Hungary has long been a popular destination for productions looking to double other European cities, towns and natural locations, at a fraction of the cost of filming in Western Europe. Outside of its cities Hungary is known for rural landscapes, forests, rivers, mountains, vineyards, fields of wheat, corn, barely and sunflowers.
Cost & Rebates
Although prices have increased in recent years, Hungary still offers high production value. Production standards are very high and only a fraction of the cost of shooting in Western Europe or the United States. Compared to other countries in the region, Hungary is roughly on par with Czech costs, but more expensive than Romania, Latvia and Ukraine. Productions visiting Hungary to shoot feature films, TV series, documentaries, or animation for TV may be entitled to a 30% rebate of their total production costs. There is no minimum spend requirement. Although TV commercials are not eligible for the rebate, VAT reimbursement is possible.
When To Shoot
Hungary has a typical four-season climate with warm summers (June to September), colourful leaves in fall (October to November), white winters (December to March), and spring (April to May) in full bloom. May through to September are the best months to film for weather.
Hungary is a member of the Schengen Area. Only certain countries need visas and there is no need for work permits for foreign crews. Visiting US film crews can enter visa-free for a period of up to 90 days. Contact your local Hungarian embassy / representative for more information.
Cast, Crew & Equipment
Hungary has a small but good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Local crews are non-union. Hungary has some exceptional crews who have extensive experience in servicing international productions. Crews all speak fluent English. Hungary’s close proximity to major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of creative talent should you ever need to look further. Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Hungary is predominately ethnic Hungarian. There is also a sizable Roma population. Hungary’s close proximity to other major European production centres allows easy access to those pools of talent should you ever need to look further.
Hungary has rental houses that stock both Arri and Panavision equipment. All of the standard cameras, lights and cranes are available locally. Hungary also has more specialised film equipment including motion control, Giraffe and Pegasus cranes. For productions looking to bring in film equipment Hungary is an ATA carnet country.