The clouds are low, the sky is grey and moody. It’s a perfect day for the vampires to come out — or at least the cast and crew of New Moon, the follow-up to last year’s hit film Twilight.

Young fans surrounding Burnaby Park in Vancouver are the borderline between the real world and the one conjured up by Stephenie Meyer, author of the popular Twilight book series.

Within the lush emerald landscape, Hollywood is hard at work. While caterers are preparing snacks and warm drinks for the 80 teenage extras, director Chris Weitz is preparing to film the first sequence of the day. “Action!” he finally yells, and another long day of shooting begins.

As the extras disperse and pretend to be heading toward the makeshift school building, Kristen Stewart, reprising her role as Bella, is greeted by her four best friends singing her happy birthday as she gets out of her truck.

“Cut! Let’s do it again!” yells Weitz. After shooting the scene three times, the director asks for one more, “just for safety.” And it’s in the can. The enormous crew huddles around, preparing for the next sequence.

This time, Taylor Lautner joins Stewart on set. This scene is crucial — and so is Lautner’s character, Jacob, in this second instalment in the series.

In Twilight, he was Bella’s friend and a shoulder to cry on; in New Moon, with her love Edward gone away, the two become closer and he reveals some surprising facets of himself, including supernatural powers and a very muscular body for which the actor trained for months.

Ready? Action! Jacob fastens a necklace on Bella. “It catches bad dreams,” he tells her. But Bella only dreams of Edward, played by Robert Pattinson. The British actor is leaning nearby on a car, a figment of Bella’s imagination. She is continually haunted by memories of this impossible love.

As the cameras roll for the third take, Lautner forgets his lines. “Sorry, I’m totally lost,” he laughs. “Cut, reset!” orders Weitz. The cast had a 5 a.m. wake-up call. Lautner outdoes himself in the fourth take. “That was my favourite!” enthuses the director.

The heavy atmosphere of the Vancouver weather seems to temporarily lift as lunch break is declared. Even vampires get hungry, and Pattinson joins us for a quick bite and chat. In full vampirical make-up and sporting yellow contact lenses, we almost expect him to bite us instead of his food.

His role is minimal in New Moon, yet crucial nevertheless, as we see in the next sequence.

Stewart, standing on a platform to reach up to the tall actor, leans in for a kiss. Is it real or is Bella’s imagination playing tricks on her again? Fans will have to wait until the movie’s November release to find out.

– This is the first in Metro’s five part look at New Moon. Tomorrow we chat with actor Taylor Lautner who plays Jacob Black in New Moon.