Some extremely lucky fan sites were able to catch up with New Moon Movie director Chris Weitz at the premiere of his new film, ‘A Better Life.’
One of Bella’s Diaries favorite Twilight fan sites, Team–Twilight, happened to be on hand to ask some questions.
Photo: Merrick Morton
Q: How were you able to get such amazing emotions out of the actors, especially [Jose Julian] – I just read on his page that he’s never done anything like this before. The movie’s so powerful; how did you get the actors to portray that on-screen?
Chris Weitz: Well, I mean Demian Bichir is a big actor in Mexico. He’s been in many movies; he’s incredibly technically accomplished and a brilliant actor so that was never in doubt for me. Of course, when you’re starting with a newcomer, you don’t really know what you’re going to get, but I think the thing that we managed to do was to schedule it so that the scenes which he was being a difficult teen and kind of a pain in the butt were early on, which is kind of easier for a sixteen-year-old actor to go to, and then the more emotional scenes, by the time we got around to shooting that, he had lived in our little circus for you know a couple of months. He had learned from Demian; he had learned how to focus; he had been through all this thinking about things, and so that helped him. And of course acting with Demian when he’s delivering that sort of final speech in the detention center, I would find it hard not to convey a hell of a lot of emotion myself.
Q: Twilight fans obviously, certainly we love our good-looking men and the abs, but we do like more than that, and one of the big themes in the Twilight series is family and relying upon your family. Can you speak to those similar themes in A Better Life?
Chris Weitz: Yeah, well that’s kind of why I started tweeting and why I thought it would . . . why I was really glad you all could see it early . . . because you know it’s not about vampires and werewolves and that sort of thing, but the great thing about Twilight, I think the revelation is that people will go see a movie that concerns itself with emotions, and that is very much about family. I mean, Carlos . . . like Charlie Swan is a great dad, he will always be there for his daughter. Carlos is a character who just keeps his head down and works hard to do everything that he can for his son, and he and his son are at odds because they don’t have the chance to be with eachother enough to understand one another, and, you know, part of the interest of the story is that it’s this terrible thing that has happened that allows them to learn more about one another. So, I mean, to me, it’s not so weird that we’re talking together about this. I mean, of course I want as many people as possible to see the movie, but I think that the great thing about the success of the Twilight films is that it’s not just going to be . . . it’s defined sort of the strength of movies about emotions in the marketplace. And that’s kinda what I do, so that’s something I’m very happy about.
New Moon Director Chris Weitz writes about Rob for ‘The 2010 TIME 100.’ Here is what he had to say:
I have to be careful about what I write here because it will be tweeted the moment TIME hits the stands. And if I say something bad about Rob Pattinson, I’m dead meat. That’s the devotion the Twilight films inspire. It’s certainly not how he planned it. And though I am continually impressed by the aplomb with which he handles the hysteria, I occasionally think he would take it all back if given the chance. Because essentially, Rob, 23, is a reserved, bookish sort of specimen, a guy who’d rather spend the night at the corner table in the pub with friends — a bit of a weirdo, frankly, in the best sense.
So how to write about someone who seems to answer Freud’s rhetorical question, What do women want? Perhaps it’s just worth pointing out that it’d be fun to have a beer with him even if he weren’t Edward Cullen. That we haven’t seen a tenth of what he can do onscreen. And that important things, beyond the veil of Hollywood, occupy his time too — music, conversation, ideas, a sense of the absurd. Which, maybe, explains why he never gets to my e-mails. I love you, Rob! Call me!
“We kinda like each other… I think.”Chris is hilarious. Read on:
In honor of the disc’s release on March 20, director Chris Weitz sat down with MTV News to reveal five things you probably didn’t know about “New Moon.” Here’s what we learned:
Going for the Gold: In “Twilight,” RPattz and the rest of his vegetarian vampire cohorts have gold-colored eyes as a result of abstaining from consuming human blood. For “New Moon,” the vamps’ eyes were clearly more golden. Why’d Weitz have his actors switch to brighter contact lenses?
“It’s a more noticeable gold,” Weitz said. “I thought that in the first film they hadn’t popped quite enough and I wanted to have that sense of otherworldliness carry through more.”
The Silent Vampire: Actress Rachelle Lefevre was notoriously replaced in her role as the vampire Victoria following “New Moon,” with Bryce Dallas Howard taking over the part for “Eclipse.” In “New Moon,” Lefevre is seen but does not speak. Is there a connection between her lack of lines and what happened with the casting decision?
