LA Times: Delving into “Breaking Dawn” Creative Process with Bill Condon

Nov 18th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Articles, Movie News

In this interview with the Los Angeles Times, we get an interesting look into Bill’s creative process while he was fine tuning Breaking Dawn Part 1, and a reflection on what it was like to be in the Nokia Theatre at the premiere Monday night with thousands of fans (just a heads up for those of you who haven’t yet seen Breaking Dawn, this interview is a wee bit spoilery):

For Condon, the Oscar-winning writer-director whose résumé includes low-budget horror (‘Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh’), offbeat biopics (‘Gods and Monsters,’ ‘Kinsey’) and high-profile musicals (‘Dreamgirls’), tackling ‘Twilight’ seemed an appealing challenge. He was attracted to the idea of making a movie that was ‘part melodrama, part horror film,’ and he was fascinated by the movies’ massive following, though “Breaking Dawn” required him to navigate some outlandish story beats — an ecstatic sex scene, a grotesque birth and a telepathic conversation among CG werewolves among them.

Directing a ‘Twilight’ movie can be a risky proposition. Each of the films so far has featured a different name on the director’s chair — Catherine Hardwicke directed 2008’s ‘Twilight,’ Chris Weitz, 2009’s ‘New Moon,’ David Slade, 2010’s ‘Eclipse’ — and none has yet to garner glowing reviews across the board. All, however, have been scrutinized by a reverential fan community devoted to the source material and typically less than receptive to even minor recalibrations to Meyer’s texts.

There’s a section where Bill is talking about playing with fans’ expectations for the sex scene:

Condon had a particularly unique approach to Bella and Edward’s big love scene, which for fans is a culmination of years of repressed desire. Rather than do a straight-away shot of the young couple’s first night in bed together, he opted to show the majority of the scene in flashback through Bella’s memory of the encounter.

‘It’s the reason I’m directing the movie,’ Condon said of the sequence. ‘To me the memory of first sex — savoring the smell, the taste and the touch was more interesting. And it plays with people’s expectations. You don’t get much in the beginning and [people may think], ‘Oh, that was it?’ To set up a disappointment and then give them more seemed like fun.’

I have to say, he got me! I totally did the whole, “wait, that’s it?” thing when that scene was over, but then when the flashback came ’round, I understood how much more poignant that was than your run-of-the-mill sex scene. Check out the rest of this interview, including insights from Rob and Kristen, here.

Eager to share your reaction to Breaking Dawn Part 1? We’ve got a post just for you! Head over here and let us know what you thought of the movie!

Photo: Gary Friedman

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