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Budapest Daynight project – the story behind an illuminating visual series

Budapest Daynight project – the story behind an illuminating visual series

Budapest Daynight project

Do you know the feeling of being in a gallery or museum surrounded by so many equally beautiful artworks, but seeing one that somehow won’t let you leave without admiring it once again… and again. There are many videos and short films about Budapest made by talented artists, but there’s one project that we just couldn’t stop looking at in awe. We needed to know the story behind the Daynight Project about the capital city of Hungary by the gifted French artist, Greg Florent.

We asked Greg about the project, the philosophy behind it and about being a “dreammaker”.

Your description of yourself is quite eye-catching: photographer, filmmaker, dreammaker. What does it mean to you?

Greg Florent Self-portraitWhatever the mode of expression: film, photography etc., what matters the most as an artist is to bring an emotion, a feeling to the viewer. That’s what “dreammaker” is supposed to mean. If I can make you dream for a second or open up your imagination, I’m glad. If your dream is to win the lottery, I’m helpless though!

My motto could be “I create, therefore I am”. So the idea of working for myself and always using creativity is something appealing to me! I think photography is a great way to tell stories (like cinema or novels) and that’s what I’m interested in, whether it’s simply a nice landscape or a very detailed and thought out staging, like the “Woody’s Adventures” series for example.

What inspired you to make the stunning video and photographs of Budapest? How do you decide which country or city will be your subject?

First of all, I like to travel and there are many places around the world I would like to visit! Usually, the project comes first then I think about the means to concretize it (what would I need, where, how, all those questions). Budapest stands a little apart to me and the process was somehow reversed: I’ve visited twice for the last 10 years as a tourist and I fell in love with the city and wanted to come back and stay longer. That’s when the idea of using Budapest as a location came up.

Szabadsag Hid Pano - Greg Florent

So I stayed in Budapest for two months to work on a report focusing on Budapest’s courtyards (which is almost finished now) and since there are many beautiful architectural landmarks in the Hungarian capital, I knew it would be a perfect place for a project like the day-night compositions as well. With this series and video, I wanted to offer the viewer the otherwise impossible ability to contemplate a scene for hours, but just in one look. Now I will continue the idea. Next city? Paris!

Gellert Hill Pano - Greg Florent

The project’s name ‘Daynight Budapest’ is quite expressive. Did you dig deep into just Budapest’s brighter side or did you discover its darker side, too?

I was there to kind of investigate Budapest, focusing on its numerous courtyards. I think it’s an interesting way to discover this city, its history, its architecture, its culture, which may not be obvious to most tourists or even locals. I must have walked almost every single street in the city centre and I’ve discovered a hidden side of Budapest, more than a “dark” side I would say, because personally, I like the atmosphere in the city centre, both on the Buda and Pest sides. The other work, Budapest Daynight, which is more personal and artistic, did showcase the bright and amazing side of the city, no matter the time of the day. After all, it’s called “Pearl of the Danube” for a reason, right?

What were your best experiences here? 

My experiences have been so good I’m not sure I can be objective about Budapest! I met really nice and loving people (I had the chance to make a shoot with a pin-up model too). What I like the most is the overall peaceful feeling when being in Budapest. It’s a big city but it remains very human, where you can reach most of every interesting spots on foot. At the same time, the public transportation is one the best I’ve seen; it’s clean, on time, reliable, people are very respectful, in short, it’s really representative of the country. Oh, and I wasn’t that much of a sweet tooth before I tried all these light and delicious Hungarian cakes!

Lanchid Pano - Greg Florent

About the artist:
Greg was born in 1982 around Paris, that he still uses as base camp.
With a motto, “I create, therefore I am”, he considers himself as an artist and refuses to lock his work in a field or a genre. He puts the way of expression at the service of the topic, in which he instills his singular vision.
Award-winning photographer, his works have been exhibited in France in La Gaîté Lyrique as well as in the Saatchi Gallery of London. His favorite fields, landscapes and fiddly scripted stagings, allow him to “show the world, or create new worlds”.
In one hand, he shares his love for wild nature, source of inspiration and inner peace, and his taste for adventure born during travels in his youth. On the other hand, he gives free reins to his imagination; being a filmmaker is no stranger to the cinematographic hint found in many of his photographs. Writer and director of short movies and music videos for several years, he’s now involved in the development of feature film projects, in France and in the United States.
Besides, for the past ten years, Greg has been the multimedia manager and executive producer for Univerbal, a cultural and humanitarian organization that makes music, videos and events. On this account, he notably fights against the use of child soldiers, particularly in Democratic Republic of Congo.
In his spare time, Greg enjoys architecture and sport. President of a martial art club, he’s also a black belt in krav maga.
Photo and video credits: Greg Florent (All rights reserved)

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