Recently, the Hollywood Reporter ran an article about the top five Eastern European countries to film in – and save money. Would it be any surprise that Hungary is on the list? This year Hungary is particularly visible, with Oscar forerunners The Martian and Son of Saul having their origins here.
The availability of a world-class studio, in this case Korda Studios, directly outside of Budapest in Etyek, 'Hungary’s Napa Valley,' was instrumental in bringing the production to Hungary. According to the article, it was chosen for the size of its sound stages, 64,3000 square feet in this case, for the infrastructure they could provide, for the expertise of the local technicians and crew, and the hefty tax incentive, which can total up to 30 percent of the production. They had so much space, that they even maintained a small potato farm on the lot, to have access to potatoes at all stages of growth, as called for by the script. Originally slated to be shot in Australia, the production was brought to Hungary (and Jordan) when the film-makers found the conditions more agreeable here.
In addition to prime studio space, there was no shortage extra-curricular activities for cast, who were able to do things like practice indoor skydiving in Budapest at the SkyWard center’s gravity-defying, 260km-wind tunnel. Matt Damon was spotted at several nightspots around town, including one of the more posh ‘Ruin Pubs’ in downtown, Ötkert. In an interview with Showbiz & TV, Damon went so far as to claim he would live in Budapest – if it were an American city: “Oh yes, I’ve been here [in Budapest] for a month, and I adore it. I think this is one of the world’s biggest walking cities, and people are very nice. It’s similar to Prague, where I worked comparably a lot, and I’m delighted. I was just on the phone with one of my American friends yesterday, and when he asked me about Budapest I told him that if this city had been in America, I would have definitely moved there.”
With seven Academy Award nominations, and having already won big at the Golden Globes, including Best Picture and Best Actor awards, the film's association with Hungary will only make the country hotter as a film location.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter