Movie production group tours Forks, promises return visit
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Pam Nelson, pharmacy assistant, Catherine Hardwicke, who will direct a movie based on the teen novel Twilight, and Punki Goakey, pharmacy assistant, from left, show off a Forks souvenir available at Chinook Pharmacy during Hardwicke’s scouting tour of the North Olympic Peninsula. -- Photo by Diane Schostak

By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News

FORKS - Catherine Hardwicke, director of the yet-to-be filmed Twilight, declared to Forks that she would return.

"Forks, you are awesome," she told Forks residents and Washington State Film Office staff.

"We will be back, so prepare for glory."

Her words raised hopes that at least part of the movie would be filmed in Forks.

"I am more optimistic than I ever have been about this," said Diane Schostak, executive director of the North Olympic Peninsula Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Hardwicke was joined by three others from Summit Entertainment, which plans to make the film, on a tour of the North Olympic Peninsula last week.

The group was scouting locations for potential film sites for the upcoming movie.

The movie is to be based on a best-selling young adult novel, Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer, who also wrote two sequels - New Moon and Eclipse - which are all set in Forks.

In the novels, the main character, Isabella Swan, leaves Phoenix, where she lived with her mother, and moves in with her father, who is the Forks police chief.

There, Bella meets Edward Cullen, a vampire who becomes her boyfriend.

"We had all read the books recently and were all on the same page," said Suzy Kellett, director of the Washington State Film Office.

"I think they got to see everything they wanted to."

The film producers had hoped to begin the pre-production process in October, but that will likely be pushed back to the beginning of 2008, possibly even until March.

In addition to having more daylight hours, March would also provide more appealing greenery for the cameras to capture.

A large chunk of the film will be filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Kellett said.

The amount filmed in Forks would depend on the budget and how much of the local amenities the director is intent on capturing.

"Now they are crunching numbers and figuring things out," Kellett said.

Wants scenery
"I know that the director wants a production designer who is an architect by trade and is very visual, so they will want to take advantage of any scenery we can offer in Washington."

Hardwicke had mentioned that she is on the second round of scripts, adjusting and tweaking it to her standards, but that no casting had been pursued yet, Kellett said.

Schostak headed up the tours along with Kellett.

"Diane was a wealth of information," Kellett said.

"We all learned more about trees than anyone should know."

The group checked out downtown Port Angeles, Forks High School, LaPush, First Beach and Forks Community Hospital.

"Everywhere the group went, they were greeted warmly, and people went out of their way to show their appreciation for the book and the upcoming film production," Schostak said.

A portion of about four classrooms is not being currently used at Forks High School, so that portion of the building would be available for filming, said principal Kevin Rupprecht, who guided the group through the school.

"The buzz is up with the kids," he said.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or paige.dickerson@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: September 25. 2007 9:00PM
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