The 'New Moon: Illustrated Companion' Gets Our Full Review + We Share A Few Of The Best Secrets We Learned

There's something about "The Twilight Saga: New Moon: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion" (released yesterday) that reminds me of shaking neatly wrapped presents on Christmas Eve. Perhaps it's knowing that a little rattle might clue me in to the treat that's yet to come.

The "Movie Companion" is a glossy, 141-page behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the Saga sequel, complete with never-before-seen shots (The muffin scene! The three-way date scene, which you can see a pic of after the jump!) that we've heard so much about on the blogosphere. The narrative starts with then ensuing fandemonium after the release of "Twilight," next delving into the selection of director Chris Weitz for the sequel, then whizzing through location scouting, makeup and special effects, ending with the promise of "Eclipse."

For any movie buff (and especially any rabid Twilighter) the "Movie Companion" is an engrossing read—a glimpse into the minds and motivations behind "New Moon." (Now I understand how telepathic Edward feels!). Though there's too much good stuff to rehash here, we've bitten off our five favorite revelations for you to chew on:

1. According to screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, one of the only scenes translated word-for-word from novel to screenplay is Bella's opening dream sequence in which Edward is forever young and Bella is an old woman.

2. Eschewing the cold blue cast of "Twilight," director Chris chose a golden color palette to represent the warmth of the wolf pack. (You might have noticed in the trailer that it looks like forever autumn in Forks this time around). Chris took his visual cues from Victorian painters. "The Victorian period itself was romantic and sentimental, much in the way of Stephenie Meyer's novels," Weitz said.

3. One complication for the production crew was recreating the now-iconic structures and locations from the first movie once production moved from Portland, Ore. to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. For the Cullen home, location scouts looked for a house with similar qualities — lots of windows, large open floor space, clean lines, and a forest exterior. They then "cheated" the shots, placing them in different parts of the home than we'd seen before. For the Swan residence, set designers recreated the facade of the original house and used a soundstage for interior shots.

4. One specific invention for the film was a dream catcher that Jacob gifts Bella. According to the "Movie Companion," the dream catcher "stirs up emotions in all the major characters." "The bottom line," continued production designer David Brisbin, "is that the dream catcher within the story symbolizes exactly what the characters point to. Jacob says that it will catch bad dreams. Edward is irritated that his rival gives Bella an intimate gift, Charlie later expresses regret that it didn't keep on working."

5. Brisbin also had a hand in dreaming up the wolf pack tattoo (as seen above on Jacob's arm), which graces the arm of each shapeshifting Quileute. After visiting the tribe in Washington, Brisbin was influenced by one particular story that referenced "the twinning of the wolf character having to do with 'strength in togetherness.'" Vancouver tattoo artist Iesza Snowdon was then tasked with bringing the idea to fruition.

Click on any of the photos above to see get a closer up sneak peek of a few of the pages from the "Illustrated Companion."

Have you bought or read "The Twilight Saga: New Moon: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion"? What's your favorite behind-the-scenes tidbit? Does the book make you even more excited for the movie?