Sustainable production of documentaries

During the NaurVision Film Festival in Ludwigsburg a workskop on green film shooting of documentaries was organized with the support of the regional film fund MFG. The workshop gave a great overview on actual developments and perpectives of sustainable film production. This isssue was mainly discussed for fiction and commercials, not so much for documentaries.

Michael Geidel presented the concept of the Green Film Initiative. He remarked that the daily television production has more potential for reducing than film productions. A documentary is shot with a small team and often very efficient; transport and travel are the main factors for resource consumption.

Robert Müller from the MFG film fund pointed out that they are interested in sustainable production but will not made it obligatory in their regulations. This subject is intensly discussed on the European level of films funds and film commissions. Other countries like Great Britain, France, USA or Belgium are far more developed in terms of sustainable production. A key issue is that sustainable film production should not become more expensive because that won’t be refinanced by the TV stations or other distributors. In addition, there shouldn’t be a difference in quality with the traditional production.

Nicole Ackermann, producer at Mouna Film in Stuttgart presented her documentary Slowas a case study. The film by Sascha Seifert was shot in and around Stuttgart and got a CO2-certificate. This procedure was not too complicate; sustainability is for her an attitude.

Carl-A. Fechner, director and producer of Die 4. Revolution, an international shot film on energy autonomy, explained the sustainable concept of his company, which includes not only energy efficiency but also fair conditions for his team. He is convinced, that economically the new form of production has a potential of cost savings.

Katja Schwarz was responsible for the sustainability of Odeons TV series Der Landarzt and is now working as a consultant (Agentur tolle idée!, Munich). She developed a measure catalog for film productions and is convinced that it is easy to start with green shooting. It is a process of doing, learning and participation and should start with small steps. Only this way, the political goal to protect the world climate can be reached.

Kay Hoffmann, NaturVision Film Festival