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The Final Chapter In The Phenomenon Begins
The Twilight Saga film series stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner and tells the story of 17-year-old Bella Swan who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington to live with her father, and becomes drawn to Edward Cullen, a pale, mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together…even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires. To complicate matters, Bella's best friend Jacob Black is a werewolf, designed solely to kill vampires.

The action-packed, modern day vampire love story Twilight, the first film in the series, was released in theatres on November 21, 2008 to a blockbuster reception. The second installment, The Twilight Saga: New Moon was released November 20, 2009, and the third film, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, followed quickly on June 30, 2010. The three movies have grossed over $1.8 billion in worldwide ticket sales.

The films continue to set subsequent home entertainment records as well: The Twilight Saga: New Moon sold over 4 million DVD units in its first weekend of release in March of 2010 - a tally surpassing Twilight, which sold 3.8 million DVD units in its first weekend in 2009, and went on to be the top selling DVD title of the year with 9.2 million units sold. With each release, thousands of retail locations nationwide take part in midnight release events for insatiable Twilight fans, who are eager for more of the continuing story. With the home entertainment release of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the franchise has now sold more than 25 million DVD/Blu-ray units in the U.S. alone.

As in the book, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 sees the three main characters continue on their journey into adulthood, beginning during the busy final days of preparations for the wedding of Bella and Edward. "At the end of Eclipse, we leave them in the meadow talking about the impending wedding. We begin Breaking Dawn with everyone that we've come to know receiving invitations. Bella and Edward are in different stages of night-before-the-wedding jitters, and then we embark right into the wedding of the century,” explains producer Wyck Godfrey, who has worked on all the films in the series. "Then we go off to Brazil, where they spend their honeymoon on Isle Esme and then problems occur, as they do in any marriage… in this case, an unexpected pregnancy. By the end of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, Bella will no longer be single, will no longer be childless, and will no longer be human.”

With this installment, the saga explores more adult themes like marriage and family, and what you would do to protect those you love unconditionally. "I've always liked stories where the characters get to grow up. I didn't like them when they were frozen in one period, where you have this person who's always the same age and doing the same things,” explains series author Stephenie Meyer. "I loved Anne of Green Gables - that she grew up, got married, and had six kids. Then her kids grew up and got married… it feels like life. There's progression. So I always intended to take the Twilight story through the generations. When I first got started, I loved what I was doing so much, it was such a beautiful creative release that I saw myself just going on through the generations and writing about them forever. I didn't ever want to quit.”

Meyer adds, "Eclipse also ends with Jacob's heartbreak and running off into the woods. Bella commits herself to Edward… he was always the answer for her. During all of the fun getting ready for the wedding in Breaking Dawn, Jacob doesn't know exactly where he is. He runs north to Canada and just lives like a wolf for a couple of months. Jacob's not gone for very long, because Bella and Edward are officially engaged in June, they get married August 13th and Jacob reappears at the wedding.”

Author Stephenie Meyer also takes on the role of producer for the final two installments of the film series, which were shot concurrently, and was on set on a daily basis throughout production. "It's really been a constant natural progression in terms of Stephenie's involvement, and our relationship has grown throughout the years. It's gone from spot visits on Twilight, to steady visits on New Moon and Eclipse, and now she's here full-time. I spend more time with Stephenie than I spend with my wife,” laughs Godfrey. "Our friendship is one that I cherish. The best thing about making movies is that it's summer camp for adults. You make these fast, strong friendships with people that will be there for the rest of your life.”

"Actually the producing I've done on these two films, hasn't been very different from what I've done on the past movies,” adds Meyer. "Really the producer title hasn't changed my role much. All along, I've been very much a part of the decision making process, while also having to compromise. But, it is different having to worry so much about the weather and are we going to be able to shoot tomorrow. That's a new experience.”

Godfrey agrees, "It's not been dissimilar to the role she played on the other films. Whenever we have questions about mythology, whether she was physically there or not, we were calling and emailing her. She's also looking at all the footage. Now she's just here in the moment when ideas come up. Stephenie's a good presence for the actors who sometimes have questions about their characters. Also, her knowledge of filmmaking has really expanded over these few years. The last three movies have really been her film school.”

Meyer again served as a resource for screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, a veteran of the entire film series. "Melissa has done an amazing job synthesizing these books into movies. From the very first book, she's carried us all the way through, and had the discipline while we're making one movie to really be buckling down on the next one, and forcing us to pay attention,” explains Godfrey. "I think that comes out of her experience in television keeping a show on track. Melissa really understands Stephenie's world and has a great relationship with Stephenie. She knows how to articulate what she's trying to do, and gets from Stephenie what is okay to lose and what to add. It's a strong unified partnership.”

Since the novel Breaking Dawn, with sections told from both Bella and Jacob's point-of-view, weighs in at a lengthy 754 pages, discussion began early in the process about splitting the dense story into two films. "When I read the book, that moment when Bella's eyes pop open and they're red, that just struck me,” states Rosenberg. "It was not so much an ‘ah ha moment' as it was ‘well that's obvious' moment. I just felt it was a natural breaking point at the transition from Bella's life as a human, to her life as a vampire and a parent. It's just two different worlds for her.”

"Initially, I sat down and broke both stories into an outline. We had to know that it would work in an outline form, before we even moved forward. The book was very big, but not quite two movies. There needed to be some expansion. So, it was really incumbent upon me to make sure that there were two movies in there. The pressure was quite something,” laughs Rosenberg. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 focuses on Bella creating her own family, and Part 2 is about protecting it. Rosenberg adds, "Part 1 is about leaving home. It's about growing up and really becoming an adult, becoming a wife, becoming a mother and becoming powerful… really owning your own power. It is coming of age really, b

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