“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 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
“Working with Andy was the best experience of my career and he makes the world’s greatest bouillabaisse.”
Steven de Souza, screenwriter Judge Dredd
“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
“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
“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.”
“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
“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.”
“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.”
“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
“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
“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
“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
“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
The Film Factory turns 100
The Hungarian National Film Fund celebrated the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Hungarian Film Factory at its premise in Róna street, Budapest where studios III and IV have been renamed after film director Zoltán Fábri who was also born 100 years ago. Government commissioner for the film industry, Andy Vajna gave a speech at the event.
Prominent members of the Hungarian film industry were present at the celebration who paid tribute to director Károly Makk who had passed away on 30 August. Ágnes Havas, CEO of the Hungarian Film Fund emphasized in her speech „what a wonderful feeling it is to see the old giants of the Hungarian film industry alongside the young film makers of the present”. „We’ve known from Fábri how closely related films and dreams are” – she said, highlighting that we need to dream more to continue the century-old traditions of the Film Factory and the more than century-old traditions of Hungarian film making so that we could create many more outstanding Hungarian films.
Andy Vajna, government commissioner for the film industry also greeted the guests and shared a short story evoking a memory from Egypt. „I felt like I do now when I visited the pyramids, a tiny grain of sand among the huge buildings. Looking at the Film Factory’s 100-year-old history, it is an honor that I can be a small part of it” – said Andy Vajna.
Jirí Menzel, Academy Award winning Czech film director, distinguished guest of the celebrations shared with the audience, among others, how big an influence Hungarian films from the 1950’s and 1960’s had on him.
The first studio base of the Hungarian film industry, Corvin Filmstúdió, was established by Sándor Korda at the Róna street premise in October 1917. During the numerous adversities, world wars, changes of owners and names, bankruptcies and reconstructions, renovations and modernizations only film making was left unchanged.