Why Didn’t Twilight Get Filmed in Washington State or Forks?

We get asked this question all the time in our email and at the Twilight Conventions. Part of the reason is that Forks is so remote and small that the support services needed to house an entire filming crew for months weren’t there. The other part is that Washington State doesn’t make it easy on filming company’s budgets. The more a company has to pay to be at a certain location, the less money they have for post-production things like CGI, 3-D, etc.

The Northwest News has an comparison in incentives in the Pacfic Northwest. The numbers really speak for themselves. Washington is losing money to Oregon and British Columbia (AKA Vancouver) because they aren’t keeping pace.

“BC [British Columbia]set aside $40 million in incentives for 2011. Oregon may give away up to $12.5 million. Washington is only scheduled to provide $4 million in incentives.

British Columbia appears to be getting a significant bang for its buck. There were 239 film and television productions in BC in 2009, and Washington only had 14.
“We need to keep our vampires, our Washington state vampires,” says Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, about the movie “Twilight.”  The 2008 movie, based in Forks, was shot largely in Oregon and BC.”
Check out the full story on Northwest News.
So why did much of breaking Dawn film in Louisiana? Answer: great money incentives and a fantastic facility in the Celtic Media Center.


  1. That picture is missing the building where BD was supposedly filmed – the Brianna building, building 4. I was there in January set-stalking 🙂 It’s just to the right of the Oak Tree Building in that picture.

  2. Actually, in Twilight, the exterior shots for “Forks” HS was filmed in Washington. The parking lot and the building are Kelso High School, which is about 30-45 min north of Portland (depending on how fast you drive), in Kelso, WA.

    Kelso is a small town, and therefore, has an old, small high school. It had the best “look” for the shot, to represent FHS.

    The interior shots are a HS in Portland.

    The other movies used CGI to show the exterior of the HS. :).

    So, yes, some of the movie was filmed in WA. Ok, 5 minutes of the movie, but, still…

  3. Twilight Gram says

    Incentives you say—–all those films should have been filmed in Oregon and Washington like the first one. Only Summit and SM saw the money saved. They didn’t give it to the actors that brought it to life. Also, our US actors have to leave BC every two weeks for 48 hours by Canadian law. Also, there has to be roles set a side for Canadian actors to have in the movies.If they were filmed state side, our actors would have work. No,incentives is no excuse, the almighty dollar prevailed. If Summit was concerned about doing the right thing, they would have done things differently. They should have kept the money home and remembered how they got all that profit, thanks mainly to the US movie patrons. The amount of money made from the small budgets they have, should have kept the movies here. Now Summit wants a loan from an American bank, maybe they should seek credit in Canada…that’s where they are leaving there money.

  4. Wow here we go again, Great Job Twilight Lexicon another anti-Vancouver post! You guys REALLY need to get over yourselves. And to those who think the series should have stayed in the US, I guess you are forgetting that there are fans OUTSIDE the US? Maybe you should write to your congress people to pick up incentives and instead of blaming BC, contemplate why the states of Washington, Oregon and California are in recession mode still and BC / Canada is NOT.

  5. As a Washingtonian myself who is currently sitting in a cabin at LaPush, Wa, It sucks that more wasnt done here, but it makes sense from both an aesthetic and business perspective. There’s no way you could house a whole cast & crew for a major Hollywood production in Forks & La Push combined.

    BC has the gear, the post prod facilities, the personnel and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest all within an hours drive of the filming locations. It also has every conceivable terrain needed for any production (one of the reasons it is so popular to shoot there). It just makes sense to shoot there.

    Personally, I don’t give a rip about Canada insisting on American productions hiring Canadian actors. Nearly every show on Syfy is filmed in B.C. And they hire tons of Americans. That they want some reciprocation is not unreasonable.