While eco-responsibility is beginning to permeate cinema mentalities and eco-production bonuses are awarded to certain projects, no obligation is yet in force. A reflection around travel or catering – i.e. the poles with the greatest carbon impact – emerges on certain projects but often results in a simple elimination of plastic cups on set. However, according to a study published in November 2020 by the Ecoprod collective, the audiovisual sector in France emits the equivalent of 1,705,560 tonnes of CO2 per year, or around 700,000 round-trip Paris-New York flights. The sets, thrown in the dumpster after only a few days of use, sometimes even a few hours, alone produce 1/4 of the carbon impact of a shoot. Faced with this observation, the Ressourcerie du cinema, born in December 2020 and installed for a year in the former Mozinor factories in Montreuil, is trying to save the furniture. 15 tons of waste See also on Konbini but from the 1970s, film sets began to be built from scratch and then kept for reuse. With the fall in the price of materials and the rise in the price of land and therefore of storage places, this practice has gradually been lost and entire sets have since been thrown away. Today, on a set built in the studio in Île-de-France – which hosts 80% of film shoots in France – approximately 15 tonnes of waste are dumped at the end of filming. For other major projects, the mess is unfortunately even more dizzying. On the set of Asterix and Obelix: The Middle Empire, deprived of its filming in natural settings in China due to the pandemic, the only scene of Caesar’s palace alone generated these 15 tons of waste, deplores Karine by Orlan de Polignac, the co-founder of the Ressourcerie du Cinéma. These are the decorative sheets, wooden frames surmounted by plywood on which the material is applied and which are used to create the walls of the cinema sets, which are thrown into the larger quantities. Standardized, they are nevertheless completely suitable for reuse. Until a few years ago, these sheets were made from cowhide or hessian that could be torn off to recover the material. rehired to other filming, event projects, theaters, escape games or architects, the five employees of the place (including a volunteer and a work-study student) were unfortunately only able to save 1% of the sets dumpster due to lack of sufficient storage space. If the cinema is increasingly calling on their services, they cannot push the walls. “We have just recovered the sets for the Netflix series Detox because they have not been renewed for a second season. It was huge because they had stocked in anticipation of a renewal but we managed to arrange with household resources who took the accessories that interested them. The Office of Legends production just called us about their stock but they’ve racked up six seasons so I don’t think we’re going to be able to absorb all that. But that’s good, they kept their sets from one season to another because there are series that throw them away at the end of each season…” Few objects on their shelves because on the accessories side, the circle is a little more virtuous since the props designers already have the reflex to turn to Emmaüs or resource centres. However, last year, Karine d’Orlan de Polignac’s team saved the equivalent of three lorries of accessories intended for the dumpster but unfortunately has just refused superb beech wood tables built for the needs of a filming which will therefore end up in the trash. And the cinema is only a small part of this iceberg of waste, the logics in the advertising or fashion sectors being even more overwhelming. The artistic gesture before the ecologyMany young future filmmakers looking for inspiration for the sets of their short films push the heavy door of the Ressourcerie du Cinéma, motivated by ecological but also economic constraints. A partnership between the latter and the Fémis – the prestigious Parisian film school – has just been concluded, a sign that the lines are starting to move. But the seasoned generations, present on the big shoots that generate tons of waste, do are not all aware of ecological issues and often favor saving time, the rarest commodity in cinema, by throwing sets rather than managing complicated storage for potential reuse. In 2022, the artistic gesture still prevails often on ecology, despite the climate emergency we are facing. Thus, a reconstruction of Notre-Dame-de-Paris recently went up in smoke for the needs of Jean-Jacques Annaud’s film even though a series project on the fire of this same cathedral was in the pipes at Netflix. If such a mess is often absurd, it is also understandable that the production designers – these artists and craftsmen of the cinema who build the sets from scratch – or the directors who thought them do not wish to see their work reused on other shoots. . A former photographer, Karine d’Orlan de Polignac is sensitive to intellectual property issues and has therefore set up forms for the transfer of rights to better regulate the reuse of sets. So what is the future for the small team at the Ressourcerie du cinema that faces major storage constraints? Working hand in hand with the construction industry by putting the decorations back on the construction market and by offering the rental of machines to clean ecologically the brushes used for the manufacture of the decorations, already available in the construction sector. They also aim to bring the directory sheet back into service to save thousands of tons of wood from the trash and plan to inventory their stock on a website so that decorators can do their shopping online. he audiovisual is not for tomorrow, resource centers like those of Montreuil are springing up in Europe as far as Los Angeles – yet the city of all studios – and are trying to save the furniture from the cemetery of film sets to reinject a little meaning and common sense in the film industry.
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