Bill Condon reflects on how Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart surprised him in 'Breaking Dawn'

Bill Condon talks about Rob, Kristen and Taylor in an interview with HitFix

Congratulations on finishing 'Breaking Dawn, pt. 1' Do you consider this the halfway mark?

Oh, easily, more than that because we shot both movies back to back. I've got a pretty good cut of the second movie so we're in the good 3/4 plus mark.  I started this with just outlines, so yeah, almost there.

You see yourself in the homestretch?


Most moviegoers and 'Twilight' fans wouldn't realize that you've come from working on another movie where there was this hardcore fan base.  On 'Dreamgirls' there was lots of pressure to get it 'just right' from fans.  Did you take anything away from this before you worked on 'Breaking Dawn'?

That's a really interesting question and I suspect it's part of the appeal of getting involved with this.  When you work on something that does have a huge fan base there is the potential for a lot of pitfalls, but there is this incredible thrill of seeing that kind of movie with an audience. If you somehow connect to their dreams of what this could be were I think there is a special anticipation that you don't get in an everyday moviegoing experience. I wonder, I hadn't thought of that before, but that's probably part of what turned me on about doing this. But, yeah, there is this sort of thing you have over your shoulder of trying to -- you can only do it in your own way and your own take of what the material is, but because it means so much to so many people you hope you tap into the collective unconscious and visualize it in a way you might imagine it.  Or sometimes different just as satisfying.

By the time this is over you will have made one long four-hour movie, perhaps over four hours?

Little under.

I'm just curious, anyone can consult with other filmmakers who have made movies back to back or producers who have made films they knew were going to take six months to shoot and feature elaborate long editing process. At this point, however, has it been a tougher endeavor than you thought or easier?

I would say it's right amount the middle of that. It is grueling to spend six months shooting, no question. But there wasn't -- people have wondered was it confusing to go back and forth shooting a scene one day between movie one and movie two, but it wasn't because the second movie starts at the moment the first one ends.  It's one long movie, without end titles maybe one 3 1/2 hour movie.   And that's what I did early on.  I put the two scripts together.  So, it wasn't about where a scene came from it was all this one continuous story I must say.

You're talking about jumping between one movie and another did it make it hard to add things or be spontaneous on the set?

No, not at all. I think a lot of that happened. I did rehearse. I did talk about the script with the main actors for many, many weeks and certainly everybody else through their scenes, but you get on the set and, my god, an easy day was a scene with just nine vampires in it.  Then there were the hard ones with 27 vampires, y'know?  Certainly in those scenes with the Cullens, because of the challenge of having so many people who have so many important things to do, it was always like 'How do we loosen this up? How do we remember that these people are real?'  So, that became a fun exercise on the set.  You always have to be open to those moments, because those moments are the ones that become most memorable. 

You talk about a scene where you have 27 vampires on set and I believe in the second movie there are more set pieces than in the first.  Am I correct?

Yeah, I would say that's true. Absolutely.


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