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Babelsberg to cut staff by 25%

Studios switch to greater use of digital effects

BERLIN — Studio Babelsberg is to cut staffers by nearly 25% by outsourcing and using more computer generated visual effects rather than building pricey sets.

Babelsberg execs said Tuesday they expect a boost in local production next year thanks to a new government-backed $77 million-a-year film financing scheme and hope to benefit from an increase in business in the Berlin-Brandenburg region.

Sub-contracting out much of the work related to film production will increase flexibility in what Babelsberg’s management calls the “cyclically fluctuating film business” help it react faster to new projects.

The studio’s vast art department is the main target of the cuts.

Babelsberg, which Carl Woebcken and Christoph Fisser purchased from Vivendi Universal in 2004, is expecting revenue to grow 20% this year to e50 million ($64.5 million).

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