Sunday, July 19, 2009

Interview With Twilight Saga Producer Wyck Godfrey

New interview with twilight saga producer Wyck Godfrey on:

* Why the production shot in Montepulciano vs. Volterra, Italy
* On whether the cast members are all locked into four picture deals.
* On actors and directors campaigning to be part of the new films.
* Will there be celebrity cameos in "New Moon"?
* On casting Dakota Fanning as Jane.
* Quantifying original writer Stephenie Meyer's involvement in the movie franchise.
* On why David Slade was chosen to direct "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
* The difficulties of adapting "Breaking Dawn" to the big screen.

Q: Was the film more action heavy for the actors like Kristen in particular?

There’s certainly things Kristen had to do that I think she felt a little uncomfortable doing and I think it’s good because it makes Bella seem like she was uncomfortable doing it. The other day we had her jumping off of a tower against green screens to represent her jump. We had a lot of underwater stuff, you know, when she’s drowning and stuff that she had to do, which is kind of new to Kristen. So I think there’s definitely been areas where she’s pushing herself as an actress just as Bella’s pushing herself as a character. So you kind of get to see it on Kristen’s face and you’re like yeah, that’s what I thought Bella’s was doing.

Q: Are you looking forward to shooting in Italy? Have you already scouted out everything?

Scouted out everything. We’ve picked our place, we’re going at the end of the month and, again as you guys have just seen inside, we’ll get the exterior version of that where you’ll really feel like 'Oh my gosh,' she had to like get out of Forks and go kind of for what a teenager would feel like the ends of the earth to stop Edward from killing himself.

Q:How did you guys decide to film in Montepulciano vs. Volterra, Italy?

Well you know it’s interesting because ultimately Stephanie didn’t visit Italy until after she had written the books, you know? It was kind of like her research was all kind of online and whatnot. And what we did as filmmakers…okay we know what we need for the movie. Great square, huge group of people kind of in the middle, clock tower that you can see. It has to feel like beautiful epic, all that stuff because we’ve been waiting the whole movie for her to get back to Edward and we want it to be great. So we took a trip, went around like 12 different towns in Tuscany and we just literally went from square…each of those small ancient towns has a great square with a church and a tower and everything and we basically found the one that we thought was the best in terms of just atmosphere, you know, what it’s going to feel like. And we went, 'That’s it. That’s great.' And sometimes it’s about just the symmetry of the square. There’s always that one thing in a town you’re like 'I love that. I love that. Ahh that doesn’t work' you know? So we got to Montepulciano it was like 'Great. It works.' It’s perfect, you know?

Q: Well that does actually bring up one problem that you had on the first movie that you probably haven’t had here in a closed set in Vancouver. I remember we were up on the set in Oregon and there were like fans around the corner waiting to watch every scene. Now you’ll be in Italy in a huge square. Are you guys worried?

It’s certainly going to be an issue. I mean, it’s everywhere. Every where we shoot that’s not on a lot, you get the fans coming in, but I’ve always found that the 'Twilight' fans are supportive fans. I mean, they’re there, but they really just want to see what you’re doing and whatnot but they understand that like being disruptive will not help get the film to the screen and I think our hope is that the European audience will be the same.

Q: How is the pandemonium escalated since the filming of the last movie? Is that much more intense with this one?

Apparently this guy Rob Pattinson has gotten to be a big celebrity.

Q: Who? (Laughs.)

He’s a much bigger celebrity than he was when we were making the film a year ago. It’s again, hasn't been disruptive. It's just pervasive. I think it’s the hardest thing is for the actors because their lives aren’t their lives as much as they used to be. You know? It’s harder for them to walk outside and go down the street and grab a burger because people are much more aware of them. You notice them on the street. Whereas I think when we were in Oregon, most people wouldn’t have just noticed them on the street because the movie hadn’t come out yet, so I don’t know. It’s the age-old thing for movie stars. The bigger they get the more people know who they are.

Q: And with the Internet, I mean, yeah, people are able to figure out where he’s walking around in Vancouver.

Oh yeah it’s like that. Boom, boom, boom.

Q: You have people standing outside all the time like almost everyday?

No, I mean well not here on-set but most of the places we [shoot] we own a certain amount of area, but outside that people can come and you just try to have your fence around the location far enough that they’re not inside and they’re not disruptive.

Q: Do you get recognized by fans? They’ve seen you.

Very, very rarely. Every now and then I’ll get one like 'Wait I saw him on the DVD.' There’s a reason I chose to be behind the camera rather than in front of the camera. I prefer my anonymity.

Q: Since 'New Moon' sets up so much that we’ll see in subsequent films—both 'Eclipse' and 'Breaking Dawn,' how much sort of thinking ahead did you guys have to do in casting or decide how characters will look?

It is interesting. You do have to think about some of the roles that are small in this that become bigger. Like every now and then you’ll find yourself going, 'Okay he’s perfect for this but then you’re like but how is he going to grow into 'Eclipse'?' So, the casting is a big issue. Sometimes making sure that you pick a location that if you come back in four months they’re going to let you use and that a year from now they’ll let you use again. So, it becomes part of the conversation. You know with agents, with actors, with the people who own the house that you’re trying to get, that you’re like okay this isn’t just a one op thing. Your house is going to become a tour stop if you allow us to shoot this movie.

Q: Do you lock in all your cast members for four movies to complete the full franchise in case that 4th one happens which I think it will?

It’s really on a case-by-case basis. Ideally you want everyone to have their options through all the series and then case-by-case every now and then there’s one where you’re like oh, I can get the next one but I can’t get the 4th one because they’ve got a show or something, but you’ll go back and fight that battle later.

Read the rest of the interview at HitFix

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