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Hungary

Hungary Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Hungary? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Hungary? See below for an introduction to Hungary locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Hungary Film Locations

Hungary has long been a popular destination for productions looking to double other European cities, towns and natural locations, at a fraction of the cost of filming in Western Europe. Outside of its cities Hungary is known for rural landscapes, forests, rivers, mountains, vineyards, fields of wheat, corn, barely and sunflowers.

Hungary has hosted blockbusters such as Blade Runner 2049, The Martian, Spy, World War Z, Munich, 47 Ronin, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Red Sparrow, and A Good Day to Die Hard.

The country can divided into several regions:

Central Hungary

Hungary’s capital Budapest is an elegant city with a wealth of baroque, classical and art nouveau architecture. Budapest is a city of cobbled streets, busy cafes, castles, museums, parks, thermal spas and spectacular Danube River city vistas. Budapest is often used to double for other European cities, such as Vienna, Berlin, London, Paris, Rome, Moscow, and Monte Carlo. Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include the Hungarian Parliament building, Fisherman’s Bastion, Buda Castle, Vajdahunyad Castle, Museum of Applied Arts, Hungarian National Museum, St Stephen’s Basilica, Hungarian State Opera, socialist-era Memento Statue Park, Keleti Train Station, the beautiful Gellert Baths and splendid outdoor Széchenyi Baths.

The surrounding Pest County is a short drive away for locations such as Szentendre, Visegrád, Gödöllő, and Vác.

Northern Hungary

Castles of note include Eger, Diósgyőr, Füzér, and Sárospatak. Károlyi Mansion and L’Huillier-Coburg Palace in Edelény are also beautiful buildings. Hollókő is a traditional Hungarian village. Other film locations of note include Elizabeth Square in Miskolc, Tokaj wine region, and Bükk National Park.

Northern Great Plain

Debrecen is Hungary’s second largest city. Locations of note include Déri Museum and Protestant Great Church. Other film locations in this region include the Countyhall of Hajdú-Bihar, Szolnok Gallery, and Rétköz Museum in Kisvárda.

Southern Great Plain

Szeged is home to many fine buildings including the Mora Museum, Szeged National Theater, Szeged Water Tower, Szeged Csanad Cathedral, and Szeged National Theater. Other locations of note in the Southern Great Plain include Wenckheim Mansion in Szabadkígyós, Károlyi Mansion in Nagymágocs, the Town hall of Baja, and old windmills.

Central Transdanubia

Esztergon is known for its Cathedral, Saint Stephen’s Square, and Castle Hill. Székesfehérvár is the City of Kings. Veszprém is the City of Queens. Impressive mansions in this region include Esterházy Mansion in Csákvár, Károlyi Mansion in Fehérvárcsurgó, Nádady Mansion in Nádasdladány, and Brunszvik Mansion in Martonvásár. Lake Balaton is central Europe’s largest lake. The lake is surrounded by vineyards that date back to Roman times.

Western Transdanubia

The town of Sopron is known for its baroque, renaissance and gothic architecture including Goat Church and Holy Trinity Column, Saint Michael’s Church, County Hall, Fire Tower, Town Hall, Petőfi Theater, and Orsolya Square. Eszterháza is Hungary’s answer to Versailles. Other film locations in the region include Festetics Palace in Keszthely, Jurisics Square in Kőszeg, Cistercian Abbey of Szentgotthárd, Batthyány Mansion in Körmend, and Hévíz, the largest thermal lake in Europe.

Southern Transdanubia

The city of Pécs has several impressive examples of Ottoman and Habsburg period architecture including Cathedral, Széchenyi Square, Barbican, Jakovali Hassan Mosque, and Kossuth Square. Other interesting locations in the region include Holy Spirit Church in Paks, Siófok Tower, Simontornya Castle, and Siklós Castle.

Hungary Film Location Permits

Most locations only take a few days to permit. For instance, if shooting b-roll on a tripod, as long as you don’t require exclusive use of public space, permits usually take about 6 days to process. This can be expedited to 3 days if need be. Permission is required from each municipality and in some cases the specific location (markets, parks, castle district, etc), so to make sure you’re covered our fixer / producer will apply for permission to shoot at multiple locations. For larger shoots, officially it takes 3 weeks to shut streets but this can be fast-tracked if necessary. Shooting inside or on the grounds of the Hungarian Parliament building is not permitted but there are several good spots to film / photograph the building exteriors from afar. Please contact us for more location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Hungary has a typical four-season climate with warm summers (June to September), colourful leaves in fall (October to November), white winters (December to March), and spring (April to May) in full bloom. May through to September are the best months to film for weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

Festivals and events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include:

• Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix in February.
• Budapest Spring Music Festival in March.
• The Danube Carnival in June.
• Budapest National Gallop in September.
• Budapest Christmas Fair and Festival in November and December.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Hungary.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Although prices have increased in recent years, Hungary still offers high production value. Production standards are very high and only a fraction of the cost of shooting in Western Europe or the United States. Compared to other countries in the region, Hungary is roughly on par with Czech costs, but more expensive than Romania, Latvia and Ukraine. Our Budapest based fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. See here for the current VAT rate.

Tax Incentives. Productions visiting Hungary to shoot feature films, TV series, documentaries, or animation for TV may be entitled to a 25% rebate of their total production costs. There is no minimum spend requirement. Although TV commercials are not eligible for the rebate, VAT reimbursement is possible. For more information visit the Hungarian National Film Fund.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Hungary has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Hungary has some exceptional crews who have extensive experience in servicing international productions. Crews all speak fluent English. Hungary’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of creative talent should you ever need to look further.

Contact us if you are looking for a Budapest based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in Hungary.

Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Hungary is predominately ethnic Hungarian. There is also a sizable Roma population. Hungary’s close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.

Hungary Film Equipment

Equipment. Hungary has rental houses that stock both Arri and Panavision equipment. All of the standard cameras, lights and cranes are available locally. Hungary also has more specialised film equipment including motion control, Giraffe and Pegasus cranes. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Hungary is an ATA carnet country.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction. One of the main areas that sets Hungary apart from the rest of the world is its world-renowned art department. Construction teams are among the best in central Europe.

Studios are a major reason why productions choose to shoot in Hungary. Several large modern studios with state of the art facilities exist, including one of the world’s largest sound stages. Backlots in existance include a Renaissance town, Medieval village and New York City. Studios also have vast, empty backlot space suitable for set construction.

Post Production. Hungary has several good post production facilities.

Visas & Work Permits

Hungary is a member of the Schengen Area. Only certain countries need visas and there is no need for work permits for foreign crews. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Hungarian embassy / representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are in a good condition. Hungary is serviced by several international and regional budget airlines.

Accommodation. Contact us for film friendly hotels in Budapest. For longer stays we can also organise serviced apartments. Hotels of note include:

Lanchid 19
Hotel Moments Budapest
Fraser Residence
Mamaison Hotel Izabella
Starlight Suiten Hotel Budapest

Final Notes

Safety. Hungary is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.

Down Time. Relax in one of Hungary’s famous baths and enjoy a glass of wine from one of the many impressive vineyards.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Hungary, please see below:

Hire Hungary Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Hungary, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Hungary, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.