Corporate Social Responsibility in Filmmaking
By: Leon Zhi Wei Chen
Corporate social responsibility comes in many forms. It could be in the form of sustainability, such as H&M’s reducing, reusing, and recycling of materials in their production line. It could be in the form of philanthropy like Ben and Jerry’s donation of a portion of the income from 1LB tubs for the development of community-based projects. It could also be in the form of economic development, such as Apple’s ConnectED initiative that funds teaching and learning solutions in schools across the country. CSR contributes to the company’s brand and the good of society, but the wave of social awareness amplifies the need for CSR fulfilled missions, the film industry is no different.
Photo Source: British Cinematographer
ARRI Group is a global leader in the film industry, especially when it comes to the production process of filmmaking. ARRI Rental and ARRI Media have provided cheaper production equipment costs and accessible post-production solutions to aid young filmmakers in breaking the economic and technological barriers. ARRI Academy provides partnership programs and other initiatives to increase the overall experience with industry-grade equipment and programs.
IMAX Big Picture leads the industry in regards to screening and cinema technology. Their CSR features on educational screenings showcasing IMAX’s sustainability-related films to a global audience. They also focus on young filmmakers, engaging with the community by providing educational opportunities and unique experiences for them.
Sony Pictures is another leader in the industry that works in all areas of the film industry. The corporation gives back to the community by providing grants for pictures along with general community investments. There are also forms of community involvement, such as providing the tools and access for the next generation to improve their style of filmmaking. They also ensure sustainable productions by establishing environmental impact-reducing strategies for both features and tv shows.
In an industry focused on arts and creativity, CSR may not be deemed as valuable for the companies as much as others. Though there are multiple benefits for the film industry to continue with their progress so far, and for many more to adopt the same method of giving back to society. One of the many benefits is the attraction and retention of employees. In an industry that constantly involves freelancing and project-based work, the work of staple corporations ensures employee satisfaction wherever possible, which is clearly a desire for many as seen in the recent IATSE associated change. It also raises accessibility for the community as a whole. Experience and technological knowledge are sought after, yet the accessibility of learning is still limited, especially with industry-grade materials. CSR helps narrow the gap for young professionals to access higher-tier solutions that would be otherwise unavailable for their lower-tier budget sets. Lastly, CSR specifically for the art industry heavily involved with mass media helps spread awareness and good to society at a much higher rate than how a business corporation would. Due to the nature of the film industry, media consumed can carry a message that shifts the scope of the world in a good manner, especially when coupled with similar media of the same message. Events like the “Cause Film Festival” provide a base for filmmakers to tell stories they think matter while raising awareness for social or environmental causes. As such, an increase in involvement with CSR in the film industry would greatly aid society’s effort in creating a better world for future generations to come.