Mania recently sat down with Melissa Rosenberg, writer of the much-anticipated 'Twilight' movie, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer. In part two of our interview, I talked to her about the buzz surrounding the film, what the fans are really like and also a bit about what it’s like working on the hit television show 'Dexter', about the life of a serial killer.
Was the process of writing a feature screenplay different than writing for television? “With television it’s a very collaborative medium. You’re working with a room full of writers and then you’re also seeing that script from prep to post. You have a lot more control over what’s going on. With television you’re moving much faster.
"The thing with features it’s nice after doing a season of television; it’s nice to have it be your own voice so that’s a nice break. I wouldn’t want it full time because I would get lonely and want to go back so I love the idea of being able to do both. Also with features it’s more of a director’s medium.” Rosenberg laughs, “All of my control issues I have to surrender to those. It involves a meditation of surrender and trust. Fortunately I worked with Summit before so I really trust Summit and Erik Feig and the team there. I trusted Catherine. She worked really closely with me on the script and I really got that she saw it the same way I did and she knows I saw it the way she did. You have to allow someone to take over.”
Rosenberg got a chance to see the film and found herself surprised in some parts. Since the film has a lot of visual effects, did Rosenberg’s vision match up to the onscreen version in the final cut of the film?
“Some of the action sequences, I mean you write the action sequences, and because I was working so closely with Catherine, I was really able to write them fairly specifically. On the screen you see those come alive and you’re bringing in special effects and stunt people and it just gets more wild. It’s always a surprising thing when an actor embodies the character that you had in mind and becomes that character. They speak in a way that’s different than what’s in your head and dresses differently, all these different factors come in and so it definitely takes me aback initially. As a writer as with the reader, we’ve all seen this movie in our head so now we all have to make the adjustment that this could not possibly be what’s in our head. Fortunately, I think it’s done a tremendous job.”
The book has clearly become a worldwide hit with not only teens, but also men and women young and old. Was Rosenberg surprised by the book’s popularity? “It’s strong story-telling. People worldwide respond to a good and compelling story, as did I as I read it. Hopefully they’ll respond the same way to the movie.”
With all of the buzz generated around the film from very early on, even before the film started development, was Rosenberg curious to check out any of the fansites and blogs that are out there about Twilight?
“As I began to get a sense of the fan base I stopped looking. I knew it would start influencing my writing and I just didn’t want to know. Now that the process is over I have begun looking at it, but I think I’m too sensitive for it. I was reading on IMDB people’s comments and I saw the first ten and they were all pretty positive about me writing it and then you get to entry eleven and people are saying that they can’t believe I am the one writing it and that they hated Step Up. It hurts my feelings because I forget the other ten and focus on the one. It’s just not healthy for me to read that so I tend to be really cautious.”
Even though the movie doesn’t open until November 21st, is there any talk of a sequel? Is the New Moon coming next? “We’re talking about a sequel, but nothing has been decided yet so that’s really all I can say.”
You can check out 'Twilight' yourself when it opens in theaters everywhere on November 21st. Watch for more exclusive interviews with the cast and crew of the film right here on Mania!