For the first time, an industry event at the Zurich Film Festival was dedicated to the subject of green film production. Located at the new Industry Hub in the lounge of Hotel Opera, the panel discussion Action For Climate On Set gave filmmakers and creatives an insight in the broad range of actions, which can be taken to produce films more environmentally friendly. As Green Film Shooting Publisher Birgit Heidsiek explained in an introduction note, carbon emissions of film productions are mostly generated by energy usage on set in the field, transportation as well as waste.
"We received our energy from the grid, whenever possible", pointed out Frauke Kolbmüller, Co-producer and Production Manager of German Oscar contender System Crasher, which received a Green Shooting Card. At the 15th Zurich Film Festival System Crasher received the Golden Eye for Best Film in the Focus: Switzerland, Germany, Austria Competition. "We also didn’t provide any trailers for the actors but let them stay in rooms near by the set", added the production manager.
In Switzerland, productions can also access energy from the grid when shooting on locations in cities. "It costs about between 300 and 800 CHF per day. It is cheaper than a generator. This is a good solution in the city", said Jessica Hefti, Producer at Zodiac Pictures, which is going green with Swiss crime series Tatort. The production will measure its carbon emissions with a carbon calculator, which is developed by My Climate.
An issue that often leads to controversial discussions on set is the kind of catering, which may be vegetarian, vegan or meatless for one day only. "We usually have different types of food on film set but we try to reduce the meat", stresses Frauke Kolbmüller. According to her experience it works well to serve vegetarian food but it is not a good idea to claim Veggie Days on set because this matter can lead to the protest of some crew members. Meanwhile at the Swiss Tatort, the production will be served vegetarian catering only. "I think it is all about communication", emphasized Jessica Hefti. "There are so many options nowadays so that we will be fine."
Michael Imboden, Production Manager at Swiss production company Triluna Film, really appreciates vegan catering but he pointed out that in other production departments are often bigger carbon footprints generated. "For my last Tatort, I flew twelve times to Berlin because the audio post production is cheaper there." In the end, more than 40 plane rides were taken for the audio post production. "It is always the producer that makes these decisions. It is all about the money", underlined Michael Imboden. According to Frauke Kolbmüller, a producer should act as a role model for the crew members. " I always go by bike whenever I can", she concluded.
Photos: @ GFS/ Zurich Film Festival