Film Production: 2013 Releases

Filmmaking brings unique opportunities and challenges for making operations more sustainable. NBCUniversal’s film division is committed to becoming a more sustainable business by identifying and integrating innovative ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Universal Pictures and Focus Features developed a detailed Sustainable Production Guide for their casts and crews to give each department production-specific information, resources and best practices. Universal Pictures has also hired an executive to assist productions in implementing these practices and the shows utilize the GreenProductionGuide.com for additional resources.

Read more about the eco-accomplishments from our 2013 releases:

Identity Thief

Identity Thief

© Universal Pictures/Credit: Bob Mohoney

For the comedy Identity Thief, filmed in Atlanta, crew across departments took steps to reduce the environmental impact of the production. In an effort to reduce waste, crew members were provided reusable water bottles and catering provided reusable dishes for meals. If disposables were needed, compostable plates and bowls were used. The costume department washed wardrobe in cold water, saving energy, and used phosphate-free, biodegradable detergent. When dry cleaning was required, a PERC-free dry cleaner was utilized. Sets were painted with low-VOC and no-VOC paints that emit significantly less levels of harmful chemicals than conventional paint. These practices and more were communicated to the crew via digital “Green Memos” that listed the green practices in place, offered additional suggestions and resources, and encouraged the crew to participate in Identity Thief’s green initiative.

Admission

© Focus Feature / Credit: David Lee

While filming in and around New York and neighboring states, the production office on Focus Features’ comedy/drama Admission set the tone for an environmentally conscious production. By engaging the various departments in the green initiative, paper usage was dramatically cut and replaced with digital communication. When paper was required, 100% recycled was used. Comprehensive recycling and non-toxic, biodegradable soaps and cleaning supplies were employed throughout the production. Crew members were given reusable water bottles and filled them at water filters installed in the office or at water coolers on set. With the help of local non-profit, Rock and Wrap it Up, leftover food from catering provided over 1400 meals to the hungry in NYC. For Admission, a limited number of sets were built, and when done so, they were painted with low-VOC paints. All set waste was recycled, with the construction department boasting a 91% recycling rate.

Oblivion

Oblivion

© Universal Pictures / Credit: David James

The crew on the Tom Cruise action-adventure, Oblivion, worked together to reduce the production’s environmental impact. Filmed primarily in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the production office implemented comprehensive recycling and purchased recycled content office paper. To reduce carbon emissions, hybrid vehicles were rented for crew. In front of the camera, the Sky Tower set piece was primarily lit with LED lights. Behind the scenes, the transportation department used a biodiesel blended fuel made from used cooking oil while filming in parts of Louisiana. Other departments also did their part to help the environment, including craft service, which offered organic produce, and the production supplied crew members with reusable water bottles to reduce plastic water bottle waste. With recent advances in rechargeable battery technology, the sound department was able to use rechargeable batteries exclusively in headsets and microphone transmitters. This simple step is estimated to have saved over 4,500 single-use batteries.

Fast & Furious 6

fast 6

© Universal Pictures

For the sixth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, the crew’s effort to reduce waste was taken to the next level. Through widespread recycling and composting, principal photography in the United Kingdom was able to boast a 95% diversion rate. Film sets and crew meals were not the only items that were recycled; used cooking oil from the caterers was picked up, refined and used to fuel the 4×4 pick-up trucks working behind the scenes. This is a great example of “closing the loop” where one not only recycles, but also uses the recycled product.

Throughout production of Fast & Furious 6, crew was kept informed by “Green Facts” on their daily schedules and sign postings stating their environmental progress. All of these practices and more were kept on track by the production’s designated Environmental Manager. In the end, a large amount of set dressing such as fruit and vegetables, clothing, shoes and luggage were donated to a London charity that distributes items to various local charities.

The World’s End

The World's End

© Laurie Sparham / Focus Features

While filming the “Barmageddon” comedy The World’s End in the U.K., staff and crew made an effort to reduce their impact on the environment. By situating recycling in offices, workshops, and on-set, the production successfully recycled the majority of their waste – including composting 8.4 tons of kitchen scraps and food service products. When production wrapped, furniture, props, and costumes, including over 100 warm winter coats, were donated to local charities. Other green practices on The World’s End include the crew’s using rechargeable batteries, recycled content paper, and conducting an energy-saving campaign throughout the production office.

R.I.P.D.

ripd

© Universal Pictures

Filmed in Boston, the production of R.I.P.D. employed sustainable production practices throughout the production process. In an effort to reduce disposable plastic, a large capacity water filter was installed in production stages. As crew filled their stainless steel reusable water bottles, they saved thousands of plastic bottles from being used.

Many departments participated in the environmental effort. The lighting department utilized Universal’s more energy efficient Mac Tech LED set lights and both the Camera and Sound departments used rechargeable batteries in place of single-use batteries. Catering avoided using polystyrene and instead used compostable food service products. At wrap, set materials were donated to a local vocational high school and paint supplies were donated to a local church. Throughout production, the office used 100% recycled content paper and communicated R.I.P.D.’s environmental initiative through “Green Memos” to the crew.

