The French film funding institution Centre National du Cinéma (CNC) launched a new initiative in 2014 to support sustainable solutions that is gradually gaining recognition in the French Film / TV industry. The green grants are part of CNC’s program, which has a yearly budget of €6m to support TV and feature-film service providers. “In 2014, we supported one project with a €24,000 grant. This year, we’ve already greenlighted three projects with grants totaling €85,000”, reports Baptiste Heynemann, Head of Technique and Innovation at CNC. “Depending on the size of the company, we support anywhere from 40% to 60% of the cost of investing in environmental protection. In addition, the CNC pays up to 70% of the expenses incurred in commissioning environmental studies, including energy audits.
Among the companies investing in sustainable solutions is the French film equipment rental house and studio group TSF, where Woody Allen rented the equipment for films such as Midnight in Paris and Magic in the Moonlight. While the CNC supported TSF’s investments in LED lights, most of the green grants were awarded for investments in Green IT.
The Paris-based animation studio Supamonks, which is moving to a larger facility and shifting its focus from advertising to TV production, wants to take a new approach to production that favors sustainability. Key to the transition is a render farm that consumes less electricity and gas. “The render farm is located in radiators, which are using the thermal discharge of the devices to heat the office”, explains Pierre de Cabissole, Head of Production at Supamonks. “We’re partnering with Qarnot, which developed this technology.” The new Supamonk studio facilities will be equipped with two heaters comprised of 64 rendering nodes.
Qarnot’s Q.rad innovative heating technology uses processing units as primary heat source to maximize computing energy efficiency while simultaneously providing free heat to buildings and homes. Qarnot Computing’s Cloud service distributes HPC workloads efficiently to Q.rad’s digital heater farm according to the host’s needs for heat and HPC workload constraints. Qarnot sponsored the rendering of the animated film “Cosmos Laundromat”. The movie’s 3-D renderings, performed on Qarnot’s heaters, represented one year of free heating for about twenty households.
This smart green processing solution was developed as an alternative to energy-consuming data centers where more than a third of the electricity is used to cool processing units. “The energy impact of this solution, when compared to the current set-up with data centers and conventional heaters, results in a carbon footprint that is 75% smaller”, emphasizes Paul Benoit, Founder & CEO of Qarnot Computing.
CNC also provided Green IT investment support to the Parisian post-production house MacGuff Line, which created the visual effects for Il était une forêt by Luc Jacquet, among others. Another signatory of the Ecoprod Charter is the audio-visual company Datacare, which developed a vehicle with a completely autonomous platform dedicated to data processing for productions on location. Equipped with a solar panel and embedded batteries, the truck is powered by renewable energy. Thanks to its own internet connection, the mobile working station facilitates data exchange with post-production studios, labs, and broadcasters. “It reduces the number of physical deliveries to laboratories, editing rooms, and production offices”, emphasizes Ouadi Guénich, Founder & CEO of Datacare. Furthermore, the integration of a data storage solution in a vehicle will substantially reduce the number of hard drives used during a production.