As public awareness of conservation and sustainability issues increases, the media production industry has found that it is presented with many opportunities to reduce energy expenses and carbon emissions during all stages of the production process. Attention toward greener production practices can benefit a media campaign as well as the bottom line. Stock footage is often a last consideration in post-production, where missed opportunities in the field often necessitate the critical need for stock footage to complete a production. Maybe it is time to…REWIND…and consider from the beginning of the production process using archival material. From message through production, every media campaign has an opportunity to be fresh, engaging, and sustainable.
There are recent efforts that encourage sustainability in video and film productions which should be commended. The Green Production Guide is a great resource for tips to make films more sustainable and how to off-set carbon emissions. NBC and Fox have production practices which encourage sustainability. However, on review of these guidelines, there are no recommendations to reuse or repurpose existing archives prior to considering the shoot, as was so successfully accomplished with Nike’s Better World Commercial which was made 100% from recycled ads. The expense to shoot on location is real, from studio expense, travel and transportation, to crews and equipment, the production foot print affects a budget and the environment. The impact to the environment, including waste and carbon emissions, can be reduced by using sustainable production practices, including stock footage.
As you consider your next sustainable campaign and message, look beyond the product, and consider sustainability as a theme, from the initial concept through to the final story. Create your message using the three Rs of sustainable production: Reuse, Re-edit, Repurpose.