Lights, Camera, Re-Action: Entertainment and Sustainability in Los Angeles

Posted on 13. Aug, 2009 by in Design & Culture

Business professionals, along with leaders in the entertainment industry and sustainability, gathered Monday for a luncheon held by the Los Angeles Business Council at the historic California Club in Downtown Los Angeles. The topic at hand: How do we sustainably grow Los Angeles’ entertainment industry?

The event kicked off with Eric Garsetti, President of the Los Angeles City Council, who highlighted the movement of jobs in the entertainment industry to other states and countries. He also discussed his fight to encourage federal and state tax breaks that he believes will promote industry growth in Los Angeles.  Moderated by Gretchen Lewotsky, VP of State & Local Government Affairs & Environmental Operations at FOX, the panel included:

  • Sharon Keyser, SVP Real Estate, Government & Community Relations – Paramount Pictures
  • Tom Smith, SVP West Coast Real Estate – NBC Universal
  • Paul Audley, President – FilmLA
  • Adam Gilbert, Director Corporate Real Estate – Asset Management – Disney CORE Services

Each of the panel members pointed to separate efforts their studios had launched in the last few years. NBC Universal, with its “Green is Universal” initiative, is redesigning how it sources its’ catering on production sets, revisiting how it reuses developed sets, and greening its’ events (such as high-profile award shows). Warner Bros. built the 21,600-square-foot Stage 23, which incorporates numerous sustainable elements including its’ use of sustainable, reused, and recycled construction materials and a solar electrical system is now being installed.

FOX is testing an online script program where each time a script is revised, executives and producers alike are able to avoid printing multiple copies on a daily basis. Several studios have been switching to bio-diesel generators on location, using hybrid production vehicles on the studio lot, and offering incentives to employees who purchase planet-friendly cars.

There are, however, several actionable items not mentioned by the panelists. We would have loved to hear more about specific targets that have been set, i.e. zero emissions movie sets by 2020 or incorporating locally-harvested and organic food to studio commissaries and all movie sets by 2011.  The government and studios both discussed the loss of jobs in the area to other states and countries but did not address the innovative solutions to retain and regain these jobs in the coming years. We hope to get more updates soon.

What would you like to see the entertainment industry in Los Angeles focus on?

Photo courtesy: Office of Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti

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