Staying green in the film and video production industry can be difficult; it does take a bit of effort. Location shoots can be especially tricky as there may not be a way of recycling your waste or avoiding things like bottled water. However, there are one or two things you can do, which will help reduce your carbon footprint and lessen your impact on the environment.
Filming on location will often leave a size 12-carbon footprint, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s 4 top tips to help video production companies be more green when filming on location.
1. Props & Set Builds( Reuse props and set pieces from previous shoots. If that’s not possible, make sure you buy sustainable wood products, or why not hire in props to minimise waste. If have to use props or set pieces that you’re not able to re-cycle, minimise your carbon footprint and give back to the community by donating them to a drama school, local theatre or hostel.
2. Traveling to Location( Some of the corporate videos we produce here at Spectrecom require only a minimum amount of kit. In these instances, we ask that our crew take public transport to the location. Not only does this help in our pursuit of being as green as possible, it also can save on overall production costs. Hiring local crew can also help keep your carbon emissions to a minimum. A production in East Hollywood took this practice to another level last summer. A Rebel Without A Car encouraged the crew, and even some of the actors, to either use public transport or ride their bikes to and from set. Incredibly, they even hired cyclists with trailers to pick up all the hire kit, courier rushes and run production supplies.( The efforts displayed by A Rebel Without A Car proved that a shoot could be sustainable if everyone was on board and willing. It may not be practical on every shoot to go as extreme as they did, but you can minimise driving and traveling in cabs by using trains, buses and subways.( 3. Reduce your Consumables.
In the UK, approximately 600 million batteries are purchased per year - less than 2% are recycled. That means roughly only one battery in 100 is recycled. When thrown in a landfill, the harmful chemicals (lead, mercury and cadmium) leak into the soil and ground water causing health threats to people and the environment. Recycling batteries at either libraries, grocery stores or your local council’s recycling depot helps reduce your CO2 emissions.(Better yet, try using rechargeable batteries for your talk back systems or radio microphones. The technology behind rechargeable batteries has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years meaning productions can have much more confidence in their reliability.
4. Lead by Example
If your management team, senior producers and company directors recycle, use public transport and generally make an effort in reducing their carbon footprint, the rest of your staff will feel motivated to follow suit. Create an action plan that states your company’s green goals and policies. Your action plan can include things like turning lights off in between shooting, recycling whilst on location or printing double-sided call sheets. The standards you set out for your staff should be sent to freelancers as well to ensure that whoever is representing or working with your company will carry out your environmentally friendly policies. If being green is a commitment you want to make as a production company, make it clear that it’s as important as the work you are producing.