Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion


By Mark Cotta Vaz

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Everything fans want to know about the hotly anticipated Twilight movie and much more!

Designed as a celebration of the film, this lavishly illustrated paperback edition is an exclusive behind-the-scenes guide featuring full-color photos of the cast, locations, and sets, as well as storyboards, interviews, details of the special effects, and much more.


Copyright © 2008 by Little, Brown and Company

Unless otherwise credited, all photographs copyright © 2008 by Summit Entertainment, LLC

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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First eBook Edition: October 2008

ISBN: 978-0-316-05522-2

Forbidden Love

Everything you know about vampires is wrong.

That classic image of a ruined castle atop a craggy peak and a dark passageway within leading to a cobwebbed crypt where vampires slumber in coffins from dawn to dusk? Wrong. That business about vampires being nocturnal, able to transform into bats, and for whom it's death to be caught in sunlight? Not true. The power of a crucifix or garlic cloves to ward off the undead? Don't even go there.

Imagine instead a cultured family of vampires who commune with mortals in the daytime, drive fast cars, never sleep, and include a respected member of the community. Imagine a scenario in which vampires avoid sunlight only because it reveals their true nature to humans—a vampire's pale skin reflects sunshine like the light of a thousand sparkling diamonds. Imagine the "cold ones" as an evolved species, their genesis lost in the primordial mystery of prehistory. Forget the fanged nocturnal blood-suckers of legend and see vampires for what they really are—beautiful creatures.

Such are the revisionist takes on vampire lore posited by Stephenie Meyer in Twilight, her debut novel published in 2005. The story is told from the point of view of seventeen-year-old Isabella Swan, whose parents are divorced and who has just moved from her mom's house in the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale to her dad's home in Forks, Washington, a small town in the Olympic Peninsula perpetually shrouded in rainy weather. For Bella, as she prefers to be called, it's a return to where she has spent most of her summers and a place she detests but her father, the chief of police, has always loved. She enrolls at Forks High School and quickly notices the Cullen kids, the children of a local respected doctor. They're hard to miss—they dress and look like fashion models, and Edward Cullen, Bella's partner in biology class, is the most handsome of all. No one suspects they're vampires. As Bella grows closer to Edward and discovers his secrets, she learns Dr. Carlisle Cullen's coven has made the choice to feed on wild animals, not human blood—"vegetarian vampires," they joke. One rare sun-filled day, Edward reveals himself to Bella by showing his skin shimmering in the sunlight, exhibiting his physical strength and speed, and describing his instinct for human blood—and she loves him all the more. Edward has found his soul mate in Bella, but he's tortured by her intoxicating scent and has to resist making his love his prey. Bella sees Edward as a pillar of strength, with a face and body like a Renaissance marble figure come to life—"Edward…glorious as a young god," she sighs—and she's so in love she begins flirting with the notion that Edward should take her and make her a vampire so they can spend eternity together.2

Twilight left readers with Bella and Edward poised on that razor's edge of desire. The book became a New York Times bestselling phenomenon and the saga continued with New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. The first book caught Hollywood's interest, and an adaptation of Twilight, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and released by Summit Entertainment, was ready to roll into theaters.

The idea that started it all came to Meyer in a dream, the means by which many great artistic creations have come into the world. The doomed Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, for example, came to life in the hypnogogic vision of nineteen-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin (soon to be Shelley). She had seen "the pale student of unhallowed arts," repulsed by the first sign of life from the man-thing he had constructed, flee to his bedroom, where he prayed it would sink back into "dead matter." But when he opened his eyes, he saw his terrible creation pulling back his bed curtains.3

There's the strange case of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, whose sickly childhood and fevered sleep was haunted by a "night-hag" from which the only escape was to awaken, screaming. By adulthood, Stevenson claimed to have harnessed that "speechless midnight fear" for his storytelling, with "the little people…the Brownies," as he called them, providing his slumbering mind with marketable ideas. Such was the night when his wife awakened him as he cried out in his sleep. With some irritation at her interruption, Stevenson told her, "I was dreaming a fine bogey tale." His nightmare became Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.4

THE DAY Twilight WAS BORN—JUNE 2, 2003

Unlike the pomp and flash of Shelley's Romantic era clique and Stevenson's lifelong fevers, Stephenie Meyer's life did not portend vampiric dreams. She was born in Connecticut in 1973, but by age four her family relocated to Phoenix. She and her siblings were neatly divided, three boys and three girls, Stephenie being the second of the girls. As a teenager she attended high school in tony Scottsdale, "the kind of place where every fall a few girls would come back to school with new noses and there were Porsches in the student lot," she recalls. She won a National Merit Scholarship that paid her way as an English major at Brigham Young University, a school that "consistently and proudly" finishes last on lists of the nation's party schools, Meyer notes with satisfaction. She had known her future husband as an acquaintance from that first year her family arrived in Phoenix, but it took sixteen years before the whirlwind courtship that led to marriage and, more than ten years later, three sons.

Everything changed for Meyer the night a vivid dream took her to a forest meadow where she saw an average-looking girl and a stunningly handsome vampire having an intense conversation. "Confessions," the thirteenth chapter of Twilight, is "essentially a transcript of my dream," Meyer has revealed.5 Meyer can pinpoint that dream date, the day Twilight was born—June 2, 2003—because when she awakened it was the first day of swimming lessons for her boys. Throughout that day she was haunted and compelled to write the story of those two oddly paired characters in the meadow. In a sense, she never awakened from her dream.

