Walter Schmidthässler (also Schmidt-Häßler) was an actor who had worked with the Meiningen Ensemble at the Meiningen Court Theatre before turning author and scriptwriter. He formed Schmidthassler-Film GmbH in 1911, which became Continental-Kunstfilm the following year. Schmidthässler and Rittberger, an engineer and businessman, signed their partnership agreement on 5 February 1912, with a share capital of 150,000 marks. On 12 February 1912 Continental-Kunstfilm moved into the old Deutsche Bioskop studios (Bioskop-Atelier) at 123 Chausseestraße, vacated when Jules Greenbaum's firm moved to its new Babelsberg Studio. Continental's main offices were located at 235 Friedrichstraße, Berlin. However, Schmidthässler left Continental after only two months in April 1912 to direct for Vitascope, going on to direct over 100 films.
Heinrich Lautensack (who had previously worked for Deutsche Bioskop) was engaged as script writer and head of advertising. He wrote the screenplays for at least five Continental films, mostly psychological melodramas:Zwischen Himmel und Erde; Die Macht der Jugend; Zweimal gelebt (extant); Der Mann in der Flasche; Das ist der Krieg; and Entsagungen.
Several of Continental's early releases were directed by Max Mack (who had previously made his mark with one of the first autorenfilms, Der Andere with Albert Bassermann): Lebensbilder; Die lieben Freunde; Die gelbe Rasse (The Yellow Peril); Blinde Liebe; Die Hochzeitsfackel, and Zweimal gelebt.
The Romanian-born mime artist and ballet-dancer Mime Misu (Mișu Rosescu) made three films for Continental in 1912:
- Das Gespenst von Clyde (The Ghost of Clyde)
- In Nacht und Eis, the first full-length film about the sinking of the RMS Titanic which sank on 15 April that year. The film was made between May and June 1912. Max Rittberger, (the firm's co-founder) was an engineer by trade, and made the 8 metre-long floating model for the Titanic film (according to the cameraman Emil Schünemann, who also worked on Misu's next film.
- Mirakel, a film of a religious mystery play set in medieval times, which was completed by October 1912. The play, The Miracle by Karl Vollmoeller, had been staged with huge public success in London by Max Reinhardt in early in 1912. Continental did not own the legitimate film rights to the production, which were acquired by an American self-made businessman living in London, Joseph Menchen. His full-colour The Miracle (1912 film) was released in December 1912, and Menchen and the film's US distributor Al Woods successfully sought court injunctions to stop Continental's distributors from showing Mirakel as The Miracle, as if it were the 'genuine' film of the Reinhardt Olympia production. As a result, Continental's Mirakel confusingly acquired at least six titles. See also The Miracle (1912 film)#Litigation.
Before Harry Piel turned to acting he directed a handful of films for Continental in 1912-1913.
May and Reicher
Joe May made ten films with Continental, the first (In der Tiefe des Schachtes) being released in November 1913. Paul Leni also worked on designing various films with May at Continental, including Ein Ausgestoßener and Das Panzergewölbe 
The popular 'Bumke' short comedies written, directed and starring Gerhard Dammann as the eponymous hero appeared throughout 1913, sometimes at the rate of one a week. At the end of 1913 Dammann left Continental, continuing his film career (possibly for contractual reasons) with the 'Luny' character: and Max Rittberger left the business in early 1914.
May directed the first three of the 'Stuart Webbs' films, a popular series in which Ernst Reicher played a gentleman detective modelled on Sherlock Holmes: Die geheimnisvolle Villa; Der Mann im Keller; and Der Spuk im Haus des Professors.[note 1]
In an acrimonious and well-publicised split, May and Reicher fell out with the managers of Continental over the 'Stuart Webbs' films, and left Continental together. Having formed their own production company, Stuart Webbs-Film GmbH, they made the next in the detective series, Das Panzergewölbe (The Armoured Vault) in June 1914, using Continental-Kunstfilm's studios for the filming.
In the summer of 1914 Continental-Kunstfilm (or possibly Reicher) built a new studio at 9-12 Franz Josef-Straße (now Max Liebermannstraße) in Weißensee, a north-eastern suburb of Berlin. When the First World War broke out in August 1914, May had to return to his native Vienna to do his military service, and on his return to Berlin he and Reicher split up. May formed his own company, May-Film GmbH, taking over the old Vitascope studio almost next door to Reicher at 5-7 Franz-Josef-Straße.
