09 May, 2008

A Few Notes

Wow. The responses I've been getting are incredible. Do you know that this blog started with just my parents and a few friends/family reading it? Then my department obviously started reading it as it's for my PhD work, but even then... maybe 10 people a week looked at it. Now it's 10 people a minute and your comments are flooring me. They're so appreciative, thoughtful and well-formed. I've always been the groupie that obsessed and poured over every detail emerging about my current fixation of the day/week/year/decade, and I'm well chuffed (British slang for really proud) that I am getting a few people interested in some of the things I've been thinking about and doing. So thanks!

Now to respond to a few of the things mentioned...

1) Debbie said: "So many people have commented on other sites that after they saw the teaser trailer that they hoped the movie would be just like the book. I'd love to tell them to come read your blog. They then would understand more about the differences between the book & the movie."
- please tell them to read my blog! I'd selfishly love you to spread the word! I think you're right though; this is a good forum for me to work through my thoughts as a film student, share realizations and ideas... and I'm grateful that other people are benefiting as well! I'm so glad you guys are seeing some of what I'm seeing about the adaptation process. Like I said before, I have always balked at anything different from the book; it felt like a sacrilege, and the phrase, "Oh the book is always better..." rolled off of my tongue so easily; but now, I'm simply coming to realize that its just a different way to tell a story... that they can never be the same. They can be equally as exciting and enjoyable, but in very different ways. One might seem better because it has a more effective impact- I'll always like reading better because I get to create the universe; I become godlike and picture everything perfectly....perfect because it's my imagination and who's to say it's wrong? But that doesn't mean that I don't obsess over films for showing me that universe and letting me observe and live in it for a time, and films can give me the landscape to let my mind continue the story (hello fan fiction? sequels? artwork inspired by films? the list goes on...) I'll continue to hash this topic out for the next, oh, three years! But we all have to start the thinking process somewhere.

2) I'm sorry guys, as of right now I have no idea how you can get to work on a film. I can't hook you up with agents, and I don't know how you can get a job on the Twilight set. I'm still trying to figure that out myself!

3) Fireandice- I did get a chance to talk to Wyck Godfrey (Twilight producer) about Eragon, and will be posting about that sometime in the near future :)

4) kevinandnatalimckee- I'm sorry about the webshots troubles! I'm not really a huge fan of that site either, so I may look into other ones.

5) Shauna- obsessive tendencies are what got me here! Granted I went through years of indecision and uncertainty, but it's working for me now. I really think all of my undergrad work, and my MA work was just to get me to this point... and I never went into it with this goal in mind, it's just rolling out this way. I'm seizing whatever opportunities come my way, and hoping to gain some focus along with my crazy experiences to take into something resembling a career... until then, yes, the nomad life works well for me :)

6) Sarah b said, "why were you unable to talk to Rob about the UK...did it just not come up or did you think it made you one of those "crazy people?"
-I didn't bring up the UK stuff because it just seemed a little awkward at the time; I wish Rob and I had met properly from the start and gotten that out of the way, but I wasn't about to do anything to 'rock the boat' so to speak. With a producer and a creative executive from Summit sitting right there chatting with us it would have been weird to interrupt the conversation and be like, "Hey, I'm Maggie, I live in the UK too! Aren't we cool?!".... yeah, that definitely would have entered the realm of awkward! So I'll just remain pleased with the pleasant experience that I had.

7) I have a question to ponder; I'm pondering it myself and am curious of others' thoughts. When HP: Goblet of Fire came out, I read everything I could get my hands on, watched all of the teaser clips and everything else. While I enjoyed the film, I thought it took some of the magic out of the experience to see so much information before the actual film. So for HP: Order of the Phoenix, I didn't watch anything except the trailer before I saw it and I had a marvellous time. I don't know if one was better than the other, but I do think that they were very different experiences.

I think I'm beginning to enter the realm of 'I'll never be able to enjoy a movie just for the movie's sake' because I'm now dissecting it: thinking about the shots, the production, the lighting, the catering, where video village is, who is standing around the propane heaters, the shrubbery masters... but I was thinking about all of the press and information that has been released regarding Twilight, and I wondered what it does to the audience's expectations of the film? All of these on set pictures, interviews, clips, mtv Twilight Tuesdays... and when you think about HP: Half Blood Prince which is also filming now and very, VERY few things have been released (a few photos, scant interviews, and the one mention about ONE scene being added to the story caused an uproar in the fan community), I wonder if I'll experience Twilight differently than Harry Potter?

I think it will be interesting to see both of these films, as I'm studying both of these films, and see how the different approaches in film making and marketing affect the reception of the actual movie...

...more than likely I'll just be swooning for both of them and still love both of them obsessively, and I'll continue pouring over every Twilight item released! :)

More soon- the thoughts are reeling, so while they are I shall write them down! I may not have totally Twilight themed stuff for all of my posts, but Twilight will probably be my frame of reference for most things for awhile! I'll start working in my other works as well though, and see what ideas flow.


Karla said...

Hello Maggie!
I just wanted to say thank you for making your Twilight experience "public." I picked up Twilight shortly after it came out in 2005 on a whim at the bookstore and I have been following Stephenie Meyer ever since. She was so excited to have this movie made, but it hasn't been easy finding the in-depth behind the scenes coverage that you have provided. You have the best coverage that I have found by far! (MTV has caught up a bit, but you have the inside inside scoop.) I have passed on your blog to friends and family so they too can see all the inner-workings of this fun film. Thanks again! I have you book marked and look forward to reading more about your projects in the future. Cheers, Karla
P.S. I don't suppose you can incorporate a little BBC & BBC Wales into your research, eh? I'd love the inside scoop on Doctor Who and Torchwood! :)

sarah said...

