Shooting in Hungary

Possibilities of Talent Casting

What kind of talents, models can I find in this small country?

The Progressive Talents department was created so that we can ensure an internationally high standard of talents for our clients. Although many production companies decide to trust the casting to agencies, we believe that if we organize our own casting, then we will be able to reach a wider range of people among whom we can choose the ideal talents for the given project. Our team is ready to invest the needed amount of energy into the organization of a casting.


Our strengths: 1) We aim to present as many “fresh people” as possible, who are not yet on other agencies’ database. 2) We create first class presentational material of the applicants, which will assist the client’s decision making. 3) We find it is important that the contract given to the chosen talents to sign is straightforward, comprehensible and compatible with international standards. 4) We are continually enlarging our talent database. Also it is important for us to stay in contact with our talents and after a given amount of time to refresh their information and references. Our goal is to insure to our clients the talents that are best for their project.

The Progressive Talents department was created so that we can ensure an internationally high standard of talents for our clients. Although many production companies decide to trust the casting to agencies, we believe that if we organize our own casting, then we will be able to reach a wider range of people among whom we can choose the ideal talents for the given project. Our team is ready to invest the needed amount of energy into the organization of a casting.


Our strengths: 1) We aim to present as many “fresh people” as possible, who are not yet on other agencies’ database. 2) We create first class presentational material of the applicants, which will assist the client’s decision making. 3) We find it is important that the contract given to the chosen talents to sign is straightforward, comprehensible and compatible with international standards. 4) We are continually enlarging our talent database. Also it is important for us to stay in contact with our talents and after a given amount of time to refresh their information and references. Our goal is to insure to our clients the talents that are best for their project.

The Hungarian talent

The question of “What does a typical Hungarian person look like?” often reoccurs. While in most of Europe’s countries there are typical characteristics of each nation - for example in the southern countries dark hair and eyes are common and in the north lighter shades occur more often - in Hungary people are very diverse. For photo shoots and film shoots it is a great advantage that it is not hard to find brown, blond and ginger haired people, as well as spotting talents with mediterranean or scandinavian coloring.

The diversity of people’s looks in Hungary is partially due to the course of Hungarian history, because over the centuries a big variety of ethnic groups have been present in the Carpathian Basin. It was mainly in the 18th and 19th century after the end of the Turkish reign that the number of ethnic minorities grew drastically because of the spontaneous and organized repopulation of Hungary. From the North for example Slavs, from the West Germans and from the South mainly mediterraneans arrived to the country. This variety means a true benefit for Hungarian castings.

Asians, Africans in Hungary

In Hungary the scale of ethnic and cultural minorities is minor compared to the rest of the population. Foreigners who come to the country are mainly students, seasonal workers or tourists and do not stay for more than a few months. On the other hand there is a dynamic growth in the number of Asians living in Hungary. According to a research made in 2015, their number doubled in the last ten years; it grew to 33 thousand, out of which 16 thousand were Chinese. The number of citizens of North African Arab states and Black-African countries has also grown, it has tripled in the last decade, nearly reaching 5 thousand.


Insuring ethnics for the film shoots for important or main roles is challenging as a result of their low numbers, although it is a lot easier to find them for extras.

Professionals or Real People

Regardless of the size of the country, Hungary is very lucky when it comes to casting, because of the many professional performers living in Hungary. This is due to the high quality of the education for performers and the fact that the there is a big community of cultural enthusiasts. Theater and Film play important roles in the lives of Hungarians interested in culture. The number of theater productions are constantly increasing in the country. In 2012 there were more than 21 000 theater performances and the number of theater visitors reached 5 million. There are more than 100 professional and amatour theaters and companies here.


Considering the facts above, there is emphasis on the education of those interested in performance art, since quality education affects the output of the professional sector.


There is a century long tradition of institutional acting education in Hungary. The most prestigious of these is The University of Theater and Film Arts, Budapest (Színház- és Filmművészeti Egyetem) which tutors performing artists for the theater, film and television. They have many alumni of international success, who are directors, camera-men and actors. Apart from The University of Theater and Film Arts there are many other opportunities for those interested in Performing Arts to gain a professional acting education, such as acting vocational schools and other theater institutes. These courses are more practical and the tutors are often professionally accomplished figures of the scene. After finishing this educational the students will become suitable for performing.

