Sustainable Production: Five Reasons Why Green Filmmaking Is Good for Business

By: William Lee

Being based in a green city like Vancouver, sustainability is usually top of mind for many individuals and businesses including filmmakers. While addressing physical waste and cutting costs, green productions are showing how they can work from a script that is both socially conscious and environmentally responsible as well.

In advance of the VIFF Sustainable Production Forum we present five reasons why green filmmaking is good for business.

1. Physical Materials Can Be Reused

Film productions use lots of material in their creative endeavours; just think about the detailed set decorations, the array of costumes and the quantity of props you see on screen. The Sustainable Lockup is one local remedy to the industry’s reputation as a generator of huge amounts of disposable material.

They house used materials from productions and redistribute them for use on new productions or donate them to charities, film schools and the community. Industry professionals from various stages of the production process will speak about their perspectives on sustainable production on Day one of the VIFF Sustainable Production Forum.

2. It’s a Fact That Sustainable Productions Save Money

Reluctance to “go green” often stems from the misconception that it will cost more. A 2014 report by the Producers Guild of America found that sustainable production methods had the potential for significant budget line savings. For example, water budgets cut by 51%, waste removal expenses reduced by 40% and battery costs came down by 58%.

3. Industry and Community Can Share Sustainable Production Goals

Filmmakers want to use locations and communities want film productions to use their locations responsibly. It’s mutually beneficial that the impact on sites is minimized so the public and future productions can continue to enjoy location resources. Day one of the VIFF Sustainable Production Forum brings together industry experts and municipal leaders to discuss industry stewardship that distinguishes BC’s sustainable production practices.

4. Green Initiatives On-Screen Can Change the World

The highest grossing movie of all time, 2009’s Avatar, had an environmental message at the core of its technology filled space fantasy. On-screen green behaviour can influence public attitudes about conservation. It’s time for action heroes like Ethan Hunt to show us how it’s not impossible to take small steps to save the planet. Day 2 of the VIFF Sustainable Production Forum considers the “Hollywood Effect” of incorporating sustainability mindedness in our stories.

5. Industry Guidelines Encourage Green Behaviour

From ABC Disney to Warner Bros, major industry leaders are setting the greenprint for reducing their environmental impact. Creative BC’s Reel Green initiative, which started ten years ago, has empowered and inspired productions to implement sustainable practices. Their resources include department-specific best practices guidelines. On day 2 of the VIFF Sustainable Production Forum we’ll consider the impact of sustainable practices at a “systems thinking” level.

VIFF’s Sustainable Production Forum

When: October 5-6, 2018

Where: Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver BC

Cost: $96-149

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