Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black in the Twilight Saga's New Moon, talks to crew members at Incinerator Rock Friday, March 20, 2009
Kristin Stewart, who plays Isabella Swan in the Twilight Saga's New Moon,
walks down the beach at Incinerator Rock Friday, March 20, 2009
Kristin Stewart, third from right, who plays Isabella Swan in the Twilight Saga’s New Moon, took time Friday morning to meet Ucluelet teens Breckin Bird, left, Mackenzie Bird, Sierra Harvey, Laura Timmermans, second from right, and Jillian Edwards, far right.
Crews shoot the Twilight Saga's New Moon on Long Beach, inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Friday, March 20
Crews shoot the Twilight Saga's New Moon on Long Beach, inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Friday, March 20.
Laura Timmermans, a Grade 12 student at Ucluelet secondary school, met Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black in the Twilight Saga’s next movie New Moon, in the parking lot at Wickaninnish Beach Friday, March 20
Bill Bannerman, red coat, centre, co-producer of the Twilight Saga's New Moon, directs crew at Incinerator Rock inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
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TOFINO — Threatening skies, angry waves, pelting rain and howling winds drew cast and crew members of a popular movie saga about teenagers, vampires and love to this West Coast tourist mecca this week.
Filming of the Twilight Saga’s next movie, New Moon, wrapped up Friday evening after one full day of shooting inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, and participants had nothing but good things to say about the bad weather.
“The weather is perfect for us: rainy, dismal, in the sense of the visuals, the mist on the ocean, the cloudiness, the erratic wind activity,” said Bill Bannerman, New Moon’s co-producer. “Everything is exactly what it should be.”
New Moon is the second movie in the four-part Twilight Saga, and is based on the writings of U.S. author Stephenie Meyer.
The saga follows the teenaged character Isabella Swan who moves to Forks, Washington – located on the North Olympic Peninsula – and falls in love with a vampire.
Distributed by Summit Entertainment, the first movie, Twilight, brought in (US) $69.6 million in its opening weekend last November.
Cast members Kristin Stewart, who plays Isabella Swan, and Taylor Lautner, who plays Jacob Black, arrived in Tofino by bus Thursday.
Poor weather prevented them from flying directly to Tofino from Vancouver. So they flew to Nanaimo and drove west across Vancouver Island.
Under rainy, gray skies, filming kicked off Thursday afternoon at the rugged and rocky South Beach, located near Wickaninnish Beach inside Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
Cast and crew returned to South Beach Friday morning, before moving to Incinerator Rock at Long Beach, where Parks Canada closed down a parking lot popular with surfers for movie crews.
Bannerman said the crew needed to shoot a couple of scenes that would bridge the story’s second act and show the characters evolving personalities and relationships.
Local topography, he added, proved vital.
“You have to feel, which is perceived quite in detail, quite a bit in detail in the book, the Forks and La Push area,” he said. “It forces you, when you put it to a visual medium, to go into really remote locations to try to find that texture. And so this is one element we couldn’t find anywhere else. That’s why we love it.”
Crews kept filming under the radar, and security remained tight.
A contingent of local, off-duty Mounties volunteered their time and provided close security to the cast in exchange for a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society’s Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock – a grueling bike ride that takes police from northern Vancouver Island to Victoria.
Laura Timmermans, a 17-year-old Grade 12 student at Ucluelet secondary school, and several friends, however, managed to get close enough to meet the stars.
“They didn’t seem like anything but teenagers like us,” she said. “We were totally blown away.”
Timmermans said she arrived at the parking lot near South Beach at 10 a.m. and waited. When crews moved a van and blocked their view around 1 p.m., the girls complained, said Timmermans. Almost immediately, Stewart and Lautner came out to meet them.
After meeting the actors, Timmermans said she and her friends returned home and watched the first movie, Twilight.
The movie and books are so popular, she said, because they intertwine the idea of immortality and love.
But Bill Fend, the owner of Tofino’s Long Beach Surf Shop, questioned whether it was necessary to close down the Incinerator Rock parking lot.
“To do it during spring break is unfathomable,” he said.
He said people, especially families, travel thousands of kilometres to come to the park, and he feared the park was heading down a path where it was for rent.
However, Joan Miller, commissioner of the Vancouver Island North Film Commission, said films like New Moon can coast as much as $100,000 per day to shoot and the economic spinoffs are vital to resource-based communities trying to diversify their economies.
“This is a project that we’re thrilled to have in our region,” said Miller. “We worked on the first movie, but because the Canadian dollar got so strong, we lost it to Oregon.
“With the position the Canadian dollar is in right now, we’ve been able to have another kick at the can, and we’ve been successful. So here it is.
“We hope this is just the start. We’re working really close with the parks department, with the communities, with the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to try and get the message out there we’re a film friendly region, and as long as the gods are with us, and the Canadian dollar stays where it is, we’re going to be able to continue to attract this type of diversification to the area.”
Bannerman said crews will be in the Vancouver area for the few months and will also shoot a couple scenes in Italy.
He said filming will wrap up at the end of May, and the movie will come out Nov. 20.
Bannerman thanked Parks Canada and the locals who worked on production and location support for their help.
“This is a substantial look that may be revisited in the next chapter,” he said. “So more than likely, you know, Tofino is back in the equation…”