From "green carpets" at awards shows to organic fruit served to actors on sets, Hollywood is going all out to promote itself as being environmentally hip. But is it all just show?
No amount of public service announcements or celebrities driving hybrid cars can mask the fact that movie and TV production is a gritty industrial operation, consuming enormous amounts of power to feed bright lights, run sophisticated cameras, and feed a cast of thousands.
Studios' back lots host cavernous soundstages that must be air-conditioned to counter the heat produced by decades-old lighting technology. Huge manufacturing facilities consume wood, steel, paint and plastic to build sets that are often torn down and tossed out after filming ends.
The energy guzzling continues on the exhibition side, too, with multiplexes drawing millions of kilowatts to power old-school popcorn makers and clunky film projectors that cash-strapped theater owners are reluctant to replace. A two-year study released last year by the University of California at Los Angeles concluded that special effects explosions, idling vehicles and diesel generators make the entertainment industry a major Southern California polluter, second only to the oil industry....MORE