'Eclipse' DVD: David Slade answers five burning questions

David-SladeImage Credit: Kimberley FrenchThe Twilight Saga: Eclipse hits DVD and Blu-ray on Dec. 4. After watching the special features, we had a few burning questions, which director David Slade (pictured, with Kristen Stewart) happily fielded.

1. Why doesn’t he do a commentary track? Slade is obviously well-represented in the feature-length making-of documentary and introduces and provides context for deleted and extended scenes, but he’s not on either of the two commentary tracks over the movie — he leaves those to Stephenie Meyer and producer Wyck Godfrey, and Stewart and Robert Pattinson (she’s in Montreal, jealous that he’s in L.A. eating In-N-Out). “It’s a choice I made after doing my first ever and last ever commentary on my first film Hard Candy,” he says. “I did a commentary for that and found it such an unsatisfactory experience, personally, that I vowed never to do it again, because I’m not very good at it. You work for a year-and-a-half, two years, however long it is on a film, and it’s a very personal experience as well as a very public experience. There’s so much catharsis that goes into it, and then you end up sitting in a little room and you reduce what was an intense amount of work down to a crappy, silly little anecdote usually. ‘It was raining that day.’ [Laughs] I just found it to be really disheartening, and, like I say, I’m not really good at it. I didn’t do one for my second film [30 Days of Night] either.”

2. Listening to Stephenie and Wyck’s commentary, you hear a lot of the discussions that went on on-set, like debating how Jacob should kiss Bella both times, and you realize what a collaborative experience making a Twilight film must be. Is that helpful or more challenging as a director? “If you’re in sync with everybody, the collaboration is second nature. What you’re doing is looking for the best ideas and utilizing them. Certainly there is a lot of collaboration, but there is also a lot of clarity that has to be had in the vision that you have for the film when you come in as the director. Without that, there’s no bullseye to be aiming for,” he says. “There’s all kinds of things that we can discuss, but at the end of the day, I’m the guy that has to go off and get the shot… Film is always a fight because you’re the person, as the director, with a clear picture in your head of what you think is really exciting, and you’re just trying to convince a bunch of other people to buy into that. That’s always gonna be a tough ride, particularly when there’s two very successful films that have gone beforehand. There’s a tendency to think safely. ‘We have something that works. Why would we change this or that?’ Anything that was changed, they took lots of discussion. But there was nothing that was like everybody disagrees. There were only discussions to get to a point where everybody was comfortable.” One example: The shattering vampires in Eclipse. “I was really fascinated with the pathology of the creatures. There’s one thing to write something from an emotional place when she imagined it, a dream of a man who’s made of diamonds, which is now the mythology and the lore that goes into how she describes Edward Cullen. But then to me, well, that’s esoteric. I have to make something really tangible. So let’s get pathological, let’s figure out why do they shine, and therefore what are they made of, and therefore why do they break?,” Slade says. “There was a certain balance that had to be struck between a really great visual image and also what would work for Stephenie. One of the things I remember was the size of the pieces. You couldn’t have biscuit-size pieces around because people might find them. Which is fair enough. We would have to then adapt our effects work to make sure there were no biscuit-size pieces. There were big chunks that broke off that could all be found and burned, because in the books, of course they continue to live. They’re not inanimate, those little pieces will crawl around, which we took cinematic license not to do.”

3. Why don’t we see all the deleted scenes described in the commentaries on the DVD? Stewart describes the first thing she shot on the movie — a “fairly ridiculous” sequence in which she imagined herself in the fireside flashback as the Quileute elder chief’s third wife, who stabbed and sacrificed herself to distract the vengeful female vampire attacking the village. Meyer and Godfrey describe people laughing when they saw it. Understandable that they would choose not to include it. Ditto the scene Bella imagined after her kiss with Jacob on the mountain. She saw them having grown old together. “There were a lot of issues with prosthetic makeup,” Slade says with a groan, then a laugh. “It gives me a bit of a shiver, as a filmmaker. As an idea, it was wonderful. What happens with a film is it becomes organic and it grows, and it tells you what it wants, and it was screaming loudly, ‘I don’t want that!’ to me.” Another scene described in the commentaries never actually got shot. “Stephenie really wanted to see Edward as a young man again, and we had this vision scripted for a while where Bella and he are together in Victorian times, as a kind of reverie,” Slade says.

