There are a great number of green filmmaking resources that are available on the web. In our toolkit section, we’ve listed for you the ones that we value most. If you think we’ve missed something essential, please send us an e-mail.
International Research, Efforts, & Best Practise Resources
You can get inspired by these international publications:
- The Netherlands: At greenfilmmaking.nl you’ll find best practices, advises and tips & tricks of Dutch film professionals in their quest to work as sustainable as possible. Next to the website, the Green Film Making Project published the ‘How to green your film production (so far)’ guidebook: an overview of sustainable production related ideas and practices, in collaboration with producers and professional filmmakers participating in the project. You can download it here.
- Belgium: The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) is one of the regional film funds in Europe who have taken green filmmaking to the next level, with the appointment of an eco-manager in the e-mission program. They offer an extensive list of best practises and advice. All in Dutch.
- The UK: One of the main reports related to green filmmaking comes from the UK, and is the BFI establishe best practise standard for the film industry. It is called the BS8909 ( don’t get fooled by the name, it is in fact a very inspiring overview), and offers some of the most in-depth and detailed production sustainability guidelines presently out there.The well established BAFTA also shares many documents related to their ‘ Greening Film’ initiative, and research into media sustainability. Check greeningfilm.com for the basics, and mediagreenhouse.co.uk for news, updates and production examples from within the UK industry. And don’t forget to stop by greenshoot.com, for insight into the work of a media sustainability consultancy firm.
- France: As one of the first national industries to address the need for a sustainability shift within media production, France is home to the established Ecoprod initiative. Though their on-line resources are published in French, they are extensive, insightful, and can be translated into your language with the help of on-line translators. Many prominent institutions of the French film industry are directly affiliated and involved with Ecoprod signifying it’s industry presence, and effectivity.
- Germany: Germany based green filmmaking pioneer Michael Geidel, has spear headed the Green Film Initiative. Also greenfilmshooting.net is a German publication that offers great in-depth and international articles ( in German or English).
- USA: The Producers Guild of America addresses green filmmaking with their established PGA Green Division. Check out how they do it in Hollywood here. You can download their best practise guide here.PGA Green is also responsible for publishing, alongside green Filmmaking-star Emmelie O’Brien, a ground breaking report and production case-study on the financially lucrative nature of sustainable production. It is entitled: “Going Green by Saving Green: A cost-benefit analysis of sustainable filmmaking”. Presented numbers are based on large scale Hollywood productions, but this line of thinking can be easily translated into production industries of other sizes.At the PGA Green site you can also find a report from the early days, a real classic:Sam Mendes’ Away We Go (2009), greened up the whole production and wrote a good report about it, which sparked green filmmaking initiatives around the globe. Download the report here.
- Australia and New Zealand: ‘Green Shoot Pacific‘ (partnered with GreenShoot in the UK) released the free “Good Green Production Bible”. You can find it here.
- Scotland: The ‘Creative Carbon Scotland’ initiative covers all areas of the arts and does not exclude film. Check it out.
When you don’t have time to dive into all this, bear in mind these simple three rules:
1) Start as early in the process as possible. By the time you arrive on the set, there is little time to effectively and gracefully facilitate change.
2) Be intelligently lazy. Don’t do everything yourself. Share your vision, involve heads of departments to come up with solutions, and make someone on the set responsible. Share your results with your crew, and with others who are interested in green filmmaking.
3) Never stop asking questions. Suppliers, employees, crew members, even you- no one likes to be ordered around, and told what to do. Asking questions is the way in, and can possibly lead you into undiscovered territory. And never stop. It’s a process, it will take you some time but when you keep moving,growing, and learning, you’ll reach your goal.
A useful checklist could include:
• Set achievable goals for yourself and the team, and lead by example
• Make a visible green commitment and engage the filmmakers, financiers and everyone involved with the production, at an early stage
• Identify green partners who can supply the products/services you need
• Hold a pre-production meeting with department heads to announce the sustainability plan
• Solicit input from department heads regarding ways to make their department greener
• Hold a kick-off meeting with cast and crew to communicate green goals and strategies for the production
• Include green updates in weekly production meetings
• Consider doing a mid-point evaluation: compute progress statistics and share lessons learned to keep crew engaged and to re-energize the team.
Need more help? PGA Green published a 25 point checklist
Carbon calculators for the film industry are in development. Some useful ones:
- The BAFTA developed the ALBERT
- The VAF developed a calculator in their e-mission program
- Ecoprod has the CARBON CLAP
- In Germany there’s an app, giving you the basics, aimed at commercial production: the Carbon Film Quote
What is Green Filmmaking?
Green film making simply means leaving as little environmental impact on the planet as possible while producing your film. Aside from clear environmental benefits of making your film production greener, higher sustainable standards lead to: recognition from peers, audiences, investors, stakeholders and NGOs. It reduces reputational risk and enhances competitiveness. Taking the lead in sustainability also means you’ll stay on top of existing regulatory requirements and ahead of future legislation.