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Film Industry Awards Season: Cutting Carbon Doesn’t Mean Cutting Quality

Best Picture: The Theory Of Everything took home the top film gong at the EE BAFTAs 2015 on Sunday night
Both the film festival and awards seasons are upon us, and this year a top film production is proving that the sustainable approach does not compromise the quality of a film’s end product. The sustainably produced The Theory of Everything is a gallantly-green, top award contender for 2015. It has already won 2 Golden Globes and 3 BAFTA‘s, as it heads into Feb. 22nd’s Academy Awards Ceremony with a total of 5 nominations. The film’s nominations include recognition in the most prestigious award categories (best motion picture, best actor, best actress, etc.) for the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and the Oscars alike; proving that cutting down on carbon, does not cut down on quality. Thanks to the help of sustainability consultants at Greenshoot, The Theory of Everything stands as a brilliant example of the high quality successes to be found in green filmmaking.

Greenshooting Success with the UK’s Greenshoot

For the filming of The Theory of Everything, UK based sustainability consultants at Greenshoot were contracted to facilitate a sustainability plan on-set. As a result of this partnership, Greenshoot supported the film’s production team in reducing their carbon footprint through recycling, reducing the use of disposable plastics, re-purposing materials, waste diversion through donation, & ‘everything’ else – simply brilliant!

To sweeten the outcome, the film has generated an estimated  $98 million (or €86 million) since its release at the international box office. The film  continues to generate critical acclaim, having received a generous amount of international award recognition and honors: 4 Golden Globe Award nominations with 2 wins, 3 Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations with 1 win, and 10  British Academy Film Award nominations with 3 wins that include Outstanding British Film. The film also heads into the upcoming Academy Awards with nominations in 5 categories including, Best Picture.

The film is an undeniable success -an incredible story both on & off the screen- and in our eyes, its green conscious approach to shooting further highlights the care and attention that went into the $15 million production. The Theory of Everything’s critical success has clearly debunked the false theory that: cutting down on carbon emissions also cuts down on production quality and value.

 Another Resource-Efficient Production Success Story, The Dallas Buyers Club

At last year’s Oscars, the Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey won the Best Makeup and Hair styling award despite their department budget of, “250$ for the entire 28-day-production”. In order to be resource efficient under the given restraints, the team employed out-of-the-box creative thinking, and the use of a few cheap house-held products in order to turn this resource challenge into an opportunity. As a result, the makeup team on this project managed to deliver top quality results, with the use of limited resources. For example, a most pleasantly surprising outcome for the production was the application of grits and cornmeal to the actors’ skin in order to depict, “the rashes acquired by other AIDS patients”;  an effective and efficient solution exemplifying the fact that cutting down on resource use, does not cut down on quality. Read more on the Dallas Buyers Club‘s success story, here.

Awarding the Most Accomplished Films: On the Screen…and Off 

Despite the industry’s continuing tradition in awarding film creatives solely based on the finished product of their productions or the final outcome of their box office numbers, a few more cutting edge and innovative award ceremonies aim to recognize the assumed social and environmental responsibility behind a production’s approach. For example, the Guardian’s Ethical Observer Awards celebrate “the people who are are making the world a better place”, and include a film and television category in which it awards “those leading the way in the revolution in the entertainment industry to lessen it’s impact on the planet.” France’s established Deauville Green Awards is entering its 4th year in 2015, and rewards audiovisual productions and actions leading to sustainable development as well as the preservation of the environment. The LA based Going Green Film Festival also rewards green filmmaking, and encourages education for filmmakers on the necessity of lowering their carbon footprint on this planet.

What makes The Theory of Everything so groundbreaking and exemplary, is that its cinematic success is two-fold: it stands to be a top contender for recognition of its outstanding narrative qualities, alongside its effective sustainable production approach. We’re keeping our fingers (and toes!) crossed, because this film truly deserves all of the awards and recognition it can get.

If you enjoyed this article, you will also like the following from our blog: Green Budding at Hollywood’s Biggest Event of the Year, The Oscars, and Save Thousands of Budget Euros by Going Green.

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