Vampire alert! Vancouver locales for Twilight New Moon shoot are ab...
By Randy Shore
March 13, 2009
VANCOUVER - Producers are revealing nothing of their plans for shooting the Twilight sequel New Moon. But they are here in Vancouver and they are shooting, under a fake name no less.
The reasons for the high security are obvious. Crowd control.
Reports that teenaged girls from all over North America are planning to travel to Vancouver for a mere glimpse of the production have been flowing in for many weeks.
The producers aren't talking, but we aren't hurt (well, maybe a little). But in the spirit of Canadian politeness and good business we'd like to offer the producers our suggestions for great backdrops for their bloody tale of chaste vampire love.
The Cullen house
Edward Cullen's home in Twilight is a very modern wood and glass structure in the woods. The home used in Twilight is in Portland, Ore. It's a day's drive to get there from Vancouver, so why not go back? It's easier than trying to build a fake house. The risk in using the same house is that fans will be watching the neighbourhood for any signs of activity. The home is already on the Twilight fan pilgrimage circuit. If anyone in Portland sees a moving van (or a vampire) please call me.
FYI, the house on the Forks, Wash., Twilight tour was never used in the film. It is merely a close match to the description author Stephenie Meyer gave in the books. It's really an operating bed and breakfast and is believed to be entirely vampire-free.
When Bella goes searching in the forest for the meadow where she and Edward had their first romantic encounter, it is described as a beautiful round opening in the forest and difficult to find, in part because there are no trails and in part due to the Washington state undergrowth. Bella "bushwhacks" her way in and is confronted by a vampire, Laurent, whose appetites are not so well controlled as Edward's. Stanley Park might do the trick for this scene, but it is so close to the city and so exposed to foot traffic that the shoot would not be secret for long.
Everett Crowley Park in southeast Vancouver has mature trees and undergrowth like those described in New Moon, as well as small open spaces that could serve as meadow. Compared with Stanley Park, it is almost devoid of human life. For total secrecy, Strathcona Park near Campbell River is beyond the reach of the urban vampire fan and nearby Elk Falls Park has one of the prettiest forest meadows on the West Coast.
The devastating breakup of Edward and Bella leaves the heartbroken lass shattered, insensible and wandering through the woods in the rain. Okay, there is no shortage of woods nor rain in B.C., but where to go for privacy?
We suggest that New Moon head up the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish, where The Guard is shot. The crew could cleverly disguise itself as a Halifax Film crew shooting the Global TV adventure series and even hire a few cast members from The Guard to hang around the set and in local bars to add realism to the ruse.
The movie theatre
After the breakup, Bella goes to the movies, where the film reminds her that she has become an emotional zombie (who incidentally hangs out with vampires and werewolves). The closest theatre to Forks, Wash., where New Moon is set is in Port Angeles. That little box with its low marquee to me resembles the Dolphin Theatre in Burnaby. It looks about as small-town as it could be. The added bonus is that the producers would not even have to change the name of the theatre, as dolphins are common in the waters around the Olympic Peninsula.
Newton's Olympic Outfitters
The sporting goods store that Bella works at is a small-town outfitting shop. The closest thing in Vancouver is the Italian Sporting Goods store on Renfrew Street, but it's dangerously close to Notre Dame secondary, the Catholic high school, likely a terrifically rich source of Twilight fans. They would smell a vampire heartthrob from a mile off.
We recommend Kent Outdoors in Agassiz. It's chock full of guns, like any good American outfitters would be, and the exterior is about as rustic as it can be, complete with a square top resembling a frontier town facade.
Only a handful of people live in the area and it takes about three days to get there on public transit, so privacy is assured.
The Swan house
Bella's home is a older-style peaked-roof home with a front dormer and white wood strap siding. The original in Twilight was shot in St. Helen's, Washington, a short drive from Portland. Assuming they use the same exterior shots, the producers will need a home of similar vintage and size for interiors.
Kits and Dunbar are full of homes with the required wood floors and window frames, but again, the crowds would sniff that out like rats on cheese. The winding avenues of Shaughnessy are better concealed and easier to control access to, though the area is still on major bus routes. We recommend east Richmond or Langley for added privacy. Also, the homeowners should be wildly overpaid for their trouble to ensure silence.
Forks High School
Like the Kalama, Wash., high school used in Twilight, Kits Secondary is an older building with plenty of windows almost identical to those in the original. The producers will have to recycle some of the exterior shots from the first film as few Metro Vancouver secondary schools are built entirely of brick. The Vancouver school board could certainly use the cash the filmmakers would surely pay as they find themselves $11 million short of their budget for the coming fiscal year. Plus the Kits coat of arms includes the words Fiat Lux, Latin for "Let there be light." A delicious irony for a vampire movie, non?
La Push reservation
La Push is the home of the Quileute Indian Tribe in Washington and the fictional home to the fictional Jacob, werewolf. The Quileute were created from wolves, so that makes sense. Located on the windswept coast of Washington due south of Long Beach, B.C., there is only one place that can serve as its equal: Long Beach, B.C., home to dozens of first nations reserve lands and small villages.
It's unlikely that crowd control will be a problem as only the hardiest (craziest?) of surfers are on Long Beach at this time of year. Besides, access to most of the reserve lands is difficult and many can be approached only by water. Tough rowing for obsessed fans.
Bonus location: The highway to Long Beach is windy and terrifying, perfect for Bella's self-destructive motorcycle ride.
The diving cliffs
Seemingly abandoned by Edward, Bella is consumed by a need to risk her own life. Extreme risk brings on hallucinations of Edward's voice. What better way to trigger a hallucination than jumping off of a cliff? The good news is that Lighthouse Park is just a stone's throw from Vancouver and boasts one of the most extreme diving cliffs around.
Note to producers: Check The Vancouver Sun's tide tables for a HIGH tide before you let your stunt doubles jump off the cliffs.
Note to deranged fans: Cliff diving is for professionals only. If you try it you might die. For real. Sorry.
Since the producers are going to be shooting in Italy anyway, they might as well opt for the real thing. Volterra is a walled city full of ancient Roman and medieval architecture and awash in vampire legend. Its streets are narrow and winding and poorly lit. Great hunting grounds. If vampires don't live in Volterra, they don't live anywhere.