‘Mean Girl’ in Vail makes for a Hallmark moment
Lacey Chabert featured in Hallmark movie 'Winter in Vail,' coming out Jan. 4
A new Hallmark Channel movie set in Vail, starring Lacey Chabert of “Mean Girls,” will make its debut on Saturday, Jan. 4 at 9 p.m. EST.
“Winter in Vail” is directed by Terry Ingram, a longtime Hallmark Channel moviemaker who brought a small crew to Vail on Dec. 4-5. The movie tells the feelgood story of a single woman named Chelsea (Chabert) who inherits a chalet in Vail. Upon arrival, she meets a man (Tyler Hynes) and falls in love.
Lights, camera, action
Ingram had never been to Colorado before coming to film “Winter in Vail,” though he had specific iconic Vail sites he wanted to shoot. “The bell tower, the skating rink,” he said shortly after wrapping up filming, and enjoying a drink at Pepi’s.
“When it comes down to these sidewalks, people would know,” he said of filmmakers often filming off location. “Those in the know would know.”
Other scenes to expect in the film include the Covered Bridge shot on a snowy morning, drone work over the town and more. The opening scene was shot near the Children’s Fountain in Vail, in front of Lancelot.
“It was an absolute pleasure,” Ingram said of filming in Vail, adding he’s made over 30 Hallmark movies all over the world. “Everyone was so kind, generous and open.”
Ingram and his production team of about 12 were given permission to use the streets of Vail for two days of filming. Local businesses were given an alert that filming would be taking place, including the team at Kemo Sabe on Bridge Street selling Western wear.
“I got the email saying a movie was going on today,” said Maggie Martin, a Kemo Sabe employee featured as an extra in “Winter in Vail,” saying she thought the filming would be by the gondola. “We were all laughing because all of the girls were asking, ‘Do we start acting when you clip it or when you say ‘action,’ — it’s when you say ‘action,’” she added proudly.
Locals recognized Chabert on the streets of Vail, capturing pictures with the actress who played Gretchen Wieners in “Mean Girls.”
“She stopped every 10 minutes in the streets of Vail,” Ingram said. “People know her, love her and want to get a photo.”
Ingram said he wanted to film a ski sequence, but Chabert doesn’t ski. So, he settled for a tubing sequence. Since the mountain’s tubing area wasn’t set up yet, Ingram had to improvise.
“That’s what filmmaking is,” he said. “But will we feel the flavor of Vail? Without question.”
Ingram was thankful for the town of Vail and its businesses that welcomed him and his team “with open arms.”
“I’ve shot all over the world, and when you get into a small community that hasn’t had a lot of filming, people embrace it,” he said.
‘Winter in Vail’ … Part 2?
Ingram is a filmmaker out of Vancouver and has worked with his lead cast of Hynes and Chabert before. He’s been directing for over 30 years. “Winter in Vail” was also filmed in Canada, in the Calgary area. A skier himself, he calls Whistler his home mountain.
He enjoys making Hallmark movies, having shot other genres of films before.
“What Hallmark has done over the last couple of years is expand the world,” he said, adding he or his cast has recently shot in New York City, Rome and Africa. “They’re starting to become more global, which is great.”
For “Winter in Vail” he calls it a “classic Hallmark story,” adding that sometimes these movies spawn into a multi-movie series.
“Maybe,” he said of coming back to Vail. “It wouldn’t surprise me.”