The Christmas season is always a time to enjoy some truly brilliant television and this year’s offer – an adaptation of Agatha Christie’s ‘ABC Murders’ starting on Boxing Day – is set to have us all talking about ‘who dunnit’.
But whilst the focus online will no doubt be on the actors, scriptwriter and director, we wanted to highlight what production company Mammoth Screen were doing behind the scenes to make this production as sustainable as possible, saving themselves money in the process and achieving a 2* albert certification.
Read on to find out what the Mammoth crew did to help reduce their carbon impact.
Creating sets for productions can be notoriously wasteful and expensive. In the past, productions would source all their materials, build their beautiful sets and simply send to landfill afterwards. Now, we’re beginning to see productions take an alternative approach with companies like Dresd and Scenery Salvage willing to dismantle and repurpose sets and for less than it would cost to send to landfill.
The team at Mammoth Screens took this approach and built their sets with left over materials from series four of Poldark. Once they’d wrapped, the materials were returned to be used on Poldark 5. Mammoth also hired some of their sets from Stockyard saving themselves around £5,000 on timber.
Mammoth hired a catering company who took sustainability as seriously as the food they were serving up. No polystyrene was used and ingredients were locally sourced where possible. For the most part, cast and crew were able to eat with proper plates and cutlery and when this wasn’t possible, biodegradable alternatives were offered instead. To reduce their plastic consumption, reusable water bottles were issued to all cast and crew which also delivered a small saving of £165.
Scripts and paperwork were only printed on request or when absolutely necessary, saving the crew time and money. In fact, this simple change saved the production over £10,000!
Another major contributor to a production’s carbon footprint and its spend is generator fuel. Mammoth were able to save £20,000 in this department by using the mains house power wherever possible reducing their need for fuel.
To reduce their travel impact (another big contributor to a production’s carbon footprint) the team employed local crew in the Yorkshire and Lancashire areas. This switch meant they saved money on both travel and accommodation saving £16,000.
Veronica Castillo, Joint Head of Production at Mammoth Screen:
“We work in an industry which is very much of ‘the moment’ and as a result can be rather wasteful in its use of resources. Being an albert affiliate is an important factor for Mammoth Screen to help address the balance of what we take out with what we put back. Steering all of our productions towards a greener and more sustainable approach, to the environment in which we work and the resources and facilities we use and engage with, is a decisive way to spread the word. And the message is definitely getting stronger & louder, more crew are aware of their carbon footprint and many of the companies we engage are making changes to their process too. It’s heartening to see and saving costs along the way can only be a good thing”.