Spotlight on Oregon in new vamp movie 'Twilight'

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by By ERIC ADAMS, kgw.com Staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 16 at 11:50 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Moviegoers around the nation started lining up early Friday for special showings of the new vampire movie " Twilight."

KGW report on 'Twilight'

Most of "Twilight" was shot on-location around the Portland area. It's one of the year's most highly anticipated films and theaters across Portland and the nation were reporting sell-outs.

The story is set in Forks, Wash., but most of the film was shot in Oregon, at places like Madison High School, the Viewpoint Inn and Multnomah Falls.

One Portland teenager, who saw the midnight premier at the Lloyd Center, gave an impromptu review.

"I thought it was good but the book was better. But it was a really good movie, I liked the characters, Bella's great," said the girl. "It wasn't as good as the book but it was still real good, it was real good."

The vamp movie is expected to be one of the year's biggest grossing films, making it the most profitable movie shot in Oregon since "The Goonies," and was described as a "visual postcard of the state."

Soloman Trimble, who plays Sam in the movie, had big hopes for his debut.

"I really hope this is the start of a huge career in film for me," he said. "It's a showcase for local actors, too, and just the ticket to put the state's film industry center-stage."

Trimble was one of nearly a dozen local actors to land speaking parts in the movie.

A blockbuster movie can only help local actors and film crews.

The "Twilight" series of books is considered by many equivocal to the mega-popular "Harry Potter" books and subsequent film dynasty.

Brouhaha surrounding the film has also helped local book sellers. Erika Kunders, a community relations specialist at Barnes & Noble, said it's an unexpected best seller.

"It's been a great phenomenon and I'm sure it's just going to grow," she said.

Tourist companies are even getting in on the "Twilight" mania, setting up visits to the movie's locations.

"To my knowledge we've never produced in Oregon a film that was No. 1 in the country," said Vince Porter, executive director of Oregon Film. "It raises our profile in the overall industry."

Some $20 million of the $37 million "Twilight" budget was spent in and around the Portland area. The city, its actors and entertainers no doubt hope another chapter of the series is filmed on location here.

More than 2,000 shows sold out Friday across the country, according to movie website Fandango.com, and several theaters in the Portland area added additional showings this weekend.

KGW Reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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