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Archive for July, 2015

In addition to being one of the warmer weekends on record (forget about any notions of a gray, dreary eastern Europe, there was nothing but vibrant heat and sporting excitement this July), Hungary saw the completion of the 2015 Formula One Hungarian Grand Prix, known as Hungaroring. Racing fans from all over the world flocked to Budapest to watch Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel take home first place. Red Bull’s 21-year-old Daniil Kvyat came in second while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo took third.

Hungaroriing

Hungaroring (official site here) opened in 1986, making it one of the more modern tracks on the Formula 1 circuit. It also has one of the most challenging designs, calling on drivers’ cornering ability, with its sharp curves, though some drivers complain it is too difficult to overtake with so few straights.

hungaroring

The official Hungaroring describes the site as: “Classical. This is what it has become over the past years, the race track of Hungaroring. It was built almost three decades ago as a rarity of its time, for being the first one beyond the Iron Curtain, and now it is still special as the third behind Monte-Carlo and Monza to have continuously featured in the F1 race calendar.”

Zsolt Gyulay, president CEO of Hungaroring, adds: “The valley, the environment is beautiful and the proximity of the capital is a great attraction really to everyone.”

hungaroring

Just because the Grand Prix takes place in summer doesn’t mean the track is deserted in spring: locals are permitted to drag race monthly; you might even see a souped-up Trabant. Located in a valley, around 80 percent course is visible from most points, making it a striking and exciting location for spectators and film-makers alike.

The town Mogyoród, where the Hungaroring takes place, is just 11 miles from Budapest, making it an ideal day trip, and easily accessible. If you happen to be in a Formula 1 race car,  which can travel at speeds up to 250 mph, it should only take a few minutes to get there.

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.

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There is no better way to beat the current heat wave than to get out of the concrete and brick corridors of Budapest and out into the country.

The Hungarian countryside claims a wide range of rural landscapes. For instance, only 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Budapest rests Balaton, the biggest freshwater lake in Europe. The entire Balaton region offers a charming shooting location with 215 (130 miles) of long coastal roads with an abundance of orchards, vineyards, and wooded areas that manifest a perfect Provence-like atmosphere.

As an example of the unique, highly filmable locations you can find, we would like to direct your attention to the viaduct of Balaton. As you can see, this expansive waterway stands around 88 meters (fifty yards) high and is 23 feet wide. It is supported by 16 pillars, ranging from 18 to 80 meters high. The site is conveniently located by a highway connected to Budapest, on the way to the smaller Lake Zamárdi.

viadukt2

Regionally, Badacsony is known as one of the most beautiful in Hungary. It is most famous for its white wines, which are considered national treasures. The wine culture of Badacsony has been around since 1375, when Cisterian monks planted the first grapes. The area is ideal for wine production due to the soil, which draws minerals from the lava of several inactive volcanoes in and around the area. This makes for a mineral and complex white wine, which is much loved around the country. Can you not imagine yourself sipping a crisp white wine while taking in the panorama below?

gyenesdiás

badacsonyi bortura-1

Some of our favorite whites come from the Pannonhalma Apatsagi, or the Pannonhalma Archabbey.  This Benedictine abbey, built in 962, is one of the oldest structures in Hungary.  The foot of the hill it rests on was believed to be the birthplace of Saint Marton of Tours. Importantly, this is the second largest abbey in the world, with spectacular features like a Baroque refractory, Gothic basilica,  cloisters, a 360,000 volume library, a botanical gardens, and of course the vineyard that produces grapes for the Pannonhalma brand of wine.

Copyright Civertan Grafikai Stúdió via Wikimedia Commons

Copyright Civertan Grafikai Stúdió via Wikimedia Commons

via Wikimedia commons

via Wikimedia commons

The Archabby is at home in the gorgeous region of Badacsony, which invokes lush rural areas like Provance and Umbria. In this heat, don’t be surprised if a goodly portion of Budapest’s population have taken respite there, where the wine and water are cool.

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.

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Louis CK

via Wikipedia

Little known fact: America’s most subversive, some would say radical comic, Louis C.K., was actually born Louis Székely. The star of the TV sit-com Louie and actor in films like Blue Jasmine, American Hustle, and The Invention of Lying, has a Hungarian grandfather, Dr. Geza Székely Schweiger, a Hungarian Jew who fled war-torn Europe in favor of Mexico. C.K.’s father went to university in the States, eventually emigrating there.

Interestingly, Székely got his start as a comic opening up for Jerry Seinfeld, another famous TV star with Hungarian roots on his father’s side. (On a side note, Hungarians can also claim comedy pioneer Rodney Dangerfield, sit-com star Mayim Bialik, and Get Smart’s Don Adams as comics with Hungarian roots).

Among C.K.’s credits include a whopping thirty Emmy nominations in the fields of writing, acting, producing, editing, and directing. Thus far he has actually won five Emmy awards, primarily for his work on Louis, and another for his TV special, Live at the Beacon Theater. Just how big is Székely in the States? He is the only comedian to ever sell out three shows at Madison Square Garden on one tour.

Sadly, Székely has yet to return to Hungary or Székely-land in Transylvania on a professional level. But with so much film production happening in Budapest and Hungarian environs, we wouldn’t be surprised if he was tempted back soon.

They say that Hungarians are professionals at swearing, and in this Louis C.K. shows his roots. There is not much – if any – of his stand-up comedy that is suitable for a professional blog, but here is a mostly clean clip from the only slightly more TV friendly Louise.

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.

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air race budapest

via Red Bull

Last weekend saw fireworks and spectacular celebrations: we’re not talking about the USA’s Independence Day, nor was there a WWII movie being filmed on location, but rather the fuss came from the fourth round of the 2015 Red Bull Air Race World Championship. It has been since 2009 that the air race was held over the most central stretch of the river Danube that divides Buda and Pest. On that occasion, over 650,000 people – more than a quarter of the city’s population – lined the river to watch the air race. Again, tens of thousands withstood the current heatwave to see 47-year-old Austrian Hans Arch take home first place in this round of the competition. The pilot also won round three held in Rovinj, Croatia (the first two were held in Abu Dhabi, and Chiba, Japan) completing his lightning fast run over the water in a time of 59.350 seconds. “I didn’t really expect it but was kind of hoping for it because I was winning there already like in 2009. It was my first victory in the air race, so I am really happy that I could nail it with my best run of the week in the final and for that I am really a little bit proud about myself,” said Arch said, as quoted in the International Business Times. Hometown favorite, Hungarian Péter Besenyei placed a respectable 6th. The next race takes place in Ascot, in mid August in the UK.

The organizers cited Budapest’s status as one of the “world’s top 10 cites,” as one of the reasons for its inclusion as a venue for the competition. The beautiful bridges and cityscape, all ideal film locations, certainly couldn’t have hurt, either.

For the official Red Bull race highlights, you can click here. Otherwise, watch the video below for the spectacular preview. You have never seen traffic on the Danube like this before.

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