Green is Universal | Film Production

Film Production

Universal Pictures and Focus Features are committed to reducing the environmental impact from filmmaking activities. To assist in this effort, NBCUniversal developed a Sustainable Production Program which empowers our film divisions to integrate sustainable best practices across their productions.

At the foundation of the program are easy to use infographics which illustrate sustainable production best practices. These practices span across all production operations and equip filmmakers and crewmembers with the tools to take action and reduce impact. To view the infographics and learn more about our sustainability program, click here. To find more sustainable production tools and resources, check out GreenProductionGuide.com.

Read on for examples of how our film crews have integrated environmental action into their everyday work:

Recent Releases

Night School, September 28, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

In their latest collaboration, star Kevin Hart and producer Will Packer bring their signature style to Universal Pictures’ Night School. Hart and Packer join forces with Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee and breakout star Tiffany Haddish for this comedy that follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the GED exam.

Filmed in Atlanta, GA, the production team on Night School worked hard to reduce their environmental impact. Starting in the office, the team had a detailed and comprehensive recycling set up, used tree-free paper made out of sugarcane waste fiber, reduced printing where possible, and avoided using plastic water bottles.

On set, the Locations team reduced fuel use by tying into house power at the school location rather than using diesel generators. Additionally, they utilized classrooms in the school as green rooms, reducing the need to shuttle cast back and forth to their trailers between takes. Night School had minimal set construction, and when they did build the Construction Department used RevolutionPly for their set walls, an environmentally responsible alternative to Lauan.

The production repurposed extra materials for good.  Leftover catering was donated to a local non-profit and the Set Decoration department donated school supplies to a school nearby. Following filming, the production passed on office supplies and equipment to First Man, another Universal Pictures production in Atlanta. These practices and more led to Night School receiving a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

 

BlacKkKlansman, August 10, 2018

capture

© 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 walls, 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.

 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, July 20, 2018

@ Universal Pictures

@ Universal Pictures

Get ready to sing and dance, laugh and love all over again. Ten years after Mamma Mia! The Movie grossed more than $600 million worldwide, you’re invited to return to the magical Greek island of Kalokairi in an all-new original musical based on the songs of ABBA. With the film’s original cast returning and new additions including Lily James, Andy Garcia and Oscar® winner Cher, the musical comedy opens on July 20, 2018.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is produced by Judy Craymer and Gary Goetzman, producers of the original film. Craymer is also the creator and producer of the worldwide smash-hit stage musical.

Filmed in London and Croatia, the Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again production crew went above and beyond to reduce their environmental impact. While in London, the production partnered with local company Charlie Spotless to educate crew and implement a waste diversion program that included recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy. This effort resulted in a 99% diversion rate for on set waste, meaning zero materials were sent to landfill. To cut down on carbon emissions, heaters were powered with biodiesel from OnBio.  Made solely from used cooking oil, this alternative fuel reduced the production’s carbon footprint by 49 metric tons.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again focused on reducing waste and using sustainable materials. For example, the crew reduced plastic waste by refilling reusable water bottles and most office paper contained 100% recycled content. Additionally, a vast majority of the set lights were LEDs, reducing energy use.

The crews in both London and Croatia gave back to the community in which they filmed. In London, the production donated clothing, shoes, and household items to Cancer Research, Changing Pathways, and Help Refugees. Excess catering was donated to the local non-profit City Harvest, who in turn served it to Londoners in need. In Croatia, the production used proceeds from recycling to purchase toys for local schools.

These practices and more contributed to Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again receiving a 2018 EMA Gold Seal.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, June 22, 2018

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Four years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island of Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs from a volcano that’s about to erupt. They soon encounter terrifying new breeds of gigantic dinos while uncovering a conspiracy that threatens the entire planet. When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

With all of the wonder, adventure and thrills synonymous with one of the most popular and successful series in cinema history, this all-new motion-picture event sees the return of favorite characters and dinosaurs—along with new breeds more awe-inspiring and terrifying than ever before. Welcome to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Filmed primarily in the United Kingdom, with a short time in Hawaii, the crew on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom implemented sustainability across departments. To reduce single use plastics, UK cast and crew were supplied with reusable water bottles, refilling on set and avoiding the use of thousands of plastic water bottles. The production office carried 100% white recycled content paper, and saved paper by only printing upon request. To keep recycling fun and educational, the production created customized “dinosaur-themed” signage for their recycling bins. The majority of cast vehicles were hybrids, and approximately 75% of the UK lighting package was LED, helping to lower energy consumption on set.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom helped to launch a UK food donation program for excess catering. The production and NBCUniversal sustainability team worked together to partner with the non-profit organization City Harvest London to successfully donate over 320 lbs of food throughout the course of production. Additionally, the Hawaii production unit donated leftover office supplies to local schools, and 500 ft. of wire fencing to Reuse Hawaii.

These practices and more earned Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom a 2017 EMA Gold Seal, a new higher tier that recognizes the top performing sustainable productions.

Fifty Shades Freed, February 9, 2018

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades Freed, the climactic chapter based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” phenomenon. Bringing to a shocking conclusion events set in motion in 2015 and 2017’s blockbuster films that grossed almost $950 million globally, the film arrives for Valentine’s Day 2018.

Believing they have left behind shadowy figures from their past, newlyweds Christian and Ana fully embrace an inextricable connection and shared life of luxury. But just as she steps into her role as Mrs. Grey and he relaxes into an unfamiliar stability, new threats could jeopardize their happy ending before it even begins.

Shot primarily in Vancouver, BC, the production worked hard to reduce their overall environmental impact. Fifty Shades Freed was shot consecutively with its predecessor Fifty Shades Darker which helped the production combine and reuse materials. Crew reduced and often eliminated single plastic water bottle use, which prevented the use of an estimated 80,000 individual plastic water bottles. A comprehensive recycling and composting program was implemented throughout the offices and on set, with a dedicated Sustainability Production Assistant on hand to ensure that the recycling program was set up and successful at each location. This resulted in an estimated 75% diversion rate of set waste.

Sets were reused throughout the trilogy, and any new sets were built with FSC certified plywood. At wrap, various set dressing and materials were donated to Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Great Northern Way Scene Shop, MakerLabs, and Squamish Arts Council. After picture lock on Fifty Shades Freed, the Universal Pictures’ Assets Department worked with the Sustainable Lock Up in Vancouver and Recycled Movie Sets in Los Angeles to recirculate the vast amount of stored sets for reuse and donation to local film schools, non-profits, and other productions. In the end, 288 tons of set materials were donated for reuse and when combined with recycling, 99% of the trilogy’s sets were kept out of landfills. Fifty Shades Freed was a recipient of a 2016 EMA Green Seal Award.

 

Pitch Perfect 3, December 22, 2017

© 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.

 

Darkest Hour, November 22, 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.

 

2017 Releases

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