In recent years, Hungary has climbed to the top of the film industry and more and more super-productions are being filmed in Hungary. And not just because of the price or the scenery.
Origo has interviewed the owner of the Hungarian based company, Mid Atlantic Films about the film industry’s development in Hungary. According to the owner, the history of the film industry in Hungary is quite rich and is currently booming.
In the past, block-buster movies such as the Black Widow, The Martian, Spy, Terminator: Dark Fate, A Good Day to Die Hard and several scenes from Blade Runner 2049 have been filmed in Hungary, not to mention the growing number of series, such as Netflix’s Witcher adaptation or The Last Kingdom. Commenting on the latter, the owner said they have just finished the filming of its fifth season.
Howard Ellis told Origo, that everything started in 1998, when he was first sent to Hungary by a film production company. During the time, the film industry of Central Europe consisted of Hungary, Prague, and Bukarest, but he chose Hungary.
“In addition to having been filming in Europe and North Africa, I also worked in the UK, but I preferred to bring projects to Hungary, because despite the lack of film industry infrastructure and the limited work possibilities, the staff were very talented.”
The first tax allowance talks started around 2000 with the Hungarian state and the film law passed at the end of 2003 in it a major tax allowance was introduced. Just one year after that, Mid Atlantic Films have shot Eragon, the first high-budget Hollywood movie to be filmed in Hungary with a budget of $ 70.000.000.
To the question why Hungarian staff are so great Howard Ellis said that because he thinks people work really hard in Hungary. There is a long history of filmmaking in Hungary, spanning from the early 1920s to now. Unfortunately, it had a low point between the ‘80s and early 2000s, and
when Ellis arrived, the know-how was already here in the form of talented staff members who have been in the industry for multiple generations, but they had barely any jobs. “Approximately a decade was needed for the industry to regenerate,” – he added.
The Eragon movie was a turning point, he said. After that they were able to film two, then three large-scale projects at the same time and now they are currently working on six to seven projects, with expensive and cutting-edge technology. “We are able to do anything in Hungary that Hollywood could imagin,” – the owner said.
The pandemic has shocked the world and it had a huge impact on everything around the globe. Origo asked Mid Atlantic Films owner how it affected the film industry in Hungary.
At Mid Atlantic films, we had to suspend the work of 3,700 people in March 2020, but thanks to the Hungarian Government and the National Film Institute, with strict safety precautions however, but we were able to continue our work by August, he said.
Hungary was among the first to introduce regular mandatory testing, tiered systems isolating groups of crew members in order to limit the viral spread, and other similar protocols, which soon became the standard across the global film industry.
Howard Ellis said that they are now working on more projects even than before the pandemic and considering how successful 2019 was in the Hungarian film industry, that means a lot.
Source: Origo.hu, Daily News Hungary