By ANNIE EAST – LECTURER, BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY
Well I’m chuffed to have been asked to contribute to this blog – thanks Eco Film Prods! Well what can I say about Sustainable Filmmaking and impact? I can say that we are trying to make an impact within the Media Production Dept at Bournemouth University but not sure how we can measure that impact beyond our ever growing walls. One of our jobs at BU is to ensure students are fully prepared for the competitive market they enter into when graduating from BU. The Film and TV industry is facing up to the issue of sustainability. Albert Carbon Calculator (run by BAFTA Albert) is a consortium that is leading some of these changes. Many TV programmes (BBC, Sky, ITV) now have deliverables that include a carbon calculation. Calculating the projected footprint at the outset of the programme (i.e. from greenlight stage) and then again at the end of the process which enables, hopefully, a fall in the carbon footprint once carbon reducing measures are put into place.
One of my interests is looking at what the industry does and of course sharing that with students but also and particularly in this case enabling students to consider this challenge as future generation film and TV content makers. It’s not easy. Being a placard-waving-tree-hugger is not everyone’s cup of tea – sometimes that turns people off! One of the first ways to encourage education for sustainable development is to ensure that our staff are carbon literate. 16 staff members undertook the Carbon Literacy Project – Carbon Literacy training day this year which was run by staff from ALBERT consortium. As educators we sometimes make assumptions and presumptions about what we expect from our staff and fellow colleagues. Just because it is accepted that education for sustainable development (ESD) is a good thing doesn’t mean it’s obvious on how to implement that at the coalface of teaching in a media environment. With small baby steps our department now has 16 staff members who are carbon literate and much of the ESD suggests we align our teaching with the 17 sustainable development goals . The next thing is to consider ways of engaging with film and TV industry carbon calculation programmes such as Albert. With several hundred Bournemouth University students making films and programmes every year this kind of decision requires careful consideration around the carbon calculation platform and suitability of such programmes for higher education. Whilst we want to create industry-ready students we need to remember that we are not THE INDUSTRY, we are educators. Recently we have been in talks with ALBERT BAFTA and other interested Higher Education Institutions around moving that conversation on. Watch this space for more news on that.
Ultimately we hope that our impact will be national and international through staff and students engaging with this process and in turn those students will head out into the world with knowledge and sustainable practice firmly within their grasp.