India brings action filming to Poland and Hungary
Thriller Vijay 61 doubled four Polish cities for European locations including French capital Paris over the course of a three-week location shoot.
Producers hired stunt crew who had previously worked on the Mission: Impossible franchise and Game of Thrones.
“In terms of the budget and crew, this has been the biggest Indian film produced in Poland,” said Marcin Andruchów, a producer with Warsaw-based service company Muchas Gracias.
“We were responsible for, among others, location scouting and preparation, organising the shooting, recruiting the extras and preparing the set design, the props and the equipment.
“Poland is more and more often chosen by foreign filmmakers. Apart from the prices – which are significantly lower than in the West – local authorities are very open to this kind of collaboration.
“Acquiring permits for filming in places with limited access, such as airports, train stations or bridges, does not pose a problem. The shooting of Vijay 61, required closing off a part of Gdansk airport (a port city in the north of the country), and could begin right after the recce was completed.”
Poland has announced plans to launch its first formal filming incentive later this year. In the autumn of 2016, Film Commission Poland organised a familiarisation trip where a group of high-profile location managers were given a tour of the country’s filming options and resources.
Elsewhere, Indian romantic thriller Raabta recently filmed scenes in Hungarian capital Budapest, which was used as a modern European city.
Nearly a week of production took place at Korda Studios where the team used a 1,000-sq-ft water tank for underwater scenes.
“The action-packed nature of the shoot presented many complex logistical challenges,” said Zita Kisgergely, a producer with service company Flatpack Films in Budapest.
“A key scene was an explosion involving a helicopter, stunts, pyro-technicians and safety divers shooting on a barge rigged with barrels of explosives.”
Budapest is a hugely popular Eastern European filming location with producers benefitting from Hungary’s 25% tax credit. High-profile shoots in the city over the past year have included the sci-fi follow-up Blade Runner 2049.
Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates remains one of the top international filming locations for Indian movies, as it offers exotic and glamorous settings only a few hours flight-time from Mumbai and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).
Bollywood superstar Salman Khan is scheduled to film action sequel Tiger Zinda Hai in Abu Dhabi over the next few months, using a specially-built 20,000-sq-ft back lot.
Main page image: FreeImages.com/Createsima. Vijay 61 image: Poznan Film Commission. Korda Studios BTS image: Flatpack Films