Forks High School ready for its close-up in 'Twilight'

By Paige Dickerson, Peninsula Daily News

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FORKS - The aging high school building, described by author Stephenie Meyer in her Twilight series of teen novels, will be used in the movie version.

And the role of the lead character, Bella Swan, in the film will be played by popular actress Kristen Stewart.

A production crew from Los Angeles visited Forks in late November and confirmed that Forks High School will be the set for many of the school scenes for "Twilight," said Marcia Bingham, director of the Forks Chamber of Commerce.

The group from Summit Entertainment included James Lin, production photographer, and Dan Bishop, creative director, who scouted shooting locations for the movie version of the vampire novel that Meyer sets in Forks and the West End.

In Twilight, the first book of the series, the main character, Bella, is a teenage girl who leaves her mother's house in Phoenix to move in with her father, who is chief of police in Forks.

There, she meets exotic and enigmatic Edward Cullen - a vampire who becomes Bella's boyfriend - and his handsome vampire family, which refrains from the usual nocturnal stalking of humans.

Potential filming sites
Bingham and Forks Chamber Visitor Center director Mike Gurling took the studio group on a tour of potential filming sites.

"They took still photos of a lot of the places where they might film," Bingham said.

In addition to touring the school, the group visited the Forks Coffee Shop, Forks City Hall and Forks Community Hospital.

The crew took letterhead from the Forks Police Department so they can use the same logo on the movie's police cars.

Casting for the film continues.

Although some readings have been done for the part of Edward Cullen, no decision has been made on who will portray Bella's beau.

Although it is still uncertain how much of the film will be shot in Forks, two things are firming up - most of the school shots will be in Forks and most of the home shots will be in Portland, Ore.

"The Cullen house shots will be in Portland, and probably the Swan house too," Bingham said.

"Of course we wish that they could be here, but they tell us it is a money thing."

Portland selected
Originally Vancouver, British Columbia, was the primary contender against Forks for the movie set, but Portland will likely be the primary site for filming, with some of the scenery and other shots done in Forks.

"Even if most of it is not shot in Forks, it will still benefit us," Bingham said.

"People will know that it is set in Forks and recognize some of the landmarks from here."

Stewart has also played in "Panic Room," "The Messengers," "Zathura," "Fierce People," "Catch That Kid," "Undertow," "Cold Creek Manor" and "The Safety Of Objects."

The film, which begins production in February, will be directed by Catherine Hardwicke, with Melissa Rosenberg adapting the script.

"Twilight" has a tentative release date of next December.

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

Last modified: December 10. 2007 9:00PM
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