<p>Kristen Stewart and 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' director David Slade</p>

Kristen Stewart and 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' director David Slade

Credit: Summit

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Press Conference Live Blog: The Filmmakers

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...

<p>&nbsp;The Cullens of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'</p>

 The Cullens of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'

Credit: Summit

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Press Conference Live Blog: The Cullens

Peter Facinelli, Liz Reaser, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene chat with the press

12:21 p.m. PT Robert Pattinson only just left us, but now we're rushing The Cullens in.

12:23 p.m. Peter Facinelli, Liz Reaser, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz after the break...

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<p>Robert Pattinson of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'</p>

Robert Pattinson of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'

Credit: Summit

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Press Conference Live Blog: Robert Pattinson

Everybody's favorite brooding vampire talks to the press on Saturday morning

11:33 a.m. PT Well, we've covered Mr. Taylor Lauter. We've covered Ms. Kristen Stewart. Up next? Well, that would be Mr. Robert Pattinson. Y'all probably would want some live-blogging about him, right?

11:38 a.m. No? Nobody wants Robert Pattinson? Oh well.

11:38 a.m. I'm KIDDING! Rob live-blogging after the break...

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<p>Kristen Stewart of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'</p>

Kristen Stewart of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'

Credit: Summit

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Press Conference Live Blog: Kristen Stewart

Everybody's favorite indecisive Bella talks to the press on Saturday morning

11:01 a.m. PT As I've already mentioned, Summit has allowed for video recording at the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" press conferences. And as I've already said, I, alas, do not have a video camera. What I *do* have is fast-ish fingers and a [currently] reliable Internet connection. So follow along as I live-blog today's various press conferences. Taylor Lautner was first. Up second... Kristen Stewart, after the break.

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<p>Taylor Lautner of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'</p>

Taylor Lautner of 'Twilight Saga: Eclipse'

Credit: Summit

'Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Press Conference Live Blog: Taylor Lautner

Everybody's favorite buff werewolf talks to the press on Saturday morning

10:25 a.m. PT Summit has allowed for video recording at the "Twilight Saga: Eclipse" press conferences. I, alas, do not have a video camera. What I *do* have is fast-ish fingers and a [currently] reliable Internet connection. So follow along as I live-blog today's various press conferences. Up first... Taylor Lautner, after the break.

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<p>These people know how to appreciate great art very quickly.</p>

These people know how to appreciate great art very quickly.

Credit: Bravo

TV Review: Bravo's 'Work of Art: The Next Great Artist'

This is not a very good mechanism to uncover a great new artist
A questionable concept executed without any inspiration, Bravo's "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" may finally be a bridge too far when it comes to the cookie cutter competition shows churned out by the Magical Elves production company.
 
Your tolerance for "Work of Art" will likely boil down together you think that true art is something best created, appreciated and understood in a competition setting and whether attempting to compare, contrast and rank these hastily conceived and created works has anything to do with the way art has been evaluated over the centuries or a validity for how such work should be evaluated in the future. 
 
For me, every second of "Work of Art" was specious and intellectually insulting, but I guess it comes down to how (or if) you approach art at all.
 
"My approach to art is purely physical. I normally know in the first split second if it's a great work or not," mentor Simon De Pury tells the camera.
 
I, myself, do not usually know in the first split second if I'm looking at a great work or not. I find that the art I have the most immediate and visceral reaction to is rarely the art that lingers in my memory and that I find myself seeking out in the future. Or, at the very least, I find that art requires contemplation, especially the art that's most challenging. And if the art is challenging, I don't want to have every little bit of it explained to me by the artist or by a curator, because otherwise, my involvement in the art is completely passive and steered. But maybe my problem is that I'm just not as trained as De Pury and I lack his ability to instantly assimilate and process art, without any required contemplation and deliberation.
 
If you're as primitive as I must be, you're also going to be annoyed by "Work of Art." If you fall into the De Pury camp, you still probably won't enjoy "Work of Art," unless you also think that the best way to appreciate art is in glossy books or still pictures on the Internet. 
 
[Full review of "Work of Art" after the break...]
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<p>Joe Manganiello and Anna Paquin of HBO's 'True Blood'&nbsp;</p>

Joe Manganiello and Anna Paquin of HBO's 'True Blood' 

Credit: John P. Johnson/HBO

Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 20

Daniel Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall discuss 'Justified,' 'Glee,' 'True Blood' and 'Undeclared'

The

 
Happy Wednesday. It's time for another summer episode of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast.
 
