production & direction


You’re a producer or director looking to highlight stories that incorporate characteristics of a more inclusive and sustainable society while anticipating the consequences of these choices on your media’s production.

This guide includes three questioning themes based on the cornerstones of the stories you produce/direct: the characters, the societal model, and the characters’ mission. The full guide includes approximately fifty questions and is available for download. Its quick and easy-to-use format invites you to reflect upon your story’s substance and form without hindering your creativity and without there being any right or wrong answers.
It also allows you to amplify the power of your work through sustainable film production and the film’s impact campaign. You will find a summary of the guide on this page. This questionnaire is not an exhaustive list. Feel free to make it your own and use it to guide you in your goals and needs.

Who are your characters?

Parity, inclusion, disability, and cultural, ethnic, and social diversity… Our history and societies are the product of a profound diversity that contributes to their strength and value.

The goal of this chapter is to reflect upon how your main and secondary characters are established and whether they reflect our social diversity. Without imposing quotas, this section allows you to explore the diversity of your characters and how it impacts your story.

They also allow you to anticipate and adapt your casting calls.

A few key figures:


of on-screen 3-person group interactions are between three women (40.74% take place between three men). (Using data science to understand the film industry’s gender gap, 2020)


of lead actors in theatrical and streaming Hollywood films produced in 2021 are people of color. (UCLA, 2021)


of lead actors are women. (UCLA, 2021)


of characters with disabilities in the top 10 TV shows in the US are played by able-bodied actors. (The Ruderman White Paper, 2016)

What is your character’s mission?

The concept of “success” includes many facets that go beyond those conveyed by the current dominant models (financial gain, the appeal of power, etc.).

This part of the guide offers ways to explore and highlight new sources of personal and collective fulfilment and development by reflecting upon characters’ aspirations and their understanding of current issues.

Instead of creating smooth or predictable characters, this section takes into account the contradictory nature of human beings and leads them to new, more contemporary reflections.

A few key figures:


of respondents report having heard about the climate crisis through fictional TV or film. (Research A Glaring Absence, 2021)


of survey respondents report having learned about a social or environmental issue through fictional TV or film. (Research A Glaring Absence, 2021)


of the 37,453 film and TV scripts analyzed by researchers at the University of Southern California specifically mentioned “climate change” (Research A Glaring Absence, 2021)


The number of times “climate change” was mentioned in UK TV shows in 2020, which is 9,590 more times than in 2018. (WE ARE ALBERT, 2021)

Which societal model serves as a backdrop for your story?

Our consumption of natural resources exceeds what the Earth is able to replenish in a year. According to Earth Overshoot Day, it would take 1.75 Earths to regenerate what we consume.

Because humanity will have to adapt to these fixed planetary limits, the goal of this chapter is to reflect upon your characters’ habits and lifestyles (their relationship with consumption, nature, etc.) in order to identify other models that are more compatible with the resources actually available.

A few key figures:


This percentage represents the relative average duration of nature scenes in Walt Disney films in the 1940s. (50% in the 2000s). (Public Understanding of Science, 2014)


At current global consumption levels, we would need 1.8 Earths to meet our needs (5.1 Earths if every human consumed like an American). (Earth Overshoot Day article, 2022)


of the world’s population will live in regions where water resources will no longer be sufficient by 2025. (World Resources Institute)


of vertebrate populations disappeared between 1970 and 2018. (WWF Living Planet Report 2020)

The testimony of Jack Cooper Stimpson, Writer and Director:

The climate crisis deserves robust and imaginative storytelling. This is an existential issue and often evades ordinary thought and feeling. How do we convey the emotions of response, togetherness and adaptation through our scripts and inspire audiences to act?

I’ve often approached climate-storytelling via the lens of activism and civil-disobedience. Having been attracted to the comedy and chaos of protest, I’ve found characters who haven’t really existed in the mainstream media before. I discovered characters with big ideas and big emotions, who are quite often trying to overcome enormous challenges. Challenges well beyond their typical capabilities. The dynamics and scenarios that these characters find themselves in help portray both the enormity of the issue at the hand, the futility of trying to fix a broken system. But they also remind us of the human connection at the heart of the crisis. Being an activist can often feel like you’re a headless-chicken, doing your best to make change but quite often failing with spectacular effect. The trial and error of activism is something to celebrate and find comic relief in.

