06 August, 2008

Breaking Dawn Release Events in NYC Part 1

This may have to be a two-parter, it was such a ridiculous day! So I'm now home from a crazy weekend in NYC, surrounded by Twilight fans, hype and excitement; I participated in the Borders panel on Friday, went to the concert release, had my bookplate signed by Stephenie Meyer, and went to the midnight party at the Borders in Penn Plaza. I've finished the book, twice, I've processed what I saw, and now it's time to put it down on digital paper!

It began Thursday morning, way too early, when I drove down to New York with Jen from the Twilight Lexicon. I had met her and a few of the other Lexicon staff my first day on the set of Twilight in Oregon. Armed with Dunkin' Donuts coffee, we headed south and grilled each other with Twilight-related trivia, and played 'guess that character' with many of the Twilight playlist songs (Stephenie Meyer has dubbed many songs 'Jacob songs' or 'Bella songs' etc., so it was fun to guess whose was whose). Thanks to our trusty GPS device we made it to the city without much trouble. We had to jet into the city quickly on Thursday afternoon to check out the space at Borders (we were staying in Jersey, so we took the ferry over, and this silver Volvo and black Mercedes were parked next to each other in the lot... coincidence? I think not...).

I don't think I had really thought about the mayhem that this weekend was going to contain until I got to the top of the escalators by Borders in Columbus Circle. The first thing I saw as I rolled up the moving staircase was a WALL of Twilight books. And then we walked inside and there were not one, not two, but FIVE displays of Twilight books, calendars, a giant blow-up of the Entertainment Weekly cover, and 'Twilight Delight' chocolate by Ghiradelli. The nerves began to set in...

The space was great, and Daryl, the manager and organizer of all of these Borders events, met us and showed us around the site. He was very excited and appreciative; such a nice guy. He also informed us that the Borders executives were really excited about all of this too... and were planning on coming to the panel the following day.... Gulp! The president of Borders... that's fiiine.

We attempted to crash at a reasonable hour that night, but we didn't succeed too well. So still slightly groggy, Jen and I went back into the city the following morning to meet up with the other panelists for a chat; to put faces to names, and go over the agenda for the discussion. They were all brilliant; so nice, excited, laid back and fun. There was Kallie, Kassie, Linsay, Marisa, Denise and Becca (the organizer) from Twilight Series Theories, Jen from the Twilight Lexicon, Bailey (nomoremarbles) who has a wicked popular YouTube following, and Lisa from The Twilight Moms. It was probably the most knowledgeable, dare I say, obsessive gang you could find. It made for wonderful discussion. It kind of felt like an AA meeting for Twilight fans!

There were about 100 people there, many wearing 'Team Jacob' or 'I'm betting on Alice' shirts, as well as a group of 7 girls that dubbed themselves 'Team Cullen' each sporting a shirt bearing the name and favorite quote of a Cullen character. The 'Alice' of that group even got to participate in the trivia contest, and she was the lucky winner of the autographed poster (it was pretty sweet; signed by Stephenie Meyer, Cathering Hardwicke, Kristen Stewart, Rob Pattinson... everyone!). Many theories were discussed including Mike Newton crashing the wedding, Charlie finding out about the vampires, and something terrible happening to Edward (this theory resulted in many shocked gasps followed by boo-ing). The trivia contests were great, and my favorite was a 12 year old girl wearing a 'Team Edward' shirt who knew the answer, without hesitation, to "What movie did Bella, Mike and Jacob go see?" (the answer is Crosshairs... I don't think any of the panelists even knew the answer to that! We were very impressed).

I joined the discussion for the film bit and really enjoyed that conversation. I certainly wished it could have gone on longer though. I'd love to know everyone's expectations, concerns, what they're excited about, and to discuss some of the actors as their characters a bit more. More than half of the panel had been on set, and quite a few of us had met with the actors, so I'm sure that would have been a brilliant conversation. Something tells me there will be more to come though as the movie premiere approaches. MTV arrived about halfway through the panel, they filmed a bunch of stuff, and Kim Stolz of MTV News joined the panel. I was very impressed with her. She's obviously a fan of the novels, as she had clear opinions about certain things (she hates Mike Newton, she supports Team Edward etc), and that greatly assisted her already strong interviewing skills. She was eloquent, witty, and very quick to come up with interesting questions and clever responses to other statements. She joined the panel at this point to discuss the changing fandom and share her experiences with Twilight.

I found this topic really interesting. The whole idea of the fandom, and how they relate, react and interact with the novels. The population of the fandom has grown exponentially over the last few months, and it's probably only going to increase as the books and the film get more attention. Because of this, I think the production and creative teams in the adaptation of Twilight were brilliant in their decision to include Stephenie Meyer in every step of the adaptation, invite fans on-set, and keep up a good relationship with them instead of turning their backs on this huge, influential, and rather harsh crowd just to make a movie as they see it without regard to their audience. It just strikes me as irresponsible and not a smart business move to ignore this huge population that can assist the publicity of your film, happily, and at no cost to the production company. I'm really glad that the creators, who are fans themselves, respect the fans and the power of approval that they have, and the impact that can have on a film's success.

Anyway, back to the panel... We wrapped it up, gave away the last of the door prizes, and wished everyone well for the rest of their Breaking Dawn day. We hung around Borders for a bit after that, as MTV wanted to interview us (eeee! When did I ever think I'd utter that phrase??), and I got to chat to a few people about my experiences and their thoughts on the series.

If you're interested, the MTV interview is here,

the accompanying article is here,

and there are two things on itunes about it as well. If you search for the Twilight Series Theories podcast, the panel is there (August 4),

and another is this video about Kim's Breaking Dawn release day (that one has my name in it... I totally squealed.... ) Silly... silly is the best word to describe this weekend...

I really like the Borders coverage of the day, it's a great sum-up video... and kind of reminds me of those cheesy video montages shown on the last day of high school. It has the same schmaltzy sentiment that I give into every time!

My friend Dustin had shown up just before the panel (and he willingly became my photographer and press agent :-p), and we were absolutely beat. We wandered outside a bit and decided to meander to the Museum of Modern Art as a friend of mine works there, and we thought a little peace and quiet would be nice before the concert. I think I looked at about three rooms before my eyelids started to droop... so I left Dustin and fell asleep for about 20 minutes on a bench. Oh I'm so classy... well sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to get through the day! And I'm sure the MOMA doesn't mind as I've been a patron for awhile.

So refreshed and revitalized, we made our way to the Nokia theater for the concert release event.... and yes, that has to be the end of part one!

Webshots of Part One

I'm working on an article about the Twilight phenomenon and the mixing of medias (book, film, concert etc), I leave tomorrow for a wedding that I'm in on Saturday, and Sunday I go up to New Hampshire to work at a camp that I've been going to since I was seven. It's a busy little week!! I'll try to have the details of the concert and midnight release party up by Friday :)


ThinkBrown said...

You were also mentioned in hale to the cullens #1 as ScullingOnSquam

LeeO64 said...

You had mentioned in your blogpost of 4 Aug that you were going to work on breaking down the book (read it twice!) in an academic approach. Are you still going to do this? That would be awesome.

Mystic Heart said...

WOW! That was a great summary! I'm a new TST listener and heard you mention your blog on the latest episode. I'm glad I checked it out; I like your writing style. I envy ALL bloggers able to keep my short attention span :)