Shooting in Austria

Austria’s Exceptional Infrastructure

Connecting You to Rustic Wooden Alpine Houses, Charming Small Villages and Towns, Castles & Fortresses

Producers mainly prefer to shoot in film industry centers, that offer immaculate infrastructure, the technical equipment and film crew perfect for filmmaking. These are primarily larger cities. But there are also such productions, which need locations that are out of these centers. In this article we will name these types of productions distant shoots.


Austria’s world class conditions provide ideal conditions for distant shoots, because it solves all typically problematic issues that can occur. These are all such stunning locations for which most in other countries would need to travel days in bad conditions. But here such places can be easily accessed under a short period of time, with quality hotels nearby and approachable places that are ideal for being a base for the crew.

Producers mainly prefer to shoot in film industry centers, that offer immaculate infrastructure, the technical equipment and film crew perfect for filmmaking. These are primarily larger cities. But there are also such productions, which need locations that are out of these centers. In this article we will name these types of productions distant shoots.


Austria’s world class conditions provide ideal conditions for distant shoots, because it solves all typically problematic issues that can occur. These are all such stunning locations for which most in other countries would need to travel days in bad conditions. But here such places can be easily accessed under a short period of time, with quality hotels nearby and approachable places that are ideal for being a base for the crew.

Austria, and especially Tyrol, offers German efficacy, the beauty of Switzerland and the charm of Italy. I really love to return to this place where I truly admire the people, and where it is possible to make films, on location, with a remarkable level of support and infrastructure.”Jean-Jacques Annaud, Director of Seven Years in Tibet

Even for locations that are fully surrounded by nature, Austrians have made certain that there are quality hotels nearby, making shooting with the crew a lot simpler, enabling the production to flow easily without the time and cost of large journeys every day to your location. The infrastructure of this country makes shooting with your team an efficient and untroubled experience. These locations are well prepared for filming, for example since these cabins are not anyone’s permanent home, you do not have the extra costs of housing the habitant while shooting.


In this article we would like to share with you the rich diversity of remote locations that are effortly accessible and usable due to Austria’s immaculate infrastructure. These range from snowy chalets among mountains, medieval castles and fortresses, to idyllic towns in middle of unspoiled nature.

Little Houses at the Mountainside

Often productions aim to catch the atmosphere of timeless, abandoned and romantic places among Alpine nature. Austria is rich in such locations, as well as quality accommodation and logistics making ideal conditions for productions.


The chalets at Bergdorf Priesteregg, near Salzburg embody the essence of the extraordinary Alpine experience. They are situated on a mountain plateau in a valley, with a spectacular view of the Leoganger Steinbergen range. Authentic and tasteful, every detail is seen to, let that be the aged wood it is made out of or the hand woven linen decorating the interior. It says a lot of this area that the renown fashion designer and director Willy Bogner, who is also a Alpine ski racer, owns a chalet here. He also worked as a cameraman for decades, for example on the world famous James Bond films, such as The Spy Who Loved Me and A View to a Kill.


The museum Arlberg Kandahar is located in Tyrol’s St. Anton ski destination. This building is also home to a restaurant, a hall with a fireplace, a library and a hunters parlour. There is also a historic large park on its grounds, which is where Alpine skiing was created by the pioneer Hannes Schneider. Quality accommodation opportunities combined with accomplished media infrastructure await productions. A good example of this is the British snowboarder movie “Chalet girl” which has many scenes filmed in this museum, combined with stunning shots of the Arlberg mountains filmed by heli-skiing.


The “Bergdoktor house” in the village Ellmau, officially called the Hinterschnabl farmhouse, has a history going back to 1694. Even though the former mayor inherited it in 1985, a large part of it was unused and did not even have electricity. Then in 2007 the TV series “Bergdoktor”’s creative team discovered it and made it into the doctor’s clinic by restoration and furnishing. This village is very proud of this house and area loved by many around the world. For exterior shots they used the “Föhrenhof” hotel in the village, which can offer excellent food and up to 40 beds for visitors and film crews alike.

As the third location I would like to mention the Tyrolean village called Flirsch, which is 1158 meters above water level, in the Stanz Valley. The ‘Villa’, that is Flirsch’s municipal office was built between 1903 and 1905. It was originally the home of the local Lodenfabrik factory owner, then after sixty years became the property of the village. A library is also kept in this beautiful building. Skiing in this area has become highly popular, making tourism flourish with many hotels opening in the village.