Your experience with HP 4 is worrisome. I knew I was in a bit of trouble when all the news about the doubles for Twilight came in. Call me naive, but I didn't realize how much they were used in a movie and it bothered me. The movie experience will never be entirely "pure" for me now, knowing what sort of nuts-and-bolts drudgery is involved. So yeah. I'll stick to the trailer, to MTV Twilight Tuesdays, and to the Lex (oh, and to your blog). Methinks that is still overmuch. :(

Debbie said...

In regards to the question you are pondering about too much information on a film. I too find myself dissecting everything about Twilight. I think we are almost being flooded with so much media that some of us won't be able to just enjoy the film for itself. It is not just Twilight though. If the media floods us with information about a film I think we can't help but to devour it if it something we are truely interested in. I found myself doing it with Pirates of the Caribbean and HP. Considering your question, I may take a step back from Twilight so that when the film comes out I can just enjoy it for what it is and not try to dissect every single scene. Thanks for the insight.

bonnie said...

Hi Maggie,

I'm just another one who wandered in to your blog randomly and I just spent awhile reading backwards in time, through your Twilight set recaps and beyond!

I just wanted to say that I think your studies are amazing! I am a big nerd who has always had this kind of compulsive connection with many books and films and plays and music even... and my interest in my favorite things (Twilight and Harry Potter included among many) always turns kind of academic. I research and get into the details and analyze etc.

I recently started a blog to keep track of lists and have a place for my writing and commentary. I am going to link to your site, because I think many many "fangirls" like me who have kind of a nerdy, academic bent would really appreciate your writing and the way you are capturing the set visits and your journey here.

Good luck!

(oh and if you have a moment, read my rant about "fandoms + real estate" - I think you might appreciate where I was coming from with it).


Sarah B said...

Hi! Thank you for answering my question :) I kind of feel special, haha.

I also am a bit worried about seeing so much from the movie set and cast and crew interviews before the movie comes out, but I always pick apart movies like you said (camera angles, lighting, music), so I’m thinking for me it won’t matter much. I just worry about all the others who are not aware of all the “magic” that goes into making a film.

Anonymous said...

I am also a big HP fan as well. Started that way and will stay that way! I listen to all the podcasts, go to fan sites and all of that. I loved Goblet of Fire and was really let down by Order of the Phoenix and I saturated myself with any info I could get on both before they came out. I think it must be personal preference, but we will see this November and December for sure.
I think I have watched the Twilight trailer about 100 times! I also think they are trying to hype it up because it's a new movie franchise and they want it to succeed. Harry Potter doesn't need any publicity- although it's true that we freaked over one scene being added so any info they do give about HP is eaten up!
I could go on and on but I wanted to tell you my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I will be very curious to see what kind of difference the Twilight marketing strategy makes in the attendance to the movie. Maybe I just don't usually pay too much attention, but I've never actually "watched" a movie come together like this. There is a huge difference between Twilight and the Indiana Jones movie; both highly anticipated movies, but IJ has been completely top secret, nothing to be seen about it hardly at all until the moment the trailer came out a month ago. Speilberg is very particular about that; he likes his audience to have this huge surprise. Hardwicke has let her audience be apart from day one of casting. I think it will be really interesting to debate the differences between the two strategies. I can see benefits to both; I'm dying to see Indiana Jones because I'm so curious to see what it's going to be about. I wonder if I'll be as excited to see Twilight because I've been following it for so long (December is a long way from now) that it'll be kind of like, well I already know everything so I'll see it when I get around to it. Or, I'll be dying to see it because I've been fed little tastes all along the way and I'm dying to get the whole hot fudge sundae. Like I said, I probably just haven't been paying attention to other movies, but I wonder if this is a new historical move that the Twilight marketing team is trying; using the internet to get fans really super excited to see their movie. Was the first Harry Potter movie like this? I don't remember being able to watch the whole thing unfold before my eyes like this. It's been a really cool experience to see the behind the scenes stuff that is usually not meant for our eyes. Lucky you to have had such an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I agree that it is a new experience (for me, anyway) to see a film unfold before our very eyes like this. I wonder if Catherine or the producers planned it this way when writing or even thinking about the film or whether the whole Internet craze thing just started and has unravelled and grown into this? I love feeling involved in the experience For me, finding out how EVERYTHING is happening or created just makes the film more special. Come December, when watching the film I will be able to squee when I see scenes that I know all about - and
know how they created.

It will certainly be an interesting point to discuss - comparing the release of this film to others. I think that on one hand, the film needed this type of Internet coverage. Much of the hype over the Twilight series of books was created by fans on the sites, wasn't it? In these respects, it seems only natural to put this much stuff on the Internet for the film - appealing to the same fan sites and the same people.

I think that maybe one of the reasons that Indiana Jones could cope without the Internet coverage is that it is just such a big phenomenon anyway. Having information on the Internet would probably have added to the hype slightly, but I don't think that IJ needs it -- it's too big with people the world over -- many older people who remember the early ones and might not be at ease with usinga computer.

I really want Twilight to do well, and I think that it needs this coverage on the Internet to get new fans and raise awareness. I think that if Twilight had done what IJ is doing, and holding back all information, it would slip by unnoticed. As it is, the huge hype on the Internet should make Twilight noticed and appreciated by many more people for a good film... and who knows? They might go and read the books? I hope so.

I think I have waffled a bit here, but this is just such an interesting topic that I felt I had to respond. Keep doing what you're doing!


Alex x

PS. I live in England and loved the reference to 'well chuffed'! It is so commonplace over here that I never thought that you didn't have it in America! Are there any other inteesting phrases or words that we use here in England that don't exist in America? I am weirdly interested in this type of thing!!