Sustainability Takes Flight in Jordan Peele’s Nope
As soon as the new Universal Pictures horror film Nope was in the works, Monkeypaw’s Producer Ian Cooper eagerly reached out to participate in the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program, which empowers production teams to integrate environmental best practices into on-set protocols for film and TV productions. The team wanted to make the film as environmentally sustainable as possible, both behind the scenes and on screen, and that’s just what they did.
“Reducing our environmental impact throughout production was extremely important to us, and while we are proud of what we were able to accomplish on Nope, I am confident that we can do even better. We are hyper aware of the influence our industry has, and we are committed to setting a new bar and continuing to break down boundaries and old habits in crafting better precedents in order to grow these efforts with all our future projects with the additional hope that it will encourage all our filmmaking peers to do the same.” – Ian Cooper, Producer, Nope
While filming in the Los Angeles summer heat in 2021, primarily on a secluded ranch, sustainability on set was no small feat. In an effort to reduce fossil fuel generators, the location team’s first choice was to work with the local utility to get access to grid electricity to power the set. When that wasn’t an option due to fire restrictions, they worked closely with their fuel vendor to obtain renewable diesel fuel, which has approximately 80% less lifecycle carbon emissions than standard diesel. They also worked to use less power overall through efficiency like LED set lighting, which use 70% less energy than conventional counterparts.
Additional efforts on set included reducing waste, avoiding the use of over 170,000 plastic water bottles by using reusable and aluminum bottles, educational materials for cast and crew, and recycling over 5,000 aluminum cans with proceeds donated to local Covid-19 relief. The Nope team also held a drive which gathered over 1,200 cans of food for the Hollywood Food Coalition, and donated 2,200 meals from excess catering to those in need in the Los Angeles area.
Sustainability efforts for Nope didn’t stop behind the scenes. The team integrated an electric motorcycle, Western-themed charging stations, three-stream recycling bins, green signage, and a dedicated section in the credits listing their sustainability efforts.
Fans looking for more can visit Universal Studios Hollywood, where park-goers will experience a Nope attraction that integrates the actual set from the film’s “Jupiter’s Claim” theme park, which helped allowed the wood and materials to be diverted and reused for years to come.
These efforts and more earned Nope a Gold Seal from the Environmental Media Association, which recognizes behind the scenes sustainability initiatives.