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Sustainable Filmmaking: Johnny English Strikes Again

Johnny English Stikes Again

© Focus Features

Johnny English Strikes Again is the third installment of the Johnny English comedy series, with Rowan Atkinson returning as the much loved accidental secret agent. The new adventure begins when a cyber-attack reveals the identity of all active undercover agents in Britain, leaving Johnny English as the Secret Service’s last hope. Called out of retirement, English dives head first into action with the mission to find the mastermind hacker. As a man with few skills and analog methods, Johnny English must overcome the challenges of modern technology to make this mission a success.

Filmed primarily in the UK, Johnny English Strikes Again implemented a strong sustainability program throughout production to reduce its environmental impact. The lighting package on the film was roughly 75% LED, helping to decrease the energy used on set. To reduce carbon emissions from fuel, the production used biodiesel made from used cooking oil to heat their marquees.

The production office used 100% recycled content paper and crew significantly reduced single use plastics by bringing their custom Johnny English water bottles to set every day. The production team implemented a recycling and compost program both in the office and on set, including custom signage to help educate crew.  Combined with waste-to-energy this effort resulted in very little materials sent to landfill.

To keep things fun and educational, production ran a friendly green competition among departments for the duration of the shoot. The Wardrobe department won the official “gold star” for their green efforts, including their donation of $20,000 worth of costumes to the Trinity Hospice Charity. Catering and Set Dressing donated 800 lbs. of excess food to City Harvest, equaling 667 meals to those in need. These practices and more earned Johnny English Strikes Again a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

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Sustainable Filmmaking: First Man

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

On the heels of their six-time Academy Award®-winning smash, La La Land, Oscar®-winning director Damien Chazelle and star Ryan Gosling reteam for Universal Pictures’ First Man, the riveting story behind the first manned mission to the moon, focusing on Neil Armstrong and the decade leading to the historic Apollo 11 flight.  A visceral and intimate account told from Armstrong’s perspective, based on the book by James R. Hansen, the film explores the triumphs and the cost—on Armstrong, his family, his colleagues and the nation itself—of one of the most dangerous missions in history.

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, the First Man production team implemented sustainable best practices to reduce their environmental impact. A recycling program was set up throughout the office and on set, including composting coffee grounds through Grounds to Grow On. When not using reusable dishware, production sourced eco-friendly containers such as Wheat Straw Plates & Bowls. The production tied into the electric grid while at the stages, reducing generator use and saving fuel.

The Construction department reused set materials from the prior Atlanta-based Universal Pictures’ production Pitch Perfect 3, and at wrap they donated over 3,000 lbs. of building materials to the non-profit Lifecycle Building Center. Following filming, the production donated office supplies to a local elementary school, and baby items, cooking supplies, and household items to the Jerusalem House. Excess food from the office and on-set catering was donated to Gilgal Women’s Shelter. The crew also took part in a voluntary food drive during the holiday season to support the local community. These practices and more led to First Man receiving a 2018 EMA Green Seal.

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Sustainable Filmmaking: BlacKkKlansman

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© Focus Features

From visionary filmmaker, Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out.

While filming in New York City, the BlacKkKlansman production team worked together to reduce their environmental impact. They set up a recycling program in the offices and on stage, and sent out memos to communicate best practices and educate their crew. The construction department purchased FSC-Certified plywood for their set wells, and the set decoration department used carpets made from recycled material. As the film takes place in the 70’s, vintage recycling bins & water dispensers were incorporated into their sets.

A significant portion of the film’s lighting package was LED, saving energy. When filming on stage, they tied into the grid to reduce generator use. Additionally, the transportation department used a solar-powered cast trailer during a portion of production.

The BlacKkKlansman team made efforts to give back to the local community, including organizing a crew coat drive for New York Cares. The greens department donated bluegrass sod from set to the Ossining Fire Department. Catering donated 670 lbs of excess food through Rock and Wrap It Up!, which equates to 558 meals served to the hungry. These practices and more contributed to BlacKkKlansman receiving a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

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Sustainable Filmmaking: Pitch Perfect 3

© Universal Pictures
© Universal Pictures

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3, the next chapter in the beloved series that has taken in more than $400 million at the global box office. After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth. But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time. Pitch Perfect 3 is again produced by Paul Brooks of Gold Circle Entertainment and Max Handelman & Elizabeth Banks of Brownstone Productions, and is directed by Trish Sie (Step Up All In).

Filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, the Pitch Perfect 3 production team worked hard to implement practices to reduce their environmental impact. This started from the beginning in the production office, where they set up half a dozen water stations to reduce disposable water bottles, recycling bins throughout the office and at each staff member’s desk, and purchased 100% tree-free white copy paper made from sugarcane waste fiber.

When shooting on stages and at the Georgia Aquarium, the facilities provided power drops which reduced the need for generators. More than 50% of the lighting fixtures on some sets were LED, lowering energy consumption. To avoid using tropical hardwood Lauan plywood, the construction department used the more environmentally sustainable alternative Revolution Ply to build set walls.

The Pitch Perfect 3 crew made a conscious effort to donate to the community when possible, as well as repurposing materials to avoid waste. The construction team donated excess paint to the non-profit Global Paint for Charity as well as a local school theater. The production office donated excess paper to a local preschool, and donated furniture to the non-profit Women of Gilgal. The Universal assets team was able to re-purpose over 125 linear feet of set walls and materials to other local productions, and donated over 12,300 lbs of lumber and set building materials to the non-profit Lifecycle Building Center. Catering donated 5,140 lbs of excess food to Women of Gilgal and the Atlanta Mission, which equates to 4,280 meals served to the hungry. These practices and more contributed to Pitch Perfect 3 receiving a 2017 EMA Green Seal.

