The Berlinale is one of the world’s best-known film festivals. When it’s time to hand out the Golden Bears in Berlin again, the world of film focuses on Germany. But even beyond the red carpet, the country has a name as a great location to produce films. Blockbusters for the global market are made in Germany. And productions for the domestic market. Featuring German and international stars.
Germany is attractive for a wide variety of reasons. Towns like Görlitz are popular for location shoots thanks to its intact stock of original buildings. The Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg region is home to lots of companies specializing in visual effects. There are several top film schools in Germany. Countless film and tv productions are made at the Bavaria Film studios just outside Munich. The studios have multiple indoor and outdoor sets and the site is one of Germany’s major film locations. In Potsdam, Studio Babelsberg has been making films for more than 100 years.
OTON 1: Carl Woebcken – Head of Studio Babelsberg
"The perception abroad is that we’re a location with a very long tradition, that people like coming back to, because we deliver quality and work very efficiently.“
Increasing efficiency is thanks to factors like more digitisation on set. Tradition yes, but the best set has to offer even more these days.
OTON2: Carl Woebcken – Head of Studio Babelsberg
“The traditional art of filmmaking we do does indeed look very traditional, but some of it is very modern. On our outdoor sets we have a development project within which we want to use Virtual Reality to previsualize films. Here we’re working closely with Visual Effects companies, for example, to create digital set extensions or to light the set in a different way and to give it a different appearance
The company RISE FX specializes in Visual Effects. Based in Berlin, it’s growing and has made a name for itself internationally.
OTON3: Sven Pannicke – Co-founder of RISE FX
“The first international project we did was actually one filmed in Babelsberg. That was Ninja assassin. And then the work poured in, Harry Potter, the Marvel franchise... the work became more and more challenging.”
Germany supports the film business with subsidies. Over the last ten years, German film funds have spent some 500 million euros on a diverse array of productions. Filmmakers would like even more support to give them a chance internationally.
The Berlinale is becoming bigger and bigger around the world. It has to keep reinventing itself and stay at the cutting edge to do its reputation justice. And the same goes for Germany as production location. It has to be attractive, and there’s much more to film than just movie theatres.
OTON4: Dieter Kosslick – Berlinale Director “It’s a splendid investment in a culture that is making a name for ourselves around the world … it also projects a very positive image of the Germans worldwide.“