Torsten Bönnhoff: Studio Halle offers an all-inclusive package for film and TV production

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.


Portrait_Bönnhoff_groß2The 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”.