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Sustainable Filmmaking: Darkest Hour (2017)

 

DARKEST HOUR

© Focus Features

A thrilling and inspiring true story begins at the precipice of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

Filmed primarily in London and Yorkshire, the Darkest Hour team implemented sustainable production practices to reduce their environmental impact. Offices were set up to minimize waste. Best practices included recycling, plumbed in water coolers, and replacing disposable food service products with washable glasses, dishes, and cutlery. On set, reusable bottles were supplied to crew on Day 1 of the shoot to cut down on plastic water bottle waste. This resulted in cast and crew using approximately 11,000 less water bottles than other productions of this size. As a period drama, nearly all set dressing and props were obtained second hand, reducing the need to purchase new. When building sets, the construction team utilized sustainable building materials such as FSC Certified Plywood.

In wrap, sets from the film’s “War Rooms” found a second life on the RMS Queen Mary, where they will be transformed into a restaurant. Set Dressing and production supplies such as shelving and furniture were donated to three local non-profits: Shelter (housing assistance,) Dad’s House (food bank), and the British Heart FoundationDarkest Hour received a 2017 EMA Green Seal, recognizing its sustainable efforts in production.

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NBCUniversal Honored for Sustainable Film and Television Productions

Wow!

(Clockwise from left: SyFy’s “The Magicians,” NBC’s Superstore, and Universal Pictures’ “Almost Christmas” were among the winners at the 2016 Environmental Media Awards)

NBCUniversal had a record-breaking year at the 26th Annual Environmental Media Awards, further demonstrating its leadership in sustainable production. Thirty of NBCUniversal television and feature film productions were recognized with an EMA Green Seal for progress in sustainable production practices – the most the company has ever received in a single year. This is the second year in a row where NBCUniversal has received the most EMA Green Seals of any producing studio.

Below is a complete list of NBCUniversal productions receiving a 2016 EMA Green Seal:

Universal Pictures: Almost Christmas, Bridget Jones Baby, Fast 8, Fifty Shades Darker / Fifty Shades Freed, Girl Trip, Jason Bourne, Snowman, The Mummy

Focus Features: Book of Henry

Universal Television (NBC): Bates Motel (S4), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (S3), Chicago Fire (S4), Chicago Med (S1), Chicago P.D. (S3), Crowded (S1), Grimm (S5), Heartbeat (S1), Hollywood Game Night (S4), Shades of Blue (S2), Superstore (S1), Telenovela (S1), The Good Place (S1), The Path (S1), Truth Be Told (S1), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (S2), and Uncle Buck (S1)

Universal Cable Productions (USA/ SyFy) : Falling Water (S1), The Magicians (S1), Mr. Robot (S2), and Suits (S6)

For more on our sustainable production efforts, check out our infographics to explore how NBCUniversal’s filmmakers and crewmembers are reducing their environmental impact.

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(The award ceremony was hosted by Nicole Richie, a frequent environmental activist | Photo credit to Jason Laveris)

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Bourne is Re-Born through Sustainable Filming Practices

Bourne is back, and he’s not pulling any punches.

Jason Bourne, the fourth movie in Universal Pictures’ blockbuster series, hits theaters today, July 29th. Matt Damon returns as the ex-CIA operative turned agency outsider who’s trying to right the wrongs of his past without destroying himself in the process. The film also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Riz Ahmed (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), and Ato Essandoh (Django Unchained).

While filming, the Jason Bourne crew went above and beyond to make sure all production was sustainable. Here are just a few ways they made an impact:

  • In Last Vegas, the crew tied into the local electric grid to reduce fuel consumption for generators.
  • The lighting department used energy-saving LED lights in all hotel and airport scenes.
  • Scenes were shot in the Riviera Casino before it was torn down, preventing new material from being used to construct stunt sets.
  • In the UK, the construction department used a special CNC milling machine to provide more accurate cutting, which reduced plywood waste.
  • Background clothing was donated to The Upper Room and Traid, UK-based non-profits dedicated to alleviating poverty.
  • While filming on the Spanish island of Tenerife, food waste was composted to prevent harmful methane gas from being released into the atmosphere.

Make your weekend an action-packed one and check out Jason Bourne. To find a theater near you and purchase tickets, go here.

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Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Brings Big Laughs and a Smaller Carbon Footprint

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping premieres in theaters today, June 3! Headlined by musical comedy trio The Lonely Island, the film is not only hilarious, but its cast and crew members were conscious of their environmental impact. This NBCUniversal comedy was filmed in Los Angeles, and earned a 2015 EMA Green Seal award for such sustainable production practices as:

  • Fuel: Eliminated single room trailers and replaced tractor trailers with less fuel-intensive 10-ton trucks.
  • Electricity: Used B20 biodiesel in generators at the Long Beach Convention Center and reduced generators by tying into the electric grid while shooting the concert scenes at The Forum.
  • Construction: Built sets with FSC-certified plywood and donated many sets for reuse.
  • Food: Recycled on set, composted food waste, and donated excess food to local organizations throughout the Los Angeles area for a total of nearly 1,700 meals.

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Read more about Popstar‘s sustainable production practices here, and more about the movie here.

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