Now & Next Podcast S2E5 – How to Make Audiovisual Production Environmentally Sustainable
Green Spark Group founder and president Zena Harris joins Leora Kornfeld to share some best practices when it comes to greening productions of all shapes and sizes.
Audiovisual Production Goes Greener
If you’ve ever seen a TV show or film set on location, you know that production—with its rows of trucks and trailers, power generators, and catering services—is often the equivalent of a small city setting up shop.
A quick tally makes it obvious that non-trivial amounts of waste and greenhouse gases are generated on any set. As people become more environmentally conscious, anything and everything from plastic cutlery to idling vehicles become opportunities to implement sustainable production practices.
This episode of Now & Next deals with the greening of film and TV production with Zena Harris, a sustainability expert and the president of Green Spark Group. She says that the growing call for more sustainable practices is coming from both crews and studios, with the new production habits including everything from reviewing craft services to using real plates and cutlery and dishwashers on location and to incorporating reusable materials to build and decorate sets.
In this episode, Zena Harris:
- Tracks the origins of growing worries over environmental sustainability on TV and film sets (1:54)
- Explains some key contributors to a production's environmental footprint (5:33)
- Demonstrates that productions of all sizes and shapes can go the green route (11:50)
- Points to industry leaders to keep tabs on (13:13)
- Zena Harris and Green Spark Group host the Sustainable Production Forum, a conference devoted to sustainability in audiovisual production.
- In the opening, Leora Kornfeld mentions that “[a] recent study shows that digital technologies and streaming produce even more carbon emissions than the aerospace industry.” Various sources such as The Guardian, the BBC and Nature provide further explanations.
- Read the 2019 report by French think-tank The Shift Project titled “Climate Crisis: The Unsustainable Use Of Online Video”
- Creative BC’s Reel Green initiative is mentioned during the episode. For more information on the program, visit its website.
- Read “Sustainability Could Play Leading Role in the Film Industry” on Green Production Guide
- BC film and TV producer Clara George is mentioned during the episode. Read a Financial Post story on her efforts to make audiovisual production environmentally sustainable.
- Read “Why This Production Company Wants to Make the First Carbon-Neutral Hollywood Film” on Forbes
- Read “There Is No Carbon-Neutral Production: Cinema and the Anthropocene” on Media Fields Journal
- Read “From Battery-Powered Sets to Finessing Craft Service: How Hollywood Is Reducing Its Carbon Footprint” on Variety
- Read “Green Screens” on the CMPA publication Indiescreen
- Find sustainable production resources on Sustainable Media Production Canada
About Now & Next
Now & Next is a podcast featuring in-depth interviews in which experts take a closer look at emerging trends and the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industries. Now & Next is brought to you by the Canada Media Fund, produced by Katie Jensen and recorded in Toronto at Vocal Fry Studios. Leora Kornfeld hosts the series.