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    Posted February 12, 2012 by
    Potsdam, Germany
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    iReport at the movies

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    Beyond Hollywood: Babelsberg Celebrates 100 Years of Filmmaking


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     During the last days of 2011, beetraveler spent some time visiting Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest large scale movie studio, located just outside Berlin, Germany. There she had the chance to interview the studio's spokesman Eike Wolf about the history and significance of the studio.

    She says: 'I also visited the costume department, but didn't include shots of it in this short video. Studio Babelsberg's costume department has over 250,000 costumes. I viewed some of the main costumes Kate Winslet wore for her Oscar winning role in The Reader as well as the costumes worn by Jude Law in Enemy of the Gate, Diane Kruger in Inglorious Bastards and Tom Cruise in Valkyrie.'
    - elchueco, CNN iReport producer

    Studio Babelsberg, the world's oldest large scale movie  studio -- located just outside of Berlin, in Postsdam, Germany -- is celebrating its 100th birthday at the Berlin International Film Festival. Babelsberg's first film, “Der Totentanz” (The Dance of the Dead), began  filming February 12, 1912. The Berlin International Film Festival runs February 9-19, and it will be showcasing a look back at the Best of Babelsberg. Special retrospectives will also be taking place from Los Angeles to London.

    While the American Universal Studios and Paramount Studios were also  founded in 1912, Babelsberg is the senior by a couple months.  Universal  Studios will celebrate its 100th birthday on April 30, 2012  while Paramount will celebrate its 100th on May 8, 2012.


    I visited Studio Babelsberg early last month to speak with the studio's spokesman, Eike Wolf. Cloud Atlas, starring Tom Hanks, had just wrapped when I was at the studio. Cloud Atlas was budgeted at around US$100 million, making it the most expensive German-produced film of all time.

    explained  that American producers love Studio Babelsberg's "old school Hollywood model."  Producers have everything they need in one place. Studio Babelsberg has 270,000 square feet of stage space and a 36 acre back lot  alongside massive art, costumes and props departments. In fact, except for one day filming in Berlin, Roland  Emmerich's recent movie Anonymous (a Shakespeare  drama) was entirely  filmed on the Babelsberg lot. Emmerich, originally from Germany, has  become one of  America's highest grossing film producers. Studio Babelsberg continues to attract such Hollywood heavyweights. Clive Owen created a life-size replica of New York's Guggenheim Museum on Babelsberg's lot, for his movie The International.  Simiilarly, Tarentino constructed a full sized Parisian cinema on the lot for Inglorious Basterds.

    Other international  movies produced or co-produced by  Studio Babelsberg include Bourne Supremacy, The Reader, Inglorious  Basterds, Three Musketeers, Anonymous, Around the World in 80 Days,  Ghost Writer and The Pianist.


    In this iReport, Eike Wolf speaks about Studio Babelsberg's incredible 100  year history (including its connection to Alfred Hitchcock) and he  takes me around the studio lot to show me a bit of what makes such a  large studio tick, including a look inside the world's largest prop  room!


    Special thanks to Eike Wolf for lot filming permission and for taking the time for this interview.


    For more info about The Berlin International Film festival, Studio Babelsberg, Filmmuseum Potsdam and Potsdam:


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