It was quite clear when I strolled up to Hall H a full hour before the Twilight screening, that I had underestimated something... well, everything about this movie. Clearly, my reading habits don't fall into that genre marked "young adult" and I was told that not even my nifty press badge would allow me to cut in line. Then, I actually saw how long the line was. The line was a human snake that wrapped around the grounds outside Hall H for more times than I'd like to remember. I got down there at 12:15 PM or so. I got into Hall H at 1:55 PM or so, and I consider that absolute luck itself.
Sure, Hall H can be packed with upwards of 6,000 people, but since they don't clear the hall between panels and since this book's popularity is so massive, I'm lucky that I even got to go inside, let alone sit down in an actual seat. Little did I know, that the madness had not yet even begun.
When the names were announced, Hall H turned into the equivalent of a TRL episode or perhaps a Justin Timberlake concert. That young-girl squeal reverberated the Hall's walls for nearly the entire duration of the panel. One only needed to mention Robert Pattinson's name, the star of the film, for these vocal tremors to start up again. Oh, to be young again.
Once all the dust was settled, there were the film's director, Catherine Hardwicke, the author of the novel series, Stephenie Meyer and actors Cam Gigandet (James), Kristen Stewart (Bella), Rachel LaFevre (Victoria), Edi Gathegi (Laurant), Taylor Launtner (Jacob) and, of course, Robert Pattinson (Edward)...(I would put that squeally sound effect in there but I really don't know how to spell it. You catch my drift though...).
It seemed that even this cast was a bit shellshocked by this boy-band-esque fervor for this movie. Most of the time, the cast couldn't give straight answers to questions because of the never-ending squeal-fest, which didn't bode well for online journalists trying to record the panel on a digital recorder.
We were shown a clip from the film, and, I must say, it does look pretty damn cool, actually. The scene involves Kristen Stewart's Bella under the magical grip of the vampire James, played by Gigandet, in quite a unique turn from what we're used to seeing him in. Naturally, Pattinson's Edward comes in to save the day (insert unknown SFX squeal here) and we see a nifty little magic duel between the two.
Let me put it this way. I went to the G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra panel, fully expecting there to be a huge line... which there wasn't. I wouldn't be surprised that was the case because everyone and their mom (we even saw proof of that when a self-proclaimed Twilight mom stepped up to the mic for a question) was waiting for this tentpole of a panel. While I didn't learn a whole lot about the film for this panel, I did learn two important things: Twilight will be an absolute smash hit at the box office when it hits theaters on December 12... and that I'm getting too old.