One wouldn’t expect to find The Grand Budapest Hotel in Germany, but thanks to the American film director Wes Anderson and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, all expectations have been surpassed.
Anderson – known for his films The Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom – is shooting his latest project The Grand Budapest Hotel in Germany, with high-flying Hollywood stars swarming to Görlitz.
The cast includes Bill Murray (no introduction needed), Jude Law (the sensible sidekick to Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock Holmes), Edward Norton (that other guy from Fight Club), Ralph Fiennes (the new M in the latest 007 movie Skyfall), Owen Wilson (the blond guy in the film adaption of Starsky and Hutch), Willem Dafoe (who played the Green Goblin in Spider-Man), Adrien Brody (who played the Jewish pianist that stole our hearts in The Pianist) and Tilda Swinton (the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia).
Seeing to the film’s transportation needs, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is ensuring that the actors’ feet aren’t getting wet going to and from the hotel and set. In this endeavour, eight ultra-economical Multivan models with BlueMotion Technology, three Amarok bakkies and one 4Motion Crafter with Achleitner 4-wheel drive are being used.
But they’re also ensuring that the production runs smoothly. “Each and every day we’re confronted with new logistical challenges and are delighted to have such reliable and environmentally friendly vehicles at our disposal, thanks to Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles,” says Jeremy Dawson, the film’s producer.
“The Crafter 4Motion is ideal for shots in the open country, and it is a perfect pack donkey. The Amarok vehicles likewise come in quite handy when we have to transport material quickly from one site to the next,” the producer explains.
The team is also saving some money as the Stop/Start system, battery regeneration, optimised rolling resistance tyres and cruise-control facility reportedly all reduce fuel consumption by 0,5-litres/100 km for the TDI engine versions of the Multivan.
There is also a poetic simile between the environmentally friendliness of the vehicles and this eastern German city. Görlitz has a lot of historical architecture that’s been preserved for the most part, as the town was spared destruction during the Second World War.
This lead to the 4 000 plus buildings in Görlitz not having any trace of neon signs, as they are protected historical monuments, but the Volkswagen commercial vehicles are certainly shining bright among the stars.