Making Stories Sustainably

We practice sustainability on our productions so we can tell stories for generations to come.

Our goal is to not only have a profound impact on the world but to also help protect it. Our mission is to further integrate sustainable measures into all aspects of our business so that our efforts contribute to a healthier planet for our employees, our communities and our global audience.

Making Stories Sustainably

1Green Production

    Making Stories Sustainably

    1Green Production

    Green Production is our global initiative of implementing sustainable practices across our feature film and television productions. Our practices include using cutting-edge technologies like LED set lighting and digital distribution software, recycling and donating leftover food and surplus materials to local community partners.

    At Warner Bros., our mission is for environmentally-friendly practices to be the standard in the entertainment industry, not the exception. We’re leading this mission with our deep commitment to green production, and our feature film and television productions that shoot around the world are changing the way they work in order to preserve resources and decrease our environmental footprint.

    It all begins and ends with our Green Leads – team members who are assigned at the start of production to help set environmental goals and motivate the crew to integrate sustainable practices into their work routines. When a TV show or film wraps, Green Leads summarize their efforts in a report that helps us identify opportunities to improve upon our green productions practices from season to season, film to film.

    photo of L E D lighting in sound stage LED set lighting installation on a Warner Bros. sound stage

    Energy Conservation

    Over the years, we’ve learned the best way to implement sustainable practices across our productions is to integrate them into all parts of production. One way we accomplish this is by using LED set lighting. Two Warner Bros. shows, Pretty Little Liars and The Mentalist, were industry pioneers and among the first to successfully incorporate LED installations on their sets. LED lighting is 85% more energy efficient than conventional lighting, and it creates less heat, which reduces the need for air conditioning on a sound stage. Today, at our Burbank facility, 45% of our set lighting inventory has been upgraded to LED technology.

    photo of exterior of L E E D certified sound stage on the W B studio lot Stage 23, Warner Bros.' first LEED certified stage

    Green Building

    “Sustainable design is smart design”  says Mike Slavich, Warner Bros. Director of Sustainability.  We built the first LEED certified sound stage in the world—Stage 23—in 2009. The 21,600-square-foot sound stage incorporates a number of green elements, including lumber harvested from responsibly managed forests, materials containing recycled content, and a white roof that reflects sunlight and features a 110-kilowatt solar electrical system.  Slavich adds, “Designing spaces that contribute to a healthier environment is our initial goal. Then, we work to educate people on how to work sustainably within these spaces.”

    photo of compost bin being delivered to large compost dumpsters Compost stations at our Burbank studio lot

    Waste Reduction

    From craft services to electrical, nearly every department has some level of sustainability practices they can initiate. It starts with crews designating a Green Lead, or a member of the production team that helps set environmental goals and motivates the crew to integrate sustainable practices into their work routines. These initiatives often start with simple practices, such as recycling aluminum and glass, separating food waste for organics recycling, and swapping out disposable plastic water bottles with reusable and refillable water jugs.

    Procurement

    When purchasing new products, sustainable alternatives are recommended.  For example, post-consumer recycled copy paper, compostable to-go ware, FSC certified lumber and biodiesel (B20) fuel are all examples of alternative products used by our productions. Source reduction is another key waste reduction strategy – for example, digital distribution of documents reduces printing in the first place.

    photo of carpets being loaded onto trailer for donation Carpet donations from the set of The Mentalist through Encore

    Reuse

    Warner Bros. does more than just reuse materials internally, we also donate lightly-used materials and leftover food to local community partners where we work and film.  Since 1995, we’ve donated surplus materials and food to local community partners through our internal program, Encore. In fact, in 2017, we donated more than 57,000 items, including props, costumes, furniture and clothing, as well as more than 30,000 meals to 67 community partners thanks, in large part, to our productions.

    For decades we have been committed to our environmental efforts, and we have no plans to slow down.
    Stacey Hoppe, Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, Warner Bros.

    Making Stories Sustainably

    Changing the Narrative

    Creating pathways into the entertainment industry for emerging voices and talents.

    When Warner Bros. sets out to create something, we aim to do more than tell the story. We build teams that champion new voices, experiences and viewpoints because we believe that’s what makes the best stories. We strive to provide opportunities to those who haven’t had traditional pathways into the entertainment industry so that the stories we tell are reflective of our audiences and remain long-lasting.

    Changing the Narrative

    1Access to Action

      Changing the Narrative

      1Access to Action

      Access to Action provides Production Assistant (PA) jobs to young adults who have not had traditional pathways into the entertainment industry. Participants get firsthand experience working as part of a crew, complete with coaching and skills training to help them thrive and feel at home on set.

      photo of Erika, Access to Action location P A on the set of Lucifer Erika, Access to Action location PA, on the set of Lucifer

      Through the Access to Action program, we work closely with our productions to understand their staffing needs. PA placements are based on the number of PAs needed, the length of the job and the type of experience required.

      “Participants are chosen from local job training programs, community colleges and nonprofit organizations that focus on workforce development,” says Warner Bros.’ Barry Ziehl, SVP, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives. “We’re thrilled that this program provides a jumping off point for these young adults.”

