Since Spring 2013, student films at the Hamburg Media School have been produced sustainably. The students plan their productions according to the criteria that are required to receive Green Shooting Card certification, which is issued by the Film Förderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH).
“From the very beginning, it was clear that we would have to take this initiative to the film schools”, explains Christiane Scholz, a representative of Hamburg Film Commission who has just sealed a cooperation agreement with Professor Richard Reitinger, Head of Film Studies at the Hamburg Media School. “It was very much a case of preaching to the converted with students and teachers alike.”
During their two-year course, film students at the Hamburg Media School produce three short films. The Film Commission supports them in developing and implementing environmentalfriendly production strategies. Producer Andrea Schütte, whose company Tamtam Film has produced several films using sustainable production methods, provides green advice as a guest lecturer.
Alexandra Staib and her five fellow students in the school’s production class have benefitted from this kind of know-how. For their second-semester film they hired a ‘Green Runner’ who was responsible for compliance with green criteria.
He advocated sustainable solutions during his consultations with the different production and workshop divisions.
Recycled paper in the office, priority for digital communication (Dropbox), waste separation and management, the use of porcelain cups for catered meals and returnable bottles for drinks were on the agenda as well as the reduced consumption of meat in favor of organic food for meals. The set designers re-used material while goods and people travel ed in carpools or on public transportation. “Not everything can be realized in a student production”, says Staib. “That is especially true for lighting and make-up.” Team members often join student productions on very short notice, so there is little time for preparation and planning. The search for sponsors, on the other hand, is a very time-consuming task.
“It would be great if the Green Runner could also take care of Green Fundraising and if he could find companies that would support our productions with sustainable products.”
Over the course of the two-day shoot for Staib’s short film, the restaurant at the Baseler Hof Hotel provided locally-grown food for the crew; an organic food store delivered a crate of fruit every day; and Waterplus Corp. supplied reusable bottles for the production. “Low-budget student films demonstrate how ecology is closely related to economy”, emphasizes Staib. “The successful handling of a limited budget requires the careful use of means and resources.”
The six productions, after having been reviewed by the Film Commission and the instructors, received Green Shooting Cards for their successful implementation of sustainability measures. On their Facebook page, the HMS students proudly commented on their award with a line from an old German children’s song: “Green, green, green is all that we have …”
The original version of this article was published in the 2014 edition of Green Film Shooting.