I've just seen the first seven minutes of Breaking Dawn Part 2, the last of the twilight films. The section of Hall H made up of Twilight fans, rather than those staking out seats for future panels, went pretty wild. It seems to be the front third of the crowd. These are the people who queued for days. These are the people that needed to be that close to the stage. I don't understand it.
Director Bill Condon isn't here on the panel, though the stars are – and Kristen Stewart is smiling, and looking fresh and bright, whatever reputation she has. She's got a quirky prettiness, I think, but she's also obviously quite unthreatening, and identifiable to a lot of the fans. I see how she became so popular with them.
Condon's in the UK scoring the film so presented a video message "to the fans" and introduced the opening scenes of the film.
Now, despite the fact that Breaking Dawn has been split into two movies, and the first half has a rep for going a touch too slowly, these scenes actually moved along at a fair pace. They were largely comprised of "subjective effects" showing Bella's new, vampire's view of the world. There were several "spider sense" moments, with the camera crashing in on details. Even beyond that the sequence was stuffed full of POV shots.
Waking up a vampire in the very first shot, Bella tries to come to terms with her new strength, then goes for a run out in the wild. She and Edward come across a dear but just when Bella is about to pounce and feed on it, she smells a human rock climber grazing themselves and drawing blood way off in the distance. She gives chase, and only gets a grip on herself when it's almost too late. Returning to the dear, it's then attacked by a wild cat and – yep – there's a Bella vs. CG wildcat wrestling match.
Some of the FX works in the scene was a bit subpar, particularly the "undercranking" style speedy vampire running FX, and a lot of the composites aren't so well executed, but the film has nice lighting and crisp cinematography in general.
This seven minute sequence came to a close with Bella meeting Jacob and him alluding to the really crazy, and suitably infamous notion that he's "imprinted upon" – ie. fallen in deep spiritual love – with her newborn daughter. It raised laughs, even amongst the fans.
It wasn't the worst sequence I've ever seen in a film, but it certainly won't win any new fans. I was pleased to see how zippily it played anyway.
The second scene showed was much shorter and actually quite amusing. Bella is shown preparing to meet her Dad for the first time since she's become a vampire, and is being schooled by her undead family, the Cullens, on how to act human. It's amusing to see Stewart take these lessons – it starts with contact lenses, goes on through body language classes. At least one visual joke in the scene worked pretty well, revolving around Bella ovine faster than she means to, not knowing her own speed.
This scene too used a lot of POV shots, with characters looking right into the lens to address Bella. I think hat's going to be a big part of what Condon has done here, trying to somehow put the audience inside Bella's vampire experience.
That's the theory anyway.
We're currently in the midst of the audience Q&A. Everything has relevance only to Twilight fans, so we'll just skip this, why don't we?
Rumours are that Stephanie Meyer is going to have something non-Twilight to present before the end of the panel. If so, I'll be back to let you know.