Georgia’s Electric Owl Studios combines eco-conscious practices with competitive pricing, pioneering a green future for the film industry.
In Georgia, a hub for film and TV production, a new studio is hoping its unique focus on sustainability will make it a desirable location for eco-conscious companies.
Electric Owl Studios, based just outside Atlanta, offers 312,000 square feet of space, spread across six soundstages. It is the world's first purpose-built LEED gold-certified studio campus, equipped with solar panels, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and multiple opportunities for recycling and composting.
The co-founders of Electric Owl, Michael Hahn and Dan Rosenfelt, believe their sustainable focus can help a notoriously carbon-intensive industry to lower its footprint. Hahn is a seasoned real estate developer, while Rosenfelt has extensive experience in the film industry, having worked with big names like George Clooney and running studio sites in L.A. and Atlanta.
The film and TV industry is known for its high energy consumption and waste production. A report by the British Film Institute equates the carbon emissions of the largest movies to driving from Atlanta to San Francisco nearly 3,000 times. To combat this, Electric Owl uses LED lights and onsite solar panels that provide about 30% of the power. All sets are recycled, and a local company, Lifecycle Building Center, reuses set pieces. Leftover food is donated or composted.
According to Fast Company, the move towards sustainability aligns with major Hollywood producers' goals. Netflix aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, and NBCUniversal wants to be carbon-neutral by 2035.
Despite the need for sustainability, Rosenfelt acknowledges that cost remains a critical factor for producers. Electric Owl worked to include sustainable features without significantly increasing the budget, adding just 1% to the total. It achieved this by partnering with local companies, like Cherry Street Energy, which installed the solar panels for free.
With competitive prices and green facilities, Electric Owl hopes to stand out in the crowded film production market, offering what Rosenfelt describes as a "special boutique hotel for movies and TV shows."
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