"Eclipse," the third in the wildly popular Twilight vampire book and film series, is set mostly in Forks and La Push on the Olympic Peninsula and in Seattle, but it was filmed in Vancouver, B.C., where fans will find a variety of movie-location tours.
You don’t need to travel far to enter the Twilight zone. Just head to Vancouver, B.C., 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 the Olympic Peninsula and in Seattle. But the movie, being released on June 30, 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, won’t release details on locations. However, the online fan community is buzzing with swooning tales of “Eclipse” star sightings and shooting locations in Vancouver.
Once they’ve seen the movie, even more “Twi-hards” are expected to trace the characters’ footsteps — and love and battle scenes — in Vancouver.
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“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 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 Twilight films.
“We’ve got people from Australia, England, Mexico, Brazil and of course Americans and Canadians,” said 29-year-old Mandy Anderson, a guide with Vancouver Set Tours.
“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 Vancouver. 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 ½-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 Black, the werewolf hero, to spots in the woods where vampires, werewolves and Bella kissed and ran and battled. Kilpatrick even will take visitors high 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 where Bella Swan goes to school, and cafeteria and classroom scenes were shot there. 1755 E. 55th Ave., Vancouver, B.C.
Belcarra Regional Park, Port Moody
Various outdoor scenes were shot in the thick 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 earlier this month in a Los Angeles preview. “It’s where my husband proposed to me.”
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 some such scenes, including on its 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,VancouverParts of Gastown, a historic district of downtown Vancouver with brick buildings, cobbled streets and spooky alleys, substitute for Seattle in the film.
Outdoor scenes were shot in and near the forested Minnekhada Regional Park (off Victoria Drive and Quarry Road) 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 the 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
Revisiting ‘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 (who in the books live in secluded luxury in the woods near Forks). 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. But don’t count on an open house: access is strictly controlled (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/
Kristin Jackson: email@example.com