Prioritizing Environmental Sustainability On and Off Set with Our In-House Production Team

Collage with a photo of the H+G studio, green plants layered behind it and an orange squiggle overlaid on top. Next to the collage reads "Prioritizing Environmental Sustainability On and Off Set with Our In-House Production Team" on dark blue green background in white text.

How Remote Work Impacts Photoshoots and Capturing Video Content

Custom content shoots used to mean a full day in our office studio—but the shift to remote work has allowed us to reimagine what’s possible when it comes to working with models and clients, near and far. Our production team has been successfully conducting shoots with talent virtually, and are continuing to optimize the process for 2024 and beyond. Through some upfront filming “training,” an overview of scripts and background styling, and collaboration tools like CaptureOne Live Sessions and good old iMessage, we’ve found a way to make virtual shoots as seamless as possible.

Aside from the benefits of being able to tap into a larger pool of potential talent, remote shoots help us improve efficiency and meet our sustainability goals. Minimizing travel for all parties and letting talent use their own props reduces our overall consumption and eco-footprint.

Headshot of Amy Sadler

“Virtual shoots remove any need for travel, for talent and production crew, and allow us to tap into owned wardrobe and props from the talent to avoid shipping of props, lights, etc. We also have virtual options for our remote team and clients to call into shoots to avoid travel to set.”

Amy Sadler, Creative Services Lead, Production

Headshot of Luigi Comba

“[Remote shooting] allows us to collaborate with talent from all over the country, or even the world, making it more accessible. It significantly reduces travel, which is beneficial for sustainability.”

Luigi Comba, Cinematographer

Headshot of Megan Barrette

“There was definitely a learning curve in translating how to plan for a shoot that you’re not in the room for and for learning how to give clear direction and set expectations for what we can achieve. I think it’s pushed us to learn how to communicate more effectively and also push past creative limitations.”

Meg Barrette, Senior Production Editor

Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

Driving Campaign Results Across the Nation 

With our client Hologic, we created several custom TikToks to raise awareness of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) and the importance of early detection. Shooting remotely allowed us to work with creators from across the country who had a personal connection to breast cancer, and were able to film themselves sharing their stories in a natural, home setting. Avoiding travel and the need to ship props helped boost efficiency and center authentic stories. In addition to seeking out these creators, our own team member, Séamus, had a meaningful connection to the cause that brought added depth to their work on the campaign. Read more about the project and how virtual production helped us gain 4.6M views on our videos here. 

Photograph of H+G studio with a blue "Session in Progress" neon sign lit up.

The Magic of Regenerative Storytelling 

While the “Shoot in Progress” sign glows in the studio window, there are so many ways our content is being created regeneratively, with the environment in mind. How exactly does the team accomplish this? Let’s dive into what’s happening on a typical set:

  • We avoid buying and returning props and wardrobes to prevent waste since returned items often get thrown away instead of resold.
  • We regularly ask talent to bring wardrobe based on a mood board, so we have guaranteed fitting options.
  • Working with local talent means we avoid excessive travel for shoots.
  • We use boxed water, refuse plastic silverware with lunch orders, provide plant-based options, and choose snacks with biodegradable packaging while on set. We reuse hard drives for shoot backups.
  • We plan shoots involving food and beverage clients around when our office is full of hungry people, so we eat all the leftovers (that haven’t been handled, of course)!

5 Tips to Be More Sustainable At Your Next Shoot + Event

1. Work sustainability into your creative ideas! It doesn’t have to BE the idea, but it can be done through subtle details like showing public transit, talent turning off lights, and biodegradable props.

2. Be resourceful. Use what you already have and be clever in making small changes to translate props, wardrobe, and sets to different clients.

3. Have a materials reuse/ disposal plan in preproduction and question if each item is necessary.

4. Master remote access to minimize travel and costs; CaptureOne Live is a game changer!

5. Build relationships with local organizations that could benefit from production leftovers, transforming waste into community support.

Learn more about our sustainability and social impact initiatives in our 2023 Impact Report.

Helen + Gertrude Production Team

Amy Sadler, Megan Barrette, Luigi Comba, and Autumn Mack make up our full-service production team. They combine data-driven insights and empathetic storytelling to create content that moves audiences and increases brand loyalty. On and off set, the crew delivers a purpose-driven approach for dynamic and impactful end-to-end productions.

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