Film services hotspot Babelsberg
Meanwhile, German film studios, film industry service providers and studio specialists have a good and growing reputation on the international stage. A study by EY shows that it is the sheer diversity of eastern Germany’s locations, such as the Berlin Exhibition grounds, or the abandoned chemical factory in Rüdersdorf, which sets it apart, while an association with the world-class studios in Babelsberg can actually help to secure investment. Babelsberg-based special effects maestro Gerd Nefzer and his colleagues won an Oscar for their work on Blade Runner: 2049.
Berlin-Brandenburg (which includes Babelsberg) and Görlitz remain the two hotspots. Görlitz in particular has built a unique local town economy on its “cinetastic” credentials. The Saxony town was almost completely untouched by the Second World War and is home to some 4,000 historical buildings spanning 500 years of history – enough to cover most aspects of modern Western history. In 2008, Görlitz’s Landskron brewery and surrounding streets were even remodeled into the harbor area of New York. Local people have been able to cash-in on the town’s big screen fame by running movie-themed hotels and day tours.
But it is Berlin-Brandenburg that remains the location of choice for film and series production. The list of reasons why is long: it has the big town factor and a cosmopolitan feel, it has a diversity of locations, competent studios; and of course it’s a magnet for creative filmmakers, well-known producers and home to some famous actors. Accessibility is also a factor: Babelsberg’s back-up services, studios and post-production houses are close by on the autobahn.