Why Sky's The Fear Index is doubling Hungary for Geneva

Left Bank Pictures' Sharon Hughff, executive producer of the series, explains to KFTV the appeal of filming the four-part thriller, starring Josh Hartnett, in Hungary

By Chris Evans 6 May 2021

Why Sky's The Fear Index is doubling Hungary for Geneva
Sharon Hughff, Executive Producer, Left Bank Pictures

Sky Studios and UK Outfit Left Bank Pictures are currently shooting a four-part thriller TV series called The Fear Index, starring Josh Hartnett, in Hungary from April for 10 weeks.

Based on the best-selling novel by Robert Harris and directed by David Caffrey (Peaky Blinders), it tells the story of a computer scientist, Dr Alex Hoffman (Hartnett) who with his business partner launches an AI driven system that exploits fear in the financial markets and could earn them billions, but everything turns sour over a 24 hour period when Alex is attacked in his home.

Here Left Bank Pictures' Sharon Hughff, executive producer of the series, explains why Hungary was chosen as the filming location....   

How and why did you get involved in The Fear Index?

Left Bank founder Andy Harries optioned Robert Harris’s book 10 years ago and we took our time to get the right adaptation – but here we are with this excellent adaptation by Paul Andrew Williams and Caroline Bartleet.

Why did you choose to shoot in Hungary?

We were looking for somewhere to double for Geneva and in the end Budapest felt like a great option because a lot of the architecture was a pretty good match and we have also worked in Budapest in the past many times and felt it would give us great comfort to be somewhere we know well during COVID.

Did you consider other locations? If so where and why were they rejected?

No, it was pretty much Hungary from the get go!

Whereabouts in Hungary will you be shooting and for how long? Will you be doubling locations for other places? Where?

We will be shooting in Budapest mainly and pretending it’s Geneva. The shoot is 10 weeks. we’ll be at various places in the city centre and at two private houses in the suburbs.

Will you be doing location and studio shooting? 

The Fear Index is a location shoot. Budapest has a great variety of locations - so much so that we're doubling it for Geneva. 

Will you be using a mix of Hungarian and international crew? 

Yes, it’s a mix of both. The Hungarian crew are fantastic. They are very adaptable and experienced and they are used to being very busy with international productions and so they are versatile and never phased by our wants and needs!

Will you be accessing the local 30% cash rebate? How easy is the application process?

Yes, we will. It's a fairly straight forward process,  particularly when you have a great service company like Pioneer to guide you through it. 

We always use Pioneer when filming in Hungary. They're great - team players, transparent and our sort of people. We've done The Crown and Strike Back with them previously. 



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