The Emmerich effect

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) honored the German director Roland Emmerich with A Tribute to… Award and presented  a retrospective of his work, which included blockbuster hits such as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. “I got really concerned about the environment and wanted to do something on climate change”, stated Roland Emmerich at the ZFF Masterclass.


Emmerich came
 across the book The Coming Global Superstorm by Whitley Strieber and Art Bell. “It was a great idea. One superstorm brings on a new ice age. If we think about global warming, anything can happen. The underlying science was totally real”, said the director who acquired the rights of the book. “I knew that I had to change the title. I decided to write the script a bit in the style of Independence Day. And that is what I did. When we went out, it had the same effect as Independence Day."


The Day After Tomorrow opened in 2004 and grossed worldwide more than $ 542 m. The action drama was also the first studio film for which the greenhouse gas emissions had been offset. Future Forests estimated that the production generated some 10,000 tons carbon emissions. The expenses for the offsetting were about $ 200,000, which were paid personally by Emmerich.


The greenhouse gas emissions of The Day After Tomorrow were also used as basis to calculate an average carbon footprint of Hollywood movies in a  study on Sustainability in the Motion Picture Industry, compiled by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2006, when Arnold Schwarzenegger was Governor of the state of California.


Foto: © Zurich Film Festival/ 20th Century Fox

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