Saturday, May 22, 2010

Catherine Hardwicke at Vancouver Twilight Convention

Perhaps the most controversial in the Twilight series, director of the first Twilight movie, Catherine Hardwicke attended Vancouver's Twilight Convention.

Known for being a little off-the-wall and eccentric, I was really looking forward to seeing her because she was the only celebrity attending I had never met.

I first saw her going up the escalator while at Starbucks and thought how cool it would be to hear her Q&A later that morning.

When I went upstairs I saw Twilight Lexicon's Alphie and chatted with her. She was about to do an interview with Catherine Hardwicke in a room just down the hall and on a whim I asked if I could sit in.

Catherine came out and we all went into the room. It was Alphie & Something Blue from Lexicon, Catherine Hardwicke and me.

The room was pretty bare walled and dull so Catherine suggested doing the interview on the floor since the carpet was so funky.

You could quickly see how creative and unique Catherine was. She joked they could be sitting like they were in the meadow, then decided they could lie down and be filmed from above. Guess who filmed them?

Yup - me!

Here I am standing on a chair in heels, looking down at the three ladies lying there - - - I joked that I would die if I fell on Catherine and they laughed, what a great first impression eh? ha ha!

It was amazing to be "directed" by Catherine Hardwicke!! I joked I would be adding this to my resume ha ha!

After following her direction on where to stand and the angle to use we did a quick test shot and I showed them how it looked. It got Catherine's stamp of approval and so it began.

I won't share any of the details that were discussed but Twilight Lexicon will be posting the interview and I will link to it then. You won't want to miss it - she is such a neat lady to talk to and listen to!

Afterwards I shook her hand again and after she left did a giddy little happy dance.... HOW COOL WAS THAT?!?!

Off to the Q & A - I was sitting in the front and as you know if you follow me on twitter, tweeting all weekend. At one point she joked that when people were uninterested they'd be on their phone texting... I was SO embarrassed but told her I was listening more intently than most (since I was tweeting her practically verbatim) and she smiled - phew!

Anyhow, there were alot of things she discussed, many of her quotes were misinterpreted or used by magazines and bloggers as their own "Private interviews" but I can let you know that simply wasn't the case. Those quotes were in a public setting in front of a theatre of a few hundred people during the Q & A Session.

To my knowledge Twilight Lexicon was the only group to get an interview with Catherine Hardwicke because she was literally only available a few hours at the convention and had very little to no time for anything else while there.

Here is my summary (and often explanation) of Catherine Hardwicke's Q & A Session at Vancouver's Twilight Convention:

- Catherine says the whole cast was great. Kristen is so intense and Rob so wacky. Peter is amazing… She talks about how Peter Facinelli got the job because of a “book” (Peter told the story in more detail during his Q & A also)

- Catherine talks about bringing words in a book to life in a movie. “It’s a visual and musical experience brought to life”

- She asks fans how many times they have seen Twilight in Theatre. Highest is 15. She says there was once a girl who had gone 80 times and she couldn’t believe it.

- She isn’t sure what she would next like to turn book into movie and takes requests from the fans who offer up a number of novels they’d love to see her transform into a movie.

- When asked if she’d change anything about Twilight she says looking back she wishes Summit saw what she saw and had provided a larger budget. She had an underwater scene and more cool tricks for the baseball scene planned originally but the budget wouldn’t allow it.

- Her past work includes 13, Lords of Dogtown, Nativity Story.

- Her current projects include Red Riding Hood and Hamlet.

- Red Riding hood is the idea of Leonardo DiCaprio to make a modern “Little Red Riding hood” but in a gothic, dark way.

- Red Riding Hood will star Amanda Seyfreid, Gary Oldman, Julie Christie, Shiloh Fernandez who a runner up for the role of Edward. She says we will love him.

- They designed the Cullen Crest for Twilight (it’s not in the book) and she is thrilled fans picked up on it and loved it. The lion represents strength and power and it was based on a necklace she owned.

- If she created a superhero it would be an Architect superhero who hates ugly buildings. Catherine’s background of course is in architecture.

- Creating a movie is like painting a picture or a piece of art, you must be alive in every moment, she's an interactive director and tries to bring that to the screen.

- Casting was fun. She basically brought Kristen to her house and told her she was bringing 4 cute guys over to audition, or essentially make-out with. She promised to provide mouthwash and gum for her. She said Rob was the last to audition and got “a bit wild” and “out of control” making out with Kristen in Catherine’s bed (which she still sleeps on but imagines it will sell for a lot on ebay one day ha ha) She said Rob fell off the bed a lot during the audition and during filming for that matter. Afterwards Kristen says “it has to be Rob” and Catherine had to re-watch to be sure but agreed instantly after seeing the play backs. Summit wasn’t sure because Rob came in and he was a bit “chubby” and “messy” and they called Catherine to say “Are you sure you can make this guy look good?” ha ha

- She said that she told Rob “don’t you dare get involved with her, she is a minor” and explained that being involved with an under-aged girl was illegal.

- She shared full size Edward cut-out doll stories with fans.

- To aspiring directors she says start small, get an audience, and go for it. She says she never made money on her first film which took 2 years of her life to make happen, but it opened up opportunities. She recognizes Hillywood for their efforts in making a go at it and doing it all themselves.

- She says she enjoyed doing Lords of Dogtown because it is a fun skateboard movie with tons of cute boys in long hair extensions, Heath Ledger who was so creative & amazing was in it and there were tons of cool angles.

