As we gear up to host the Green Zone at FOCUS 2019 – The Meeting Place for International Production – we’re keenly aware that transport and accommodation often accounts for more than half a production’s carbon footprint. And a big chunk of budget too. Here are some ways to save on both…
The most powerful thing you can do is ask whether you need to travel at all. Can you achieve the creative excellence you’re striving for without so much travel time and expense?
- Recycle footage: the volume of quality footage available to buy, or use free under a Creative Commons license, is growing all the time
- Local crew using their own equipment will save on high-cost, carbon-intensive travel, and the emissions and expense of overnights
- If you need to travel, avoid flying – the most carbon-intensive option for travel. While a flight duration may be short compared to alternatives, transfers, checking in and delays can soak up extra hours. Excess baggage costs can give your budget a buffeting too
- If you do need to fly, save weight on kit. Hiring what you need locally can save time on that Carnet, a fair dose of jet fuel, and that ache in your back. Sourcing lightweight kit and flight cases will yield similar benefits
- Train journeys can enable focused work without interruption. They give crew a chance to plan shoots in detail, or even edit on the way home. This productive time on travel days can offset additional ticket costs
While you’re there
- If you can’t stay at home, try a home stay. Hotels typically generate more waste and carbon emissions than B’n’Bs
- Avoid multiple journeys to the same place – clever shoot scheduling and trip chaining can get more from one outing
- Aerials filmed with drones rather than helicopters will help stop your carbon emissions and budget from soaring
On The Road
- Video conferencing saves time, money and emissions from travelling to meetings. The tech is improving so fast, we barely swore at the software last time we used it
- A well thought out transport plan can help you make far more efficient use of vehicles
- Travelling together in a production pool car is more efficient, and more friendly, than going solo
- Use public transport and bikes for short distances without kit
- Choose a cab company that provides hybrids, or even a zero emission hydrogen vehicle like Green Tomato Cars’ Toyota Mirai
- Go with electric vehicles – especially in urban areas. Charge up on albert’s 100% renewable Creative Energy tariff for super low emission motoring. Our supplier may even be able to fit a charging point for you
- Idling a car engine to charge your phone? Ohhhh, no no no…
The emissions we can’t avoid, we can offset with schemes that aim to neutralise the emissions our travel generates. Choose our Creative Offsets scheme and we’ll do the due diligence for you.
We hope you can use these more sustainable transport choices to spend more of your time and budget where it will be appreciated by audiences. And putting these progressive behaviours on screen can encourage your viewers to adopt carbon cutting actions too. Potentially in their millions. Check out Planet Placement for more on changing the world with your content.
It can seem daunting to do these things when, let’s face it, the day job’s more than a 9-to-5. But it can be done. Don’t take our word for it – these productions are putting more sustainable transport into practice.
Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures saved on travel and lots more to earn 3 star albert certification.
#NatureNow showed us how to save on flights when filming eco-heroes Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot
Mountain: Life at the Extreme saved on transport filming in the Rockies, Andes and Himalayas (even using a camel to haul camera kit!)
Grand Designs featured an electric vehicle on screen, and to shuttle Kevin McCloud between building sites.