This week, we covered the finales of "Justified" and "Glee," the return of HBO's "True Blood" and two episodes of "Undeclared."
 
Here's what came up:
 
"Justified" finale -- 00:30 - 11:30
"Glee" finale plus Reader Mail -- 12:00 - 25:10
"True Blood" -- 25:15 - 35:05
"Undeclared" -- 35:10 - 47:00
 
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.]
 
And here's this week's podcast...
<p>The stars of ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars'</p>

The stars of ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars'

Credit: ABC Family

TV Review: ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars'

Casting problems dog ABC Family's latest attempt to expand its brand
Summertime is ABC Family time, as far as I'm concerned. I've discovered over the past year that if you program "Greek" in the summer, I'll watch episodes, but otherwise I can't find the time. I've discovered that if you put "Make It or Break It" or "10 Things I Hate About You" during the summer, I'll watch them, but otherwise I won't find the time. There's a whole, wide assortment of shows where I'm constantly aware I'm not demo-appropriate that seem palatable in those interludes where my biggest network TV responsibilities are buffering the first hour of a two-hour "So You Think You Can Dance" performance episode before zipping through on my DVR.
 
That's why even though I'm clearly not the target audience for ABC Family's new "Pretty Dirty Liars," I'm definitely a viable alternative audience, as a viewer with a pretty fair tolerance for guilty pleasures between June and August. 
 
Unfortunately, in its pilot at least, "Pretty Little Liars" just isn't cutting it. An uneven hybrid of "Gossip Girl," "Desperate Housewives" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer," the ensemble drama suffers from clunky dialogue, over-hasty plotting and several pieces of poor casting.
 
I can't rule out watching a second episode, but even after one hour, my interest is waning.
 
[Full review, keeping in mind my way-out-of-the-demo perspective, after the break...]
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<p>The cast of NBC's 'Persons Unknown'</p>

The cast of NBC's 'Persons Unknown'

Credit: NBC

TV Review: NBC's 'Persons Unknown'

'Usual Suspects' scribe Christopher McQuarrie sets up a mystery, but pay off is weeks away

A couple weeks back, Sepinwall discussed -- not for the first time and not for the last -- the concept of the bottle episode, a single-set, one-off episode devised to save budget within a contained run of a series. He called the "Fly" episode of "Breaking Bad" one of the best bottle shows ever and I'm not inclined to disagree.

In this era of closely monitored TV budgets and year-round scheduling, it shouldn't be surprising that we're finally being treated to a full-on bottle *series*, in the form of NBC's "Persons Unknown," which premieres on Monday (June 7) night.
 
Shot in Mexico and featuring a cast that mixes familiar faces (but not household names) and relative newcomers, "Persons Unknown" is the latest piece of internationally financed production trickery from Fox Television Studios, following in the footsteps of shows like "Mental," "Defying Gravity" and ABC's upcoming "The Gates." 
 
Thanks to a tight script by Oscar winner Christopher McQuarrie ("The Usual Suspects") and savvy direction from Michael Rymer ("Battlestar Galactica"), "Persons Unknown" establishes its familiar premise with a tight proficiency. 
 
For a show like "Persons Unknown," though, the pilot is the easy part. Getting audiences intrigued for one week shouldn't be hard. And it succeeds. Providing enough twists and turns and creativity to fill subsequent episodes will be the challenge. Having only seen the pilot? Who knows.
 
Review after the break...
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<p>Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'</p>

Bryan Cranston of 'Breaking Bad'

Credit: AMC

The Fien Print's 2010 Television Critics Association Awards ballot

The Fien Print goes through the TCA Awards nominations and explains his votes

The Television Critics Association Awards nominees for the 2009-2010 season were announced on Thursday (June 3). 

I let Sepinwall break down the nominations on Thursday, before he'd actually filled out his ballot. Today, I'm going through my own thoughts on each individual category, including the votes I actually cast. Feel free to comment on mock as you see fit.

Note that the TCA allows for two votes, one vote or zero votes per category. This year, I mostly cast multiple votes per category, but I had at least one singe-vote and at least one abstention. 

Click through for the nominations and my votes...

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