FORKS — The “Twilight Saga” movies may not have been filmed on the North Olympic Peninsula, but local sites are getting their fair share of camera time from the droves of media talking about the phenomenon.
NBC’s “Today” show on Monday and Tuesday was filming locales that star in Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling Twilight and its three sequels.
Neil Conklin, owner of Bella Italia at 118 E. First St., in Port Angeles, showed off his restaurant for the “Today” show spot.
He said that the producers tell him that it might air as early as Friday.
Mike Gurling, office manager of the Forks Visitor Center, said the producers also mentioned the piece might air closer to the Nov. 20 release of the second film in the series, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.”
Neither “Twilight” nor “New Moon” were filmed in the North Olympic Peninsula, despite Forks and Port Angeles being the setting for the books.
The books and the movies weave a tale of adventure and romance about Bella Swan, a mortal teenager, and vampire Edward Cullen — and the love triangle created when her best friend Jacob Black makes a bid for her heart in the second novel of Meyer’s four-book series.
Thousands of fans have visited Forks — more than 70,000 this year — to see the setting of Meyer’s vampire books.
Took the tour
Gurling said that NBC correspondent Lee Cowan and producer Karen Lucht interviewed Forks Chamber Executive Director Marcia Bingham during the Twilight Tour put on by Dazzled by Twilight, a Twilight souvenir shop at 61 N. Forks Ave., in Forks, which has a branch in Port Angeles, at 135 E. First St.
Dazzled by Twilight sells movie and book merchandise and also organizes tours of Forks for fans.
“I also just heard back from them that they are going to use the trivia tests I developed as a tie-in with the show,” Gurling said.
Gurling developed detailed quizzes which were created to stump fans.
“The best part was when Karen said, ‘Apparently I know nothing about Twilight,’ because the questions had her stumped, even though she has read most of the books,” Gurling said.
Conklin said he also has had a host of cameras through the restaurant — where Bella and Edward have their first date — including CBC, Italian Vanity Fair and ABC.
“It has been a lot of fun to have excited young women in here — when NBC was here filming, there were two women from Salt Lake City who were absolutely glowing,” Conklin said.
“We have stayed busier than we’ve ever been, but it has slowed down a bit due to the season.”
In Forks this summer and fall, the chamber had contact with several media outlets, including the BBC, People Magazine, The New York Times, the Reelz Channel, MSN, the British Daily Mail andDetails Magazine, Gurling said.
ABC News also is planning a segment on the rainy town, the restaurant and other sites, Gurling said.
__________Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.