      We’re thrilled that this program provides a jumping off point for these young adults.

      In our inaugural year in 2017, we launched the program in three cities. We placed 16 participants from underrepresented backgrounds, who were interested in TV and film production careers, on seven WB shows—including Black Lightning, Gotham, Lucifer and Famous in Love.

      Changing the Narrative

      2Hollywood CPR Partnership

        Changing the Narrative

        2Hollywood CPR Partnership

        Hollywood CPR is a nonprofit that, through an 18-month vocational training program, provides underserved and underrepresented communities the skills required for crafts and technical positions in the entertainment industry. Our partnership aims to create an environment that sets our shows, department heads and the Hollywood CPR graduates up for success.

        photo of Hollywood C P R participant looking through camera lens

        Warner Bros.’ partnership with Hollywood CPR is a direct way for us to support career opportunities for candidates who might not otherwise have a pathway into our industry. Graduates of the program receive support during and after their training. One of the most notable is an issue of a union card, which makes them eligible to be hired by productions as part of the union roster.

        With financial support from Warner Bros., Hollywood CPR is able to expand their organizational capacity and operations at West LA College, ensuring that more students are able to take advantage of this unique pathway into our industry.

        Warner Bros. also sends the list of current Hollywood CPR students available for hiring opportunities to the relevant recruitment coordinators. Should hiring opportunities arise, the candidates are already included in the pool of considered talent.

        As an additional effort, we host Hollywood CPR student visits to the the WB lot. Students meet with key players from the Studio’s production departments and gain industry insight and an invaluable overview of the production process.

        Changing the Narrative

        3Warner Bros. Creative Talent

          Changing the Narrative

          3Warner Bros. Creative Talent

          U.K.-based Warner Bros. Creative Talent is another one of our talent incubators. Devoted to finding and funding emerging creatives, it aims to offer people from all backgrounds invaluable industry experience and insight across Warner Bros.’ U.K. film, TV, games and theater operations.

          photo of Creative Talent participant, Rienkje on set for Dear Mr Shakespeare Creative Talent scholar Rienkje on the set of Dear Mr. Shakespeare

          WB Creative Talent is all about finding and supporting the next generation of UK creative talent, offering mentorships and scholarships at some of the country’s most respected institutions; three Prince William scholarships in Film, Television and Games supported by BAFTA and Warner Bros.; apprenticeships ranging from set-lighting to post-production; trainee positions on Warner Bros. film production in the U.K.; and 25 placements for a year-long training course at Chickenshed Theatre Company.

           

          It is everything to invest in new talent—everything.

          Director Sam Mendes recognizes the importance of fresh perspectives and experiences in the entertainment industry, and said when the program launched, “It is everything to invest in new talent—everything.”

          We couldn’t agree more.

          Changing the Narrative

          4WB Television Workshop

            Changing the Narrative

            4WB Television Workshop

            WB’s Television Workshop offers exceptional opportunities in primetime television for emerging talent in two esteemed multi-week workshops, one geared for writers and the other for directors.

            photo of W B Television Workshop participants seated around tables The Warner Bros. Television Workshop writer's room

            For over 40 years, the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop has been the ultimate program for writers looking to start and further their careers in the world of television. Every year, the Workshop selects up to eight talented writers out of more than 2,500 submissions.

            The participants take part in a simulated writers room and are exposed to Warner Bros.’ top writers and executives along with other talent. The ultimate reward? Select participants earn staff positions on Warner Bros.-produced television shows.

             

            It’s always important to make sure that we have fresh voices and fresh views populating our writing staff and directing our episodes.

            Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Television Directors’ Workshop introduces up-and-coming directors to primetime television. With the backdrop of active Warner Bros. television sets as the learning environment, and top directors, cinematographers, and showrunners as instructors, the Workshop is an opportunity that’s unparalleled in our industry.

            Directors are taken through detailed steps of episodic directing and collaborating with actors and their crew. In the end, they are not only given valuable tools to prepare themselves to direct their own episode, but they are well-rounded creative citizens backed by the support of our WB community.

            “It’s always important to make sure that we have fresh voices and fresh views populating our writing staff and directing our episodes,” explains Christopher Mack, Warner Bros.’ SVP, Head of Scripted Content, Stage 13.

            Changing the Narrative

            5DC Talent Development Workshop

              Changing the Narrative

              5DC Talent Development Workshop

              The DC Talent Development Workshop for up-and-coming writers and artists is designed for individuals with ideas. The Workshop provides the knowledge and exposure required to cross the threshold into the competitive world of comic book publishing.

              photo of D C Talent Development Workshop integrated pub group portfolio review DC Comics' portfolio review

              We welcome participants who have the creative chops in writing or art that will bring their ideas for iconic characters such as Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman to life with the support of DC—the longest-running publisher of comics.

              “We thought rather than having other publishers submit work to us, or meeting people at conferences, we would make a concerted effort to bring in unknown talent,” explains Bobbie Chase, DC’s VP & Executive Editor, Young Reader & Talent Development.   

