Written by on Feb 28, 2014. Posted in Production News

James Bond spy author miniseries Fleming films on location in Budapest

Sky Atlantic’s miniseries based on the life of James Bond author Ian Fleming filmed on location largely in Budapest, doubling the Hungarian capital for locations throughout Europe. The drama focuses on Fleming’s World War II experiences working in Naval Intelligence.

Budapest and Hungary in general ended up doubling for London, Paris, Lisbon, a French chateau, the harbour at Bordeaux, a German ‘schloss’ (manor house) and the Russian front line,” explain producer Sarah Curtis and Ildikó Kemény of local service company Pioneer Pictures.

“We shot for about ten days in a studio [for] the interior of Fleming's flat, which was all built by a hugely talented Hungarian construction team.”

The drama focuses on Fleming’s World War II experiences working in Naval Intelligence.

The main Budapest filming locations included institutions such as the Metropolitan Ervin Szabó Library, the old Power Station of Budakeszi and the Institute of Political History, all of which were chosen for their period architecture and dressed for the shoot.

Adverse weather was one of the biggest challenges the team faced. Filming took place through the tail-end of the Hungarian winter and exterior shots were scheduled last in a bid for better weather conditions. The plan was thwarted by a huge snowfall that in fact triggered a national emergency.

“We had to bring in teams of people to clear snow from our French chateau location,” the producers add, “and then later on in the week we ended up having to create snow to match what we had done because it had begun to melt.”

Budapest is a popular international filming location with a 20% filming incentive and architecture that is often used to double for other European cities. One of the larger shoots of recent years was Bruce Willis’ action sequel A Good Day to Die Hard, which doubled the city for Moscow.


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