By Kristin Jackson
You don't need to travel far to enter the Twilight zone. Just head to Vancouver, British Columbia, where Eclipse, the third in the wildly popular vampire-love movies based on the Twilight novels, was filmed.
The book, by Stephenie Meyer, is set mostly in Forks and La Push on Washington's Olympic Peninsula and in Seattle. But the movie, which opened Wednesday, was filmed in locations around Vancouver, from downtown streets to densely wooded suburban parks that substitute for places in Washington state.
Fans have been tracking down Eclipse filming locations since last summer and fall when the movie was shot. The film company, Summit Entertainment, wouldn't release details on locations. However, the online fan community buzzed with swooning tales of Eclipse star sightings and shooting locations in Vancouver.
Once they've seen the movie, even more "Twihards" are expected to trace the characters' footsteps - and love and battle scenes - in Vancouver.
Eclipse is a teen heartthrob triangle centered on a good vampire (hunky, moody Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson), a good werewolf (hunky, chest-baring Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner) and a so-far human girl (sultry, angst-ridden Bella Swan, played by Kristen Stewart).
In Eclipse, Bella is caught in love and friendship between Edward and Jacob. To add to her woes, a bunch of bad "newborn" vampires - people who have just been bitten - want to rip her to shreds. Epic fights ensue in the forests around Forks, and the bloodthirsty newborns rampage murderously through Seattle.
For fans, the easiest way to see Eclipse film sites is to take a set-location tour. Several small Vancouver companies offer half-day or daylong van tours to filming locations from Eclipse and New Moon, the previous film in the Twilight series that also was shot in Vancouver. (The first film in the series, Twilight, was shot in Portland and southwest Washington; Vancouver sets for New Moon and Eclipse were made to look the same as those in the first film, including a fabricated version of Bella Swan's home that's now dismantled.)
Vancouver Set Tours is one of the companies offering van tours to publicly accessible locations used in the films.
"We've got people from Australia, England, Mexico, Brazil, and of course Americans and Canadians," said 29-year-old guide Mandy Anderson.
"It's really neat after you see the film to see the locations," said Anderson, a big fan of the Twilight series. "And we can take people to the exact spot in the forest where they shot a scene, show them where the actors were standing, the camera angle."
Similar tours are offered by On Location Tours. Christine Kilpatrick, a 40-something Twilight fan ("I've read all the books at least twice"), runs the company. She shepherds up to a dozen guests by van to Eclipse or New Moon filming locations that are not on private property.
Ardent fans, who categorize themselves as Team Edward or Team Jacob, can customize tours according to which character they love best, said Kilpatrick, who also includes Vancouver sights on her 6-1/2-hour movie-set tour. "I just had a family of four who drove all the way from Arkansas to take the tour," said Kilpatrick.
Eclipse sites on the tour range from the ramshackle home of Jacob to spots in the woods where vampires, werewolves and Bella kissed and ran and battled. Kilpatrick will take visitors up on Mount Seymour, a 4,700-foot peak just north of Vancouver, where a love-triangle scene in a tent in the woods was filmed.
Here's a rundown on some Eclipse filming locations that can be seen from public streets or in parks, gleaned from tour guides and online fan sites.
- David Thompson Secondary School, Vancouver: This high school in south Vancouver serves as Forks High School in the movie. It's Bella Swan's school, and cafeteria and classroom scenes were shot there. 1755 E 55th Ave., Vancouver. dt-online.vsb.bc.ca
- Belcarra Regional Park, Port Moody: Outdoor scenes were shot in the woods and lakes of this 2,700-acre park in the Vancouver suburb of Port Moody. In the film, newborn vampires spookily emerge from the water - said to be the park's Sasamat Lake. "I know the lake well," said Vancouver Set Tour's Anderson, who saw the Eclipse movie in June in a Los Angeles preview. "It's where my husband proposed to me," she said. www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regionalparks/Pages/Belcarra.aspx
- New Westminster: The newborn vampires rampage murderously through Seattle in the novel. In the film, the town of New Westminster, about a half-hour drive east of Vancouver, is used for such scenes, including the Fraser River waterfront that edges downtown. (Parts of New Moon also were filmed in New Westminster, in the Front Street area.) www.newwestcity.ca
- Gastown, Vancouver: Parts of Gastown, a historic district of downtown Vancouver with brick buildings, cobbled streets and spooky alleys, substitute for Seattle in the film.
- Port Coquitlam: Outdoor scenes were shot in and near Minnekhada Regional Park in suburban Port Coquitlam, including a climactic fight scene, said Kilpatrick of On Location Tours.
In the park, Gilley's Trail was closed to the public during filming. Nearby, a ramshackle red house served as the home of werewolf leader Jacob Black. (In the Twilight novels, Black's home is in the Olympic Peninsula village of La Push.) www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks_lscr/regionalparks/Pages/Minnekhada.aspx
Revisit 'New Moon'
For Twilight fans who want to go back in time, locations used in filming New Moon, the previous film in the series, included a luxury home and movie theater.
A West Vancouver home served as the glossy, elegant pad of the Cullens, Edward's vampire family. The film-set house at 118 Stevens Drive, in the upscale British Properties neighborhood, is for sale for about $3 million. Real estate agent Jason Soprovich said the house has been "incredibly popular" with drive-by fans. Access is strictly controlled, but there are photos at www.soprovich.com/home40.html.
In Vancouver, the old-style Ridge Theatre (3131 Arbutus St.) serves as the Port Angeles theater where Bella goes to the movies. www.festivalcinemas.ca
If You Go
'Twilight'-themed tours in Vancouver, British Columbia
Several small companies offer tours of movie locations in Vancouver, including places on public property where Eclipse and New Moon were filmed. (For legal reasons they don't use the movies' titles.)
On Location Tours: A 6-1/2-hour tour costs $169 (Canadian) per adult, with discounts for children 12 and under and for groups of four or more. www.onlocationtoursvancouver.com or (778) 549-1774.
Vancouver Set Tours: A four-hour tour is $199 (Canadian) per person. www.vancouversettours.com
Forks and La Pushsites and tours
- Forks, Wash.
The movie Eclipse will help bring more fans to Forks, the Olympic Peninsula town that's the main setting for the novels and films. The Twilight saga has been a boon for Forks in the past few years, with Twihards filling motels and snapping up Twilight-themed memorabilia, from sweat shirts and mugs to the Bella Burger at a hamburger joint.
Twilight map, guidebook: For an interactive map showing Twilight-linked sights around Forks, La Push and Port Angeles, see www.forkswa.com/twilight. Twilight Tours - The Illustrated Guide to the Real Forks is sold through the website for $11.95.
Tours: Various companies offer Twilight-themed tours and hotel packages in and around Forks, including Dazzled by Twilight, with tours of the books' Olympic Peninsula locations: dazzledbytwilight.rezgo.com/tour. Clipper Vacations offers a self-guided two-night package to Port Angeles, Forks and La Push: www.clippervacations.com/wa_state/packages
- La Push, Wash.
The oceanfront village of La Push, home to Jacob Black and his werewolf pack, lies within the Quileute reservation west of Forks. See www.quileutenation.org for information for visitors and traditional Quileute legends and tales. There's also a Quileute online store with some Twilight-type merchandise, including a Quileute wolf charm bracelet. www.quileute-store.com