The lore and legend of vampires stretches into antiquity, with practically every culture having some mythic notion of the creatures, often tortured souls who drink the blood of their victims. But the modern fascination with vampires can be traced to a stormy night over Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and a villa that had become refuge to Lord George Gordon Byron, the handsome, brilliant poet who was driven there from England by scandals befitting his notorious appetites and melancholic musings. This particular night, while a torrential downpour raged outside, Byron, along with the aforementioned Mary W. Godwin; her lover and future husband, the poet Shelley; and one Dr. John Polidori, spent the midnight hours exchanging tales of horror and the supernatural, and agreed to a contest to see who could write the best such story. In posterity's judgment Mary won with Frankenstein, but Polidori produced The Vampyre, published anonymously in 1819 but ascribed to the brooding Byron, whose own doomed, dark, and romantic nature had "the vampire image" about him.

Twilight author Stephenie Meyer on the laptop, in her cameo role

From that villa in Switzerland, the years saw many a vampire-based theatrical play and magic lantern show, until Bram Stoker's novel Dracula in 1897, which has within its narrative DNA the bloody rule of fifteenth-century warlord Vlad III, who lived in a castle in Transylvania and whose reign included having hundreds of Turkish prisoners of war impaled on spikes. Vlad's crest featured a dragon that in the regional tongue also meant devil—dracul.6 And then, in a new century, moving pictures allowed the conjuring of ever more haunting versions of the undead, notably actor Béla Lugosi's aristocratic Count Dracula.

For Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, the creative journey of the movie adaptation included retracing this path of legend into the realms of vampire lore around the world. "One reason the Twilight series has such resonance may be that the vampire myth is deeply rooted in the human psyche," Hardwicke said. "A wide array of ancient cultures have vampire myths—from Indonesia to China to Egypt to South America. Many tales describe women who have lost babies or have died in childbirth, then roam the earth at night wreaking havoc on the living. Some are deliciously gruesome and designed to keep children indoors. Fourteenth-century Romanian government documents give detailed accounts of vampire grave openings. Even the practice of cremation may have been motivated by the desire to keep the dead from returning to the realm of the living. I found blueprints for a specialized coffin with a built-in device—a stake would stab the corpse's heart if [it] tried to escape."

There have been theories as to why the vampire myth managed to burrow itself deep into humanity's collective consciousness. Joel Schumacher, who directed The Lost Boys, a film about vampires haunting a resort town on the California coast, puts one compelling notion best: "I think one of the reasons vampires have an enduring quality is they're the only monsters that are really sexy."7

And therein lies the special attraction of Twilight.

"There have been [hundreds] of vampire movies, but I never thought of Twilight as a vampire movie," said Greg Mooradian, the film producer who discovered Twilight. "The vampires are really nothing more than a hook, the vehicle to tell the story of forbidden love."

"I never thought of Twilight as a vampire movie."

Looking for a book with potential to be a movie "property" was always the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack, Mooradian noted. A book scout in New York brought him Twilight when it was still a raw manuscript being edited by Megan Tingley at Little, Brown and Company. "There is no way to predict the life of a book. You have to go with your instinct. Often, when I'm reading a young adult book, I have to imagine whether a fifteen-year-old girl might enjoy reading it. What struck me in my initial reading of the Twilight manuscript was how much I enjoyed it, how completely absorbing it was, even while knowing I was far afield of who the book was supposed to speak to. My reaction told me this was more than a book for young girls. This was a first-time author's unedited novel, but I was able to see past [its raw quality] because the themes of the story and the characters were so wonderful. It had universal themes, like Romeo and Juliet, which certainly influenced this book. It struck me this was a great movie premise—it seemed the greatest idea nobody had ever done. But, at the time there was no way to predict it would connect with every young girl in America the way it has, that it would become an anthem for young girls as much as anything in contemporary culture."

Mooradian brought Twilight to Karen Rosenfelt, president of production at Paramount. "Greg was so passionate, and ready to dive on his sword, knowing this would be a franchise both for publishing and for film," Rosenfelt recalled.

The project was optioned by Paramount's MTV Films in April 2004 and a writer was hired to produce a screenplay. But complications ensued—Paramount was shaken by what Mooradian calls "an absolute changing of the guard," which included the departure of production head Rosenfelt. In the process Twilight "got caught" in limbo when a new regime took over, Rosenfelt recalled. "It languished." But the book soon became a publishing phenomenon—Twilight wouldn't be languishing for long.

"Twilight taps into that young girl's primacy of first love and forbidden love, and how much more forbidden is it than to fall in love with a vampire? Bella herself is accessible to girls. Bella captures the side we all have, that feeling of being an outsider looking in while still trying to keep our iconoclastic nature."


"Edward loves Bella and wants to protect her, that's everybody's fantasy. And there's sexual tension. They can't go too far or he'll kill her, which is this tingling, exhilarating thing! It's temptation and desire… We're trying to convey a great love story about this girl, a heightened passion, and that first love where you'll do anything. Who doesn't remember writing the person's name 8,000 times in the notebook and watching and figuring and planning every minute as to how you'd get a glimpse of that person at school, where even if they brush by you in the hall it's magic! All that stuff Stephenie conveys."



On Sale
Oct 28, 2008
Page Count
144 pages

Mark Cotta Vaz

About the Author

Mark Cotta Vaz is the author of thirty-three books, including the bestselling Godzilla: The Art of Destruction; the Twilight Saga companions books, all number one New York Times best sellers; the award-winning The Invisible Art: The Legends of Movie Matte Paintings (co-authored with Oscar®-winning filmmaker and Academy Governor Craig Barron); and the critically acclaimed biography Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong. Vaz is a lifelong resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Learn more about this author