A flair for entertainment at Studio Halle
The building complex of the Fernsehstudio Halle, which was founded in 1964 and belonged to former East German Television, was officially renamed Studio Halle in May 2007. Due to the increasing number of firms, a new media location has sprung up over the last ten years in the premises once used by Central German Broadcasting (MDR). Like Studio Babelsberg, this location, with a total of nine new locally-based companies, can perform all the functions and services connected with film and TV production.
Under the umbrella organization Studio Halle, each company regards itself as part of a whole. Individual companies can use Studio Halle’s synergies and thus have access to its services such as all-inclusive packages for implementing various projects, beginning with materials procurement, restoration through the assessing and marketing on DVD or Blu-ray up to international distribution.
As an ideal production partner in Central Germany, medium-sized companies from the media sector wanting to put on smaller productions can also obtain assistance with imminent projects. At the moment some 130 competent staff are employed in the various areas.
Studio Halle actually came into being ten years ago when digital images (“digim”) was formed in 1999.
However, starting with the original aim of producing as many movies on DVD as possible – no other authoring studio was capable of doing that – the company’s services expanded year after year. Thus today, digim offers a complete and customized service for media products and is one of the trendsetters in the use of state-of-the-art technologies. The range of productions extends from analyzing high-quality content to Blu-ray and DVD, as well as equally high-quality processing and conversion of HD and SD material, tele-cine conversion, video and audio restoration, synchronizing, sound mixing, colour correction, organizing bonus material and preparing TV broadcast tapes. In addition, an archive has been established in which some 60,000 film tapes are stored today, including various film stock from Filmverlag der Autoren (“Authors’ Film Publishing Company”). Today productions include 3,500 high-quality DVDs and about 150 Blu-rays. Some successful titles include Mr & Mrs Smith, Die Reise der Pinguine (“March of the Penguins”) and the film Deutschland – Ein Sommermärchen (“Germany – a Summer’s Tale”) by Sönke Wortmann.
In 2006 Studio Halle took over the label Arthaus Musik and RM Arts Fernseh- und Film GmbH, the latter to be known in future as Monarda Arts GmbH. Both companies specialize in classical music and documentary films, thereby laying the foundation stone for a large number of the activities at Studio Halle today.
Arthaus Musik leads the international market in providing classical music on DVD and has been based in Halle since 2007.
When it took over the music catalogue of the Japanese music label TDK in 2008, its DVD catalogue grew from some 450 titles to more than 650 in the genres opera, ballet, concert, music documentary and jazz. Two years ago, Arthaus Musik started its own theatre DVD series and a DVD edition with documentaries on the fine arts.
RM Arts is a production firm, which also started producing its own opera and art and music documentaries in 2007. The many different titles are then published internationally by Arthaus Musik. Only a few productions have been completed in Central Germany to date, but that is to change in the future. The start was made by the 60-minute documentary film about the Baroque star Georg Friedrich Händel; some of the film was also shot in Halle.
The latest project by RM Arts is currently a documentary about the well-known composer Michael Nyman, who composed the title music for the film The Piano. The film is entitled “Nyman in Progress” and is a co-production with WDR, Arte and BBC. digim will produce it on DVD and Arthaus Musik will probably publish the DVD. What is special about this production is that the exclusive studio recordings will be made at Studio Halle directly from a live concert by the composer at the Waisenhausring in Halle.
The international distribution of RM arts productions like this will be carried out by both Arthaus Musik and Aktis Film International, which recently joined the Studio Halle consortium after the company Kameraverleih Camelot and which was only formed in early 2009.
Event management will be by the agency Monarda Publishing House Ltd. Apart from agency work, Monarda, a publishing company, also publishes DVDs, books and audio-books.
An Oscar for the media maker from Halle
“The Oscar goes to … Peter & the Wolf” – that was the announcement in April 2008. The short movie, produced by Arthaus Musik, with the famous music by Sergei Prokofiev, was awarded in the category for the “Best Animated Short Film”. In 2005 Arthaus Musik joined the lavishly made short film as co-producer and contributed its creative ideas to the production of this very popular fairy tale. Digital images, which was responsible for post-production and DVD production, also contributed to the project’s success. In addition, the DVD was also supplied seven languages with comprehensive bonus material in for international distribution.
Successful cooperation and using synergies is the motto at Studio Halle and the company group is being expanded all the time, thus making it more effective. We can now offer more and more services, enabling us to grow slowly but surely.
The author was born in 1960 and studied business management. From 1985 to 2000, he was managing director of the advertising agency CCP. In 2000 he formed Kinowelt AG and in 2003, he took over digital images GmbH. Takeovers of Monarda Ltd., Arthaus Musik GmbH and RM Arts GmbH followed in 2005 and 2007. In the same year Bönnhoff formed the umbrella brand “Studio Halle”.