'Breaking Dawn:' Director on giving 'Twilight' vamps a CG makeover
You only had to take a quick jaunt to downtown Los Angeles this weekend to find proof that "Twilight" fever is alive and well. Fans set up a tent city in advance of Monday night's premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" -- the fourth film in the franchise and the first installment of a two-part finale that sees teenage Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) wed her vampire beau (Robert Pattinson).
"Twilight" fans have been camped out around the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live for days now in order to secure a wristband that will grant them access to watch the stars of the movie arrive for the premiere. To entertain them, the film's distributor, Summit Entertainment, has screened the preceding three movies in the series and sent supporting cast members -- and author Stephenie Meyer, who penned the "Twilight" novels -- to say hello.
Bill Condon, the writer-director behind "Dreamgirls" and the Oscar-winning "Gods and Monsters," is taking the directing reins of the franchise for its all-important finale, and he said he set out to marry melodrama and horror for "Breaking Dawn." He also made a point to utilize special effects to enhance the storytelling.
Taken together, the two parts of "Breaking Dawn" have more CG shots than James Cameron's groundbreaking "Avatar." Even the vampire makeup in "Breaking Dawn" is being done digitally for the first time.
"We didn't use any of the pancake make-up [on the vampires], just a simple base," Condon said. "And we didn't go super white because that makes everyone look so ... unattractive. We actually used very little makeup."
The director told The Times that the post-production crew spent three weeks removing the film grain from the vampires' faces to create the perfect ethereal look.
"That quality that Stephenie Meyer describes, I think we finally got it. And it has nothing to do with makeup. It's all CG."
Photo: A fan waiting for the Monday night premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" poses for a photo at the Nokia Theatre. Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images