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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: Night School

@ 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.

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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: Mamma Mia!

@ 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 ResearchChanging 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.

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NBCUniversal Awarded Green Seals at 28th Annual Environmental Media Awards

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NBCUniversal had another record-setting year at the 28th Annual Environmental Media Awards, continuing to demonstrate its leadership in sustainable production.

EMA Green and Gold Seals were awarded to thirty-eight NBCUniversal television and feature film productions, recognizing progress in sustainable production practices. This is the fourth year in a row NBCUniversal has received the most EMA Green Seals of any producing studio. Nineteen of the acknowledgments were EMA Gold Seals, recognizing the top performing productions based on a comprehensive sustainable production scorecard.

Below is a complete list of the NBCUniversal 2018 EMA Green and Gold Seal recipients. Check out the Green is Universal Film and TV pages to learn how NBCUniversal’s filmmakers and crewmembers are reducing their environmental impact.

  • Universal Pictures: First Man, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again*, Night School, Untitled Robert Zemeckis Project*
  • Focus Features: BlacKkKlansman, Johnny English Strikes Again*, Mary Queen of Scots*
  • Universal Television: A.P. Bio*, The Brave*, Brooklyn Nine-Nine*, Champions*, Chicago Fire*, Chicago Med*, Chicago P.D.*, Good Girls*, Great News*, Jesus Christ Superstar Live In Concert, Law & Order True Crime, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The Mindy Project, The Path*, Reverie*, Rise, Superstore*, Untitled Yang & Hubbard, Will & Grace
  • Universal Cable Productions: The Arrangement*, Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block, Damnation, Falling Water*, Happy!, Imposters*, Impulse, The Magicians, Unsolved
  • Universal Television Alternative: Hollywood Game Night Special, Making It, World of Dance

*EMA Gold Seal winners

In addition, The Good Place was recognized for its environmental messaging on screen. It was one of three shows to be nominated for an EMA Award in the Television Episodic Comedy Category. Episode 213, “Somewhere Else”, written and directed by Michael Schur, featured the main character changing for the better and becoming an environmental activist.

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(The award ceremony was hosted by Amber Valetta, an EMA board member, and speakers included environmental activists Lance Bass, Jaden Smith, and Amy Smart.)

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Comcast NBCU Commits to Sustainability with New Telemundo Center

Comcast NBCUniversal works to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities. Our buildings identify ways to improve efficiency in energy, water consumption and waste reduction through innovative design elements. The Telemundo Center, a new state-of-the-art global headquarters for Telemundo in Miami is one such example, rising to the challenge of building better.

The Telemundo Center’s 500,000 square-foot facility is built on 21 acres with studios for news, sports, entertainment, international and digital media all under a single roof. Moving from Hialeah, Florida, the guiding principle for the new headquarters’ conceptual design plan ensures the adoption of advanced sustainability standards and initiatives.  Among the main business practices promoted at the new facility are waste reduction methods that limit environmental impact and promote sustainability.

Here are some significant green initiatives being implemented throughout the new building:

Energy

  • “Think before you print”: A new digitalization and archiving policy to incentivize less printing and conserve paper, ink and electricity. Secure Printers that employees can access throughout the building also eliminate the need of additional individual printers.
  • Lighting and Energy Saving: The building uses 100% LED light to consume less electricity than incandescent or fluorescent lighting.  Each light can be controlled individually so they can be off when not in use and save additional power usage. Strategically placed skylights also allow for natural light throughout the building.
  • Cafeteria: Non-disposable silverware is provided to all employees. For takeout orders, eco-friendly packaging and cutlery are offered. No plastic utensils, mugs or straws are used. To promote further waste reduction, discounts are offered at the coffee bar for employees that use reusable mugs.

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Water

  • Water refilling stations: No plastic water bottles are sold in the building to eliminate waste. Instead, there are 4 water-refilling stations available on each floor. Each one monitors how many plastic bottles have been saved with every fill at the facility. This effort alone keeps an average of 443 plastic water bottles out of circulation daily which adds up to 115,180 bottles per year. To date, 20,241 plastic bottles of water have been eliminated thanks to these refilling stations alone.

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Waste and Recycling

  • Organic Waste: Establishing a clean desk etiquette, no organic waste is permitted in work areas. All organic waste is collected and disposed of in pantries or the cafeteria.
  • Trash and Recycling Bins: Clearly identified trash and recycle bins are located throughout Telemundo Center near the printing stations and pantries. There are no individual waste baskets in the offices or workstations.
  • Recycling Program: A robust recycling program promotes employee awareness and maximizes engagement on an ongoing basis to inspire habitual practices for employees’ homes and families.

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Transportation

  • Electric Car Charging Stations: There are 10 ChargePoint CT4000 series electric car-charging stations available, at cost, for all employees. Once cars are fully charged, a notification is sent via text/email advising the employee that the car is ready for pick-up.
  • Carpooling and Commuter Services: The Telemundo Center uses the RideFlag app. Employees submit their destination and find ideal carpool matches based on overlapping routes. Giving employees the choice on whom to ride with, the system seamlessly routes the driver to the rider. RideFlag also verifies the carpools, the miles that were driven and CO2 savings.

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Vendors

  • Eco-friendly Vendors: An essential element of Telemundo Center’s efforts is doing business with eco-friendly vendors that prioritize recyclable materials. A prime example is the dry-cleaning company that provides services for employees. They use biodegradable bags and environmentally friendly GreenEarth solvent.

Promoting sustainability is a full-time occupation. To support Telemundo Center’s sustainability initiatives, a dedicated Green Team drives all sustainability efforts within the building. The Green Team ensures implementation, progress and continues to find new ways to protect the environment and the future. The buildings where we work, live and play every day offer great opportunities to make our operations more sustainable, and Comcast NBCUniversal’s newest location at Telemundo Center is fully committed to that effort.

 

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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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Cool Planet Award Honors NBCUniversal

Today, NBCUniversal was honored with the Cool Planet Award-Media Sector by The Climate Registry and Southern California Edison. According to The Climate Registry, the award “recognizes the valuable contribution of Southern California Edison business customers who demonstrate exemplary leadership in energy and carbon management.”

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The award was given for fifteen energy efficiency projects at Universal Studios from 2014 to 2017. Those projects include LED lighting installation in broadcast studios, LED lighting improvements at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, and retrofitted central plants among others. The projects submitted for the Cool Planet Award are now saving the company approximately 6.2 million kWH annually.

“California continues to demonstrate that carbon emissions can be decoupled from economic growth. The Cool Planet Award recognizes businesses that incorporate sustainability into their long term plans,” said Ann McCabe, Interim Executive Director of The Climate Registry. “The Award recipients demonstrated a commitment to reducing their carbon footprint by working alongside SCE in order to manage their energy use.”

The awards ceremony and luncheon took place at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia, CA. For more information, please visit www.theclimateregistry.org

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