As Tom Conroy explains, set construction accounts for a huge proportion of the potential waste on a film set, so it’s important to adhere to the best practice guidelines of recycling and reusing set elements, sourcing sustainable timber, and leaving location shoots in as good a condition as they were found.
Also, simply by replacing tungsten lights with high efficiency Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL), productions can reduce power demand by about 60 per cent, and also reduce their need for cooling systems.
Digital filming is still in its relatively embryonic stages, but as cameras such as the Red One continue to revolutionise cinematography, the reliance on film, and the waste and chemicals that go along with it, will be phased out.
The rise of digital editing can result in a cleaner post-production process, but conversely data centres to store all that digital video now account for half of the emissions of post-production. The efficiency of data centres is increasing all the time, but big, processor-intensive servers demand a surprising amount of energy. Moore’s Law should see a relatively steady improvement in this regard, however.
Ah, the talent – more than likely the last aspect of film-making to be greened. Bob Zemeckis might by trying his hardest to digitally replace the acting class, but odds are we’re going to be stuck with pampered film stars jetting around the world for a few generations yet.