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The Paley Center for Media and Producers Guild of America Join Forces to Host Earth Day Forum on Reducing Environmental Impacts of Film and TV Production

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New York, New York - April 8, 2009 - The Paley Center for Media is joining forces with the Producers Guild of America (PGA) to present "Going Green in the Entertainment Industry," a panel discussion focusing on the film and television industry's efforts to reduce its carbon emissions and environmental impacts. The panel will focus specifically on a case study: the "greening" of Away We Go, a production of Focus Features (a division of NBC Universal) and Big Beach scheduled for release in June 2009.

The panel, to be held at The Paley Center for Media on April 21 at 7:00pm, will be introduced by Lauren Zalaznick, President, "Green is Universal" and President, NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks, and Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of The Paley Center for Media. Scheduled panelists include: Beth Colleton, VP, Green is Universal; Jane Evans, Executive VP of Physical Production, Focus Features; Jeff Roth, Post-Production Supervisor, Away We Go; Peter Saraf, Producer/Partner, Big Beach; Mari Jo Winkler, Executive Producer, Away We Go; and the discussion will be moderated by Katie Carpenter, Green Media Solutions.

Away We Go, directed by Academy Award winner Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) and starring John Krasinski (The Office) and Maya Rudolph (Saturday Night Live), was the subject of a precedent-setting pilot project to develop a methodology to reduce climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts in four key areas: transportation, energy, waste management, and construction/set materials. With carbon emissions playing an even larger role in discussions regarding the future of business and industry in the U.S., the achievements of the Away We Go production team offer sustainable strategies which all producers can utilize in future productions.

"We are delighted to welcome the ‘going green' pioneers of the film community to the Paley Center to share their strategies and the lessons they have learned with their colleagues," said Pat Mitchell, President and CEO of The Paley Center for Media. "Through forums such as these, the Paley Center and the PGA hope to expand the discussion to explore the best strategies as they evolve for reducing the environmental impacts of all aspects of the making of movies and television programs."

"In our very competitive business, it's a pleasure to be able to explore "green" in such a way that we can share best "green" practices and information with our industry peers, and also benefit the greater good," said Lauren Zalaznick, President, "Green is Universal" and President, NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks. "Focus Features has been a leader inside NBCU for green, sustainable production and office practices, and I am particularly proud of the accomplishments Focus has achieved with Away We Go, and hope we can all learn from it."

"We are very excited about the amazing green goals achieved on the set of Away We Go," said Lydia Dean Pilcher, Co-Chair of the PGA Green committee. "The producers and crew reduced their projected carbon emissions by a substantial amount without compromising the production values of their movie in any way-they have truly blazed the trail, and we applaud them and hope more producers will follow their lead."

"It is critical to remember that this pilot is among the first of many steps in a long journey," added Meredith Bergmann of Green Media Solutions. "Every step will add to the body of knowledge that producers and their colleagues will share with each other to help increase the environmental sensitivity of their business."

Green Media Solutions report: "Away We Go: A Pilot Study of Sustainable Film Practices" can be downloaded here.  

This panel event has been underwritten by the NBC-Universal "Green is Universal" Initiative. Green is Universal is set to publish a "Green Production Playbook" at the end of April, a 70-page step-by-step manual for implementing eco-friendly practices in TV and film productions.

Other groups providing content or other support for this effort include: New York Production Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund, The Climate Project, Global Green USA, and Green Media Solutions.