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Posts Tagged ‘Film production Hungary’

As autumn turns the leaves from vibrant greens to smokey reds and yellows, we thought it would be an ideal time to revisit one of the more intriguing locations in the city: the City Park. You may recognize the plaza Hero’s Square, which is front and center in the park, as the location for Michael Jackson’s video for “History,” but there is so much else to discover. With that in mind, we revisit Városliget, Budapest’s City Park:

In 1882 Nikola Tesla was walking through the Budapest City Park (Városliget), when he envisioned how to make alternating current work to power a motor. He claims that he looked out over the trees at the sunset, recited a line of Goethe, and the solution came to him in a flash of inspiration. He etched a rudimentary plan for the motor in the park dirt with a stick. His invention would bring him to American and make him both rich and famous. Who can say whether the conditions of Budapest’s strange and relaxing city park helped him come to his discovery, but it sure makes reflection easy, while offering up its own strange inspirations.

varosliger Budapest City Park

via Budapestnet.hu

The park comprises 302 acres of trees and paths, with museums, pubs, and even a zoo situated within its confines to keep park-enthusiasts entertained. OK, these amenities can be expected of any first-rate city park, but Városliget has a few peculiar monuments and structures that truly distinguish it and give it a unique character.

Budapest's City Park Ice Rink

via Wikipedia

First off – and if you are American you are likely to do a double take here – the Városliget is home to one of the only statues of US presidents in Hungary: George Washington (the other, of Ronald Reagan, was recently erected in District V). Hungary’s great leader Lajos Kossuth was commemorated in Cleveland, Ohio, with a statue; Hungarians returned the gesture in 1906 with a statue of Washington. According to the Hungarian American Federation, at the unveiling “Thousands lined the streets to watch the parade through Budapest as the ‘Stars and Stripes and the Hungarian colors intertwined were to be seen everywhere’. ” Amazingly, the statue remained through the Communist era, and still stands today.

In striking contrast is the nearby pub called Pántlika (ribbon) for its red ribbon-like shape. Built for the 1970s, the structure was originally used as an information booth for a Socialist-era trade exhibition, and the red shape was intended to resemble a red star from above. These days it is a great place to stop for a bowl of traditional Hungarian bean soup or a traditional American hamburger. Note that the interior is loaded with authentic Communist paraphernalia, making it feel like a step back in time.

hungarian restaurant

And, of course the Városliget is also home to Széchenyi Baths, which we paid homage to in a previous post, which you can check out here. Tesla’s etching of his alternating current motor has long been wiped away, but plenty more discoveries await at Budapest’s world class park.

via szechenyifurdo..hu

via szechenyifurdo..hu

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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chemical_brothers

via chemicalbrothers.com

Every now and again a clip comes along that doesn’t feature Budapest’s most recognized, blue-chip locations (The Chain Bridge, The Castle, or the State Opera House) but rather uses the gritty urban feel of the inner city of Pest. One such video surfaced recently in the Chemical Brothers single “The Boxer”. Here you can see a hyper-kinetic basketball bouncing around of its own volition deep in Districts VII, VIII, and IX. These are streets that are filled with apartment buildings erected post WWII (socialist block houses) and Bauhaus-influenced office buildings. You can also see a healthy bit of what the city streets that have yet to be renovated and pedestrianized look like. In short: the part of Budapest tourists don’t usually visit.

Not long ago, businessinsider.com asked if Budapest was the hipster capital of Europe, and this video makes a case that it is. The vibe is a kitsch, retro, 70s feeling that is very hip indeed these days. And for added hipster cred, check out the Lada (the boxy car) and rotary phones. Retro and nostalgia rule. The song is not necessarily new either: it comes from the 2005 album Push the Button and features Charlatans’ singer Tim Burgess on vocals. But it took the 2011 previously unreleased alternate version of “The Boxer’ to rate this super video.

So here we have one more niche Budapest can fill: hipster heaven. Berlin, eat your heart out (and wipe your beard: there are crumbs in it).

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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Note: This is a re-print of the PPM Hungary newsletter, which can be signed up for here.

