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Nature is Healing: Covid-19

The Sustainability Channel 49 Add to collection

The team at Kinomoto reflect on the importance of sustainability in production service and how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the production landscape

Nature is Healing: Covid-19

If anything positive has come out of this pandemic for us, it was how we now optimise resources in filmmaking. At Kinomoto, we service TVC shoots in Budapest, Kiev, Barcelona, and Sofia. Before the first outbreak we had been receiving 10, 20, or 30 people for each production, mostly traveling from abroad. We quickly understood that we could only avoid going bankrupt in 2020 if we developed a well-functioning remote workflow. It’s harder to shoot while the creative decision makers, sometimes even the directors, are far away, (“Sorry, you’re breaking up, which side of the frame should we move the elephant to?”), but regardless, we’ll definitely push for keeping this new system whenever creative agencies and clients are open to it. Needless to say - remote shoots are not only less harsh on our planet, they’re easier on our budget too. 

Aside from no longer flying hundreds of people to shoots around the world every year, we’ve learned how to minimise crews and merge departments. Our initial and principal motivation in doing this was to minimise the risk of outbreaks on our shoots, but an additional result was a smaller ecological footprint. In the process we learned we could shoot with less helping hands than we thought was possible in 2019. 

Our personal favourite result of this pandemic has been that we are now (finally) avoiding meetings that could have been emails. We also commute less when we’re working from home in our comfy pants. Again, the pandemic brought about changes that a year ago seemed like nothing more than far-away, unreasonable, and impossible desires. 

Over the past few years before the pandemic hit, we had been trying to make more environmentally-friendly changes and policies, especially with regards to our catering, craft service, and generally trying to produce less trash on shoots. After having the Film in Green team on our shoots in Budapest, we found out that, frustratingly, we don’t have the infrastructure in place locally to do it right. The governments in the countries we work in should first build working recycling systems so that our efforts are actually effective.

We have to admit, we’re guilty of some “Kinomoto goes green”-type insta posts. After digging deeper, we had to realise that although our intentions were good, we were basically greenwashing ourselves. We decided to keep our good intentions, but before spending money and energy on recycling on set, we’d have to wait for the right infrastructure or our good intentions will be nothing but instagrammable gems. We realised there is no sense in serving food on compostable plates and utensils if we’re unable to compost them properly. It’s nice to collect trash selectively, but if it ends up mixed in at the drop-off there’s just no sense to it. The government should do their job and create proper, working systems so that good intentions and actions don't go to waste, literally. 

In the meantime, we’ll continue to refine our workflow and processes so that we can really become green where it matters. Our greatest harm comes not from the occasional unrecycled plate but rather the hundreds of flights each shoot usually demands. By recognising where the real damage lies we can make changes where it truly matters. 

Hopefully our governments will catch up soon so that in addition to these efforts we can reduce/reuse/recycle with real results rather than simply showboating while we are all fully aware of the dark truth. 

At least we can come out of this pandemic with important lessons learned and cemented in our minds, and our companies can be a lot more green as a result. We love our earth and everyone in it, and the best way to show that is to live and work responsibly and with as much empathy and awareness as possible. It’s also refreshing to work more effectively, less wastefully, and in a more streamlined fashion (while wearing our comfy pants). Finally the things we all knew were a waste of time have been acknowledged as such, and we can put more effort into creative thinking and producing great results. 


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Kinomoto, Thu, 22 Apr 2021 08:31:37 GMT