How 'Sacred Lies' Made a "Significant Impact" With Earth-Friendly Set

Eco-fueled cars, digital scripts and power-saving LEDs were used on the Jason Blum production house's second-season set, making it what may well have been the most environmentally conscious set in history.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Blumhouse, known for horror movies like Get Out and Halloween, is focusing on something really scary — climate change. The Jason Blum production house's second season of Sacred Lies, a Facebook Watch series about a teen girl who escapes a cult, just finished shooting in Vancouver on what may well have been the most environmentally conscious set in history. 

The 150-person cast and crew of the show participated in a sustainability challenge over its 15-week shoot, which included switching all vehicles to eco-fuel and electric cars, replacing traditional lighting with LEDs, mandating that everyone bring their own reusable water bottles, and recycling two standing sets into 14 different forms.

Led by showrunner Raelle Tucker and producer Jim O’Grady, the set also went paperless with digital-only scripts and call-sheets — saving 176,000 pieces of paper in the process — and composted 10 tons of garbage. “Everyone embraced it and it really wasn’t that difficult,” O’Grady says. “On this little show, compared to the big monster shows that are out there, we’ve made a significant impact.”

To encourage participation, the production turned the green efforts into a competition and a war between departments, with one staff member receiving a $100 gift card each week for their environmental achievements. “By nature, if you can make something more of a game and less of a lecture it’s a lot more fun,” Tucker says. “We’re keeping it fun rather than trying to tell people how terrible they are and how much waste they’re creating.”

Blumhouse also hired a sustainability PA to oversee the initiatives and teach crewmembers the proper recycling techniques. “As progressive as the content is in our whole industry, I think we’re often really attached to the way we do things: we’ve been using the same director’s chairs since like the 1800s,” Tucker adds. “I think this is a rich time of television where we’re really taking a look at our practices as an industry and we’re saying, ‘Hey, how can we be better?’”

Sacred Lies' sustainable set is part of a growing green trend in the industry, with Disney's 20th Century Fox and ABC Studios opting for water dispensers instead of plastic bottles on location, Sony reducing the amount of beef served on the A Dog's Way Home set, and HBO swapping out disposable wardrobe hangers, plastic garment bags and individually packaged meals for their show's productions.

A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.