Stephenie Meyer more interesting than Robert Pattinson?

Despite all the hype over the actors in the Twilight movies, it seems fans rate them fairly low in importance. There are many movies where the opposite may be true, not least those with stars like Angelina Jolie or Brad Pitt.

.

Twilight-characters-win-over-actorsIn a poll on the fan website Team Twilight the overwhelming majority say it’s the Twilight characters they enjoy rather than the actors playing the parts. So far the poll has recorded over 3,000 votes which is many more than most public opinion polls. That level of response is also important in the context of a fan website as the result is so clear.

Bella, Jacob and Edward are the leads in the stories yet author Stephenie Meyer has clearly grabbed readers with their rich portrayals in the books while, it seems, the actors have not achieved the same appeal. As well as the leads the books also explode with other wonderful characters, from Victoria to the Voltari, not forgetting the vampire families and Jacob’s fascinating heritage.

Twilight-Taylor-Kristen-RobertOn the evidence of the two movies so far – Twilight and New Moon – it seems Taylor Lautner is doing the better job in his portrayal of Jacob. Kristen Stewart as Bella and Robert Pattinson as Edward have their fans but also a far greater level of criticism from many quarters, from fans to international movie critics.

The three leads are already signed for Breaking Dawn but maybe the suggestion of a new director will help raise their game. While they are good actors they are definitely not – yet – great. Perhaps Ashley Greene or Rachelle Lefevre will go on to become “better” actresses than Kristen. Time will tell but for now, Meyer’s characters win the popularity contest.

Is Twilight THE Social Media Phenomenon?

The enormous success of the Twilight saga – both as books and movies – may be one of the triumphs of the Social Media decade. There is no doubt the public have loved and supported the storylines and themes of author Stephenie Meyer.

The previous grouping of “the public” has now become crafted and marketed, so demographics and “points of entry” are very technical and focussed. The communication channels in the 21st Century are not really “the media” any more – television, radio, the press and parts of the web. All of these are now advertising vehicles (wrapped around some content).

The impact of Twilight is best seen in how the public have led and out-run the business sectors. The books and then the movies became best-sellers because of the way social communication has been assisted by technology.

    Twilight as a Social Media phenomenon

    Twilight as a Social Media phenomenon

First was the primary source and “old” way of passing on recommendations:

  • word of mouth

Then along came another way for the public to chat and recommend, which was totally unforeseen by the technologists and marketeers:

  • text messages

It is easy to suggest that texting, the process of passing on some information – especially “what I’m doing now” – helped or even demanded the next developments of Social Media:

  • blogs
  • tweets

The enormous importance of these 4 chat mechanisms can be seen in the viral and trending promotion of the Twilight saga. It was possible for everyone with an interest in the books or the theme to stay up-to-date – whatever that level of interest:

  • book release dates
  • author’s blog
  • movie rights acquired
  • casting of the actors
  • shooting schedules of the movies
  • official book and movie press releases
  • unofficial book and movie information

The books have a very strong theme which we could almost call Bella’s Torment and this is central to much of the emotional appeal of the storylines. Bella is just as unique as Edward or Jacob, albeit not as physically strong (until the last chapters).

Bella’s Torment is a powerful and well-developed aspect in the books, the sociological and psychological ramifications perhaps more important than the emotional ones. This is where the books and movies differ the most. The movies, perhaps geared more towards a teen audience, have chosen to glide softly over the deeper issues.

That difference does not matter really as you can now read, hear, view and discuss – via blogs, YouTube and hundreds of other online sites – every aspect of the Twilight saga. So if you want to know more about a character, a sub-plot or even the author’s new projects, everything is available online.

The media? Plural? Not any more. There is now the one, the only – the web! There can be only one …