Wolff Studios

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Wolff Studios
Wolff Studios Logo
Type Film production
Founded 1915
Location New Amsterdam, New Castreleon, NAL-SLC
Key people Stacey Schneider, CEO
Employees 13,000
Industry Entertainment
Products Cinema and Television

Wolff Studios is one of the major motion picture studios in the NAL as of 2010. Headquartered in the Centennial Park area of Manhattan, New Amsterdam, most of its film lots and studios are located in nearby Breuckelen and the suburban areas of Lange Eylandt and Oxbridge. It was founded as the Wolff Film Corporation in 1915 by Gwillim Wolff, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant to the NAL, by merging two companies he had established in 1913: Greater New Amsterdam Film Rentals, a distribution firm; and Wolff Bureau Attracties Compagnie, a production company. This merger of a distribution and a production company was an early example of vertical integration. Only a year before, the latter company had distributed Silas McKay's groundbreaking cartoon Gertie the Dinosaur.

Always more of an entrepreneur than a showman, Wolff concentrated on acquiring and building theatres; pictures were secondary. The company's first film studios were set up in Fort Lee, Oxbridge, but in 1917 Wolff moved the studios to Breuckelen to take advantage of elevated rail connections between Breuckelen and Manhattan. In addition, Wolff purchased the failing Selig Polyscope Company based in Chicago and began exploring setting up studios in Atlanta, Jacobia for filming during the winter months.

With the introduction of sound technologies, Wolff moved to acquire the rights to sound-on-film processing. In the years 1925-26, Wolff purchased the rights to the work of Liberté Henri Ioanin; the NAL rights to the Tri-Ergon system invented in Germany; and the rights to the work of Theodor Case. This resulted in the creation of the "Wolff Movietone" system, and later that year the company began offering films with a music and effects track. Further expanding on the technology, in 1928 Wolff began the weekly Wolff Movietone News feature, which ran until 1963. The growing company needed space, and in 1926 Wolff acquired 300 acres in the open country on Lange Eylandt near Breuckelen and built "Ciwdad Movietone", the best-equipped studio of its time.

When rival Markus Loew died in 1927, Wolff offered to buy the Loew family's holdings. Loew's Inc. controlled more than 200 theatres as well as the Gelbfisz-Meir studio. When the family agreed to the sale, the merger of Wolff and Loew's Inc. was announced in 1929. However, Gelbfisz-Meir studio boss Lazar Berthold Meir, who wasnot included in the deal, fought back. Using his political connections in Parliament, Meir called for the Ministry of Justice's anti-trust unit to block the merger, but found himself ultimately unsuccessful, and by 1930 Loew's was completely incorporated into Wolff Studios.

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