Budapest, capital city of Hungary, attracts productions from around the world. Not just US blockbusters, several Bollywood films and ads have also been filmed here.
“It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” Tom Hanks, following his stay.
Visionary Film Commissioner
Andy Vajna, who has been state film commissioner since 2011, is considered to be one of the masterminds credited with boosting Budapest’s reputation as a world-class film capital.
Budapest is also home to the state-of-the-art Korda Studios, set amid sprawling vineyards.
For the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Martian’, the studio had procured 4,000 tonnes of red earth to make the studio look like Mars. In the movie, Budapest was also shown (disguised) as Beijing.
Superb Homegrown talents
High-tech filming facilities, fiscal incentives, inexpensive skilled labour have made Budapest “the second major film platform in Europe after London”, said Daniel Kresmery who runs Korda’s production and development department.
Over hundred companies now work in the Hungarian movie industry, employing thousands of people. Besides big US productions, even homegrown films are shot here.
Bollywood films in Budapest
Several Bollywood films have also been shot in this Hungarian city.
‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ was the first major Bollywood film that was shot in Hungary. The film was shot at the Danube River, and in various locations around Budapest.
Watch: “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam title Song” shot in Budapest
‘Force 2’ Film Shoot in Budapest: Sonakshi turns Travel Guide, Shares Pics
When it comes to action packed films, very few filmmakers prefer to shoot in India. And thats what the makers of ‘Force 2’ have decided to do. Featuring Johns Abraham and Sonakshi Sinha, Force 2 (which is a sequel) will be apparently shot abroad.
‘Force’ was only shot in Mumbai, however Force-2 will be shot in Budapest and China. The schedule involves the crew to shoot in Budapest, followed by a 10 day schedule in China, followed by a schedule in Mumbai.
The movie also stars Sonakshi Sinha who will be seen in a different avatar. Sonakshi has a lot of action scenes in the movie, something to look forward to.
Sonakshi Sinha, who loves to travel and explore new places, shared several pics images from Budapest.
Sonakshi says there’s no better way of exploring a city than just walking. pic.twitter.com/IrRS1s5hlS
— Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha) September 30, 2015
Even Tahir Bhasin shared some lovely images of Budapest.
Tried to capture the enchanting Chain bridge in this selfie on my way to set. #YouSeeWhatISee #Force2 #TravelDiaries pic.twitter.com/gfn0wbWDkA
— Tahir Raj Bhasin (@TahirRajBhasin) September 12, 2015
Franz from South Africa has been specially brought in for the stunts of this film. Force 2 promises to be an action packed movie with some great action sequences that will thrill the audience.
There were some rumors of Imran Khan being roped in to play the third lead for the film however it seems like that did not work out. Whatever said and done, the movie is said to entertain the audiences with its starry cast and riveting action.
India’s Longest Commercial Film Shot in Budapest Prison for Tata Sky
Here’s another Indian commercial that has been shot in Budapest, Hungary which shows the growing affinity that Indian filmmakers have towards this European city. Mumbai based production house ‘Curious films’ had shot this commercial in a Budapest prison for digital TV provider Tata Sky.
At three-and-half minutes this is one of the longest commercials produced in India.
And what is the theme of the film? To make it interesting, they have used the subject of cricket. That’s right! The ad film shows inmates (supposedly in an Indian prison) planning an escape attempt to see an India-Pakistan cricket match.
Because the escape scenes were quite physical, London-based Parkour Generations were called in to perform those physically demanding escape scenes. A choreography team was sent to Budapest, prior to the shoot, to plan their movements around the architecture of the buildings.
So why was Budapest chosen for the ad film?
The production house had considered several other locations around the world, including the iconic Alcatraz in San Francisco. However, they finally zeroed in on Budapest because of its aesthetics & architecture, and also because they needed more flexible shooting times.
For professional athletes on the shoot, the cold weather was a challenge because they had to stay warm and ready for action all the time. “That’s something that takes a lot of skill and knowledge and not everyone is capable of it – but neglect it and you’re heading for an injury or, at best, poor performance and a ponderous shoot”, said Parkour Generations’ Director Dan Edwardes.
Filming was done in Budapest’s Kozma prison (the crew used an unused wing of the prison) and in a former psychiatric hospital, while exteriors were filmed at Komarom Castle on the border with Slovakia. As the hospital building had not been in use for few years, it served almost like a studio for the crew, who needed massive set design and a huge amount of set dressing.
Overall, it was great fun for the team; although filming in freezing weather conditions was a big challenge for them.
Several Ad film makers choose Budapest, Hungary in order to give an international look and a touch of class to the finished product. They feel the city offers a beautiful mix of old architectural landscapes, which cinematically adds to the overall look of the film.
Budapest offers great infrastructure for film shoots, and also has great post-production facilities. Several international filmmakers who film in remote places of Europe come to Budapest for post-production.
Once, while an Indian filmmaker & crew were filming on Budapest’s suspension Chain Bridge across the Danube, there was one more shoot happening nearby. And that was a Hollywood production. Yes, that’s right! Bruce Willis’ action sequel ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’ was getting filmed on the Elizabeth Bridge, directly south of them.
Zita Kisgergely, PPM Films in Budapest said “There were three helicopters in the sky at the same time – one was ours [and] the other two were for Bruce Willis! We were looking at each other! [Die Hard] had the Russian Arm speeding up and down [and] we were blocking our bridge with the crane and prepping for the stunt jump, [and] therefore blocking the Danube traffic.”
The two shoots added to the overall congestion there, and also quickly became the talk of the town.
Can Be Shown As Most Other Attractive Cities
Due to its architecture, Budapest can be made to look like most other popular European city.
And because of its cost-effectiveness as well as world-class filming infrastructure, the versatile city has also “played” Paris, Vienna and Moscow in other films.
When Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling posed for stylish photographs at Budapest’s most beautiful spots, it was a marketing triumph for the Hungarian government, except for a minor discomfort. In one of the photos, Gosling (unaware of subtle political rivalries) was seen with a copy of the Magyar Nemzet newspaper, owned by the nemesis of Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The PR glitch was fixed by blurring the newspaper’s name in the image.
Anyone want to come visit me and Harrison Ford in Budapest on the set of Blade Runner 2? https://t.co/g9Pph0Zkm8
— Ryan Gosling (@RyanGosling) September 29, 2016
Watch: Best of Budapest