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Breaking Dawn News – Breaking Dawn Part 1 Production Designer Talks to ‘Architectural Digest’ About Isle Esme House & the various sets in the movie

Thanks to Twilight Poison for the heads up!

We first saw the images of the Isle Esme house over a year ago and we posted pictures of the ‘House in Paraty’ because there were rumors circling that the house was going to be used in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 – and we thought it was perfect! And it was !

Architectural Digest Magazine has recently interviewed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1’s Production Designer , Richard Sherman and asked how he did his job in preparing the scenes in the movie.

AD: Did you change anything about the house?

RS: For the movie we actually created our own exterior—what’s visible when you approach the house by boat—in the visual effects department. What you see of the real house is the front door, the steps leading up to it, the veranda, and all those glass doors. I loved the interior. We made a big open kitchen and living room. Some of the scenes that take place inside the house were actually shot on soundstages in Louisiana, where we created a courtyard, a bathroom, and the bedroom where Edward and Bella spend their wedding night. It was a seamless set—you really couldn’t tell the difference between the house and our stages.

Sherman and his team re-created Edward and Bella’s fictional honeymoon destination, Isle Esme, on Saco do Mamanguá, a remote tropical fjord near Paraty, Brazil, accessible only by boat or helicopter. The house was designed by Thiago Bernardes of the architecture firm Bernardes + Jacobsen and was featured in the January 2011 issue of Architectural Digest.

A number of the scenes that take place inside the Brazil beach house were actually shot on sets—a bedroom, bathroom, and courtyard—built on a Louisiana soundstage. The production team’s challenge was to create a seamless transition between the house and the sets. “We see Edward and Bella arrive at the house at night,” Sherman says. “Then she walks through the living room, and the scene cuts to our set. You can’t tell the difference. It looks like a part of that house.” Photo: Andrew Cooper

Pivoting glass doors along the veranda span the entire length of the house, allowing breezes to pass through, while the double-height ceiling adds to the feeling of openness. Everything about the design is intended to enhance the architecture’s integration with the surrounding landscape.

Sherman also gave the Volturi castle—home to Aro (Michael Sheen, center) and Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower)—a new look for Breaking Dawn—Part 1. “That was fun for me as a production designer because we started with a big empty stage and ended up with a medieval castle.” But fans will have to wait until Part 2 comes out, in 2012, to see it fully. “Though we didn’t show too much of it in the first movie, you’ll see a lot of it in the second,” Sherman says.

AD: Were some of the sets recycled from previous movies, or are they all new?

RS: Bella’s house is the same. But we rebuilt the whole three-story set of the Cullen house in Louisiana on a soundstage, and we remade its exterior in the woods of Vancouver. We changed the interior decoration of the Cullen house subtly but completely. If you remember the original house well, you’ll notice that it is completely different. This has the same tone, but it’s a lot prettier. The other huge change is the castle of the Volturi, a group of vampires from the Roman Empire. The sets from the other movies kind of looked like—no offense to those art directors—the Four Seasons Hotel, with marble columns and sconces. So we built an old castle on stage.

AD: Basically the whole series has been building toward Bella and Edward’s wedding. What was your approach to designing such a momentous scene?

RS: The way Stephenie has written it in the book, it’s a very pretty wedding—it has the white path and the white chairs that are covered in white fabric. But Bill [Condon, the film’s director] and I thought, How can we make this truly special and unique? For the people who know the books and movies, this is the wedding of the century. So we created this very organic, whimsical, fairy tale–like atmosphere—A Midsummer Night’s Dream kind of thing—with benches and seating made of branches that came out of the ground and were covered in moss and flowers. The whole forest floor was covered in moss. The ceiling was dripping flowers.

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