Twilight in Forks: Interview with director York Baur

CullenBoysAnon: Mr. Baur, let me start by saying I think making a documentary about Forks and Twilight is a great idea. I saw, looking at your management company, that you have had a long time interest in small town life, especially in the Washington area. I grew up in a small town and I certainly appreciate small town life, but I know that my small town is changing. How do you think all of the attention Forks and La Push are getting are going to affect things there?

York Baur: You will definitely see some of that in the film. That is certainly one of the topics we try to dive into with people out there. Whenever an area has an influx of attention, and frankly, people – the number coming to make the trek in July was over 16,000 – it’ll obviously have some impact on how things are and how they’ll be as they go forward. But you have to remember that Forks was settled in the 19th century and has been a productive town for more than 100 years, so I expect it will maintain it’s overall character. And I think the people there are hardy and self-sufficient and are very proud of their community. So while some things may change, I think the fundamental qualities of how people are and how they are proud of their town, I think that will last.

CBA: I know when we were there the people were really nice and we didn’t feel like they were laughing at us as Twilighters but rather joked along with us, instead. How do the town’s people feel about Twilight and Twilighters?

YB: What you find is that what you experienced is not an exception. That is how people are. Everyone we’ve interacted with, and I know a fair number of people in that area from my time there, everyone was universally excited about and thankful for the opportunity that Stephenie Meyer has brought to Forks, both economically as well as to allow Forks to show itself. I think that while everyone may not personally be a Twilight fan, everyone appreciate what this focus brings to the town.

CBA: You said you found them to be unique?

YB: I think that what is unique about Forks itself, is that, in addition to the small town aspect, there is a closeness to nature, which I think is certainly a dying element in the United States. Also, people are very self-reliant but willing to help others, including total strangers, which is a rarity today.

CBA: You have spoken about the mystical qualities of the area and the Quileutes and their legends. Can you tell us about any of what you found? How their legends compare?

YB: I’m afraid I’ll have to leave some of that to be seen (in the film)!

CBA: How did you stumble upon Twilight? Did you read the books and do you have a favorite character or part?

YB: Well I am married and I have a 15 year old daughter and they both got really excited about the books. I didn’t pay much attention at first but when I found out that the story took place in Forks, I started getting more interested, and that was the genesis for this film project. I guess to pick a favorite book, the first is always the best because it is the first one! So, I guess Twilight would be mine. My favorite character would have to be Alice – she has a certain elegance and mystery about her.

CBA: How does the real Forks compare to the Twilight one?

YB: Stephenie Meyer did an amazing job of accurately representing the town and the surrounding area. It’s not absolutely perfect of course, and you’ll hear some of the differences called out by the locals in our movie, but for the most part the details are all there and correct. You have to credit Stephenie’s almost journalist approach to researching the area, and we interview several people in our movie that actually spoke to her while she was doing her research, long before anyone knew how popular the Twilight Saga would ultimately become.

CBA: Do you have a favorite area in or around Forks?

YB: Personally I think the La Push area is my favorite. Not only the natural beauty of the beaches, but there is a sense of mysticism to it that you can feel and I think that will come through in the film. You’ve been there so I think you know what I mean.

CBA: Do you have a favorite spot to eat?

YB: I’ve always loved the Fork’s Coffee Shop. It is at the center of the town both literally and figuratively. You’ll see that in the film, and as in Twilight, it’s really the hub of the community conversation – if you want to know what’s going on, eat at the Forks Coffee Shop.

CBA: Thank you Mr. Baur, for sharing your time with us. I commend you for doing this project. I really do like the idea and I think it is such a great fit for you personally. We wish you well with this.

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