Berlin's sports myriad funding, digital, one-stop shops
In town to promote “The Last Samurai,” Tom Cruise told the assembled hacks, “I love Berlin. This is a great city and I’d love to make a movie here. I’m looking for a script.”
When you find it, Tom, these are the people your people should call.
First, the film commissioner. Christiane Raab, topper of the Berlin Brandenburg Film Commission, is out “to make your life as easy as possible.”
The commission, as part of the Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, is any filmmaker’s first port of call, helping secure anything from permits to below-the-line crew members to caterers and hotel rooms.
Aware of her country’s noted bureaucracy, Raab says “conditions are much better than in the past. There’s no one-stop shop and you have to deal with each authority separately but we advise on all the paperwork, explain who’s responsible and how it works.”
For “The Bourne Supremacy,” she had the police close one of Berlin’s main thoroughfares for a day.
Even the previously user-unfriendly local transport authority, the BVG, is on the team.
Don’t foget the the independent production manager. Among Markus Bensch’s credits are “The Bourne Supremacy,” “Around the World in 80 Days” and “XXX.”
“The first thing I can offer you,” he says, “is European architecture from the last 200 years. The second thing is no problems, especially the kind in Eastern Europe.” That means not having to hire several people to do the job of one.
Make way to a high-tech local shop. Christian Colmorgen, Cine Plus’ marketing topper, says “Post-production is our core business. We’ve got Avid and ProTools. For visual effects, we’ve Inferno, Flame and Smoke.”
The company also covers all areas of digital cinematography and trained staff. “We have 150 staffers,” says Colmorgen, “plus up to 300 freelancers.”
Babelsberg is the giant, but Studio Berlin Aldershof offers top quality in a smaller space, with seven different-size studios.
“We are experts in electronic production,” says Becker, “especially TV; recording, editing, camera, sound, post-production, not just inhouse but also outdoors broadcasting.”
Then there’s the one-stop shop. Karsten Bruenig runs Intl. Production Services. “If you have the script and money we can make the film for you,” he says. “We can work out and evaluate budgets, organize shoots, whatever.”
His biggest project has been “Around the World in 80 Days.” He spent “exactly one year on preparation to persuade (director/co-producer Jean-Jacques) Annaud he should film here, making Berlin and Brandenburg economically attractive for him.”
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