THE BERLIN BOOM
Rise FX has witnessed a decade of change in what is being deemed Berlin’s Soho
Rise FX has been located in the same complex for the entirety of its decade-long life, growing and expanding but never moving. “We’ve been lucky with our landlord,” says Gellinger, “I think he’s interested in seeing what we produce.” But even the building itself has had to change with the company, since Marvel’s regular involvement with the studio facilitated necessary alterations for greater privacy. “We actually had some Marvel [Studios] members work with us here in the studio, and that required us to change the open space, to build extra rooms.”
But it isn’t only the building itself that has grown with Rise. As anyone who has ever lived in one of the large capitals of the world will attest, ten years can change a lot about an area. Rise’s office complex is a little sprawling and it’s tricky to find the entrance. When we visited, there was even a large-scale construction project next door; it’d be easy for anyone to spot that this is an area on the up. “Since we’ve been here, the area has kind of grown and grown. When we first moved here there wasn’t much here, but over the years we’ve seen more and more studios appearing,” says Gellinger. “It’s like Berlin’s Soho.”
The walk from the metro is an eclectic mix of bars and a plethora of cuisines from around the world. The famous Lido bar has been bringing people to the area for years but now almost by accident (or perhaps because of Rise FX’S popularity), it has become a haven for 3D and VFX studios.
“We know everyone from other studios – we often meet them in bars or have a drink with them,” says Gellinger. “We have even begun arranging meet-ups,” he adds, creating a sense of local camaraderie between the various studios and artists.
It’d be unlikely that Rise FX’S success and popularity from international sources was the key and only reason for Kreuzberg’s current gentrification, but with so much creativity being injected into the area from a number of sources, it’s looking like it could well become one of the 3D design centres of Europe.
Marvel has worked with Rise FX ever since X-men: First Class, and on pretty much every major Marvel cinematic release since