Budapest’s use as a location for feature films is well established, but it is lesser known as a backdrop for music videos. It has, however, hosted some A-list acts, all of whom have made use of the city’s moodiness and grandeur to compliment their songs. In fact, the first time a western MTV video was shot in Budapest was during the Socialist rule way back in 1985. Dire Strait’s clip for Money for Nothing was – at the time – groundbreaking in its use of computer animation. Equally striking are the shots in the Budapest Castle district, where a Hungarian model was employed to walk her derriere away from the camera. Have a look here: we know you can spot the model, but how abut the cityscape of Budapest in the background?
Later, after the Iron Curtain fell, and only pop ruled supreme, Michael Jackson dropped by Heroes Square to shoot scenes for the 1995 video trailer for his album History. That Western consumerist culture was invading is made abundantly clear in this bizarrely over-the-top aggrandizement of Jackson. During his stay in Budapest, Jackson also made a tour of the city’s children’s hospital, after which he ‘sent an organization around the world’ in search of a liver for a sick boy named Farkas. We will forgive Michael for his persistent mispronunciation of the boy’s name, because, according to the video, an appropriate liver was found and Farkas’s life was saved.
More recently, several princesses of pop have shot Budapest-based videos. Gwen Stefani’s Early Winter captures the longing feeling of the Nyugati Train Station, and Kate Perry’s Firework (with an astounding 215,000,000 You Tube views) features the courtyard in the Castle and the Chain Bridge (and, taking a cue from Jackson, a sick child), but the best use of the city is undoubtedly Selena Gomez’s Round and Round, in which locations from all points on the map are captured, from sweeping panoramas of the city to a shot of the much under-appreciated Electronics Museum in District VII. Have a look here as Gomez plays agent-provocateur in this spy-themed clip.
Though we will present more on videos from local pop and folks stars later, we found one of the most satisfying uses of Budapest as a mood setter in The Unbending Tree’s video for You are a Lover, in which the singer takes a cab ride around the city next to a pair of snogging youngsters, making the city feel at once romantic and sorrowful, the perfect accompaniment for muses and music alike.
PPM Film Services is a Budapest-based film company offering an inspiring and creative work atmosphere for its host of clients from around the world. Since our inception, our focus has been providing the best of the best in terms of local production resources, locations, cast and technical teams to ensure that whatever the production we’re charged to create, we do it with no compromise. To sign up for the PPM Hungary newsletter, have a look here.