Babelsberg

It looks like Richard Armitage’s latest project, “Berlin Station” may be filmed in the Babelsberg filmstudio in Berlin (see this German article: Neue Agenten für Studio Babelsberg?).

The Babelsberg Studio has produced films since 1912 (according to Wikipedia) and before World War II it was known as the UFA Film Studio. After the war it was known as DEFA (East Germany made some films there) and after the fall of the Berlin Wall it became the Babelsberg Film Studio. “Metropolis” was made there in the 1920s and in the 1930s “The Blue Angel” (with Marlene Dietrich) was filmed there and Leni Riefenstahl’s “Triumph of Will” about the Nazi Nuremberg Party Congress was produced there under UFA flag; the extremely anti-semitic Nazi propaganda film “Jud Süss” was also filmed there in 1940. In more recent years films such as “The Bourne Ultimatum”, “Inglorious Basterds”, “The Reader”, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “The Hunger Games” were filmed there.

So much for general background; my personal angle to this whole Babelsberg thing is that 3 years ago my family and I visited Babelsberg Filmstudios during our summer holiday in East Germany. We only saw the theme park side of things and were allowed a little tour around the outdoor set of Germany’s soap opera “Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten” (a show I have never actually watched).

So, I have been to Babelsberg in Berlin and now Richard Armitage may follow in my footsteps. 🙂

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (44)

Near the entrance of the park I was surprised to find the caravan used by Peter Lustig in his children’s show “Löwenzahn”. I loved “Löwenzahn” and was really stoked to see the caravan for real, a lovely reminder of my youth in Germany!

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (5) 2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (12)  2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (9)  2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (15)

We had all sorts of adventures… the kids sat on “Fuchur” from “The Neverending Story” (ah, how time flies – they look so small in these pictures!), we were scared by orks from “The Lord of the Rings”, we met King Kong and my son was ‘framed’ on a throne…

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We saw a spectacular stunt show (that we weren’t allowed to film or photograph)…

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (74)

… and my husband was picked to star in a “The Three Musketeers” show! Not his most flattering look and yet, he really is my hero! We have a DVD of the production so, yes, I am married to a (film)star already. 🙂

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (90)

Oh, and my kids were beheaded…

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (97)

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… and we were inside a U-boat…

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (131)

Yes, it was a memorable visit! I hope Richard Armitage will have as much fun as we had!

2012-07-22 Filmpark Babelsberg (151)

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9 thoughts on “Babelsberg

  1. […] Esther blogs about her experiences at the visitor part of the Babelsberg studios, where Berlin Station is apparently to be filmed. Researchers also frequently use the film archive there (is it time to start a dissertation on Weimar- and Nazi-era film?). And I’d just underline: back when Germany was the world leader in film production, ahead of Hollywood, this studio was at the pinnacle. Maybe Richard Armitage can arrange some silent film acting time after all. […]

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  2. I’ve was there once in 2007 — to meet a graduate student from my university for lunch; she was using the film archive — I never did see the stuff in your pictures. v. cool!

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    • There is also a filmmuseum, which is in Potsdam itself, that I vsited at the time. Separate from the studio lot. The archives are at the University library, I think, and that isn’t near the studio lot either. So, if you’d want to see this, you’d really have to make a separate visit, but alas, I think it’s closed during the winter. 😉

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  3. Wir waren vor 20 Jahren dort, als wir noch in Berlin gelebt haben. Da gab es nur Fuchur und viele alte Kostüme 🙂 Sieht so aus, als ob ich bei meinem nächsten Berlinbesuch da mal hin müsste – nicht?

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