Filming in Hungary

Unforgettable Scenes and Shooting Locations

Where did they shoot it? Hungarian locations in famous films

It has often happened that when we check out a location with one of our foreign clients, they say; this place is so familiar, as if I have already seen it in a film. Budapest is become more and more an enormous film set, where the locations are such scenes that appear in various feature films as well. Ranging from large scale films like Evita to Chernobyl Diaries, we uncover the iconic Hungarian locations behind everyone’s favourite movies. Also get to know more about favoured spy locations, since Budapest can rightfully be named Europe’s Spy Capital, with such productions being shot here as Spy Game and I Spy, oh and not to mention Spy! This is our collection of these film’s famous and less known shooting locations.

It has often happened that when we check out a location with one of our foreign clients, they say; this place is so familiar, as if I have already seen it in a film. Budapest is become more and more an enormous film set, where the locations are such scenes that appear in various feature films as well. Ranging from large scale films like Evita to Chernobyl Diaries, we uncover the iconic Hungarian locations behind everyone’s favourite movies. Also get to know more about favoured spy locations, since Budapest can rightfully be named Europe’s Spy Capital, with such productions being shot here as Spy Game and I Spy, oh and not to mention Spy! This is our collection of these film’s famous and less known shooting locations.

Evita’s and Dracula’s Palace

The Palace of Justice in Budapest has given place to some brilliant film productions over the years. In 1996 the unique scene featuring the song Waltz for Eva and Ché from Evita was shot here. The main characters waltz in this ballroom made misty to enhance the sense of intimacy in this scene, which is both full of romance and political debate.

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The marvelous Palace of Justice’s marble grand hall has inspired many Hollywood directors

Nearly twenty years later, a similarly romantic and complicated scene for NBC’s Dracula was filmed here, in which the two lovers meet for the first time in that century. They filled this same central hall full of people, in contract with the previous one, making it a highly public situation in which love has to secretly unfold.

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But this building is by nature public, it got converted into the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, but soon will be changed back to its original function of housing the supreme court.

Chernobyl Diaries’ Real Abandoned Locations

It doesn’t happen everyday that a Chernobyl themed horror movie has the opportunity to shoot in authentic, abandoned Soviet locations, which are so intact, they still have all the original wallpaper and debris of everyday objects, giving the production a ready set. This is what awaited the producers of Chernobyl Diaries found Hungary’s Abandoned Soviet Barracks, which needless to say, are slightly more advantageous than filming in Chernobyl itself, since it is not at all radioactive!

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What more could a production designer want then an original ruined Soviet interior?

It was due to the political change of 1991 that the Soviets suddenly demilitarised Hungary, leaving this countryside complex built for soldiers and officers empty. So the crew of the 2012 movie must have been highly inspired by these buildings full of ruined homes, which create a highly eerie atmosphere.

Smoke and Love in a Art Deco Power Plant

Vampires can be found in the most unusual situations: here one can be found in a truly extraordinary romantic scene: a long, loving embrace while an Art Deco power plant explodes. In one of the episodes of NBC’s TV adaptation of the classic story of Dracula, we can see in slow motion, among epic explosions a green control room and its panels appear, which are the iconic features of the Hungarian Kelenföld Power Plant. This exceptional hundred years old industrial building was designed with such aesthetic, that it has inspired many creatives. For example, Progressive is proud to have been able to collaborate with History Channel, when they shot the promo videos for the TV miniseries Houdini, featuring Adrien Brody.

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This beautiful aged power plant’s interior has eyecatching Art Deco design and colours

Buda Castle as Camouflage

In the highly amusing 2002 movie I Spy, Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson play around on a rooftop with a gadget that is capable of making an airplane invisible by merging it into the sight behind it, which in their case happens to be a panorama night view of the Buda Castle in Budapest. But they don’t seem to be very occupied by this stunning view, rather just with the disappearing plane.

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Budapest’s awe inspiring panorama of the Buda Castle never fails to enrichen a film

Still the view is there for the viewers of the movie, giving a great feel and style to the movie. There are many spots around Budapest that can offer DOPs and photographers such brilliant backgrounds for their scenes and images.

Mephisto’s Performance in the Opera

The dark and tormented Oscar winning Hungarian film Mephisto, has an international crew and cast. In one of the climaxes of the film the main character finally gets a lead role in a main theater and performs in front of both his wife and the nazi party, unifying the strands of his life. This was shot in the gold, ornate State Opera House in Budapest, which has a huge stage, easily adjustable to modern stage designs, not only traditional ones. It is overlooked by countless luxurious box seats and a large ground floor auditorium.

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The State Opera in Budapest is a perfect example of the historic cultural richness of Central Europe

The Opera House is open to film and photography productions, so if this location has caught your eye, we’d happily assist your planning.

Jamie Woon’s Lady Luck

The British singer and songwriter’s groovy single Lady Luck has an unique music video in which he travels and sings the song all around the Hungarian public travel system. It shows many aspects of this rich system; the retro Soviet underground carriages, escalators, trams among trees in greener areas and buildings viewed from car journeys. It is great to see another side of the Hungarian capital being encaptured; since it is less touristic, one gets the feel of what it can be like to live and travel in Budapest.

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The old Soviet carriages in Budapest Metro line 3 ensures an authentic atmosphere of the second half of the 20th century

There are countless excellent shooting locations in Hungary, which is why such a wide range of films, from various genres, can find the background they are searching for their film in this country. These locations have still not become overused, since they have appeared under extremely differing art directions in cinemas all over the world, and during our scoutings brand new unused locations always appear as well.

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