Camera rolling! No matter whether it's a TV report, a cinema film or a music video: Every day, films are shot in Germany - and a lot of energy is consumed in the process. That's why sustainable production methods are increasingly gaining ground in the film and television industry. „A film and TV production can emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gases in the areas of lighting, transport or IT, for example. This must change," says Lisa Schirmer, a Master's graduate in media economics with a focus on media production at the TU Ilmenau: "Because sustainability must be seen as a task for society as a whole, and media production must not close its eyes to this. It should also make its contribution to environmental and climate protection."
However, the topic of " green shooting" is becoming increasingly important, and not just for reasons of climate protection: what has been done voluntarily up to now, for example as part of a joint declaration on sustainability in film and series production or the Sustainability Initiative "100-Green-Productions of the "Green Shooting" working group, is also to be regulated by law in the future. For example, the Federal Film Subsidy Act will make environmentally friendly filming obligatory from next year. "Due to the federal system in Germany, there has been no uniform implementation strategy for green shooting so far. But this cross-generational task can only be solved if all players implement the same measures and guidelines and interface competencies are created," explains Schirmer.
Pre-production phase at the heart of green production
Where is the greatest potential for energy savings? How does a sustainable TV and film production have on the media production process? And what influence does "green shooting" have on the elements of content, technology and organization? To investigate thisLisa Schirmer took a closer look at the topic as part of her master's thesis at the TU Ilmenau and conducted guided interviews with experts from the media industry.
The investigation shows: Even if there already has been a rethinking in the German film and TV production industry towards more sustainability, the effects on the individual production phases vary. "The pre-production phase in particular is at the heart of green production, as existing workflows have to be sustainably converted. This conversion of existing processes, the choice of team, the prioritisation of fields of action or communication all point the way to the degree of sustainability of a production," says Schirmer: "The job description of the Green Consultant also has a key role to play. Through his support and advice on the set, production can be made more sustainable and even money can be saved."
"Sustainable potential to be exploited".
As an example of measures in the production phase, Lisa Schirmer mentions environmentally conscious catering and the use of sustainable products in make-up. Post-production, in turn, is characterized by the implementation of sustainable data management, green IT and the switch to green electricity, sustainable computers and sustainable post-production houses due to the large amount of electricity consumed. "Distribution," Schirmer continues, "has so far received little attention in a green filming production, although the commitment in the cinema sector is positive. Nevertheless, the last two production phases of the media production process also represent a sustainable potential that needs to be exploited."
Lisa Schirmer and Mathias Bauer, research associates at the User-centric Analysis of Multimedia Data Group, have summarizedall the results of the study in an article published in the current issue of FKT |Fachzeitschriftfür Fernsehen, Film und elektronische Medien:
Lisa Schirmer, Mathias Bauer: Sustainable Film and Television Production - Investigating the Impact on Media Production Processes. In: Journal of Television, Film and Electronic Media, Vol. 10, 2021, pp. 31-36.