Green Screens, Green Pixels and Green Shooting

Virtual Production for more sustainability on set?


It is no secret that the film and media business does not belong to the most climate-friendly industries. Travel and accommodation of the crew, technical set-up of a studio production or digital post-production - almost every step of the process requires a lot of energy. Media professionals around the world are therefore looking at more sustainable production methods and trying to reduce CO2 emissions and resource consumption.


Since the beginning of the year, also the nationwide "Green Shooting" initiative, made up of representatives from broadcasters, production companies, VoD services and film funders, has been committed to climate- and resource-friendly media production in Germany.

Green Shooting

In the joint "Green Shooting" working group, an alliance of industry representatives from the German film, TV and VoD market developed uniform minimum ecological standards for sustainable productions. They committed to complying with them in a sustainability initiative from January 1, 2022. Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg with its Animationsinstitut will also take on the implementation of these standards this year. Learn more about the initiative here.

What can media professionals do to produce in a more climate-friendly way?

Important parameters of a production can be, for example, the travel expenses of the team, the energy consumption for lighting, the complexity of post-production or the use of certain energy sources. Virtual production methods, which have become the norm in many studios due to the pandemic, can also play a major role.


Our R&D team, led by Prof. Volker Helzle, has tackled this issue and got to the bottom of the question of whether virtual production methods are more sustainable than conventional offline productions. For this purpose, the VFX projects Sprout (Set Extension Workshop 2019) and Awakening (Set Extension Workshop 2021) were compared in terms of their energy requirements. While Sprout was produced with green screen and using offline rendering and post-production, Awakening namely used Virtual Production and shot with an LED wall for in-camera effects (ICVFX).


Which production is more climate-friendly?

Download the report in English or German.


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