20 called back for Forks, ‘Twilight’ reality show; producer prepares to sell series to networks

FORKS — About 20 people might have a chance at TV stardom after a California producer called them back Wednesday for on-camera auditions.

Zig Gauthier, who owns Red Varden Studios of Los Angeles, wants to sell a television network on a reality show involving people who live in places mentioned in the Twilight series of novels: Forks, Port Angeles and LaPush.

Forks High School junior Taylor Ingram, one of the 120 people who tried out during the initial auditions at The Twilight Lounge in Forks, was thrilled to get a callback, along with about six friends from school.

“I’m not sure how I did,” she said. “I got a little bit nervous.

“All my friends, and every one I know who was hoping to make it, got called back, so that was really cool.”

Gauthier, who conducted initial auditions Tuesday and Wednesday before calling back a small group for more intensive interviews, was originally interested only in Forks residents and hoped to show the real Forks to those enamoured of the bestselling vampire novels.

He expanded auditions to include people from Port Angeles and LaPush.

Tuesday’s casting call drew about 70 people, while 50 showed up on Wednesday to fill out questionnaires and have their photographs taken.

By Wednesday’s end, Gauthier had called 20 for more intensive auditions. Most are from Forks, he said, although he wasn’t sure of the exact composition of the group.

He will use the video interviews to pitch a show to television network executives.

Several weeks

He said it could be several weeks before he knows anything more.

Although he was coy about the angle the show might take — at least while negotiations are ongoing — he said he was delighted with the turnout.

“It fulfilled my expectations, and I’m now thinking about the development, the different people I’ve met and how to package it into a possible television show,” he said.

“I’ve already spoken to a couple of networks, and I now have a better feel for the people in town, the characters that we have, and now it is all about doing the work.”

Forks High School

Ingram said Gauthier asked the students about Forks High School and how living in Forks has changed since Twilight became popular worldwide.

Since the release of the four books — Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, and the movies based on the first two books, fans have flooded rainy Forks to see the real-life locations of the books.

Tens of thousands of fans have been through town this year alone.

The books tell the story of Forks High School student Bella Swan and her suitors — vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black.

Dazzled employee

Dazzled by Twilight employee Rianilee Belles also got a callback.

Belles moved to Forks — with husband, Travis, in tow — last year after falling in love with the vampire series.

She now works at the store which specializes in merchandise related to Forks and Twilight.

She said she’s experienced with bit roles. She and her husband lived in Los Angeles where they often were audience members on television shows such as “Judge Judy” and also gave tours of famous Hollywood homes.

“I love doing stuff like this,” she said.

“Twilight has been such a big thing for Forks, and it is really time that the world sees what is really all about.

“People just have no idea how beautiful it is here until they get here.”

Gauthier plans to return to Los Angeles this week, and begin evaluating the audition tapes and determining how best to package the reality series.

He has compared the idea to “The Deadliest Catch” television show, which follows Alaska fishermen on the open seas.

In that series, the cameras observe everyday happenings, as opposed to game shows such as the reality series “Survivor” or semi-scripted dramas such as “The Hills,” which has become known for the antics of its characters.

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

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