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In March 2015, German film company Babelsberg brought not only movie-making equipment but also retro-looking buses, vans and ski gear to Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes both inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps.
In March 2015, German film company Babelsberg brought not only movie-making equipment but also retro-looking buses, vans and ski gear to Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes both inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
In March 2015, German film company Babelsberg brought not only movie-making equipment but also retro-looking buses, vans and ski gear to Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes both inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps.
In March 2015, German film company Babelsberg brought not only movie-making equipment but also retro-looking buses, vans and ski gear to Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes both inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Taron Egerton, who plays the lead role in "Eddie the Eagle," is caught in a contemplative moment at the entrance of Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, which is owned by the U.S. Dept. of Defense and serves American military members and their families. In this scene, Eddie takes a wistful look at the mountains after he arrives at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Taron Egerton, who plays the lead role in "Eddie the Eagle," is caught in a contemplative moment at the entrance of Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, which is owned by the U.S. Dept. of Defense and serves American military members and their families. In this scene, Eddie takes a wistful look at the mountains after he arrives at the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Edelweiss staff member Barry Main, sporting a 1980s-style ski outfit, stands outside Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Barry portrayed an Olympic usher in the movie "Eddie the Eagle," which used the resort, owned by the Department of Defense, to portray the 1989 Calgary Olympic headquarters.
Edelweiss staff member Barry Main, sporting a 1980s-style ski outfit, stands outside Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Barry portrayed an Olympic usher in the movie "Eddie the Eagle," which used the resort, owned by the Department of Defense, to portray the 1989 Calgary Olympic headquarters. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Extras portray international teams relaxing at the 1988 Calgary Olympic headquarters in the new movie "Eddie the Eagle." The setting is a bar called Zuggy's Base Camp at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, an Armed Forces recreation center located in the Bavarian Alps. Filming took place there in March 2015.
Extras portray international teams relaxing at the 1988 Calgary Olympic headquarters in the new movie "Eddie the Eagle." The setting is a bar called Zuggy's Base Camp at Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, an Armed Forces recreation center located in the Bavarian Alps. Filming took place there in March 2015. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort employees in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, portray skiers at the 1988 Olympic headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The film company added Olympic emblems, signs and flags to the resort and covered any 21st-century gadgets including ATMs and television screens.
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort employees in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, portray skiers at the 1988 Olympic headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The film company added Olympic emblems, signs and flags to the resort and covered any 21st-century gadgets including ATMs and television screens. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort employees in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, portray skiers at the 1988 Olympic headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Here, they gather under an Olympic emblem added as a prop above the resort's main lobby fireplace.
Edelweiss Lodge and Resort employees in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, portray skiers at the 1988 Olympic headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Here, they gather under an Olympic emblem added as a prop above the resort's main lobby fireplace. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)
Monitors owned by Babelsberg, Germany's largest filmmaking company, capture the exterior of Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps.
Monitors owned by Babelsberg, Germany's largest filmmaking company, capture the exterior of Edelweiss Lodge and resort in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The company filmed seven scenes inside and outside the ski lodge in the Bavarian Alps. (Photo courtesy of Brad Hays/Edelweiss Lodge and Resort)

In March 2015, a funny thing happened to the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort, an Armed Forces Recreation Center at the foot of the Zugspitze mountain in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. The hotel and its grounds suddenly transformed into a 1980s Olympic ski lodge in Canada.

Germany’s largest film studio, Babelsberg, used Edelweiss to portray the 1988 Winter Olympic headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, where British ski jumper Michael “Eddie” Edwards began his underdog Olympic journey depicted in “Eddie the Eagle.”

In one day, the company shot seven scenes at the resort.

To make the transformation, the filmmakers had to work some movie magic. Hundreds of extras — including 75 Edelweiss employees ranging from housekeepers to desk clerks to ski instructors — donned 1980s outfits to portray Olympic ski teams, fans, security guards and judges. Decades-old buses and vans rolled in, and the film crew hauled in retro luggage, skis and Olympic emblems and flags. At least 25 trucks swarmed the Edelweiss grounds with film equipment.

The main modification to the resort involved replacing a large sled above the main lobby fireplace with Olympic Rings, which also were hung above the hotel’s front desk. Filmmakers also rigged up a giant lighting blimp in the main lobby and covered all telltale 21st-century gadgets, such as ATMs and flat television screens, with Olympic props.

“Walking into the Edelweiss Resort with all the lights, cameras, trucks and people walking around in ’80s outfits made you feel like you might have just taken a trip in a time machine,” said Brad Hays, marketing manager for Edelweiss. “Some of our guests who showed up to check in actually ended up being taken to the dressing room and put in ski outfits to be extras in the movie. It’s a pretty fun addition to your vacation to be included in a big-budget film.”

Nearby, some Edelweiss staff, who are Department of Defense employees, portrayed skiers at the Garmisch-Partenkirchen ski jump, where the movie’s megastar, Hugh Jackman, filmed scenes as Bronson Peary, the rebellious and charismatic ski coach who helped Edwards achieve his dream of competing in the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Hays said the locals were delighted to share the snowy Bavarian location with Jackman and found him “extremely approachable.”

Meanwhile, Taron Egerton, who plays Edwards in the film, was all business during the day of shooting, opting to stay in his dressing room between breaks in the filming.

Hays said the most amazing thing about having Edelweiss turned into a movie set was seeing just how much coordination, personnel and equipment were needed to create a few seconds of film.

“There are dedicated staff for every role and it is all extremely well-choreographed,” he said. “There is a stand-in actor that just sits in place where the main actor will be so the director of photography can focus with the camera. There is one staff member responsible for just the camera lens, one staff member to push the dolly the camera sits on — and on and on.”

Now that the movie has hit AAFES theaters, you can bet that plenty of American Edelweiss employees are packing the seats. Hays hopes U.S. military members will “enjoy seeing their cherished mountain resort on the big screen” and perhaps book their own Edelweiss vacation.

“You can’t re-create the magic of Edelweiss Resort in a film studio,” he said. “It’s a unique and special place that everyone should experience while stationed in Europe.”

carpenter.jolene@stripes.com

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