Thanks to LED lighting, energy consumption for the TV show Verstehen Sie Spaß? at studios of Bavaria Film was reduced by more than half. Energy efficiency is a key issue for studios. Bavaria Film enjoys the benefit of having its energy one-hundred percent generated by renewable water power; heating is provided by geothermal energy. „We pursue this strategy in all our business sectors to implement resource-saving and eco-conscious thinking and acting in front of as well as behind the camera“, emphasizes Achim Rohnke, CEO of Bavaria Film.
„During the production of the Verstehen Sie Spaß? show, we tried to make all departments as environmentally-friendly as possible“, says Philip Gassmann, Sustainability Manager at Bavaria Film, who is coordinating the application of green measures. This starts with using recycled paper and eco-friendly products in the office and it extends to turning off devices ― instead of keeping them in stand-by mode ― as part of the daily routine. The biggest energy savings on the show were due to LED lighting, which delivers the same output in lumens but consumes only a third of the energy as incandescent lighting does. Since LEDs also emit less heat, the need for studio air conditioning is likewise reduced. „On Verstehen Sie Spaß? we used several hundred LED lights from a variety of manufacturers.“
LED is now generally accepted in the TV-show lighting sector because, in addition to its tremendous energy-savings potential, this technology also offers new creative possibilities for color and lighting design. „The growing pains we experienced with bad Color Rendering Index (CRI) figures and a green or magenta cast are all gone now“, Gassmann points out. „Meanwhile, every lighting designer is using LED. Only the huge followspots, lighting banks, and some special effects lights are still conventionally equipped.“ Thanks to this technical innovation, the energy usage by TV shows, which once amounted to as much as 12,000 kWh per day, has been reduced by more than half. Energy consumption on the Verstehen Sie Spaß? set ranges between 4,000 to 7,000 kWh per day.
In order to reduce automobile usage in the spacious studio property, small electric carts were used. For Verstehen Sie Spaß? the production team also shared two electric automobiles for trips into the city. When purchasing, the catering department ordered regional as well as fair-trade products, avoided disposable dishware, and strictly managed waste. Neither the hundred or so crew members nor the approximately 800 studio guests received any plastic cups or bottles. In total, waste was reduced by 80%.
The next step is to take a closer look Bavaria Film‘s in-house produced series, such as Sturm der Liebe and Die Rosenheim Cops, which have greater continuity requirements than theatrical features with respect to crew and service providers. „We‘re checking all the workflows for transportation, lighting, generators, and catering“, says Gassmann. When it comes to productions for which Bavaria Film is a service provider, it‘s up to the broadcasters and production companies to decide whether or not to go green with their production. „Due to our climate-neutral studio“, notes Rohnke, „every production benefits by joining the green bandwagon.“
“The time for half-measures and climate denial is over. Unless we move quickly away from fossil fuels, we’re going to destroy the air we breathe, the water we drink, the health of our children, grandchildren and future generations. If we’re going to avoid the worst of the impacts, then we’ve just got to act boldly. And we must act immediately."
Actor, Director, Producer, Environmentalist
"The media has a powerful role to play in the fight against climate change. Through films, television, and all media outlets, we must continue to deliver the message that solutions are out there and are happening now. We have to make it attractive for people to take action. Movies like Avatar, The Day After Tomorrow, and documentaries like Years of Living Dangerously, which I was proud to be a part of, have been very popular, reaching and inspiring millions of people. And I believe films in particular can really inspire and make people want to take action. It’s great to see some of my film-industry friends working with climate related organizations to push forward those messages."
„It‘s high time to reorganize film production in Germany in a ‚greener‘ and more sustainable way. So far, I am flabbergasted by how much our industry works in environmentally harmful ways.To this very day, it starts with until today one-sided print-outs of scripts, and then it continues with plastic bottles in production offices and lots of plastic waste with every catered meal, and it doesn‘t stop with the limousines that pull up to a red carpet.
For many years, people have sneered at me when I brought my own cup or I declined to eat cheap meat served on paper or plastic plates with plastic knives and forks. It would be great if the Green Shooting Card could change all that.“
Director (Ben X, Time of My Life)
„It’s absolutely great that filmmakers all over the world are trying to clean up their act, and are trying to film as sustainable as we possibly can. Still, I think we shouldn’t underestimate the incredible power of the moving image to also change the hearts and minds of people.
So, apart from trying to be more environmentally aware in our business, I think the big gain lies in how we might make everyone more environmentally aware. Yes, cinema can change the world.
I think filmmakers should start using the powerful weapon in our hands that is the camera.
Let’s not only try to do ‘less bad’. Let’s try to do right, and help drive the change that we all know needs to arrive.“
“We are living in a time in which we can’t afford to behave irresponsibly towards nature. The more important is it that film productions try to work as environmentally friendly as possible. A film team produces every day tons of garbage. I try to avoid using plastic cups on set, I bring my own cup, use ecofriendly cosmetics and avoid needless single rides.”
Photo ® Maddalena Arosio
Darren Aronofsky, Director, Noah / Jury President, 65th Berlin International Film Festival
“When we did Noah we knew we were making a film about the first steward of the earth, so we wanted to be good stewards ourselves. There’s so much waste on film sets. Because of groups like Earth Angel, we were able to change that a little bit.”
"As a TV and film producer I try to incorporate environmental storylines into my projects as much as possible. But it’s just as important, if not more, to ‚go green‘ behind the scenes! Therefore, I help run the Producers Guild of America’s Green Initiative.
We provide resources such as a Best Practices and a Carbon Calculator to help producers green their productions. We also partnered with all the major studios to create www.greenproductionguide.com which is a free green vendor database with over 2,000 vendors offering sustainable production solutions worldwide!"
Producer, Director and Visual Effects Supervisor (2001: A Space Odysee, Blade Runner)
"Trumbull Studios in Massachusetts is dedicated to being green as much as possible, including the use of LED lighting, solar power, and solar laptops. This is not just because our location has limited amperage and no three-phase, we believe we have a responsibility to our community and our planet to be a clean industry.
We are planning for digital photography in 3D 4K at 120 frames per second from remote and inaccessible locations that will not have available power. Solar is the way to go."
Dieter Kosslick, Director Berlin International Film Festival
„The Berlinale is already actively addressing the sustainability subject since years. We appreciate it very much that a growing number of filmmakers, among them this year‘s jury presiden Darren Aranofsky, is following green guidelines on set.“
Director of Photography (A Most Wanted Man)
‘I never have been told precisely what the rules are for shooting a green movie, but we are trying to do it. This is something new for me. Sometimes people overlight scenes at night. I don’t. If I can see with my own eyes, then it is enough for the film. In that sense I am a green DoP.’
Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons who stars in the Berlinale Competition entry The Night Train To Lisbon is a fan of source segregated recycling. „Especially in Germany you have done a lot for that. You are examplary in the matter of waste separation.“
The Hollywood actor travelled around the world to promote the environmntal documentary feature film Trashed by Candida Brady which deals with the global garbage problem: „We buy it, we bury it, we burn it and then we ignore it“, says Brady. „With Jeremy Irons as our guide, we discover what happens to the billion or so tons of waste that goes unaccounted for each year.“
Since the world premiere at the International Cannes Film Festival in 2012 Trashed picked up various nominations and awards at international festivals.