Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion is a guide to the making of the Twilight film. It begins with a primer on Stephenie Meyer's blockbuster bestseller, Twilight, the book on which the movie is based, and carries the reader through the entire creative film-making process. Everything is covered including crew selection, script-writing, location scouting, hair, make-up, costuming, set design, special effects, stunts, scoring and much more. Exclusive interviews with director, Catherine Hardwicke, the producers, stunt coordinator, hair, make-up, costume and set designers and other crew members all bring to life the creative energy that went into the production of Twilight, while beautiful full-color movie stills and behind the scenes photos enhance the narrative. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion is a great collector's item that should answer any questions that fans might have about the making of Twilight.
I think I must have read a few too many Twilight fan magazines in recent history, because I had somehow gotten the idea that this book was going to be like those periodicals with just a little more depth. What I got definitely had plenty of depth, and certainly was not quite what I was expecting, but in a good way. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion takes the reader on the movie-making journey from start to finish. It begins with the origins of Stephenie Meyer's book of the same name which started it all, as well as the early attempts at writing a script, and continues right on though post-production taking a comprehensive look at each phase of film-making. It was essentially the written version of a "making-of" documentary.
Some of the things in the book were covered either in the behind-the-scenes DVD extras or I had read about them elsewhere, but there was still a lot of new information about all the detail and hard work that went into making the movie, which I thought was very interesting to learn about. For example, I discovered how the set designers decorated each interior set in such a way as to reflect the personality of the characters. The book mentions many little items that were placed in certain rooms which I hadn't noticed when watching the movie and will have to look for the next time I do. I had already known that the weather was a challenge while making the film, but I didn't understand just how much of a challenge it was until I read this book. After learning about some of the things that the actors and crew endured while filming, I think they should be commended for their perseverance. I also got a deeper appreciation for the way the Twilight movie was made. I've gotten the feeling that some people who disliked it may have felt that way (and perhaps unknowingly), because it wasn't heavily laden with CG effects like most blockbuster movies these days are. If I am correct, even on some level, I think that is a shame, because the organic feel of the film is one of the things I really appreciated about it.
Overall, this was a lovely book that I enjoyed reading. I have been a fan of the movie since the first time I saw it, but by reading this book I was still able to cultivate a richer understanding of the challenges the cast and crew faced during the making of Twilight. From the uncooperative weather that was sometimes freezing cold and rainy, to a tight shooting schedule because of an extremely limited budget and work restrictions on Kristen Stuart who was still a minor, I think the movie was far more difficult to produce than it might seem at first glance. In fact, I would challenge those who didn't like the movie to read this book and not come away with at least some appreciation for it, especially after learning the shocking details of the original Twilight movie script that had clumsy Bella as a star athlete and a cheesy action finale involving the FBI. If nothing else, Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion is well worth it just for the gorgeous full-color movie stills some of which take up a whole page or even two and the great behind-the scenes photos. I must admit that I'm not a big collector of movie memorabilia, but this book is a keeper that I would definitely call a must-have for all collectors and fans of the Twilight movie.
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