London calling: Green filmmaking

The benefits of sustainable film production were highlighted at the Media Production Show at the Olympia in London where more than hundred companies and studios presented their latest technologies and services. Hosted by Pinewood Studios-based company Sargent-Disc, the panel discussion "Controlling the financial and environmental costs on production" focused on essential issues such as raising awareness, best practices, training and alternate solutions.



Laurence Sargent, CEO, Sargent-Disc, started the discussion with production tools and services that enable environmentally sustainable production such as LED lights. „It might be helpful to look very practically at the way that everything in film is interconnected“, said Sally McEnallay, Marketing Director and Managing Partner, Greenlit. „Many of the LED lights that we rent out are not just energy-saving and cost-saving but also offer other options. The LED technology is developing incredibly quickly.“ Arri Sky panels series and also the new KinoFlo Select have a huge potential. „They last longer and you don‘t have to often replace bulbs, that is also environmental friendly and cost-saving.“


If it comes to energy use, diesel generators are a huge problem because they harm the environment with dirty fuel. By 2030, the use of diesel generators might not be possible anymore due to the air pollution. „Therefore it is important that the film industry will be equipped with alternative solutions which are already available, Birgit Heidsiek, Publisher, Green Film Shooting, pointed out. „The construction industry already is using hybrid generators.“ The tools exist but there is no infrastructure when it comes to suppliers in the Film/TV industry all across the world. The generator makes a huge difference economically as well as environmentally. „It is possible
to get the same amount of light and the same performance for half of the money“, emphasizes Sally McEnallay. The solution are batteries that can be charged a half an hour each through a domestic plug versus the generator. „If you running your lights with batteries, you have lower rental costs in distribution.“



„The British BAFTA albert consortium tries to give filmmakers access to sustainable solutions.
„We created a scheme that helps the smaller players in the industry to access renewable energy“, Jeremy Mathieu from BAFTA albert outlined. „Through that scheme they get a discount.“ So far twenty companies have signed up for about £ 280,000 worth of electricity. But when it comes to the implementation of best practices, also small things can have a huge impact. „We are used to pick up a plastic bottle. It is taking time to think about it. There are more sustainable solutions out there“, sums up Greenlit’s marketing manager.


On the long run, it is neccessary to implement a carbon calculator in the calculation software so that production managers can see if it is more expensive to rent a hybrid or electric car and what is the result in terms or costs and carbon emissions. „It would make it easier to decide but it is still a long way to go“, concludes the Green Film Shooting publisher. „We don‘t even have a European carbon calculator yet.“



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