Among the lust meadows and awe-inspiring Alpine mountain ranges, the Wachterhof wild cabin has a stunning view of the Zillertal. Originally built more than 60 years ago as a functional building for young cattle and hay, it was later converted into a holiday home to rent all year round, but on the outside it is the same characteristic cottage with charming sun-bunt timber it was when it was first built. It is ideal for shooting a cabin far from civilisation, since it does not even have any roads leading to it. It is accessible by car up to its parking lot that is 100 meters up the mountain from it, next to a family house that offers help with luggage and further accommodation.

As one can see from the examples above, these little wooden cabins can be found in small villages that are connected by such flawless infrastructure, that would be more typical for large cities. Generally, families do not live in these cabins; most of them are used for tourism (as hotels or museums), which makes them ideal as a location for a shoot. In Austria, one does not need to travel hours and live among rough conditions to shoot in a romantic wooden cabin on the side of a mountain. Although Austria is one of Europe’s most expensive countries, still this immaculate infrastructure has positive effects on the project’s budget, since for example it means less travel costs and less overtime.

Little Villages

Austria offers the rare luxury of entire traditional villages in natural surroundings, which time seems to have not touched. In Austria even such locations like these can offer smooth realisation of shoots with experienced practical assistance, thanks to its perfect infrastructure and modern logistics and accommodation. Here are a few examples of film crews’ hidden gems for you.


5-star infrastructure from base to top, down in the valley and up at an elevation of 3,000 meters.”Barbara Broccoli, Producer of 007 Spectre

After half a year of searching all around the world for suitable filming locations, in countries like Norway and Italy, the Austrian Tyrol was chosen for its largest production yet. This was for the Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes’s James Bond film Spectre with actors like Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, as well as Lea Seydoux. The production office was based in Sölden, with shoots also in Ötztal and Obertilliach.


1450 meters high in East Tyrol the village of Obertilliach remains quite untouched by tourism and is populated by only 700 inhabitants. Within the historic village Spectre was shot in four different spots. In January 2015 Daniel Craig was here for three days, performing scenes for the camera at the “Bond House” and the ski run. Welcoming locals near the “Bond House” treated the cast and crew to the warmth of their home and to try their homemade dishes.

The Tyrolian village called Alpbach and its surroundings was the location of the German television series called ‘Wildbach’. Although the series has finished twenty years ago, many of its locations look as though it would have been shot just yesterday. Alpbach’s municipal office, featuring as a mountain rescue base, was the series’s main location. The village had all needed to welcome film crews; hotels and beautiful panoramas.

The Salzburg Open-Air Museum in Grossgmain is not home to any old exhibit; it has 100 original traditional buildings that were permanently moved to the museum’s grounds. Here one can witness what farming, manufacturing and crafts of the past were like. Some of the interiors have been used for the Austrian film “Das finstere Tal” in 2014.

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Castles and Fortresses

One of Austria’s main appeals that attracts countless filmmakers from all around the world, is that here they are able to witness and record the unique historic and magical film locations that this country has to offer. These snowy mountains have the atmosphere both of the romantic past as well as a classy or active sport location, depending on what the creative team would like to focus on. Austria has ideal conditions for shooting in rural locations with modern services.

The Schloss Fuschl is a truly legendary location only a short drive away from Salzburg; this resort and spa has a picturesque setting, among monumental peaks, mirror-like lakes, green forests and meadows in the valley where the “Sound of Music” and “Sissi” starring Romy Schneider was shot.


The director of the famous Sissi films Ernst Marischka was searching in 1955 for a location that would double as the Schloss Possenhofen. He would have chose the original palace itself, because since it had hardly changed since Sissi had left it, but he found that is was not idyllic and grandiose enough, so he settled with Schloss Fuschl by the picturesque Lake Fuschl, that is conveniently similar to the Lake Stanberg in Bavaria, by which the original palace stands. The Fuschl palace now can be visited because it is a luxury hotel, which offers rooms occupied in the past by stars and royalty. This building was also a location for “The Sound of Music”.

Schloss Leopoldskron is an extraordinary castle on the banks of a stunning lake not far from Salzburg, overlooking the Alpine mountains. In 1918 the Schloss was bought by Europe’s most famous theatre director: Max Reinhardt. He restored it and renovated its many halls with the help of Salzburg artisans. After it was completed he brought bustling life here by setting up a theatre in the building, visited frequently by audiences and friends. These were not any typical plays, because instead of using a stage with mobile sets, he used the many rooms of the castle, making the audience follow the actors into various furnished rooms. He also set up a garden theatre, where nature was its set. In these years the Schloss became the heart of European culture.

