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News New scheme encourages student filmmakers to go green

Staffordshire University is championing sustainable filmmaking by teaching students how to make environmentally friendly productions.

The move was inspired by BSc (Hons) Film Production student Rebecca Head
Image: The move was inspired by BSc (Hons) Film Production student Rebecca Head

It’s a great opportunity to join up with the albert educational consortium. As a group we can make a real difference for more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the TV and film industries.

Paul Ottey, Senior Lecturer

The Film department has signed up to the BAFTA albert educational partnership and is working with a number of other universities to contribute to a graduate training programme which promotes eco film practices.

The move was inspired by BSc (Hons) Film Production student Rebecca Head who researched eco-friendly filmmaking for her final year project and encouraged her lecturers to make the change.

Rebecca, 25 from Birmingham, said: “The idea came after I saw a campaign to use different lighting in theatres - in the film industry we use very similar lights and they are not very eco-friendly. Then when I started researching it more, it just snowballed!”

Through her project, Rebecca discovered a number of ways that filmmakers can embed sustainable practices into their productions.

“In pre-production, most of it is paper-based but we can try be more digital and have less physical paperwork. Then going into production, we can use LED lighting on film sets which represent colour better as well as being more efficient and cost effective.” she explained.

“You can also do things like stop using single-use plastics, have vegan catering on set and recycle as much as you can – for example by re-using costumes. I’m also really excited about the idea of using more solar energy!”

Rebecca graduated this summer and hopes to become a cinematographer but continues to promote green filmmaking as part of her freelance work. From September, Staffordshire University will include sustainability in all its film courses.

Senior Lecturers Paul Ottey and Colin Mottram have attended training and development sessions in preparation for delivering the scheme.

Paul said: “We aim to offer the training to all film students, there will be specific training days and we will integrate the principles of more sustainable filmmaking through all of our teaching.

“It’s a great opportunity to join up with the albert educational consortium. As a group we can make a real difference for more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices in the TV and film industries. Also, as albert graduates the links to BAFTA and major companies such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and SKY give our students great opportunities.”

Discover more about studying at Staffordshire University at an Open Day – find details and book your place here.

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