              In the DC Writers Workshop, we select talented professional writers and expose them to DC Comics’ excellent talent, editors, teaching staff and executives in a 13-week video conference course. When the comic book writers successfully complete their scripts, their work is hand-delivered to DC and Vertigo editors for review. Ultimately, participants from all backgrounds are given a shot at earning a position on a DC creative team, alongside our existing community of creatives.

              In our sister program, the DC Artists Workshop, a select group of participants have the unique opportunity to work and learn in our DC offices in Burbank. In the multi-week immersive workshop, emerging artists learn from established creatives in the industry and are provided with the training and exposure required to cross the threshold into the competitive world of comic book publishing. At the end of the Workshop, their work is put in front of editors, and some participants have a chance at a staff job at DC, so their comic book careers can take flight.

              For too long, the pipelines into our industry have been too narrow, and it’s time to blow that open.
              Dee Dee Myers, Executive Vice President Worldwide Corporate Communications & Public Affairs, Warner Bros.

              Changing the Narrative

              The Next Great Storytellers

              A new generation empowered by storytelling.

              As home to some of the world’s most renowned stories and storytellers, we believe that having the right tools to share your unique perspectives isn’t just important, it’s a superpower. At WB we want to lift up and empower young voices so that they can see that their stories matter.

              The Next Great Storytellers

              1Story Lab

                The Next Great Storytellers

                1Story Lab

                WB Story Lab, a program developed in partnership with Young Storytellers and the Los Angeles Unified School District, provides a comic-book inspired curriculum for sixth grade middle school students that reinforces the core values of storytelling – confidence, empathy and creativity.

                photo of Story Lab participants collaborating

                Batman has his gadgets, Wonder Woman has her Lasso of Truth, and the next generation of great storytellers has WB Story Lab. This trusty curriculum, along with teacher support, are the key components of our Story Lab program, which teaches middle school students how to create their own superhero narratives.

                Our program is designed for storytelling skills to soar, confidence to rule and empathy to grow as students find power and strength in sharing their own stories. Whether it’s bullying, parents going through divorce, a death in the family or other stresses in their lives, students are encouraged to identify challenging experiences and examine how they can use their inner strengths to solve them.

                In turn, their self-created superheroes reflect what they learned. At the end of the curriculum, students share their personal stories by creating a biographical comic book and personal trading cards and display their personal superpowers in a final presentation to their classmates and families.

                There’s a real power in putting young people at the center of their own narrative.
                photo of Story Lab participant working on his comic book

                Bill Thompson is the executive director of Young Storytellers, the nonprofit that collaborates with WB Story Lab, and he’s seen firsthand the pride and confidence that the kids develop when they share their work. “There’s a real power in putting young people at the center of their own narrative,” he shares.

                Students leave our Story Lab knowing that although they might not wear a cape, their superpowers and personal stories are just waiting to be unleashed.

                The Next Great Storytellers

                2First Cut

                  The Next Great Storytellers

                  2First Cut

                  Our First Cut program, in partnership with the nonprofit Ghetto Film School and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), uses a teach-the-teacher model to provide high school students the opportunity to learn high quality filmmaking skills in school.

                  Whether a movie is filmed by an acclaimed or novice director, shot on an iPhone or with a high-tech camera, in the end it’s the story that wins audience’s hearts. This is essential to our First Cut program. Over the course of the program, their students create a short film together, and in the end celebrate their final projects, the lessons they have learned and their own stories.

                  photo of First Cut participant operating camera

                  First Cut starts with high school teachers, who take part in two day-long trainings on the Warner Bros. lot to help integrate storytelling and film techniques into their classrooms. The interactive teacher training includes exposure to filmmaking terms and methods, as well as hands-on experience with filming and editing, using tools like iMovie and iPad.

                  photo of First Cut participant with clapper slate
                  Students focus on narrative filmmaking, which means they have to use teamwork to methodically plan out every shot.

                  The teachers then set the scene for our young First Cut filmmakers to learn their craft, with an introduction to the techniques they’ve learned and a challenge to take their new equipment and create a one to five-minute film. In small groups, students focus on narrative filmmaking, which means they have to use teamwork to methodically plan out every shot. The intention with this process is to create transferable skills that can be used outside the classroom.

                  After students finish their final projects, next up is showtime. Each class selects one student film to represent their class and premiere at school, where their family and classmates are invited to attend.

                  The executive director of LAUSD’s Arts Education Branch, Rory Pullens, says he has seen students become more interested in school and get excited about learning after taking part in First Cut because ultimately they can apply what they learned in class to the real world.

                  “First Cut is so exciting because LAUSD is the second largest district in the United States, so if you are going to invest in the next generation of filmmakers why not start with those that are in your own backyard? Warner Bros. recognizes that.”

                  And, that’s a wrap.

                  Our programs are showcasing the power of storytelling, and these students and their stories are going to help us change the world.
                  Barry Ziehl, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives

                  The Next Great Storytellers