“It wasn’t so much that,” Weitz said. “There was a dialogue scene with her, and eventually that will show up whenever they release deleted scenes. It was one of those scenes that, when you look back at it, it’s kind of a surplus to the whole storytelling requirement of the movie. So there was no ill intent there. I wrote Rachelle and explained why that scene didn’t end up in the film, and in terms of filmmaking I can’t regret it, although I do regret it very much if it hurt Rachelle’s feelings.”
Why So Torn Up, Edward?:At one point in the film, Pattinson’s Edward Cullen appears in a ripped T-shirt, but we never learn why. So … what the heck happened?
“What it’s supposed to be is that he’s essentially been wearing the same clothes for several months, and that eventually they’ve just worn out because, as you I’m sure know, his body is like stone. So he must’ve rubbed up against something and it ripped,” Weitz said.
Our Lord?:In its Italian-set portions, “New Moon” features a significant amount of religious iconography, and Edward certainly suffers a great deal. Is he supposed to be a Christ figure?
“I think that he is in a sense he’s doomed to suffer eternally,” Weitz said. “He actually thinks of himself as a damned figure, but he’s wrong about that. So in some senses, yeah, he is a martyr figure.”
Black Eyes: In Stephenie Meyer’s book, Edward’s eyes go black in Italy. Why don’t his eyes turn in the film?
“It’s because I screwed up!” Weitz admitted.
Really? He just forgot?
“Well, yeah, I kinda did,” he said. “Well, there are two reasons. One is that I messed up. The other reason is that I actually thought that onscreen it would be quite bizarre to see his eyes go completely black, and that it would be more satisfying and less jarring to have that moment of reunion be a reunion with revivified Edward. But probably, the long and the short of it, there are many details that I did not drop the ball on, and there are some that I did.”
The winner of the Twilight Sweeps Contest, JennyBRUTAL had her phone call with New Moon Director ChrisWeitz!. She had the chance to ask him several questions about the making of the movie. Lucky for all the TwiFanatics out there, she asked a lot of great questions:
Q) How nerve-racking was it to know you had to relocate several locations for New Moon?
A.) It was really nerve-racking because I thought people would notice and be upset, it was a puzzle to get it just right. The outside of the school is all CGI, we built the stairway for the school and took stills. In the Cullen’s house I also tried to show different rooms in the house to add to the feeling of the house. When Taylor was traveling during Twilight a fan gave him a hand-carved Native American ornament. We used that ornament in Jacob’s room in New Moon.
Q) I know Edward’s car is now a dark silver, but was there any reason for the change?
A.) Availability. Volvo wanted to introduce a new car into the series, instead of the older model. So they provided a newer model, brown Volvo. Immediately we knew it had to be repainted, and chose a dark, non-shiny, black color. It added more to the first Edward scene in the movie, the feeling is upbeat but the color of the vehicle adds to the danger lurking.
Q) How did you decide to shoot the scene where the months are passing by, considering the books only name the months that pass?
A.) We originally thought we could use a blank screen with names of the months passing but felt that it was best to portray depression visually. CGI was used and the windows were covered by green screen. We used a robotic camera for revolvement to mimic the original hand camera as much as possible. I’m not sure if you noticed but with each revolvement the room changes, there are less pictures of her friends and the room gets more sparse.
Q) I really enjoyed the added scene with Victoria swimming towards Bella. (The book hints to the orange color the water was reflecting, in a later revelation by Bella.) How did this scene come to be?
A.) Well, the orange colored water wouldn’t have looked right in the scene so we put her in the water visibly. That scene was difficult because we wanted to film her swimming towards Bella but it had to be at a distance. If it wasn’t at a distance fans would wonder why Victoria didn’t just get her in that short scene, but at the same time it had to feel threatening. That was all shot in Vancouver in a swimming pool, we had the actors underwater with four or five frog men with air tubes for security purposes. We also had green screens in the water surrounding the actors so we could CGI in all the particles in the water. There’s actually a program to add in all of the floating debris and color differences in the water after filming. Kristen had a cold at the time and was scared of drowning. We had to force her to stay in the water [laughter] But Rob was more comfortable in the water, hes had to shoot underwater scenes in the past. [Harry Potter]
Q) Were there any scenes that you would have loved to see in the film but never made the final cut?
