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albert: Carbon impact of one tentpole film equivalent to 11 trips to the moon

Report cites VFX, CGI, pre-vis, 5G and remote collaboration as tools that can make projects more sustainable

A new report from albert and the BFI has found the average tentpole film creates 2,840 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent carbon impact of 11 one-way trips from the Earth to the moon.

The report, titled A Screen New Deal — A Route Map to Sustainable Film Production, has calculated the carbon footprint of both TV and film productions.

It added that emissions contributed by air travel alone on a tent pole production is equivalent to flying one way from London to New York 150 times, or 3.4 million car miles.

The report looked at a number of key areas; production and carbon emission, production materials, energy and water, studio buildings and facilities, studio sites and locations, and production planning.

Amongst its suggestions as to how productions can be more sustainable, it cites digital pre-vis studios that enable directors and producers to test concepts, storyboards, sets and scenes before shooting. “This results in fewer unnecessary set builds, requires less contingency planning, and reduces time, material use and costs,” said the report.

“Virtual reality can allow directors to collaborate remotely in virtual scenes. 5G connectivity allows more rapid footage transfers after shooting, compressing work timelines, and 3D capture of existing props can become asset banks, helping set designers extend usage,” the report added.

“Technological advances in VFX, CGI and remote collaboration services are shifting larger proportions of production to virtual environments and these have the potential to reduce carbon emissions and waste but also have implications for the overall energy demand. Energy and workflow tools can influence efficiency, cost and energy consumption.”

Speaking about the report, Aaron Matthews, head of Industry Sustainability, albert, said: “The changes suggested in this report can’t be implemented overnight and some of them require a new way of thinking but grasping this challenge now will lead to improved efficiencies in the way we work, meaning more cash can be spent on what we see on screen rather than what we have to currently send to landfill.”

The full report can be found here.