Finding a good location for a scene is a difficult task by itself. Finding a perfect location for a movie, where you can record both Berlin or Moscow by turning the camera 90 degrees to the other side, is almost impossible. Not in Budapest. The Hungarian capital in the middle of Europe is an absolute wonder for the film industry. Thanks to its variety, caused by the country’s history, lots of Hollywood’s directors have found this place charming.
Atomic Blonde (2017), a movie which is held in Berlin at the time of the Cold War, was shot in Budapest. A regular viewer could easily think that the rough exterior and the pale colors of the buildings are in Berlin, but they’re not. They are the pillars of downtown Budapest, an everyday view for the people who live there. A lot of credit goes to the designers and builders who constructed a „fake” Berlin Wall. The structure in the film was carried around the city and set up where it was needed. Nearby buildings helped to create an enviroment where it could blend in perfectly. Just to be clear, there are lot of scenes where a trained eye could see the common courtyards that are in the middle of the regular Budapest buildings. So, it is not exclusively Budapest undercover, but as always, it made an amazing job.
Good (2008) is a drama film which was shot almost entirely in Budapest in 2007. The other locations are Tata and Balatonakarattya which are also in Hungary. The script of the movie is played in Berlin in the 30’s. One of the biggest scenes of the movie was shot at Nyugati Railway Station, which was build by Gustave Eiffel’s company back in 1877. The room of the ticket office -where the main act was shot- was recreated to look like a train station in Nazi Germany. Another important location is Károlyi-kert, which can be found in the middle of Budapest, next to the Hungarian National Museum. The garden „acts” as a Berlin park where two of the main characters of the movie Maurice (Jason Isaacs) and Halder (Viggo Mortensen) are having a chat. The designers even added pub to make the scene more authentic.
In conclusion, Budapest is an absolute money and time saver for filmmakers. Having a place with such versatility can save up a lot of dollars for production companies. Also, let’s not forget that the crew doesn’t have to travel around the world for scenes, they can do it in one city only. Not to mention, our favourite actors love it here. Just ask Will Smith or Bruce Willis.
Photo, video: Die Hard 5 werk, Youtube