A.) Yes, one scene. There’s a scene with a motorcycle crash that gives more of a sense of danger. The reason why it didn’t make the final cut was because of weather reasons, it was just too sunny to be considered Forks. The DVD will include that scene as well as extended scenes. Some of the extended scenes include more of Edward’s visit to the Volturi concerning his immortality and more from the scene between Carlisle and Bella. [when he was stitching Bella up.] In one of the early drafts of the script this scene was not in the movie. Immediately I knew that had to change, it was essential to the story line.
Q) In the movie why were there two scenes where Bella and Jacob almost kiss when its not as dramatized in the book?
A.) It was more of trying to get the point across and we kind of stole the thunder from Eclipse a tiny bit so it wasn’t just “Poor Jacob.” With less Edward we needed a little more romanticism without compromising the spirit of the book.
Q) Did you have any say in the soundtrack? If so, how difficult was it to choose what made the final cut?
A.) I actually had a lot of say in it, and a lot of great bands didn’t make the cut, [example: silver sun pickups] but we knew it needed to be more downbeat. For the scene with Bella’s initial depression [the months] we had an older Radiohead song, but we brought in Lykke Li and she watched the scene. She came back to us with a track that worked perfectly, but was never-racking because you never know what they’re going to bring back. We really wanted newer, Indie songs for the soundtrack to match the mood.
The other day I posted five New Moon Movie secrets revealed by . Now to top off the list, here are the other five: director Chris Weitz
6. Tower of glower
”You can see Volterra’s tower and the red-cloaked revelers from the festival of San Marco on the cover of Bella’s copy of Romeo and Juliet when she wakes up in her bedroom.”
7. Hope it was a rental…
”In the wolf-fight, we purposely knocked over the camera when the wolves tumble towards it; you can also hear the microphone thumping, as if an actual on-set animal had run into the camera and boom.”
8. Quileute culture
”When prepping to visualize Jacobs and Emily’s houses, production designer David Brisbin and his team visited La Push and met the Quileute executive council. While they were there, a young Quileute girl gave David the first drum she made (this is a Quileute custom). To show appreciation, we decided to put the drum in a prominent shot — it’s at the entrance of Emily’s house, and you see it when Bella first enters. Also, the high pitched ‘call’ that Embry and Jared give when they jump out of Bella’s car is a thing the Quileute kids do.”
9. Waxing romantic
”The reason the moon phases ‘backwards’ to reveal the title is that this is scientifically correct! I moderated an astrophysics seminar for the Science and Entertainment Exchange with noted astronomer Neil DeGrasse Tyson and he complained about the number of films that get simple science wrong. (Don’t ask me to justify vampires or werewolves).”
10. That’s Italian!
”In the Volturi chamber, Aro speaks Italian — ‘La Tua Cantante’ should be easy for readers of the books — he’s referring to Bella’s being Edward’s ‘singer,’ whose blood calls out to him stronger than anyone else’s. Later, when Bella tells him that he doesn’t know anything about Edward’s soul, he replies, ‘Fore … ne il vostro l’uno o altro’ — ‘Perhaps … nor yours either.”’
Missed the first five, or just want to view them all together? See all ten secrets at EW here!
New Moon director Chris Weitz lets us in on a few secrets from the New Moon Movie. Did you notice any of these things? Read on:
1. Hidden wolves ”Look for an upside-down engraving of a wolf in the shot of the bowl in which Carlisle burns his first-aid equipment; on Jacob’s T-shirt when he meets Bella in the school parking lot for the first time; and a wolf trinket on the dream-catcher that he gives her.”
2. Vampire elevator music ”When Edward, Bella, and Alice get into the elevator on their way to see the Volturi, the music playing in the elevator is from Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (a.k.a. The Bat).”
3. Emotional baggage? ”When Bella is looking for the meadow where she and Edward are seen lying down together, she carries a golden compass clipped to her backpack — part of my baggage!”
4. Speedy suitor ”We did a little trick when Edward gets out of Bella’s truck and they’re arguing. We wanted to show Edward moving impossibly quickly, so we put Rob right next to the camera but out of sight, and used a double dressed like Rob in the driver’s seat. When Edward gets out, it’s the double, and then Rob steps in front of the camera, and it looks as if he got there faster than humanly possible.”
5. Look it up ”And last but not least: If you want to know what Jacob says before he almost kisses Bella, ask a Quileute! The address of the Quileute tribal council is quileutenation.org. I can tell you this much: He says, Kwop kilawtley.”
Chris will be revealing more secrets tomorrow – so head over to EW.com to see them!