Monday, 14 February 2011

Review: Eclipse Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz

You might think that this “Movie Companion” is for the most dedicated fans of the movie, but there is so much more to this movie companion than a photo album of movie stills. I’ve never really paid any thought to how a movie is made; I just pick a movie, pay for my ticket, head into the cinema, and enjoy the story that comes to life before my eyes. I've never imagined the many people behind the cameras who have dedicated their time and poured their soul into creating the intangible piece of art that is a motion picture.

The Twilight Saga is the cumulative effort of months of work by hundreds of people, from the talented Stephenie Meyer, who conceived the idea, to the costume designers, to the audiences who enjoy the movie. This movie companion gives us a detailed behind-the-scenes glimpse into how a $700 million box office blockbuster movie is made. The director, David Spade emphasised how he wished to stay faithful to Stephanie Meyer’s imagery, whilst bringing more intense visual imagery and darker undertones in comparison to the previous two films.

There is so much thought behind each individual, minute-long scene, and a valuable source of information in this book can be gained through the behind-the-scenes images. I was surprised to find out how the wolves had been brought to life, how the green screen was used rarely but effectively to bring the forest to life, and how the filmmakers had constructed a life-sized replica of the original Cullen house for the purposes of giving the scenes authenticity.

My favourite parts of the book were the ones detailing the costume creation and sets for the Quileute’s, Rosalie’s and Jasper’s flashbacks. They were my favourite parts of the movie, and added history and dimension to the film. Then there were the cast interviews. Most of the main cast had a page-long interview each, and it’s interesting to learn of the people behind the characters –the dedicated actors who wake up at 3am to do hair and makeup – and the people who help them become their characters.

Reading The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Official Illustrated Movie Companion gives one a greater appreciation of the making of each film: from the basic colours and settings that evoke mood, to the high-tech CGI imagery that brings wolves to life. An intriguing and visually luxurious read this Illustrated Movie Companion is something all movie fans should pick up.

Now if only it came with posters I could stick up on my wall… ;)

Mark Cotta Vaz, The Twilight Saga Eclipse: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion
Hachette Aus, July 2010. [details] [goodreads]
Thanks to Hachette for my review copy.

Q: If you could be a part of a movie,which would be your dream role? (e.g. director, crew, make-up artist, scriptwriter, actress/actor...)