Stuntmen

Hungarian stuntmen are globally especially renowned for their professionalism, enthusiasm and endurance. Therefore in the case of stuntmen-casting Hungary is one of the most ideal countries in Europe.


Apart from a few month-long courses in Hungary, there is now a 2 year long state-approved stuntman training organized by the Stunt Association Hungary. During this course the participants in the first six months get to know the basics of the profession. Then after a year and a half of practising and training they have to take a final exam. In the theoretical part of the course they are taught Health and Safety, the practical sides of Film Studies, Economy and Law. In the practical part they take part in choreographed fights, fencing, use of weapons and pyrotechnics sessions.

Youtube Hungary's stunt association

Exceptional physical condition, fitness and stamina is crucial for someone to become a stuntman, which is why mainly sportsmen choose this profession. Previously it was mainly pentathlon sportsmen who worked as stuntmen, because they are who know the biggest variety of sports on a professional level, that is fencing, horse riding, shooting cross-country running and swimming.

Lately the profession of stuntmen has developed into a true artistic activity. Hungarian stuntmen are winning prize after prize and a accomplishing international appreciation. For example during the first four seasons of the American television series Game of Thrones they used a Hungarian stuntman crew. For this they received the prize for the best film and television stuntmen; the SAG Prize, which is the American Actors’ Union’s Prize. Domonkos Párdányi (who took part in many super-productions such as Troy (as Brad Pitt’s double), Kingdom of Heaven, Munich and Die Hard 5) worked as the coordinator of the renowned crew. He was responsible for the realisation of the scenes in high quality and safety. Next to this he has also been active as the double of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau acting Jaime Lannister.

Background Fighters

Sometimes the characters fighting or fencing in the background are not stuntmen, but so-called background fighters, who form a transition between extras and stuntmen. They are often sportsmen, such as stuntmen. Their job is to imitate battles and fights in the background. The fighter extras require different education compared to stuntmen, so that they can execute their tasks safely. Next to attention, concentration and movement, improvising in front of the camera is also important.


For example for the feature film called Hercules, which was filmed in Hungary in 2014, they were looking for especially strong and fit background talents. This was important because the shooting took place from dawn to late at night, during 15-hour workdays, as well as in extreme weather conditions (from 35-40 celsius degrees to 0 or -2 degrees). They also organized a challenging 4 week long bootcamp.


The training was lead by one of the captains of the Hungarian Defence Force, as well as an English military educator. Multiple Hungarian stuntmen, background fighters and countless extras took part in shooting of this film. During the one-month training the fighters learnt to move together in great numbers in battle formats with the big shields and spears of the Thracians.  The film was made with the use of more than 100 extras, many Hungarians, who appeared in a variety of characters; as historic members of the public on the streets, Thracian fighters and as well as the dead.

Background Actors

Hungary is an ideal choice if one needs a large number of trained extras. Previously extras only formed the crowd, while lately often they are chosen for acting jobs with texts, therefore in Hungary the importance of extras-training courses has grown, as well as the courses preparing the attendees for castings. During these the extras can learn how to behave at castings, how they should cooperate with the film crew and how they should move in front of the camera, as well as learning film production expressions and the culture of behavior of a film shoot.

During the last few years, the Hungarian extras have gained a lot of experience due to the many feature films shot in Hungary. The action film Die Hard, featuring Bruce Willis and Spy as well as The Martian are all crowded with Hungarian actors and extras.


Therefore Hungarian extras have a big routine in taking part in international and period productions as well. They are aware of how a film shoot goes as well as a wardrobe fitting. They know what their client expects from them and the use of English is not a problem for them either. Next to those who work as extras just as a hobby, there are many who do it as their profession and specifically only these jobs form their income.

Hungarian models

Hungary is not only proud of its talented actors and extras, but also of their world famous models. In contrast with the performers, for models it is not the institutes and courses that have a dominant role in their success, but their important agencies.


In this country there are rather more photo and advertising models than catwalk models. There are many talented, beauty, advertising and catalogue models, although there are rather few in who are in the high fashion category. Still, in the last few years there has been a larger number of Hungarian models representing themselves in the international fashion scene, such as Enikő Mihalik, Barbara Palvin, Vanessa Axente and Bertold Zahorán.


Therefore Hungarian talents are exceptional regarding both their appearances and their skills. Their performances are high quality and can do their role in any type of production. The goal of Progressive Talents is to offer the best talents to the productions, let that be an actor, a stuntman or an extra.

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