“He’s one of the few people around with the balls to play with his own money. His word carries a lot of weight. He’s personally out on the line. It’s always given me a lot of respect for him. Andy is always involved. He’s your partner or your boss, but he offers guidance as opposed to instructions… He approaches business in a sort of family style. He keeps the same friends for 30 years, and that’s kind of remarkable.”
John McTiernan, director of Medicine Man and Die Hard With a Vengeance
“He’s got great respect for the director and courage to do projects that aren’t so easy… He won’t let you down; you can trust him.”
Paul Verhoeven, director of Total Recall
“Andy Vajna was a great friend and collaborator. He believed in me on one of my toughest shoots, Terminator 2. I will miss him, his humor, class and style, but especially the motorcycle rides.”
“Andy Vajna was a dear friend and a revolutionary force in Hollywood. He proved that you don’t need studios to make huge movies like Terminator 2 or Total Recall. He had a huge heart, and he was one of the most generous guys around. I’ll miss him.”
“You can’t make an actor act. You have got to create an atmosphere he wants to perform. It can be hell.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“We’re glad to be a part of your lifetime.”
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore to Andy when he received NATO/ShoWest Lifetime Achievement Award in 1995
“The profession is never boring. I have found the interesting things in everything I have ever done. So none of my occupations ever seemed like work.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“Working with Andy was the best experience of my career and he makes the world’s greatest bouillabaisse.”
Steven de Souza, screenwriter Judge Dredd
“Vajna defined what would become known as the ‘big action picture’. He really has a wide range of talent and ability.”
Tim Warner, general chairman of film company NATO / ShoWest
“Andy doesn’t compare to anybody else in this business. Andy is unique, he’s independent; he’s a rare blend of entrepreneur and film maker. He puts his money on the line time and time again, and he’s won as big as anyone in this town. You’ve got to admire somebody like that.”
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dream Works SKG Partner
“A very very sad day ... Producer ANDY VAJNA, the man that Made Rambo happened, died today… LOVED this man’s courage - a pioneer. Believed In making FIRST BLOOD when no one else did.…This truly breaks my heart. Rip”
“When you work with Andy, the buck stops with him. I don’t deal with anybody else. It becomes very much Andy’s movie, one singer, one song.”
Danny Cannon, director of Judge Dread
“I decided to learn something that I could do no matter where I lived – I became a hairdresser. I chose hairdressing because it is a useful skill and one that I could always go back to. Knowing this gave me great security and the freedom to explore other avenues.”
Andrew G. Vajna
“I fell in love in love with Andy the moment I met him, because for once I’d met a Hungarian in Hollywood who was not only more successful than I was, but also crazier.”
“When Andy gives you his word, you know it’s good. And no matter how tough the going gets, you can count on him. He’s got nerves of steel.”
Joe Roth, chairman, Walt Disney Motion Picture Group
Budapest: Europe’s new Hollywood
In the last 10 years Budapest became the ‘Mecca of filmmakers’, it could also be called ’Budawood’ – in a 12-minute report the most popular French television channel, TF1 went after what made Budapest so attractive for the foreign filmmakers.
The reporters visited the Korda Studios, where the series ’Ransom’ were produced. Sturla Gunnersson Canadian film director praised the work of the Hungarian crew, he was also greatly impressed by the Boeing 747 airplane stage which was built for the production. The foreign crew members were amazed by the experience of the Hungarian staff and the high quality of services.
The report mentions that in 2017 nearly 300 productions were made in Hungary, including movies with the highest production budget such as ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Inferno’.
Budapest is the most favorite production place in Europe after London. The French TV visited Andy Vajna, government commissioner for film industry, the so-called ’Mr. Cinema’ at his home, where Vajna showed never-seen common photos with Stallone and Schwarzenegger. The producer said in the interview that beyond the highly experienced crews and developed infrastructure, the Hungarian tax rebate system is also very attractive for the foreign productions.
In the Korda Stúdió the outdoor renaissance scene was also presented, which was built for ‘The Borgias’ series. Everything is possible in the studios, for instance in 2014 200 tonnes of soil and sand were delivered for the Hollywood giga production The Martian starring Matt Damon.
Beyond the studios, Budapest has unique natural and architectural values, like the Gresham Palace facing the Chain Bridge ‘playing a role’ in the American action comedy ‘Spy’ starring Melissa McCarthy.
The report presents the 100-year old Gellért Bath as an unmissable site of Budapest and recalls GQ magazine's photo series with Ryan Gosling which went viral all over the world.
Nowadays you can bump into the biggest movie stars in Budapest anytime: Tom Hanks posted about his favorite old cars of Budapest, Harrison Ford was a frequent customer of bike shops of the Hungarian capital.
It is widely known, that ‘Los Angeles wind is blowing above the Danube’. The tourism has the biggest benefit, the famous movies and film stars are great ambassadors of Budapest. There are nearly 4 million tourists choosing Budapest as a destination every year.