Set construction in Babelsberg look back on more than 100 years of tradition.
In 1911, the company Bioscop built its first – glass - filmstudio, from 12 February 1912 the "Totentanz" with Asta Nielsen was shot. Under the company Decla Bioscop, Universum Film AG (Ufa), Deutsche Film AG (DEFA) and Studio Babelsberg AG, more than 4,000 film and television productions have been produced on the 50 hectare site and in its 20 studios.
The professional realization of the film and television decorations has always been Germany-wide and internationally acknowledged Babelsberg trademark. In addition, the Art Department has also maintained itself for more than two decades in exhibition and exhibition construction as well as where exceptional and high-quality decorations are required.
In 1911, the Bioscop company built its first – glass – film studio in Babelsberg. Filming began in February of 1912. After the First World War, the German company Bioscop merged with the German subsidiary of the French film group Eclair “Decla” in Babelsberg to form “Decla Bioscop”. In 1921, Decla Bioscop joined Universum Film AG (Ufa) which was established in 1917. In 1926, Ufa built the film studio that has since been designated the “Marlene Dietrich Hall” for the full-length film production of Fritz Lang‘s METROPOLIS. In 1929, the construction of the “Tonkreuz”, Germany‘s first sound film studio in Babelsberg launched a new chapter in the history of motion pictures. The first sound movie produced was MELODIE DES HERZENS (Melody of the Heart) starring Willy Fritsch, and 1930 saw the premiere of Josef von Sternberg‘s THE BLUE ANGEL with Marlene Dietrich and Emil Jannings in the starring roles. Between 1933 and 1945, around 1,000 feature films were produced in the halls and on the grounds.
Film production resumed shortly after the end of World War II; filming for Wolfgang Staudte’s DIE MÖRDER SIND UNTER UNS (The Murderers are Among Us) with Hildegard Knef and Ernst Wilhelm Borchert, commenced on May 4, 1946. On May 17, 1946, DEFA was founded. DEFA produced over 700 feature films, including 150 childrens’ films. Between 1959 and 1990, more than 600 feature films were produced for television.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Treuhand (trust agency) took control of the privatization of DEFA on July 1, 1990. In August 1992, the Treuhand persuaded the renowned French group Compagnie Générale des Eaux (today: Vivendi Universal) to take over the former DEFA film studio in Babelsberg. Studio Babelsberg GmbH was founded in the same year and successfully established itself on the market.
During the summer of 2004, the Studio Babelsberg Group was sold to the investors Dr. Carl L. Woebcken and Christoph Fisser from Munich and has traded as an incorporated company since April 1, 2005.
Continuing the traditions associated with the site, the Studio Babelsberg Group operates as a modern full-service provider and has been particularly successful in international film and TV productions, also serving as a producer and co-producer.