About Time

About Time

© Universal Pictures

During production on the romantic comedy About Time, the film crew embodied the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Leased vehicles were hybrids, reducing the amount of fuel needed on the production. The majority of the set dressing and costumes were acquired second hand. Even some sections of the scenery were reused multiple times in different ways throughout the film. Upon wrap costumes and props were donated to charities and set materials are being reused by a local school. Throughout production comprehensive recycling and composting was implemented, resulting in an astonishing 94% recycling rate. These efforts and more resulted in About Time achieving a 2013 EMA Green Seal Award.

The Best Man Holiday

The Best Man Holiday

© Universal Pictures

Filmed primarily in Toronto, the long-awaited next chapter to the film that ushered in a new era of comedy The Best Man Holiday took steps to lessen the environmental impact during production. In an effort to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, recycling and composting bins were set up throughout offices and on set. Crew used reusable water bottles, significantly decreasing the amount of disposable plastic waste. Through the use of practical locations, construction builds were minimal reducing the need for raw material. These practices and more were communicated to the crew via “Sustainable Production Memos.” The Best Man Holiday is a recipient of a 2013 EMA Green Seal Award, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices.

47 Ronin

2405_fpf_00921r

© Universal Pictures

Filmed in Budapest and London, the epic 3D fantasy-adventure 47 Ronin made an effort to reduce its environmental impact. Comprehensive recycling was set up throughout the offices and 100% recycled content paper was used. Production staff and Construction crew utilized water filters for drinking water, replacing individual plastic water bottles with glasses and reusable water bottles. The construction department sourced previously used timber for sets and second hand items for structures off-screen. Once the film was wrapped, remaining bamboo trees were donated to the Royal Society of Protection of Birds to be used in the building of a bird sanctuary in the Essex Marshlands.

2012 Releases

2011 Releases

2010 Releases

Film Production
TV Production
Theme Parks
Sustainability @ NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is making a commitment to sustainability across the entire company. Our Green is Universal initiative is focused on bringing an environmental perspective to everything we do, informing and entertaining our audiences while driving more sustainable practices into our own operations. As one of the world’s largest media and entertainment companies, we want to participate in and help lead one of the most important dialogues of our time—and build a stronger business and a more sustainable world in the process.

Our Green is Universal initiative translates our environmental commitment into action. It identifies ways to integrate sustainability across our businesses, in front of the camera as well as behind it. Whether identifying opportunities for energy savings and innovation in production and distribution, educating our consumers via environmentally themed programming on our airwaves, reducing the carbon footprint of our products, or activating and engaging our workforce, NBCUniversal is hard at work mobilizing our assets to protect the planet.

About NBCUniversal

NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. With more than 40 TV, digital and out-of-home platforms reaching over 100 million consumers each month, NBCUniversal can harness the power of these communications and experiential platforms to help our audiences learn about the environment and the ways they can live greener.

Blog

Sustainable Filmmaking: Last Christmas

Last Christmas, November 8, 2019

Emilia Clarke (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Henry Golding (A Simple Favor, Crazy Rich Asians), Michelle Yeoh and Emma Thompson star for director Paul Feig (A Simple Favor, Spy, Bridesmaids) in Last Christmas, a romantic comedy inspired by a George Michael beat, from a screenplay by Academy Award® winner Thompson (Sense and Sensibility, Bridget Jones’s Baby) and playwright Bryony Kimmings.

Kate (Emilia Clarke) harumphs around London, a bundle of bad decisions accompanied by the jangle of bells on her shoes, another irritating consequence from her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Henry Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two. But sometimes, you gotta let the snow fall where it may, you gotta listen to your heart … and you gotta have faith.

While filming in London, the Last Christmas cast and crew took their sustainability efforts to the next level. They set a goal from the beginning to be as plastic-free as possible. They distributed thermal cups to everyone on set, which could be used for cold water on warm days, or hot tea on cold nights. Offices included recycling and composting, plumbed in water coolers, glasses, crockery and cutlery.  Paperwork such as call sheets, scripts, and production documentation were delivered electronically, with hard copies only issued on request. White office paper was made from 100% recycled content. Green tips and facts were put onto call sheets to educate and inspire crew.

There were many efforts to reduce the carbon emissions on the production. They used over 60% LED set lighting which uses significantly less energy than standard set lights. In lieu of trailers, the production rented hotel rooms while filming in the London City Center. Cast also made efforts to carpool rather than taking individual vehicles to set. When unit drivers were waiting for their next trip, they were given a warm place indoors to avoid vehicle idling. And when heating their stages, they used renewable diesel made from 100% used cooking oil.

The Last Christmas team also gave back to the local community. They donated over 1,800 lbs of excess food from catering and set decoration to City Harvest London, equaling approximately 1,500 meals fed to those in need. Props, Set Dec, and Wardrobe donated over $11,000 worth of items such as toys, clothing, drums, and furniture to organizations including Suited & Booted, Smart Works, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, First Days, The Children’s Society, Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, and Smile for a Child. There was also a voluntary cast and crew clothing and toiletry drive, with items being donated to Whitechapel Mission and the Helen Bamber Foundation. These practices and more led to Last Christmas receiving a 2019 EMA Green Seal.

Sustainable Filmmaking: Last Christmas

Sustainable Filmmaking: Harriet

Sustainable Filmmaking: Downton Abbey

NBCUniversal Awarded Green Seals at 29th Annual Environmental Media Awards

Follow Us On:
Facebook Twitter Instagram