- Heath was a very creative soul, during party scene he really took on his character!

- Catherine relates to Bella's awkward/clumsy demeanor, she thinks everyone can, She told a story about how at school she couldn't turn off water & flooded the school leading to being teased more. She just knows how it is to feel like an odd-ball and believes most people can and therefore relate to Bella’s character.

- She says that Kristen isn’t clumsy she’s actually an athlete (um, Catherine, who are you talking about? Sorry, I see Kristen as being clumsy and awkward as Bella. Maybe not tripping over tree stumps but dropping awards and stumbling over words…. But again, that makes her easier to relate to and lovable. Athlete? This is a surprise to me!)

- Catherine says she loves how actors brought characters to life and uses Anna Kendrick as an example of bringing so much more to Jessica

- A Fan asked if Stephenie Meyer disagreed with anything she wanted to do in Twilight. Catherine said Stephenie had been so busy writing Breaking Dawn and The Host at the time she only came to set about three times but she had certain rules for making the movie (such as you can’t randomly kill a character who isn’t supposed to be killed off) Catherine said Stephenie may have been shocked when she cast Edi Gathegi as Laurent but in the book he is described as having “Olive skin” and Catherine thought “there’s black olives” ha ha

- Catherine talks about auditioning actors and how sometimes people have such outrageous interpretations of roles and she actually bursts out laughing, though she tries not to. By the same token, those outrageous interpretations can bring a role to life or stand out and get you an amazing part.

- Catherine was talking about Kristen’s amazing acting ability and joked “We may hate her because she is with rob, but she does a great job” [I got a lot of angry tweets about this but it could be taken many ways so try not to freak out ok?]

- Catherine talked a lot about the movie 13. This was my favourite part of her discussion because I absolutely loved the movie 13 and have so admiration for Nikki Reed because of it.

- 13 was written in 6 days with Nikki Reed over school break based on Nikki’s life

- Nikki was having issues and Catherine tied to draw out her creative side by taking her surfing, to draw, go to museums, but Nikki wanted to act. There went to acting classes and read books on acting but there were no serious roles for 13 year olds and Nikki simply wasn’t the Disney kid type so they decided to write their own part for her.

- While writing about the distractions and the ebb and flow of teenaged life Catherine witnessed the real roller coaster of emotions that exist at that age. She spoke about how while writing Nikki’s phone would go off (as a distraction) from friends calling and she’d be happy and excited and then the next moment it would go off and she’s be enraged or in tears. They tried to capture that reality in the script.

- She thinks 13 worked because it was specific and reached out to a certain group. She says sometimes if you make a movie that is too general it may not appeal to anyone. 13 was specific and thinks Nikki Reed and her family were so brave to let it happen.

- A question came from a local tabloid writer / paparazzi who had bought a ticket to the conference. She asked about the rumored salary dispute with Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz.

It was high inappropriate to ask Catherine Hardwicke who has nothing to do with the project about that topic, especially at a fan event. What was worse was she mispronounced Kellan’s name.

Catherine was very diplomatic and kind enough to answer a question that has nothing to do with her. She explained that it was probably a complicated issue and often in movies things get messy during negotiations. She talked about how there are many people involved. Of course shortly after the event it was announced that everything was signed and done over the weekend anyways.

My thought is it was simply normal movie negotiations with some leaks to try and push people to settle quickly. I was shocked to hear such an absurd question at a fan convention and even more shocked to learn this lady was upset with people reporting on what was said because it was “her story” – some people never cease to amaze me at how cut-throat and insane they can be….

It was a public Q&A at a FAN convention, I wish they had a more thorough screening process!!!

Overall it was a great Q & A besides the last bit. Sigh


D. Scully said...

Loved Catherine Hardwicke. She was probably my favourite of the weekend. As female directors in Hollywood are rather a small group, I knew that this Q&A session would be a personal highlight. She was so generous, gracious, open and sweet - really a top person. When the question was asked about the salary dispute, I felt awful as it really put her on the spot and wasn't even a question asked by a fan. Catherine handled it so well but was saddened that someone could just walk into a convention, purchase a ticket and ask that type of question. It was very unfair.

PS-I was unbelievably thrilled when my question about what she would change about Twilight was selected-happy dance in my chair. I am such a film geek :)

Anonymous said...

If I recall you also tweeted she said Rob wanted Kristen even when she was a minor..Im guessing you omittted that out of Respect for R/K?

Mandy's Mind said...

To Anonymous - You recall correctly, and it is included in my summary if you read carefully... Catherine said to Rob not to get involved with Kristen because she was a minor and it's illegal - - -

Anonymous said...

No I'm sorry ..I did'nt see where you included it..she made two different being she told Rob not to get involved with K as she was a minor..the other being directly from her mouth that Rob wanted Kristen even knowing she was a minor..I'm just trying to clarify exactly what she said..

Mandy's Mind said...

I don't recall her saying or me tweeting that he wanted her anyways - - - ??? I obviously am human and may have missed something but If I didn't include it it is because I didn't hear it.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't you ask her about what Lainey mentioned, about Catherine being approached to fix Breaking Dawn????

Mandy's Mind said...

To Anonymous (I recently re-allowed anonymous comments again only with IP Tracers, we shall see how it goes)

I didn't ask her any questions. I just enjoyed tweeting what I could for those who couldn't be there.