Exclusive Interview: Eric Leven Visual Effects Supervisor on THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE

     July 20, 2010

While speaking to actors about the movie they’re promoting is always great, if you really want to find out why certain decisions were made behind the scenes, you’ve got to talk to the filmmakers and the crew that worked on the movie.  And that’s why I think fans of the Twilight movie franchise are going to enjoy my interview with Eric Leven from Tippett Studios.  Because during our extended conversation, Leven (who was the visual effects supervisor on The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) discussed why the wolf effects were done a certain way, the difference between Chris Weitz and David Slade on the look of New Moon and Eclipse, is Tippett Studios working on Breaking Dawn, and we also talked about 3D and other projects like Priest and Immortals.

While the entire interview is really interesting as Leven is completely honest about why the wolves looked a certain way, the thing most fans are going to love is the very end of the interview.  That’s because he talks about the very limited Twilight collectibles that were made for the New Moon and the Eclipse crew.  If you’re a Twilight collector, I’m pretty sure you don’t have these.  Hit the jump to watch the interview.  It’s time indexed so you can watch the parts you’re interested in.

[Update: Tippett Studios has provided high-res images of the collectibles; check them out after the jump]

The Twilight Saga Eclipse movie posterEric Leven

  • He’s wearing a Cloverfield t-shirt
  • 1:15 – How involved was he in the visual effects on New Moon and Eclipse
  • 2:00 – Why were the effects in Eclipse so much better than New Moon
  • 3:00 – Explains that David Slade was not a fan of the Wolf effects in New Moon and how it was different in Eclipse
  • 3:55 – Did they have more time on Eclipse for the effects
  • 4:45 – David Slade talk and what a director does…
  • 5:25 – Explains how Chris Weitz on New Moon wanted the wolves eyes to have almost human eyes and how Phil Tippett was against that decision. Goes on to explain how on Eclipse they wanted to make them wolf eyes and how everyone was on board with that decision…except Stephenie Meyers.
  • 6:40 – How long do they have for the effects work
  • 7:45 – Do they use off the shelf software or is it proprietary software. They have a special fur tool
  • 8:30 – How big is the studio? How many people work there?
  • 9:00 – What was the most challenging part of Eclipse and did they have one shot that took forever
  • 10:40 – Are they working on Breaking Dawn
  • 11:30 – Have they already pitched Summit on how they’d do the effects in Breaking Dawn
  • 13:30 – What else are they working on. Talks about Priest, Cats and Dogs 2, Immortals
  • 14:30 – What work did they do on Priest and has he seen the footage. With the film going 3D, how did that change things
  • 16:30 – We talk about post converted 3D
  • 17:30 – Tarsem and Immortals talk
  • 18:10 – What is he working on right now
  • 18:40 – Does he have hard core Twilight fans in his life
  • 19:20 – Talks about the crew collectibles for Twilight New Moon and Eclipse – talks about how many they made and who gets them

Click on the image for a high resolution.



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