What better way to enjoy the warm weather in Budapest than to take a casual stroll through a neighborhood that is a living history: the visually exciting and atmospheric inner-town 7th District. Let us guide you through the streets, past the architectural triumphs and haunted courtyards of Erzsébet Varós, the renown Jewish District.

Start in front of the Dohány Street Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe (and the second largest in the world), a protected UNESCO World Heritage site. It is easy to gaze up and admire the Byzantine design incorporated by architects Christian Friedrich Ludwig Förster. But imagine looking up and seeing Alolf Eichmann, Hitler’s logistical manager of the deportation of Hungarian Jews, gazing back down at you. Upon arriving in Budapest and taking up an office in the synagogue, Eichmann reportedly said that they would, “eat the Jews with paprika.” The synagogue has recovered since those dark times, and is currently active as a place of worship and a must-see tourist sight.

Walking down narrow Rumbach Street, we arrive at lesser-known Rumbach Synagogue. Architect Otto Wagner created a brooding Moorish façade that could easily be mistaken for a mosque. Abandoned since WWII, the synagogue is undergoing restoration. Recently, when Yoko Ono was spending time in Budapest, she considered renting it as an artist studio. View the synagogue as a seed that has lay dormant for a long period, and is just about to sprout and come to life.

At the end of Rumbach Street, we turn right to find ourselves in Goszdu Udvar (courtyard), one of the more visually striking locations in Budapest, where light and shadow fall like spaces on a chess board. The row of residential buildings, connected by a long shopping arcade, has recently been renovated. There you can find cafes, art galleries and the storefronts of local artisans. But can you imagine, during WWII, families camped out in the courtyard, cooking over open fires? In history and appearance, Gozsdu offers both light and dark. Exiting the arcade on Dob Street leaves us within a few blocks of our starting point, the magnificent Dohány Street Synagogue.

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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Oh but there have been a lot of videos making the rounds lately touting the elegant gorgeousness of Budapest past and present. If you look back through this blog’s posts, you will find but a few. Or just click here and here.

The latest addition to our video library comes from the Hungarian Board of Tourism, and goes beyond the borders of Budapest in its scope. Highlighting the unique beauty of the entire country, over the course of the video you will be taken to such destinations as Héviz, home to the world’s largest thermal lake, then on to Lake Balaton. Of course, Budapest is not left out, with stunning scenes from illustrious sights like New York Café, Heroes’ Square, the National Theatre, the Chain Bridge, and even a ruin pub. Recent Hungarian technological innovations like light-transmitting concrete also get some play, as does a deconstruction of some local cuisine. So, thanks tourism board, for this awe-inspiring tribute to the nation’s wealth of singularly tourist – and film – friendly sights.

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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It’s one thing for us to tell you how great a place Budapest is as a location. But when you hear it unsolicited from one of the biggest stars on the planet, it means just a little bit more.

Dwayne Johnson, better known as “The Rock” of World Wide Wrestling, film and TV fame, has been spending quite some time in Hungary as of late. The star of films such as G.I Joe, The Scorpion King, and Fast and Furious 6, recently finished shooting director Bret Ratner’s take on the Hercules myth. Hercules: The Thracian Wars was shot in Budapest at the Origo Film Group lot using mostly local crews and talent. Lately, The Rock has been taking to social media in praise of the work done on the intricate sets needed to recreate ancient Greece.

via Dwayne Johnson/ Twitter

via Dwayne Johnson/ Twitter

Of the recreated Athenian amphitheater Rock tweeted, “Amazing to walk on set today. Detail in design incredible.”

Of an earlier set he wrote, “The most amazing set I’ve ever stepped foot on. Honored to play this role.”

via Dwayne Johnson/ Instagram

via Dwayne Johnson/ Instagram

Much of what The Rock is so impressed with is down to the hard work of Hungarian art director Bence Erdeyi and his crew of diligent, detail-minded craftsmen. Erdeyi’s star is rising with a spate of recent high-profile jobs on films like Die Hard V, Season of the Witch, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and the Robin Hood miniseries.

