The Global Green Media Production Network

Lead Research Organisation: University of Warwick
Department Name: Centre for Cultural Policy Studies

Abstract

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) estimates that the annual emissions from UK film production total in excess of 149.000 tonnes of CO2 (the equivalent of the total CO2 output of a small village), while Greenpeace suggests Information and Communications Technologies generate up to 3% of global carbon emissions (on par with air travel). To counteract such emissions, screen media organisations including Producers Guild of America and BAFTA have developed green production guidelines. However, the industry remains largely blinkered to the significance of these concerns and continues to be shielded from effective public regulation, which tends to focus on heavy industries.

The Global Green Media Production Network (GGMPN) provides a platform for scholars, media practitioners, environmental advocates, and NGOs to explore the environmental footprint of media production. It will make two key methodological contributions. Firstly, it uses an expansive interdisciplinary approach missing from previous studies. Scholars and industry analysts have approached these considerations from a largely technical perspective that focuses on the most efficient means of reducing emissions or of developing managerial strategies to shape work practice. This network starts from the premise that it is not sufficient to consider media production as a purely economic or technocratic activity, as production practices are invariably implicated in local environmental, cultural, political and social realities. GGMPN represents a unique opportunity for arts and humanities scholars to work with the sciences, technology, policy, economics and business studies to provide entirely new perspectives and, most importantly, to develop shared research methods and vocabulary to address how systems of cultural values and everyday social habits influence environmental practices and policy.

Secondly, the network will be informed by the experiences of four highly diverse screen industries (India, Hong Kong, Ghana, United Kingdom) whose environmental policies are determined by distinctive social, political and cultural circumstances, where the environmental, social, economic and cultural realities of these contexts will influence the adoption and form of green production practice. Accordingly, we aim to facilitate dialogue between these industries to generate innovative approaches for positive change that guides the industry as a whole but accommodates local cultural and environmental specificity.

To facilitate this discussion, our network will

Evaluate the relationship between media's ability to generate environmental knowledge and the industry's evaluation of its own environmental ramifications. How do we draw lines of causality between the material consequences of media production, its translation to media texts, and the reception of these messages by audiences?

Assess the environmental impacts of digital media technologies. The wide range of impacts of digital media are only beginning to be understood-what are the levels of impact, from production methods to server storage? How do such concerns extend to content analysis, and how are they connected to systems of cultural values or everyday social habits?

Address the role of regional, national and local cultural practices in examining whether disparate industries might be accommodated by the development of general principles on environmentally conscious media production. For example, how might Nigerian video culture differ from Bollywood's mass production infrastructure or the European co-production system?

Explore the political and economic underpinnings of media production practices. How are environmental production incentives for the media shaped by larger industrial, economic and political considerations, and what can other sectors learn from environmental media policy, as well as the sector's unique ability to communicate these incentives to a general audience?

Planned Impact

An interdisciplinary and multisectoral dialogue is a founding paradigm for our network, linking environmental humanities (media studies, philosophy and ethics, political science), economics and business, and social sciences through local and global analysis of the relationship between digital screen media and the environment. Our research will appeal across a broad spectrum of media professionals, from production companies and consultancies specializing in environmental practice such as Green Shoot (based in the UK), to ones that are only now starting to consider these as key performance indicators.

The activities include a series of workshops bringing together scholars, practitioners, indigenous community representatives, and policymakers. All sessions will make use of a range of delivery methods to ensure that, for example, disciplines focused on management perceive the usefulness of cultural communications, and simultaneously that industry professionals can learn from advances developed in the humanities concerning representation, cultural analysis of work practices and relational values with the environment. Through these workshops we will collect data on local policies and practices which will be used for publications and website data dissemination.

Additionally, we will provide a range of interfaces for communicating our data and findings, including a website that acts as an online resource and data organizational tool, providing professionals and students with policy summaries, industry news, and an educational toolkit adaptable to secondary and higher education settings. Other publishing initiatives include journal articles and an edited collection with The Open Humanities Press.

