NEW ECLIPSE SET: NEWBORN VAMPIRES ARRIVE IN FORKS
It’s the new sets for Eclipse that I find truly exciting! Being a fan of the books and the movies, it’s always interesting to see how the scenes change from the books… as well as see what each Director’s style is from one movie of the Twilight Saga to another.
I had a chance to see a new set being filmed for Eclipse… the scene where the newborns arrive in Forks. It’s a picturesque scene, with mountains and water framing the background of the shot, and a sparse unoccupied beach for the newborns to arrive on… then they disappear into the forest. The vampire newborns looked absolutely chilling, and their rugged military-like outfits along with steely, determined glares just added to the mood. Filmed early in the morning, this scene was designed to look as if it had been shot at night, possibly just after dusk or just before dawn.
Riley (Xavier Samuel) and Bree (Jodelle Ferland) were on set as well as a number of newborn vampires we have NEVER seen before.
I’m always amazed at what a huge production it is to film just a few seconds for these movies. Second Unit Director EJ Foerster was on set, calm but directive… doing dozens of different takes for only a couple scenes. An amazing number of people involved plus tons of equipment and hours of filming from so many different angles just to get a 5 second shot… wow. Check out all the equipment on the shore, including the scuba diving gear and the dinghys. You can also see some of the shorter fake trees they used in the foreground on the beach.
There are two distinct scenes… scenes where the female newborn is talking to a male newborn, and the main scene (which they spent most of the time shooting) where there are three newborns including Riley coming out of the water onto the shore. They don’t come out of the water in the books, but I think it is a nice dramatic addition.
The water here was quite cool in temperature, so I’m not surprised at all to see the actors with thin wetsuits on under their costumes. They were also given small weights under their clothing to help keep them weighed down under the water before the “take”. I have my PADI scuba diving license so I was really curious about how they were using the divers for the filming. The scuba divers served two purposes: One, to give their extra regulator to the actors so they could breathe underwater when necessary… and two, to help give the actors cues and guide them to certain checkpoints when necessary.
HD video coming soon (tomorrow night… sorry guys, I got really sick tonight).
In this scene in the video (coming soon), you’ll see the Director ask them to go underwater (“Under water!), then he counts as they are rolling with the movie cameras “OK, Riley”… then the first actor emerges (my guess is they were using “Riley” as the code word, since the first actor that emerges is NOT Riley). Then the Director calls them out “2…. and 3″… and the other actor and then Riley emerges from the water. The vampires moved slowly, slinking through the water but very clearly with purpose.
You can see from the camera that it is going to be a very tight shot with how close some of the production members are standing in the water.
Several iterations of this shot continued, with different combinations of the newborn vampires in the water. They also tried different lighting setups, either with a white sheet to bounce water off in the water, or with a large spotlight shining through a diffuser straight at the actors. The camera rig was very flexible, above to move up down and really get around the actors in any angle necessary for the shot. The actors had very pale makeup on.
I also had my suspicions confirmed by one of the PAs that the entire scene was being shot with no sound. Music and effects were to be added later in post-production. Good thing — because an entire squad of geese started squawking their hearts out during the middle of several scenes. It was hilarious.
Unfortunately I didn’t get to see Jodelle film any of her scenes (that’s not her in the water), but you can see her here grabbing some food. Her makeup was already done though, as you can see how pale she looks.
I absolutely loved visiting this set. It was one of the coolest I have seen in a while, at least since New Moon
Hope you enjoyed the photos and the video! You can always follow me on Twitter for more updates, or check here to see my other blog posts with Twilight cast members and live set filming.