The Rock also passes the praise around to the crew: “6am. Just wrapped a long night of shooting. THANK U to our hard workin’ film crew. A pleasure droppin’ sweat w ya.”

Rock even gives a shout out to the extras: “THANK U my ‘Thracian soldiers’. Intensity & energy.”

via Themovieweb.com

via Themovieweb.com

But The Rock has been singing the praises of Budapest for a while now. Upon arrival here is what he tweeted: “A pleasure being in Budapest…Beautiful city & people. Months of training for the role. Lets shoot.. HERCULES.”

It is fair to say that The Rock is a generous guy with his praise and gratitude, and his Hungarian team gave him a lot to feel good about.

the-rocks-demi-god-diet-plan-for-his-next-role-as-hercules

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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Excuse us if we seem a little tipsy. It’s November which means that while it may be a difficult time for sunbathers, it is a great time for wine lovers. That’s because November is ‘new wine’ season, when vineyards release a limited amount of the year’s vintage. ‘Újbor’ in Hungarian, it is better known by its French name, Beaujolais nouveau. The product of early harvest red grapes (though to a lesser degree you will see whites and rosé) Hungarian újbor is usually light, fruity, and highly potable.

szent_marton_bora

The celebrations of the new wine go hand in hand with St. Martin’s Day. As such, two of the reasons we think Hungary has become the second top tourist destination in the world converge in November: wine and festivals. Hungary is a country that celebrates all its culinary niches with festivals, and újbor is no different. How St. Martin himself became identified with the release of new wine is largely speculation. Some say it is due to his generous nature, while others maintain it is merely because he is from the town of Tours in France, the nation traditionally identified with a finicky wine culture.

Saint-Martin

St. Martin’s new wine festivals happen in the middle of the month, taking place across the country. In Budapest we have the Saint Martin’s Day Festival that unfolds over three days at the ever-glamorous Gellért Hotel. If you want a less ritzy venue, the Hungarian Museum of Agriculture in Budapest’s City Park also sponsors a November 9th St. Martin’s Day celebration, offering tastings of goose dishes as well as újbor, along with a program of folk crafts and dancing. Both venues have goose on the menu: in Hungary the bird is traditionally served with new vintage wines, as it is believed to bring good fortune for the coming year.

festival10

So don’t feel too bad as autumn transitions into winter – do as the Hungarians do and celebrate new beginnings and the great things to come.

About the author: For a manuscript critique, click through to Wordpill Manuscript Editing.

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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Zsa_Zsa_Gabor_-_1959

Via Wikipedia

Her name is synonymous with glamor – no not her birth name Sári Gabor –  but Zsa Zsa, a simple Hungarian girl who became Hollywood royalty. It is fair to say that before there was Paris Hilton, before Angelina Jolie, and other starlets who became obsessions of the American public and media, there was Zsa Zsa.  Born in 1917 in Budapest, which was still part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, it wasn’t until just before World War II that Gabor was able to flee Europe (she would have to, her mother was Jewish).

Before retiring due to health reasons, Zsa Zsa spent over 70 years in the entertainment industry in the USA. Her career stretches far back as the Milton Berle Show, which many consider the first real successful TV comedy show, all the way up to spots on the David Letterman Show. In between there are almost a hundred TV and film credits, from roles on much-loved shows as Bonanza to Mr. Ed, from The Love Boat to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, all the while getting the American ear accustomed to her sultry Hungarian accent.

Gabor’s life was as dramatic as the roles she played. All in all, she was married nine times.  When a reporter asked hew who many husbands she had, she famously said, “You mean other than mine?”  She was first proposed to at the tender age of 15, and indeed took the Turkish diplomat as her first husband. But by 19 she had been crowned Miss Hungary, and it was obvious she was determined to make a career for herself in entertainment. Divorced before the age of 20, Gabor emigrated with her mother the US. Not long after, she met hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, who became her second husband. In 1952 Gabor got her big break in Hollywood, being offered a part in a Fred Astaire movie. The rest, dah-ling, is history.

Though she became an American citizen, Zsa Zsa never fully lost her trademark Hungarian accent, as you can see in the clip below.

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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