These will feed into educational incentives, where the network will act as a form of support, development, and professionalization for graduate students on the MA and PhD levels. By developing the environmental conscientiousness of future scholars, policymakers, and screen artists, we embrace the upcoming generation's progressive social politics and digital tech savvy towards the goal of a green digital revolution that minimizes environmental destruction and maximizes social inclusion and appreciation for climate change diversity.

Beyond academia, the project will emphasize public dialogue, where industry initiatives and policies are translated for the general audience. We will organize lectures and workshops open to the general public (each of the workshops will feature a session open to the public, coordinated by the respective local leads). In addition, the PI and Co-I will produce a set of accessible short-form messaging videos that illustrate our network's discussions and goals for students, scholars, industry professionals and environmentally-aware consumers of media. These will be made available through the network's website and through social media channels.

Finally, we aim to contribute to the development of industry policy incentives. Industry research often focuses on making their communicated messages more efficient, yet the conversation often excludes scholars that specialize in problems of representational politics, social justice, and relational values with the environment. Our project will emphasize the ability of our particular skills to transfer to industry contexts where they can be of practical use, especially for incorporating approaches from participant developing media industries.

Following the final workshop, we will publish an environmental sustainability policy memo in consultation with participants, and circulate it to the wider community of scholars, NGOs, cultural actors and activists. This memo will also provide suggestions and guidelines transferable beyond the media and cultural industries and applicable to other sectors extensively reliant on ICT or invested in meeting public service mandates.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The London Network Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact AHRC - Green Production Network
Co-PIs: Pietari Kääpä & Hunter Vaughan

The first event of the network took place in London 18th-19th October 2019 at Warwick in London, The Stanley building, 7 Pancras Square, Kings Cross, London, N1C 4AG
The workshop was designed to allow dialogue between industry and academic as well as across academic disciplines. We had a total of 25 participants for the first day of the event, including participation from The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Film London, Green Film Shooting (Germany), Jordnaer (Denmark) and Flanders Film Fund (Belgium). The following universities participated: Warwick, Bournemouth, Brighton, Goldsmiths, Nottingham Trent, Middlesex, University of Boulder (US), University of Miami (US), University of Aukland (New Zealand).

The second day consisted of a practiclal workshop on media production aimed at students.

This was the schedule for the two-day event:

Friday October 18

9:00-9:30 COFFEE GREETING

9:30-10:00 Introduction - Pietari Kääpä & Hunter Vaughan

10:00-10:30 Introduction of Academic Participants

10:30-11:45 UK developments
Roser Canel-Mas (Bafta), Daniela Kirchner (Film London)
respondent: Alison Anderson

11:45-13:00 Mainland Europe
Birgit Heidsiek (Green Film Shooting), Tim Wagendorp (Flanders Film Fund)
respondent: Sean Cubitt

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:15 BAFTA in Education
Annie East (Bournemouth University), Michelle Whitehead (Bafta), Paul Wallis (Confetti Institute of Technology)
respondent: Julie Doyle

15:15-16:30 Josefine Madsen and Anne Lund (Jordnaer Creative)
respondent: Jon Raundalen

16:30-17:00 Closing Remarks

18:00 DINNER: The Driver (2-4 Wharfdale Rd, Islington, London)

Saturday October 19

9:00-12:00 Student Green Production Workshop

The purpose of the event was to explore current best practices in sustainable media production in the European film and television sector and correlate them with academic research and pedagogical innovations. The event was highly successful in generating dialogue and leading to future collaborations.

We are currently considering further teaching-related collaborations with Bafta's Albert in Education incentive designed to integrate environmental practices into media production training.

The next step for the network will be a two-day workshop to take place in Mexico City in April 2020.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://globalgreenmediaproduction.wordpress.com/london-event-2019/