With over 700 films produced annually, the film industry has a transformative impact on the environment. The actors and crews involved in filmmaking are large groups that often include more than 250 people. The transportation, catering service and accommodation for this mass of people create a huge carbon footprint that is only sustainable if managers use more environmentally friendly practices. The use of renewable energies, the recycling of props and waste, the use of LEDs, the hiring of eco-managers, the use of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the implementation of online audits are some of the ways that film studios can reduce their environmental impact .
1] Renewable energy
Although home owners are increasingly dependent on renewable energy, commercial property owners are catching up and several companies like Warner Brothers are using solar energy to power their studios and offices. Film studios comparable to the size of a production facility simulate real-world locations and require a significant amount of power to operate effectively. To reduce operating costs and conserve fossil fuels, more studios should be set up invest in solar energy. Twenty years ago, film managers criticized the idea of using solar panels because of their cost and energy output. However, since solar modules are more efficient and economical, the same argument cannot be used. Filmmaking requires an enormous supply of energy, and switching to solar seems to be a logical decision.
2] Prop recycling
Another way for filmmakers to reduce their carbon footprint is to recycle props and building materials. In the past, some companies have shared sets or materials to reduce costs. Anything that is not shared is thrown in the trash. Set and prop construction produce large amounts of waste that can be recycled. Over the past decade, Sony has led the entertainment industry in environmentally friendly practices, donating over 90% of its props and materials to local charities. Food and clothing used in Sony films are also sent to grocery banks and homeless shelters.
3] LED lighting
lighting means everything on a film set. The simulation of natural light on the set requires a complex set of high-intensity lighting that uses a lot of energy. To reduce energy consumption, more and more lighting technicians are replacing standard lamps LEDs. A 100 watt lamp can be replaced with a 60 watt LED that provides the same lighting. Most LEDs last six to eight years longer than conventional lamps.
4] Eco manager
A recent development that improves the sustainability of the film industry is the hiring of eco-managers. An eco manager is an environmental consultant who helps studios take a greener approach to filmmaking. Some changes that managers recommend include removing single-portion utensils at catering locations, requiring cast and crew to provide their non-disposable water bottles, using unused catering food in homeless shelters, and reducing energy consumption in studios and filming. Some managers try to motivate the film teams by rewarding and recognizing people who quickly adapt to environmentally friendly initiatives.
5] Hybrid vehicles
Transporting materials and crew to remote locations is an important process that can have a negative impact on the environment. By reducing dependency on gas powered vehicles, studio managers can save money and reduce their impact on air pollution and fossil fuel consumption. Hybrid and electric vehicles are cheaper than a decade ago, and some manufacturers are developing larger commercial vehicles for long-distance transport. Large set pieces require massive rigs for transportation and luckily one electric 18 wheel that can travel 500 miles is now available.
6] Online auditions
With the current acceptance of online conferences and interviews, more and more hiring managers and casting agents are relying on online auditions. When there are several auditions, the actors have to travel frequently. By switching the auditions to an online format, the studios can reduce the pollution caused by transport and lower their energy costs. Casting agents do not need a large waiting room where the air conditioning is blown up to conduct interviews. With more people familiar with video chatting, auditioning online should be a straightforward exercise.
Although the film industry creates a large carbon footprint due to its size, more and more studio heads are adopting environmentally friendly practices and are trying to streamline their productions. Hopefully the film industry can be associated with environmental improvement over the next ten years.
About Finnergan Pierson
Finnegan Pierson loves business and has a passion for technology and films. As a freelance writer, Finn hopes to influence others so that they can have a positive business experience.