What is the Filmstudio, anyway, and what does it do?
You can find more information on this, right here: About Us
How do I become a member of the Filmstudio?
Information on how to join us is just one click away! Click: How to join!
Do I get payed if I help out at the Filmstudio?
Nope. Anyone working in our team does so voluntarily, purely for the fun of it. The benefits of being a member and helping out, however, are that you get to see all our movies for free and get to use our equipment (video equipment, projectors, spotlights, workshop, library, sound studio, and so on). Of course, and more importantly, you'll have plenty of fun and opportunity to gain some great experiences - from general organization and teamwork, to special knowledge of the film industry, technology, movie history and all that fine print of venue regulations.
How does the Filmstudio get its movies?
Just as any other cinema, we directly work together with big film distributors, such as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, and so on. The movies are sent to us via mail - not the electronic kind...! - as a "DCP" on a harddrive. DCP stands for Digital Cinema Package and is basically the file format of a cinematic movie. It consists of multiple files, in which sound, visuals, language, and subtitles are packaged seperately. To ensure a high visual quality, all the film's images are simply packed one after another, uncompressed. This means a 90 minute-long movie will easily need 100 GB or more...
To make sure that we don't simply copy the movie and watch it at home, the movies we receive are encoded. The key to each code can only be deciphered by our projector. Sometimes, this key is only valid for a specific version (depending on language, subtitle...) or for one specific day.
How expensive is it to rent movies?
Usually, the film distributor receives a certain percentage of the gross earnings (from the ticket sale). However, if few people come to see the movie, the cinema has to pay a minimum guarantee, which is set by the film distributor. Both the percentage and the minimum guarantee differ from one film distributor to another, and depend on how new or how popular the specific movie is. The percentages we usually see lie between 38 % and 46 %, and the minimum guarantees usually lie between 100 € and 250 €. Additional payments include around 15 € fixed costs, transport costs for the DCP, advertising material, taxes, and other charges (e.g. GEMA for all movies with sound).
How is the Filmstudio's programme determined?
A programme conference takes place four times a year, where the Filmstudio members decide on which movies make it into our programme. Beforehand, we collect film suggestions from our members - but also suggestions we receive via email, our social media platforms, or personally from you! At the programme conference, a list is created, by vote of all members, with movies that could potentially make it into the programme. These movies then receive priorities. According to the priority and our goal to keep our selection diverse (different genres, old and new movies etc.), the final programme is generated. Finally, all movies have to be ordered from the individual film distibutors. Sometimes it happens that we can't show a specific movie - either because the rights of an old movie have expired, there are no copies left, or because a new movie is still reserved for commercial cinemas. In this case, the next movie moves up in line of the priority list and makes it into the programme.
Can I enter a film suggestion for the next programme? (as non-member)
We're always happy to hear what our viewers would like to see, and we will gladly incorporate your suggestion into our next programme conference! You can visits us in our office, send an email or a text on our social media platforms, give us a call, or simply talk to one of us next time you're visiting a movie, and tell us what you'd like to see in our cinema! Unfortunately, we can't fulfill every wish we receive, since some movie rights are not available, or are too expensive for us. But we're always interested in what you'd like to see - and maybe you'll get lucky!
Why is pre-sale limited to the next two movies?
Our tickets have to be sold continuously from a ticket roll, since the film will be billed according to the specific number of the last ticket sold. This way, we can determine how many tickets were sold for one movie. So, to prevent us from needing a huge amount of differently coloured ticket rolls (one for each movie), we only keep two rolls - one for movies on Tuesdays, and one for movies on Wednesdays - which means we can only sell tickets for two movies at a time. Exceptions are only made for special events, such as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in the summer semester, or the "Filmstudio Lehrjahre" in the winter semester
Why are short films shown before every regular film?
The Filmstudio shows short films for two reasons. The first being that we want to support short films and want to show them to our audience. Naturally, a movie doesn't have to be longer than 70 minutes to be interesting, or funny. There are many great short films out there, which is why we work together with the short film agency in Hamburg (Hamburger Kurzfilmagentur) to show a new short film every week. We get to choose these short films from a lending stock in Hamburg. In the best case, we find a short film that fits one of the week's the main movies thematically, but a lot of the time we also pick a short film just because we like it and want to see it on the big screen (again).
The second reason why we still show short films is that until recently, movies shown in North Rhine-Westphalia not carrying the attribute "valuable" ("wertvoll") were taxed specially with an ammusement tax. So, clevery, if the main movie wasn't attributed as being "valuable", the film distributors aditionally sent out a "valuable" short film, to be screened before the main movie. Thereby, the ammusement tax was avoided.
Once in a while, we even show one of our own short film productions, or short films by local producers. Sometimes we even get to premier a short film, with the respective producers and participants present.
On what does the Filmstudio spend the money it has earned?
Well... we pay our bills :( About half of what we make through ticket sales for each movie is spent that same evening on the costs for screening rights, taxes and film grants (Filmfördergabe). The other half of what we make is needed to pay for transport costs, GEMA, the rent for our office, telephone bills, office supplies, asvertisement (1000 posters and 1000 to 2000 flyer, 4 times a year), insurances, keeping our technological equipment in good shape, cinematically themed newspapers and books for our library, and of course the popcorn we give out for free at the TdsI (Tag der studentischen Initiativen/Day of student initiatives) or the Ersti-Rallye.
Can the Filmstudio help me organize my own movie screening event?
Yes, we can! Since we have access to the film distributors, we can try to ge the movie you'd want to show (if rights are available) and we can take care of the disposition, insurance, billing and transport of the movie. Sometimes, we can even offer material from our archive, connected to the movie (newspaper reviews, press acrticles, posters...). And even if we can't help you out, we might know someone who can - so if you ever need any help with organizing your own movie screening event, feel free to contact us!