London launches 'Green Screen' initiative

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LONDON -- The British capital's film and television heavyweight names are backing the launch of "Green Screen London," aimed at cutting "climate change emissions" here during shoots.

The plan, announced jointly Tuesday by London Mayor Ken Livingstone and Film London CEO Adrian Wootton, has garnered pledges of support from Working Title Films, Ealing Studios and Kudos Film and Television, among others.

Other backers, spanning the U.K. Film Council, BAFTA, Equity, 3 Mills Studios, Pinewood Studios, the Production Managers Assn., Advertising Producers Assn., Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television and the Production Management Assn. all want to make London the greenest place to film.

Livingstone and his partners plan to develop and implement a climate change action plan "to help filming in London to become more energy efficient, cut emissions and in doing so, save money."

The first step is to calculate the current carbon footprint of the filmmaking industry and identify the best opportunities to become more energy efficient.

"Everyone needs to play their part to reduce carbon emissions and tackle climate change, but people working in film and broadcasting are in a unique position to inspire and educate audiences of millions with this vital message," Livingstone said. "It is extremely encouraging to see key players from across the film and broadcast industry today showing leadership and commitment to produce an action plan to reduce climate change emissions."

Film London offers advice to all types of productions working in the city and will look at what additional support film crews will need to tackle climate change, including an online guide giving tips to productions on how to reduce energy use and recycle.

The British capital is the third busiest production center in the world after Los Angeles and New York and the London screen industries are worth more than 13 billion pounds ($25.6 billion) a year to the economy here, the parties said. Filming on the capital's streets has rocketed, with a 42% increase in filming days from 2003 to 2006. There are around 38 crews on the streets everyday, Film London estimates.

"I hope this work will help raise awareness of the issues and provide practical solutions, so we can encourage environmentally friendly filming in the capital," Wooten said.
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