she was the first person they went to. Slade says that the schedule was very tight and could only be done one way for shooting and that they simply were unable to work around the change in Rachelle Lefevre's schedule.
1:43 p.m. Rosenberg says she's pleased that Stephenie Meyer has been able to spend so much time on set. For her part, Rosenberg hasn't been on set nearly as frequently, due to her commitments to "Dexter." Having Stephenie Meyer around is useful for producers and directors, because she knows everything about every character and every situation.
1:45 p.m. Slade says that sticking to the emotional character arc, while fitting in all of the "story" was the most difficult thing about the process. "It's the dichotomy between such great content and story and how you shave off without losing anything," Slade says, before referencing a strange story about a pig. Godfrey credits Rosenberg with the "genius" of being able to distill the story down to its "emotional essentials."
1:47 p.m. David Slade is fascinated by vampires. "In many ways, they're the worst and the best of us," the "30 Days of Night" director explains. He admires how Meyer was able to work the family and the innocence into the story of these carnivores.
1:49 p.m. "My experience with the fans has been fantastic," says Slade, who praises the fans for not being overly critical and for embracing the franchise. He admits he had at least one "Hard Day's Night" experience running away from fans.
1:50 p.m. Detour. Godfrey doesn't want to talk about his "Wizard of Oz" adaptation. The assembled reporters grumble.
1:52 p.m. Slade relished the Cullen flashbacks, because they let him shoot a variety of different genres, all within this one film.
1:53 p.m. "I really wanted to make sure his character was dangerous," Slade says of what he wanted Pattinson to do. He wanted to "bring out the carnivore" in Edward.
1:54 p.m. Amazingly, nobody asked Melissa about splitting "Breaking Dawn" into halves, much less about how to handle the vampire sex and baby imprinting and whatnot. I guess that's fodder for another day.
1:54 p.m. Up next? The Bad Vampires... That's Xavier Samuel, Bryce Dallas Howard and Dakota Fanning...