Collider interviewed director David Slade for the upcoming DVD and Blu-Ray release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse on December 4th. David talked about the Eclipse special features, the deleted and extended scenes and his favorite scene.
Question: What will fans get most excited about, in regard to the special features and extras that you’ve selected for this DVD?
DAVID SLADE: You know, I don’t know. That’s bad. I made the film and haven’t even seen these things, except to approve them. What I will say is that I think it’s a point worth making that, for a film like this, because of the fan base, I liken it to a subculture. It’s not quite punk rock, but it’s a fan culture, like Star Wars fans. It’s a positive thing and I’ve always been very, very supportive of fan cultures. I’m a fan of all kinds of things. With a DVD, you want something you can own, you can watch, you can come to grips with and you can explore. It’s something larger than the film, when it’s going out to a fan base like this. So, I guess that’s my answer. I hope that they like all of it.
The thing that I remember doing myself is the commentary on the deleted scenes. I don’t do commentaries on films because A) I’m not very good at it and B) it’s an odd thing that I discovered, on my first film, that you go through this really intense experience of making a film and then you sit in a little room with a monitor and you reduce the thing to a bunch of silly anecdotes. It’s really unfulfilling and I’ve never really enjoyed listening to them anyway, so I just don’t do them. I’ve made a point, since then, of not doing them.
But, one of the things I thought was important, particularly because of this fan base and because of how much stock they put into the stories, was just to talk about the stuff we took out – that we shot and we didn’t put in – and the reasoning behind it. I felt it needed a bit of justification. There were some scenes that I actually really liked and would like to have put them in. And who knows? They may be favorites of people within the fan cultures. Film becomes a living organism. After awhile, it begins to tell you what it needs and you’re usually best listening.
Looking back on the whole process of making Eclipse, were there things you were most happy with, in making the film, and were there things you wish you could have tweaked?
SLADE: Yeah, it’s always like that. As a director, you have to go in with a really, really, really clear picture of what you want. That’s the point of my commentaries. It’s so difficult because you’re the harshest critic. You’re like, “If only there was more time, more money, more whatever.” That’s not to say that, in this instance, it was any more or less than any other film I’ve done. That’s what you do. As the director, you’re meant to be critical and you are, so there are loads of things. But the thing is, the way I look at it is, to try to get some measure of success, it’s dangerous to look at financial or critical success, or positive response as a measure. The thing for a director, and one of my own personal ways of looking at it, is “How close was it to the picture you had in your head when you went in?” And it was very close. Besides Hard Candy, it was probably the closest. To that, I feel some measure of success.
What is the most memorable thing you’ll take away from having been a part of all of this?
SLADE: Going to bed, every night. I just remember going, “Oh god, I get to sleep for awhile.” There were so many things. There are favorite scenes or moments, and there were things that were just predictably fun. The scene where Charlie (Billy Burke) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) have the discussion in the kitchen, which starts out as trying to explore whether she understands this need for marriage and turns into this admission of being a virgin, was genuinely fun because both actors have great comic timing. It wasn’t about going in to find the joke. The joke was there, and everything was actually a bonus. I remember that being tons of fun. And always with really emotionally-charged scenes, you get a tingle because nothing is quite going to be like the moment of actually seeing it happen, in the moment, on the monitor. It may be great in the dailies and it may still have all of that resonance, but just being there, in a moment of truth, is always something you remember. I remember so many of those that I’d bore the hell out of you, recounting them.
Do you feel it was a help or a hindrance with Eclipse that the cast had already been together for two previous films?
SLADE: It was a bit of both. Yes, there is something absolutely wonderful to build upon because they’ve done it before. But, the way it worked for me was that I met each actor individually and asked, quite honestly, what worked and what didn’t work, so we could excise what didn’t work and build upon what worked. And with so little time to shoot the film, and pressures of the schedule and weather, and all the rest of it, it certainly wouldn’t have been as successful, had they not been through this before. But, to an extent, this is also the most mature of the films so far, so there wasn’t too much to be done to look backwards. It was mainly, essentially a process of growing forwards from where they came from. But, it’s good to know where you’ve come from.
Was it fun, as a filmmaker, to get to show some of the characters’ backstories and bring that new aspect to the story?
SLADE: Yeah, I actually spent the most time, when I was reading the book, really researching and going back and re-reading the stuff like Jasper’s (Jackson Rathbone) backstory and Rosalie’s (Nikki Reed) story. Those are the ones that I actually had the most fun reading in the book as well. At a certain point, I remember that there was theoretical talk about cutting one or another of those scenes out because they weren’t essentially that critical to the main three characters’ story, but we kept them all and they were really fun. It’s one of those things, when you have a novel and you have source material, where you can actually really go and explore that stuff. You’re not actually pulling it out of your own ass. You’re actually referencing something. That’s as close as you get to doing historical drama without doing historical drama. And we had Stephenie [Meyer] there all the time, so even if it wasn’t clear in the novel, she would always have such a clear picture of this world and this universe, and she can answer any question. You could ask her a year apart and it will be the same answer she gives you, every time.
Read the entire interview at Collider!
The Charlie/Bella sex talk in the kitchen was one of my favorite scenes as well.
Can’t wait to buy my Eclipse DVD!
[Source: Collider. Thanks Diana!]