The implementation of global climate goals, as well as legal requirements on a European, national, and local level, are exerting pressure on the audio-visual industry to take environmentally friendly actions. In the City of Paris, the use of portable generators operating at less than10 KVA has been prohibited in September 2020. When utilizing special effects, such as artificial snow, foam, and smoke in public spaces, material safety data is now required. Further regulations are in the pipeline.
By 2024, diesel-powered automobiles will also be banned in Paris, which will affect film productions. Since 2009, Ecoprod has been promoting green film measures, and it has been working to encourage the film and TV industry to consider environmental issues. In order to guide industry professionals on the way to more sustainability, Ecoprod transformed itself into an association. Founded with the support of the CNC and the Afdas cultural fund in October 2021, long-term members, such as Audiens, the CST, Film Paris Region, Canal +, France Télévisions, and TF1, are staying on board. The mission remains the same. The aim is to raise awareness and to provide professionals with tools, training, and practical guides with tips to implement eco-responsible approaches.
Ecoprod’s operational team, presided over by Baptiste Heynemann, chief delegate of CST, the French association of film and audio-visual technicians, is being managed by Pervenche Beurier and project leader Alissa Aubenque. “The film and TV industry is in urgent need of new regulations to transform it into a more sustainable industry”, says Pervenche Beurier. “To ensure that these measures are in line with the reality on the ground, there has to be a dialogue between institutions and the industry. One of the goals of the new Ecoprod association is to welcome members from both sides to facilitate this dialogue.”
The association‘s scope of action encompasses the moving image sector, which includes
the audio-visual and film industry, video games, digital formats, and the advertising industry. "Over the last few years, TV series and feature films have largely adopted green shooting measures — it is time to generalize the approach and spread it to the entire media industry”, Alissa Aubenque points out. “Other branches, such as advertising and animation, are increasingly being inspired by this approach. Our goal is to broaden the scope and application of our tools in order to offer solutions for a wide range of audio-visual formats.”
In 2022, Ecoprod will welcome new members from the ranks of production companies, sustainable service providers, broadcasters and streaming platforms, advertising agencies, film schools, and film companies that want to contribute to the greening of the industry. Ecoprod is also working with various partners on advanced training. Besides basic green production workshops, the program will include certified continuing education programs for film professionals who want to become eco-leaders in their respective departments, as for example set design. “Ecoprod also supports the transition to green by developing tools and training programs to prepare film professionals for the coming changes”.
“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.