Nader points out the positive effect this change has had on production; “this change to the way we’re filming has had some huge knock on effects for us, some of which are positive. In some instances, for our crew, these changes have reduced their commute time, meaning less fuel used, more time with family and less time spent lugging heavy equipment from place to place. The restrictions have also meant we’ve looked locally for talent both on screen and off which is a positive not only for the planet but also for the local economy. This new way of filming does create challenges editorially so we will have to review in a few months’ time but we, like all other abert certified productions, certainly want to reduce unnecessary travel as much as possible”.
Another big and positive change for the team has been a reduction in the use of diesel generators. In the past, these were needed for power and were on standby in case of outages but the static crews filming in the Emmerdale village can now take advantage of the mains power which runs on 100% renewable energy and thanks to the low energy lighting that the team invested in last year, the draw down on the power doesn’t overwhelm the system.
As Nader concludes, although Covid has caused huge upheaval for the TV industry, it is possible to reflect on the situation in an optimistic way; “we had to look for the positives and find solutions that allowed us to get back to work safely without compromising on our sustainability goals. By constantly thinking of our environmental responsibilities as we created our new plans we were able to weave in acceptable solutions as we went or speed up initiatives we were already putting into practice and the results have been really encouraging. We were the first continuing drama to get back to filming in the UK, and when social distancing restrictions can be relaxed, we’ll review everything and see if any of the temporary measures can become permanent improvements. Sustainability will of course be an important factor in this process”.
You can watch Emmerdale on ITV at 7pm – Monday, Wednesday and Friday