sustainable_productions

9 Reasons Why Sustainable Production Is Here To Stay

In November 2021, the COP26 are meeting in Glasgow to discuss the next steps in the ongoing battle to limit global warming.

It’s easy to think responsibility for fixing global warming lies with the world’s biggest organisations, but we must recognise that a global crisis creates a role for us all. 

One of the key agreements of the 2015 Paris Accord, was to keep global temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrialised levels. An increase of 2°C is considered an environmental red-line because it would result in more than 70% of the world’s coastlines rising by 0.2 meters or more, rendering life unimaginable for millions of people across the globe.

The consequences include increased coastal flooding, beach erosion, salinisation of water supplies and other impacts on humans and ecological systems. It might sound like a scene from The Day After Tomorrow, but we’re already seeing signs of global warming in our everyday lives.

According to research by the MetOffice, between 1991-2020, the UK has experienced temperatures 0.9° warmer than the previous 30 years (1961 – 1990). If this wasn’t unsettling enough, 2020 is the first year reported to have temperature, rain and sunshine rankings all in the top 10.

How element26.tv is addressing the problem

The biggest hurdle for creative agencies is to adapt to the challenge without either parsing on excessive costs to the customer or compromising on creative ambition.

Thankfully we live in a time where technology is not only illuminating a way forward, but creating greater efficiencies.

We firmly believe that saving the planet, and delivering the best project possible are not mutually exclusive.

Procedural changes stand the best chance of success when they’re embedded into the workflow, this is why we have embedded 10 sustainable production practices into our production value chain.

1. Paperless Workflow  

At element26.tv we’ve long adjusted to a paperless workflow. Call sheets, development documents, contracts, invoices etc, are all managed in the cloud. No more pesky paper print outs!

2. Virtual casting

Eventually it becomes necessary to get actors in a room to assess things like the chemistry they have with other actors, and for performing screen tests etc, however before we’ve even arrived at that point, we’ve found it helpful to ask talent to produce a demo tape, before conducting virtual casting sessions over Google Meet.

3. Local Crews

element26.tv has been operating for almost 10 years and as a result our rolodex of global crew has become pretty extensive, and it’s only getting bigger. No matter where your shoot is meant to take place, where it makes sense, we always try to source local crew. 

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4. Digital Workflows and LED Lighting

Did you know there are two different types of film stock. The type that you film on, and the type you exhibit with. By adopting digital practices, the requirement for all that film stock has gone away.

We have also largely done away with halogen and tungsten bulbs, having switched to LEDs which are both smaller and cooler than their legacy counterparts. 

According to VMI, 96% of the energy emitted from tungsten lighting fixtures is output as heat, leaving only 4% to produce light. 

5. Reducing single-use plastic

Single-use coffee cups are unnecessary on our productions because we provide reusable cups and water bottles.  

6. Plant-based catering options available

There’s nothing more stressful than trying to organise dietary options on the day of the shoot. Part of the paperless onboarding process includes gathering dietary requirements in advance of production.

We work with a number of partners across the country whom all provide plant based options. Obviously plant based meals aren’t mandatory or anything, but it’s important to present it as an option given the meat industry contributes 14.5% to global greenhouse emissions

  

7. Cloud based workflows

Tools like Frame.io in concert with high speed WiFi and 5G, have made virtual collaboration a breeze. Virtual production techniques have evolved through the pandemic meaning not only is the set/location limited to only the most essential crew, but dailies can be transported over the internet speeding up the time it takes to complete a project. 

 

8. Food donations

By pre-ordering meals in advance, wastage is kept to a minimum, however there is often unopened food leftover. In this eventuality, we always donate to local food banks.

 

9. Renewable Energy

Every good production house needs a capable post-production department… this means lots of computers running almost constantly. We have chosen Octopus Energy as our supplier because of their track record for supplying green energy.

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report published on 9th August 2021 has been described by UN Secretary General António Guterres as a ‘code red for humanity.’

He went on to say “If we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe. But, as the report makes clear, there is no time for delay and no room for excuses”

Clearly the major emitters of greenhouse emissions need to take urgent action but we felt it was important to do our bit for our small corner of the world.

Is there anything we have missed? We would be interested to hear your thoughts, what other action should we be taking today to fight global warming and shape our tomorrow.

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