In 2019, I wrote and directed ‘Extinction’. A comedic satire about Extinction Rebellion. The film starred Emma Thompson and needed to engage viewers, without ever feeling preachy or worthy. We relied on comedy to convey the urgency of the movement we were portraying. This tone and genre helped us properly exmaine the beautiful intricacies of being an activist. The mistakes, the mishaps, the general state of confusion. We were able to make jokes about our characters, because ultimately, they’re in the right. These are ordinary people doing exctraordinary things to try and save the planet. The climate crisis is a terrifying thing, but an old saying often comes to mind: if you don’t laugh, you cry.

How can you engage in sustainable film production?

Managing a film set has a significant ecological footprint and environmental impact. How can you ensure that your production methods are consistent with today’s issues and your story?

This section explores various topics (responsible sourcing, food, energy, waste, etc.) to allow you to anticipate how sustainable film production methods will impact your work. It also aims to engage your entire team in the process and help you choose service providers who share these ethics. This chapter represents a starting point that can be expanded upon and supported by sustainable production professionals who can help apply this approach on a larger scale. It’s important to note that while sustainable production can complicate your work and reduce opportunities for product placement, it can also be a real asset for distributors and the general public and can lead to cost reductions.

A few key figures:


of directors and 33.5% of scriptwriters in theatrical and streaming Hollywood films produced in 2021 are women. (UCLA, 2022)


of European films were films exclusively directed by women in 2017, compared to 15% in 2003. (European Audiovisual Observatory, 2019)


metric tons: the average carbon footprint of big-budget films across all productions studied between 2016 and 2019. (Sustainable Production Alliance, 2021)


The percentage of material that was diverted from landfill through initiatives to properly manage waste and materials, which also reduced the overall carbon footprint of the project. (Disney, Call of the Wild, AMT Lab, 2022)

The testimony of Mathieu Delahousse, Co-Founder and President of Secoya Eco-tournage:

Secoya’s teams are pleased to see how habits are evolving and new issues are being incorporated into the life cycle of audiovisual works. These major changes can be seen in the way societal issues are taken into account during project production, which has become a necessity for many, beyond the environmental aspect most commonly addressed today. This dynamic, supported by production company CSR policies, can be found in each project and is no longer limited to the filming process, since concrete actions are taken throughout the project, from the statement of intent to its distribution.
We are pleased to support this initiative with projects like Nolita’s “Tempête”, which has integrated an approach to inclusion and disability awareness, or with Crédit Coopératif, Bonne Pioche Cinéma, and Gaumont, who have committed to not using fossil fuels during the production of Nicolas Vanier’s next film.

How can you implement an impact campaign?

An impact campaign is a set of actions carried out in connection to a film with the goal of creating bridges between the topics seen on the screen and real life. It aims to challenge the viewer, lead them to take action, and provoke debate. It can also contribute to the work’s visibility. It is created in collaboration with relevant civil society stakeholders and decision-makers and extends the film experience by giving viewers tools to take action. It is complementary to a traditional marketing campaign that accompanies the film’s release in theatres or on TV.

This section will help you to identify, understand, and optimise your impact strategy by accentuating the issues addressed in your film and their communication, while also identifying the networks and partners to include.

A few key figures:


of the French population had heard of marital rape after the broadcast of an episode of Plus belle la vie devoted to this subject versus 35% before the broadcast (Observatoire des images)

$400 k

raised in the US as a result of Marvel Studios’ 2018 “Black Panther Challenge” impact campaign, allowing thousands of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to see the film for free (, 2018)

The testimony of Coline Aymard, Impact Producer at Echo Studio:

For more than 6 months, we worked alongside 6 associations with expertise in human rights and migration issues to create the impact campaign for the film “Les Engagés”, based on a common conviction that this film could help bring about concrete changes in how unaccompanied foreign minors are received in France. We organised around twenty debates throughout the country with activists from partner associations, collected nearly 13,000 signatures on our petition for the presumption of minority status, and reached more than 300,000 people with our message for dignified care, thanks to a video, a forum, and targeted communications. We also showed the film to decision-makers in the European Parliament and the National Assembly to ask them to change the laws. Viewers and citizens can get involved on the impact campaign website by signing the petition, organising debates or school sessions, or raising awareness in their communities.