Leopoldskron

Since the premier of the film “The Sound of Music” in 1965, the whole world has came to love the story of the von Trapp family. But when they started to shoot this film in Salzburg in 1964 no one on the production would have anticipated what global success they were about to achieve. The star of the acclaimed Hollywood movie “Mary Poppins”, Julie Andrews, was the leading actress in this film as well, yet again in the role of the nanny.


The Schloss Leopoldskron was not only affectionately named the “Sound of Music” palace because many scenes were filmed on its grounds, but also because one of its main rooms was completely replicated in a film studio so that the stunning interior with mirrors and golden decorations could be used for a scene.


Afterwards, in 1987 Julie Andrews, John Denver and Placido Domingo revisited Schloss Leopoldskron to film the special production “The Sound of Christmas”, thus reviving the cult film’s atmosphere. Later, in 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of this remarkable film, a documentary call The Sound of a City was shot on location with Julie Andrews.

Nic (Nicolas Cage) looked out over the landscape and he said to me, ‘Dom, look where we are. It’s a privilege to be here.’ He didn’t go back to his trailer the whole day. He sat on a rock, looking out and saying, ‘This is incredible.’”Dominic Sena, Director of Season of the Witch

The creative crew of “Season of the Witch” searched all over Europe in order to find a castle that was historically accurate as the Cardinal of Marburg’s residence. “We looked in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Germany,” says Charles Roven, producer. “We had pictures sent to us from Italy and Spain. I became a student of architecture because we were determined that the setting be authentic.” Then they found Kreuzenstein Castle, that is conveniently only 20 kilometers from Vienna and yet surrounded by nature, on top of a hill. It is a truly historic building; with foundations that date back to 1115. Its towers provide panoramic views of the country stretching out in front of it. The castle has a drawbridge, strong thick walls and an iron-studded entrance since it was originally built in order to protect the people living there and in the area from invaders. It has hardly changed since the Middle Ages making it an authentic capsule of the past.

Burg Rappottenstein is one of the rare castles that have never been conquered or destroyed, and today it is one of the best maintained castles in the whole of Austria. It has intact parts made centuries ago, authentically in Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance styles. It is a location much loved by filmmakers; such have been shot here like the films “Maximilian”, “Karl der Grosse” or “die Wanderhure”.

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Other medieval fortresses, that are ideal for filming locations, which should be mentioned are the Schloss Moosham in Unternberg, Burg Finstergrün in Ramingstein and Hohenwerfen Fortress, Salzburg.

Towns

Although most large city centers in Austria are full of progressive and innovative modern architecture, settlements in the countryside are quite the opposite. But do not think that means that these historic towns are inaccessibly remote, since Austria’s infrastructure ensures perfect roads, that easily connect these locations with their neighboring cities and airports. The list of towns would be endless, so instead let’s name here just a few, that stand for many others too.

Zell am See is a truly exceptional location; it sits in the heart of Salzburgerland, surrounded by breathtaking mountains and lakes. Next to its picturesque setting in nature and historic town center, it has a lively cultural scene, keeping the memory of its rich past alive with traditional festivities, quality gastronomy and outstanding hospitality.

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Along the river Kitzbühel Ache in Tyrol, there is a small medieval town called Kitzbühel, where the author of the Bond novels, Ian Fleming lived in the 1920s. The 1969 film American movie, Downhill Racer was filmed here and in Sankt Anton starring Robert Redford and Gene Hackman, proving how this unique town is able to attract creatives from all around the world.

Although Austria is not entirely enthusiastic about chalets, St. Anton is a major exception, since it is home to more chalets than in all other resorts in Austria together, which makes it clear why it was chosen to as the location for the film Chalet Girl. As many other Austrian towns, even though tourism is flourishing here, supported by immaculate infrastructure, the town has still been able to keep its traditional image and atmosphere.

Salzburg is one of Austria’s most iconic cities, with its elegant baroque architecture, monumental castle on a hill overlooking the city and its beautiful river running through it. It is the nest of Austrian culture, since it is the birthplace of Mozart, and the Mozartkugeln too. Although it is such a historic site, it does have all the conditions ideal to ensure filmmakers the infrastructure they require for a easy flowing shoot.

Hollywood is a recurring visitor in Salzburg; Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Nicolas Cage have all taken part in film productions here, which were attracted by this city’s beauty and history.

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Austria’s infrastructure ensures its place as the country of easy distant shoots. Its extraordinary natural conditions and historic settlements are perfectly combined with its flawless road system making all areas effortlessly accessible. The large network of quality hotels in the Alps ensure that the film crew is able to find accommodation near the sets in order to minimize travel costs and time.

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