BEVERLY HILLS - I'd really thought/hoped/assumed I was done with my "Twilight" press conference live blogs after this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, but I was wrong. Over the next three hours, I should -- PRAY FOR MY WIFI -- be live-blogging "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" press conferences with Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, director Bill Condon and writers Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg. I'm probably going to skip live-blogging the press conferences with Michael Sheen (who I'll be talking to tomorrow) and The Cullens. Sorry. I'm only one man. 

Up first...

10:04 a.m. Bill Condon is on stage

10:04 p.m. "I though the real challenge was to make sure that it was a satisfying climax," Condon says. He refers to a key scene that closes the phenomenon, as he puts it. He says it's been great, but he's happy it's over.

10:05 a.m. How did Condon approach the powers of the new vampires? "Bella's shield, for example, is something that no one sees," Condon says of the challenges. "I really wanted to make it as subtle as possible," he says of Bella's shield. He wanted it to have her shape, rather than being a "Wizard of Oz" bubble. With Alex's power, he wanted to make it like a Hammer Horror movie. Interesting.

10:07 a.m. "Everyone had to pop in a very short period of time," Condon says of introducing new vamps. "They don't get introduced until 40 minutes into the movie," he says. He praises the actors for coming in with backstories for their characters.

10:08 a.m. "It's no secret that I worship at the altar of Kristen Stewart," Condon says of his leading lady. "It's an amazing arc that she has across this," Condon says, raving that they shot the two movies at the same time, which meant she'd be warrior in the morning and emaciated in the afternoon. "She has this extraordinary energy," he raves and adds that she was excited by the challenge. "I think mostly she was dying to play the vampire," he says.

10:10 a.m. We're talking about The Scene We're Not Supposed To Talk About, specifically the battle scene we've seen hints of in the trailers. "It was one year of solid work on that scene," Condon says, praising editor Ian Slater for shaping the scene in post. 

10:12 a.m. Is this movie funnier and more self-aware? He compares this with "Bride of Frankenstein," which referenced in the first movie. "It's not the world of Batman. It has a different tone. Michael Sheen to me perfectly embodies that," he says. He says that the first hour of the new movie feels like a continuation of the first movie and then becomes "an epic action movie with vampires and vampires, at least some of them, have to be funny..." he says.

10:13 a.m. This was always conceived as two movies and filmed together, Condon reminds a reporter who didn't know/remember.

10:14 a.m. "I've just always loved vampire movies," Condon says of the chance to explore vampire lore here. "I love the fact that this came full circle and really is what it started out to be, a really cool, original vampire movie," he says. He praises "Bram Stoker's Dracula" as a vampire movie he loves.

10:15 a.m. "When you're actually making it, it's the same experience..." Condon says of the difference between his earlier smaller movies and this. He praises the "interactive" fanbase, remembering the madness of filming early scenes in Brazil. "I found that really actually kinda great the whole time," he says. "I've been very aware on this movie, as opposed to other movies, that you're making it for people who love it," he says. He also has kind words for Summit preventing movies from becoming big and bloated. 
 
10:17 a.m. "It was her idea along with Melissa Rosenberg. They cooked it up one night at dinner," Condon says of Stephenie Meyer's approval for the battle scene. "She was right there," he insists.
 
10:19 a.m. They had over 2000 effects shots. And the biggest challenge, of course, was Renesmee, specifically making her grow into the size of Mackenzie Foy. "It's trying to imagine Mackenzie Foy, take what we know of her and imagine her at all of those different ages and making it photo-real," he says. "The saving grace is that Renesmee is such a special creature," he says.

10:20 a.m. "It was no frills and I loved that," Condon says of the movie. He adds, though, that "set containment" has become a big line in the budget. "It was always the spirit of this film that it is a fantastical story, but it is an intimate one too," he says.

10:21 a.m. Last question is about the challenges of location and scenery. Condon praises DP Guillermo Navarro. "This obviously is a film that goes around the world and we didn't go around the world," Condon says of the magic to turn New Orleans into London and whatnot. For the climactic scene, they had to find a vast field of white to realize the vision. They filmed that scene on a green screen stage in Baton Rouge. 

 

On to the next one...