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Green Film Shooting: The Lord of the Things


- The Film- und Theater-Ausstattung at Bavaria Film knows what set designers want

Green Film Shooting: The Lord of the Things

Thomas Hissia (© Birgit Heidsiek/ Green Film Shooting)

With its climate-neutral studios, Bavaria Film is not simply a green pioneer when it comes to energy supply. The Film- und Theater-Ausstattung (FTA), which has more than 400,000 props and costumes stored in a 25,000-square-meter facility, is the largest such collection in Europe. Thanks to branches in Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne, transportation for productions is convenient.

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Edward Snowden’s hotel room, which Oliver Stone had rebuilt for his thriller Snowden [+see also:
interview: Oliver Stone
film profile
, was furnished by the FTA at the Bavaria studio with furniture and props. The global public knows the simple, cool decor of the Hong Kong hotel from news reports of the whistle blower revealing the NSA’s surveillance methods.

In our collection, all furniture, lamps, etc. and most of the props are managed digitally and can be accessed online“, says Thomas Hissia, Branch Manager, FTA Munich. Feature films, TV series, commercials, photo shoots and events use props and period costumes from the 9,000-square-meter warehouse at Bavaria Film. "It’s environmentally-friendly to rent instead of to buy props and costumes which get thrown out after the production wraps“, stresses Hissia. His best client is Storm of Love. This successful daily soap, which is being produced sustainably at Bavaria Film City, has been relying on the FTA’s vast inventory for the last ten years. The FTA has classic, popular designs that are used over and over again. One piece much in demand is a brown club chair that had been rented almost hundred times in 2016. 

Set designers from abroad come to FTA looking for props, a recent instance being the BBC series War and Peace and The Happy Prince. The compre- hensive lamp collection doesn’t simply cover all periods; the old lamps may also be safely oper- ated. “All the lamps have been checked out by our electrical department.” Splendid chandeliers have even retrofitted with LEDs. “They resemble to lightbulbs because of their color temperature but also because of the filament effect.” Through- out the FTA facility, the lighting system is gradually being replaced by LEDs. 

The use of energy-efficient lighting was also a key issue at the green workshop where DoP and Sustainability Manager Philip Gassmann explained the basics of green Film/TV production to Bavaria Film trainees. When it comes to selecting LED lights, not only the quality of the color reproduction and their cooling requirements must to be taken into consideration, but also their respective noise levels as well. 

One production at the studio that benefits from this know-how is Verstehen Sie Spaß? which was awarded the Green Shooting Card by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig Holstein for the sustainable production. Ecological savings measures were implemented during the production of various recent shows. 

“We’re really absolutely proud of the fact that Bavaria Film is creating a framework of ecological conditions for Film/TV production, and that it can provide them, as a studio supplier, to producers”, emphasizes Achim Rohnke, CEO, Bavaria Film. "Furthermore, we‘re gradually converting, through pilot projects, our own TV productions to climate-neutral production methods. Since 2013, we’ve been gaining valuable experience exploring the potential, practice, effort, and cost (savings) of the climate-neutral conversion process."

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