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8 Easy Ways to Increase Sustainability when Making Your Charity Film

As organisations championing social good, we understand the importance of reducing your carbon footprint and doing your part for the planet. While film production can sometimes be tough on our Mother Earth, you don't just have to 'like it or lump it'. Here are some small steps that can be take to reduce the environmental impact of your charity film production.

1. Go paperless for storyboard, scripts and call sheets

Paperwork is part and parcel of the production process. And in fact we love delivering you storyboards, scripts and call sheets! But don't feel you need to print out a paper copy. Contributors and interviewees are very understanding if you want to just read the interview questions from your phone or digital device instead.

2. Use public transport to travel to and from shoots

One of things we pride ourselves on at Faltrego is that we take public transport to shoots. Train, bus, tube - you name it and we'll be able to board it with our kit! Should it be impossible to get to a shoot with public transport we can always rent a car or take a cab, both of which are lower-carbon options compared with car ownership.

3. Make use of natural lighting

Some companies prefer to 'lock fair daylight out' of any room they're filming an interview in, blacking out windows in order to achieve a controlled lighting set-up using large artificial lights. While it's the 'studio approach' is a great approach, we've also learnt to work with natural light (instead of against it). We'll use the light from windows to illuminate the background, meaning we can bring a just one or two smaller LED lights to light-up the interviewee. As lighting can eat up energy, it ends up making a big sustainability saving.

4. Eat small and local for lunch

When getting lunch on set, vote with your wallet and opt to eat from small cafes that source staples from the local area, rather than big chains. You'll benefit the environment, the local community and chances are you'll find a great new little nook to come back to again!

5. Ban plastic bottles and coffee cups on set

Who doesn't love an after-lunch coffee? If you're getting the caffeine-round in for crew and contributors, make sure to use a reusable coffee cups to save on unnecessary waste. You can go even further by having a 'no disposables' rule on set.

6. Dress suitably for the weather

When conducting interviews we often need to turn off heating, fans, air conditioning units and close the windows (to keep things quiet!) meaning the temperature can be variable. Wear layers to ensure you can keep yourself warm or cool, meaning no-one has to rush to turn on the air con or radiators as soon as the interview is wrapped, and making important energy savings.

7. Film interviews virtually where appropriate

While everyone is out and about again, it doesn't mean the 'pandemic' Zoom interviews need to be thrown out of the window. Filming virtually brought a lot of benefits during a difficult time, including making filming more accessible for people. And - of course - the knock-effect to our carbon footprints from travelling less. We've become experts at making Zoom recordings look as polished as possible, so why not stick to remote filming for those contributors that may need or prefer the approach.

8. Clear out your email inbox

Did you know that each email emits about 4 grams of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent)? While it might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, when you think about the data centres big the big tech companies use to store all these emails it soon starts to look pretty unsustainable! When a project is finished, why not delete the email thread? Don't worry, it won't mean losing contact with us and we'll be sure to follow up with a call!

If you're interested in making your production is more sustainable, get in touch today

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