Thursday, June 5, 2008

Transportation in Film

According to a report issued by The UCLA Institute of the Environment, the film and television industry is one of the largest contributers of air pollution in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, and it ranks alongside the petroleum refining industry as emitting the most greenhouse gases. The study's authors cite "the heavy reliance of the FTI on transportation and energy consumption in its normal operations" as the likely cause, so finding more sustainable transportation solutions should be a central part of any green production guidelines.

Several states now offer green filmmaking recommendations through their local film offices, and many of them include suggestions on how to minimize the impact of transportation. Here are the most common suggestions:
  • purchase ultra low-sulfur diesel, or biodiesel for generators and vehicles
  • contract with companies who also use vehicles that run on alternative fuels
  • encourage car-pooling/public transportation for crew
  • do not allow equipment and vehicles to idle unnecessarily
  • use an electric vehicle to transport items between buildings
  • use hybrid or fuel-efficient cars to transport talent, scout locations, shop for props, etc.
  • find local suppliers for paint, lumber, food, etc.
  • limiting the frequency of trips and coordinating trips with other departments when possible
And, perhaps most importantly, productions need to take the time in the planning stages to make environmentally friendlier travel possible, by trying to find shooting locations, hotels, construction areas, etc. that don't require driving long distances.

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