As part of the ongoing 55th IQ Conference in Hungary, a roundtable discussion on Tuesday brought together experts from various corners of the film and technology industry. Held as a special segment of the multi-day event, this panel provided an in-depth look at emerging trends, from the rapidly evolving field of virtual production to the promising landscape of Hungarian cinema.
Virtual Production – Beyond the Green Screen
Eric Baum from ROE Visual captivated attendees by delving into the expansive realm of virtual production. This groundbreaking technology has moved well beyond traditional green screens to create immersive, interactive sets. With real-time visual effects, filmmakers are granted an unprecedented level of creative freedom and technical flexibility. Baum emphasised the limitless possibilities that virtual production brings to both independent and big-budget studios, offering a revolutionary approach to storytelling and visual aesthetics.
Astra Filmland – A Decade-Long Dream
COO Robert Koroknyai spoke about Astra Studios‘ decade-long dream to bring Astra Filmland into existence. This ambitious project aims to turn Hungary into a hub for film production, rivalling even industry giants like London. Astra Filmland plans to offer everything a filmmaker could need, all in one centralised location. The park will feature architectural workshops, equipment rentals, costume warehouses, and high-end post-production studios. Importantly, Koroknyai shared that sustainability is a core focus of their plans, citing initiatives like rainwater harvesting for cleaning purposes to minimise waste on set.
Delving Deep into International Filmmaking in Hungary
The roundtable discussion was a focal point of the day’s agenda, featuring industry leaders like Adam Goodman of Mid-Atlantic Films, Gábor Rajna from Astra Studios, and Viktória Petrányi, co-founder of Proton Cinema.
Adam Goodman spoke about the dramatic transformation Hungary has undergone in the realm of filmmaking:
“There were certain projects, which I won’t name, that never wanted to come here… Now fast forward to the last five, ten years, and that’s changed”, he explained
Goodman’s commentary emphasised that while cost-effectiveness initially drew productions to Hungary, it’s the evolution of its infrastructure and talent pool that now keeps them coming back.
“We have world class crews, we have great hotels, great support stages, infrastructure. So I think that as the stages became more sophisticated, as the crew became more experienced and more sophisticated in the types of shows they can do, our biggest problem became capacity.”
Viktória Petrányi touched upon the competitiveness between Hungarian producing companies:
“I think it’s our responsibility, our producer’s responsibility for which project, which crew member to apply. It’s a little ecosystem; it’s pretty fragile too. So there is, of course, competition, but we do not compete because there are natural partnerships”, said Petrányi, highlighting the organic nature of relationships among Hungarian film studios, which cultivate supportive rather than adversarial partnerships.
The discussions at the roundtable covered a range of topics, from tax incentives that make Hungary an attractive option for filmmakers to the country’s growing competitiveness on a global stage.
The day concluded with the “Hungarian Film Industry Mixer” at The Workshop, where IQ members had the chance to interact closely with local producers, discussing further opportunities within Hungary’s burgeoning film landscape. With its focus on technology, sustainability, and international cooperation, the 55th IQ Conference has proven to be a critical platform for shaping the future of filmmaking in Hungary and beyond.
While the following events of the conference will not be public to the press, the work is far from over for the attendees. Members will spend the remaining days of the conference in private discussions, exploring Hungary’s burgeoning role in the international film industry. These conversations are expected to pave the way for new collaborations and, hopefully, bring more projects to Hungary’s already busy film scene.