4. Did he ever toss a grape into Taylor Lautner’s mouth between takes? The making-of documentary occasionally breaks into “Taylor Time” (there’s even a graphic) during which we see Lautner having fun on-set. Slade’s assistant and Stewart are seen throwing grapes that Lautner catches in his mouth from a good distance away. Did the director ever partake in that game? “Not me,” he says. “I watched in astonishment and photographed him backflipping from a standstill, which he does. I also got to witness how he terrorized, in a very good-natured way, the bodyguards that were hired to make sure that they were all fine. He would play practical jokes on them all the time. It was quite a lot of fun.”

5. Why don’t we get a blooper reel on the DVD? Kristen and Rob talk about how people fell a lot on the fake snow. That, for instance, we would have liked to have seen. “We had a blooper reel, but I think people were pretty potty-mouthed,” Slade says. “I think you can put that down to bad language.”

For more of December’s big events, check out EW’s monthly calendar.

Read more:
‘Twilight Saga: Eclipse’ leads People’s Choice nominations

Comments (47 total) Add your comment
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  • stephanie

    I really like Jacob but it’s incredibly frustrating to watch the movies knowing what happens in the end.

    • Carol

      I agree. I felt that way about Titanic. You knew it wasn’t a happy ending! The boat sinks and lots of people die.

      • KS

        WHAT?!?!?!? Well thanks a lot. That’s ruined.

      • ann

        haha! thanks KS, needed that. :)

    • Chris

      Jacob is an over aggressive douche with anger management issues. I still can’t believe Meyer created someone like that as a viable love interest to someone like Edward Cullen.

      • rawn

        I compeletely agree! I knew he and bella woudnt get together. I like the movie a bit, but I just think that Jacob’s character gets more and more frustrating throughout the series. People are mostly team Jacob because of his looks, I can’t wait ’til they see the breaking dawn movie.

      • Carrie

        I totally agree. I found Jacob extremely annoying.

      • Bonk

        Jacob is Edward’s love interest!?!?
        Twilight suddenly got a little more interesting.

      • Shani

        and Edward Cullen doesn’t have issues? a push over, control freak, overprotective, stalker?

      • Kierstyn

        wtf are u talking about jacob is only like that way is because he is trying to get the girl he loves, edward it the weird creeper

      • Anna

        i tottally agree with you! people need to see past the looks! (of jacob) they mainly think his hot cause they havent read the books…his even worse in the books. im not surpised they dont show how bad he is on the screen :/

      • Alisha

        i Totally agree that Edward is the Creeper and seriously..sparkling vampires what a load of crock..i am totally Team Emmett for the most part but still i can’t picture him sparkling..that’s alittle gay also for the love interest yes Edward is better but i TOTALLY love Jacob and Bella together even tho i know how it ends..i still love Jacob..i would be pissed to if my love (till the end)wanted to be a cold dead thing instead of alive and that you love rival was a cold dead thing..even tho i do like Edward but to tell the truth Robert Pattinson is UGLY

      • Ritadel

        I agree about jacob but I also find that he makes for an interesting character at times but it was completely obvious from the begining that bella was gonna choice edward

      • foxxtalltrees

        And you don’t find Edward passive aggressive creepy and obsessive? True Jacob was a bit of pain but he was suffering AND let’s not forget Miss Missy Bella wanted her cake (and, pie and ice cream too) because he tried to walk away and she would let hum go.

  • Emily

    Even if some of those scenes described were fairly ridiculous, it still would have been interesting to have them on the DVD as deleted scenes. I can see how they would pose problems. Probably didn’t put them on there out of embarassment. haha. Also, I would have loved to see this blooper reel. Swearing probably makes it all the more hilarious.

    • ylena

      Yes I agree we need the bloopers! Bloopers are always fun. U get to see the fun side on the set too. Besides we aren’t all under 14 years old. There’s nothing wrong w/ a sailor’s mouth just makes it more funny.

  • pola

    I love Eclipse DVD :)

  • Ashley G

    I hope we get to see the blooper real at some point! They could atleast put it up online somewhere

    • flo

      i really think they put all the blooper…people always swear even the younger fans

  • Krystal

    I agree especially since not all of the fants are 12 years old. There are some fans that are older who can handle some good cursing.

  • Karate Pants

    But do we get the deleted scene of Rosalie sailing down the hall in her wedding gown as she goes to kill Royce King? Hope so!

    • wino

      hope so too. that was the best flashback in the book. too bad the movie was edited in such a way that it glossed over Rolalie’s story.

      • Karate Pants

        Agree – but on the other hand, I LOVED that the movie took Riley’s story to a level that the book didn’t touch. He became one of my favorite characters to watch.

    • StewyFan

      I still don’t understand why that wasn’t in the movie.

  • Chris

    This movie was relatively good. I’m only buying the DVD for the Rob/Kristen commentary though.

  • mulan

    I would love to see or read a story about the character Jasper- I must admit my sister took me to see this movie, she a big fan who read all the books and the who thing was not my thing, until I got a little look into Jasper past and I was impress, this women have a huge story there and she should run with it

  • anti

    trash and flat and a joke, stick to the book, since summit and stephanie are just after the money

    • Carrie

      Huh?

    • Me

      agreed

  • deb

    I hope Breaking Dawn is not going to be the Jacob show again.Like Twilight, hated New Moon and loved Eclipse. Can’t wait until BD.

  • StewyFan

    Flashbacks always make me cringe when it comes to the Twilight films. The only thing that I imagine them looking like is the “frolicking” scene from New Moon, which was beyond stupid and ridiculous, especially the wardrobe. If they end up doing any flashbacks of young Edward in BD, please let the wardrobe be better.

    • earthbender101

      The director of new moon hated himself for putting Alice’s vision of Bella as a vampire in the movie. When he found out that people laughed at it, he wished he would have just done a close up of her eyes as a newborn vampire for it instead. People should stop making fun of it. Its not even that bad. I thought it was fine and if you guys read the books, which you should have if you’re on this site commenting, when Bella wakes up as a vampire she is wearing a light dress that Alice put on her because when she was turned into a vampire, she was naked. You would know why if you read Breaking Dawn.

      • Shoegal2547

        CW blamed Rob for the laughter…not fair. I thought the Bella character was fine, but the clothing for Edward was beyond silly.

      • TeamRomeo

        Bella’s post transformation dress was ice blue silk and she was wearing stilettos. After seeing it a couple of times the frolicking scene was less annoying on DVD than in the theater. But, having said that, Alice would never have let Bella wear the clothes she wore in that scene.

  • StewyFan

    And another thing, DS, why couldn’t we have had the curse words muted out? It’s not like the Twilight fans don’t know that R and K are potty mouths. :)

  • Cat

    Stop thinking the movies should be pre-teen friendly! If they hear someone cuss who cares? They obviously read Breaking Dawn which is alot more adult than a swear word. They could have put a warning

    • Me

      EXACTLY. The books are for young adults not pre-teens. Obviously if parents let their 12 year old read them then they can handle the PG13/R rating of a movie.Heck, most PG13 movies should be rated R anyway.

    • Maymboharrorm

      i0p0409

  • me

    You didn’t know that Edward and Jacob got together in the end? The whole tent scene kind of ignited it, they’re expecting werepires in the near future.

  • Madison

    i think that anyone who really knows Kristen and Rob from other interviews would know that they curse a lot. and the youngder viewers don’t have to watch itt!! i think the bloopers shouldve been put in

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