On screen

On screen is the most visible side to New Zealand’s screen production industry. The information presented on screen has the potential to influence millions of people. There are a number of opportunities for this influence to have a positive effect on the environment; from a character placing a drink can in a recycling bin to a storyline with an environmental message. The suggestions below were developed to assist writers and producers in assessing when and how environmental messages can be incorporated in productions. Several countries, including New Zealand, organise environmental film festivals to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote environmental responsibility.

Characters

Place items in recycling bins.
Drive hybrid or fuel efficient cars.
Use cloth bags as a replacement for plastic bags.
Carpool or walk to work/school.
Use email/reduce on screen paper consumption.
Use video-conferencing instead of travel.
Turn off lights when leaving rooms.
Use reputable products that are environmentally friendly..


Environmentally responsible actions by characters can become part of the character’s behaviour. Patterns of behaviour over time signal the values of the character and this can influence audiences.

Environmental Media Association (EMA)

The Environmental Media Association (EMA) annual awards honour film and television productions and individuals that increase public awareness of environmental issues and inspire personal action on these issues. EMA Award nominees:
• Express their concern for the environment in a myriad of ways using the medium of entertainment.
• Help increase awareness of environmental issues, inspiring millions to take action.
• Use storylines, environmental practices or role modelling in their work and/or personal lives.

The EMA has been honouring professionals, productions and production companies through their awards since 1991.
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