House of Cards - Vienna vs. Washington DC

The Idea

The idea of re-shooting the opening sequence of "House of Cards" in Vienna occured to me when I (Thomas) took a walk with my girlfriend near Schönbrunn Palace in February 2014. I was totally into House of Cards back then and when we would cross some train tracks, I suddenly realized "What the hell, that totally looks like a shot in House of Cards!". When I overthought the whole sequence, I would also realize that a lot of the other shots could be found in Vienna. So I told my workmate Peter about the idea of copying the opening sequence using only our hometown Vienna as location instead of Washington DC and he was excited about the idea.


From now on we would work on this project whenever we've got some spare time between our regular, paid timelapse-jobs, which was not an easy thing to do, because we've got a lot of work filming different projects, studying and founding our own company. But finally, 4 months later we finished the last scene and the video was ready for release.

The shooting itself was a lot more complicated than we thought at first. We always tried to shoot each scene during the same weather conditions as Drew Geraci (the guy who shot the original sequnce for House of Cards) did in Washington. It happened more than once that we would head out for shooting a scene and had to cancel it instantly, because the weather had changed when we finally arrived at our spot. Furthermore, it wasn't always quite legal to shoot at a specific location, which made shooting much more complicated (and thrilling). We were locked in twice at night, because we had to shoot at this spots illigally and no one knew we were there. For one shot we even had to climb up to some abandoned subway tracks of Vienna's U6. But it would have been boring without these incidents anyway...

A little bit of cheating

There was one promise we made to ourselves: Every shot has to be in Vienna. And we kept that promise: Every location you see in our video is located in Vienna. But we head to cheat a little bit eventually for some shots, so let us relief our conscience:

At Heldenplatz, where we shot the scene where the camera rises from some bushes to show a horse, we found no bushes which would suit our needs. There were some, but unfortunately they were too high for our tripods, so we would bring our own little hedge and play a little bit with perspective ;)

The trashbin wasn't lying exactly in this spot eighter, when we arrived there. It laid a few meters further inside the woods, so we moved it.

The iron bars haven't been exactly in this spot either. To be honest: They were a 35 minute long car ride from there in a hardware store. Yes, we bought it.

Okay, but that's all we cheated, I promise!


And to show you a comparison of our work against the original: