Is Movie-Making Sustainable?
The actors may appear glamorous on the screen, but in reality, the process of acting is far from glamorous. All of the talking, screaming, crying, and sweating can be over-exhausting. The actors need loads of water and makeup on set because of all the sweating and moving around. Who knows how much makeup goes to waste? Do the actors use plastic water bottles or jugs? Sustainable production companies are a step ahead of the game and save a load of money. Who is doing it right, and how can everyone get on the same eco-friendly page?
Why Should Production Studios be Sustainable?
Film production leaves big carbon footprints. Think of all the expensive electric bills due to the energy supply to power lights on set. Then the cast and crew members are frequently flying to different locations just for one film. It all adds up. Some companies buy more than 35,000 water bottles for the whole set. Movie production does not just happen overnight. It usually takes two to three years to make a movie. Sometimes even more.
James Cameron is an excellent example of how a film can take even ten years to complete. Think of all plastic water bottles that actors used on set for the ten-year Titanic movie.
There are about 2,577 films made in a year, so think about all of the unsustainable decorations, costumes, and plastic items making its ways to the trash. It would be less damaging to the world if the products were all sustainable.
Ways to Make Film Sustainable
Does that mean that we should never make movies again? Are we stuck watching the films that we got? A big no is an answer to that question. There are organizations out there doing their best to reverse the damage.
Producers Guild of America Foundation, Environmental Media Association, Earth Angel, EcoSet Consulting, and NYC Film Green contribute to more eco-friendly and sustainable production practices. Without these organizations, the world would be going downhill.
Energy efficiency is a must for all the organizations above. When more energy is used, more coal is burned, which leads to more CO2 in the air. CO2 is one of the main contributors to climate change. Every production company needs to become more conscious of using less light and using what is necessary.
Reusing set decorations and props is a big thing for sustainable production companies. New assembled props and products may seem new and shiny, but Earth whimpers every time a product without a green thumb. Recycled products can also be shiny and new, so why not always work with the recycled bin and what we have?
The Ted Talk video below dives into why the film industry should practice sustainability.
My Two Cents
Moviemakers and movie fans have been leaning towards the eco-friendly side. For example, people mostly buy movies online, especially since most movie theaters are not showing many movies due to COVID-19. Movie-makers want to continue making movies, so they definitely will comply with the sustainability standards. What’s better than making movies without all the guilt?