May continued to make both detective films (the 'Joe Deebs' series, with Harry Piel directing Max Linda and later Harry Liedtke in the title role), as well as making more serious films with his wife, Mia May. He was producer for one more film at Continental-Kunstfilm, Der geheimnisvolle Nachtschatten, directed by Harry Piel.
Albert Paulig made three Albert films in 1915, but Continental-Kunstfilm produced far fewer films after this date. Reicher continued to make detective films at the studio with his Reicher & Reicher company until 1918. When in 1917 the German government quietly consolidated the larger German film production companies into a single conglomerate, Ufa, Continental-Kunstfilm was not included.
The studio premises at No. 9, Franz-Josef-Straße were bought by Film-Atelier GmbH (Fag ), whose directors were Chaskel Eisenberg and Dr. Lucian Gottscho.[note 2] They expanded the studios to include Nos. 8-10, and hired them out to other production companies, including Decla who made The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari there in 1919. In 1921 the studios were bought by Lixie-Film-Atelier-Weißensee GmbH. In 1928 the Weißensee housing association acquired the land for new residential buildings which were still standing as of 2012.
- Reicher's first acting appearance in a Continental film was in Vorglühen des Balkanbrandes, (directed by May) in early 1914. In the same year he directed two films at Continental, Die Statue and Das Werk.
- Chaksel Eisenberg (his first name is the Yiddish version of Ezekiel) patented two shoe-making machines:
- US patent, Eisenberg, Chaskel, "Machine for flanging uppers of boots or shoes", issued 1895-10-22
- US patent 725233, Eisenberg, Chaskel, "Lasting Machine", issued 1903-04-14
- US patent 650062, Gottscho, Lucian, "Thermo-electric pile", issued 1900-05-22
- Bock & Bergfelder 2009, p. 219.
- Wedel 1992, pp. 84-85.
- "Bioskop-Atelier". Streifzüge durch die Berliner Film- und Kinogeschichte (in German). webloc.de. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
- Kasten 1996, pp. 214, 218.
- Kasten 1996, pp. 213–220.
- There is an apparent paucity of reliable information about this film.
- Wedel 2004, p. 99.
- Cast and crew details at Cinefest.de, although Misu probably played the part of the radio operator, not Captain Smith.
- Bock & Bergfelder 2009, p. 281.
- "A New Film-Personality". Lichtbild-Bühne no. 9, March 1, 1913 (hosted at filmportal.de).
- Abel 2005, pp. 219–220 This is apparently the only online source to mention Theodor Mülleneisen as a new director of Continental; Anton (Toni) Mülleneisen was cameraman for Der geheimnisvolle Nachtschatten (1914). The same source says that Joe May also ran Continental, although May and Reicher together published full-page ads in the trade press talking about "the managers at Continental".
- Abel 2005, pp. 219–220.
- Licht-Bild-Bühne no. 34, 1914, p. 37, quoted in Hesse 1996, pp. 147–8 & p. 307, n30.
- Hesse 1996, pp. 147–8.
- Abel, Richard, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Taylor & Francis (e-book). ISBN 9780415234405.
- Bock, Hans-Michael; Bergfelder, Tim, eds. (2009). The Concise CineGraph: Encyclopaedia of German Cinema. Berghahn Books. ISBN 9781571816559.
- Hesse, Sebastian (1996). "Ernst Reicher alias Stuart Webbs: king of the German film detectives". In Elsaesser, Thomas. A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789053561720.
- Jackson, Ian (2012). Imperial German Bayonets: Seitengewehr 1914 models. Stoneleigh Press. ISBN 978-0-473-20561-4. Unknown parameter
- Kasten, Jürgen (1996). "From Peripetia to plot point: Lautensack and 'Zweimal Gelebt' (1912)". In Elsaesser, Thomas; Wedel, Michael. A Second Life: German Cinema's First Decades. Film culture in transition. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789053561720.
- 'The Stage' Year Book. 1913. pp. 293–294.
- Wedel, Michael (1992). "Misus Mirakel". KINtop (in German) (Frankfurt am Main: Stroemfeld Verlag) 10. ISBN 3-87877-781-7.
- Wedel, Michael (2004). "Mime Misu's Titanic - In Night and Ice (1912)". In Bergfelder, Tim; Street, Sarah. The Titanic in Myth and Memory: Representations in Visual and Literary Culture. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 9781850434320.