Seattle Times talked with Melissa – in advance of her appearance at a local New Moon DVD midnight release party – about her work on The Twilight Saga and her experience collaborating with Stephenie Meyer:
Q: Author Stephenie Meyer wrote a manifesto detailing how a screenwriter should adapt the books for the screen. How did you react to reading that?
A: The manifesto basically says, you have to adapt the book. [Stephenie] had an earlier experience before Summit optioned her first book with another studio. … They used it as a launchpad for a completely different story. She was so horrified by that, that when she optioned it to Summit, she also included that as part of her contract certain things, such as no canines of the vampires should be longer than normal human canines. … When I heard this, my fear was she’s trying to dictate to me what to do. Any writer would bristle at that, but when I saw the manifesto, I would do that anyway.
Q: How closely did you work with Meyer?
A: With each movie, we’ve gotten closer. … On the first movie, I kept my process private. But then as I got to know her, I realized that was completely unnecessary, because she is incredibly collaborative, fluid and not precious about her work … With “New Moon,” she read all the drafts, but with “Eclipse,” I asked her to read the outline, which was very unusual. It’s very risky. It’s very early. That’s where I do a great deal of my work. … That’s when you’re structuring the story and deciding what’s in, what’s out, what’s invented, all that.
Read the full Q&A here, including her thoughts on Breaking Dawn.