As businesses increasingly focus on their ESG credentials, it should come as no surprise that this is also the case in the Film and TV industry.
A report published by the Sustainable Production Alliance demonstrates a wide variance in the carbon created by productions. For example, it is reported that a tentpole feature film will average 3,370 metric tons of carbon, whereas a small film can have an average carbon footprint of 391 metric tons. Perhaps more interesting is the breakdown of carbon by type of emission, which showed that on a tentpole feature film 24% of carbon came from air travel alone - the proportion is greatest on unscripted television productions at 61%.
One potential way of mitigating this is the increasing use of of ‘volume’ technology, which utilises high-definition LED screens as a form of virtual production. Like the better known technique of green screening, the exterior of the sound stage is curtained by large LED panels. A good example of this was The Mandalorian, which was filmed in a new virtual production facility in Spain.
As well as allowing film makers greater control over their environment and overcoming potentially unpredictable travel restrictions due to Covid, volume stages also mean that much (if not all) of the carbon produced from air travel can be prevented. This has been born out by the UK’s first carbon neutral film being made at Garden Studios' virtual production facility.
With studios looking to secure the sustainability of their productions, will it be volume that puts the green into screen?