In 2009, the Emmy Award-winning drama series 24 became the first ever television production to go completely carbon neutral. The production team pioneered a set of innovative sustainability measures that have since become common practice in the industry, prompting a featured story in The New York Times. Dana Walden, Co-Chairman/CEO of the Fox Television Group, told the Times that she hoped the result would be "a more gratifying viewing experience, even if it is at a more subconscious level." This year, the show returned as the 24: Live Another Day event series, and the team at Twentieth Century Fox Television seized the opportunity to continue the groundbreaking green production work they had begun five years before.
However, the new season of 24 presented a new set of sustainability challenges. While past seasons had been filmed in Los Angeles, the series would now be shot on location in London at a vacant Gillette razor factory built in 1937, preventing the team from taking advantage of the green production programs already in place on the Fox Studios Lot. Yet, this change allowed them to expand the scope of the project beyond carbon emissions tracking to include waste management, responsible set design, and sustainable food purchasing.
Each department was able to integrate sustainability into its daily operations. Sets were constructed using 100% FSC-certified lumber and were either recycled or sold to other productions after filming wrapped. In addition, the team was able to divert 98% of the production's waste from landfill by replacing plastic water bottles with refillable bottles, donating all leftover food and drinks to local charities, and recycling or donating leftover props and costumes. Efforts to minimize air travel and replace generators with grid power tie-ins also helped decrease the production's carbon footprint.
24: Live Another Day will be released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the US on Tuesday, September 30. For a preview of a behind the scenes look at Green Production, which will be included on the DVD and Blu-Ray, watch the video above. Click here to read the full case study on 24's green production.
Fox Audience Strategy, which promotes diverse voices across 21st Century Fox's entertainment businesses, served as the presenting sponsor of the 5th annual WISE Los Angeles Women of Inspiration Awards on Thursday, November 20. Women in Sports and Events (WISE) is a leading professional resource for women in the sports business.
Fox Audience Strategy's relationship with WISE Los Angeles began last year, when the two organizations partnered to help provide opportunities to women in sports production and broadcasting, traditionally male-dominated fields. The Women of Inspiration Awards are an important method of recognizing women's leadership in the sports industry, and the event is a key component of Fox Audience Strategy's partnership with WISE Los Angeles.
"On behalf of the 21st Century Fox entertainment businesses, FOX Audience Strategy is thrilled to continue its partnership with WISE Los Angeles," said Nicole Bernard, Executive Vice President, FOX Audience Strategy. "The mission of WISE aligns with FOX Audience Strategy's objectives to enhance a diversified workforce and support women's career growth in our sports and entertainment industries. We look forward to another wonderful evening honoring women making a difference in the sports world."
This year, WISE Los Angeles will honor Kristin Bachochin Klein, SVP, AEG Sports & Executive Director, Amgen Tour of California; Ronit Larone, Senior Coordinating Producer, Studio Production, NFL Network; and Janet Marie Smith, SVP, Planning & Development, Los Angeles Dodgers. Lindsay Amstutz, Vice President of Marketing for FOX Sports, was honored at last year's ceremony.
"Our annual gala is not only a chance for us to honor these industry leaders who have excelled at fulfilling their professional goals and influencing others in the industry," said Shelley Taniguchi, WISE Los Angeles President. "But also to bring together professionals that share the goals and mission of WISE of enhancing the success and growth of women in the sports and events industry."
For more information on the Women of Inspiration Awards, including bios on this year's honorees, visit WISELosAngeles.com.
The Ghetto Film School is a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and inspiring the next generation of storytellers, and 21st Century Fox played a key role in launching the GFS in Los Angeles earlier this year. GFS LA recently released this promo video providing an overview of the school and its many exciting projects.
Since the launch of its first season in May 2012, Satyamev Jayate, or "Truth Alone Prevails," has become a centerpiece of the national conversation in India. STAR TV's groundbreaking social awareness series features Bollywood star Aamir Khan in conversation with experts, victims, and activists, discussing some of the country's most pressing issues. These conversations, streamed digitally and broadcast on multiple STAR channels in six local languages, have affected political action and have inspired countless individuals throughout India to come forward and share their stories. SMJ created a movement, and reporter Zachary Pincus-Roth covered that movement in a recent issue of LA Weekly.
"In LA, lots of TV creator do charity work, but it's usually separate from their day jobs," Pincus-Roth writes. "In India, many in TV feel an obligation to make the medium itself a force for social justice." Satyamev Jayate and other progressive STAR programs are cases in point for how the media can have a meaningful social impact. Local governments across India have passed new laws as a direct result of SMJ episodes, and STAR shows that feature strong female characters, such as Diya Aur Baati Hum, are working to alter the dominant perception of women as subservient. "We needed to become the mouthpiece for people's aspirations and whatever people didn't like, whatever people thought needed to change," said Uday Shankar, CEO of STAR India.
Shankar also spoke about STAR's ability to deliver social value through its content at an event at the Paley Center for Media earlier this year. "There's a certain amount of premium that society places on media businesses," he said. "I've always--and my bosses have always encouraged me--to challenge the status quo... Our job is to question, to focus the spotlight on what we feel needs to be observed more closely."
While many of STAR's shows address issues like women's rights and the caste system through fiction, SMJ confronts them head on. Aamir Khan was already one of Bollywood's biggest stars when he began working with Shankar to create SMJ. Traditionally, if Bollywood stars of his caliber made the move to television, they would host lighter fare such as a game show or a dance series. Khan, however, was more interested in dealing with the country's serious issues.
Khan and Shankar now admit that while they were enthusiastic about the series, they understood what a risk it was. "The traditional understanding of entertainment did not capture that kind of program" Shankar said. "It made you introspective, and when you look in the mirror [after watching the show], you will feel guilty. It didn't leave you laughing or on an emotional high."
Even still, their risk paid off. STAR estimates that approximately 517 million people--nearly 41 percent of the country--saw the show during its first season, and viewers have translated these ratings into action. After only one month in office, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with Khan to discuss the issues raised on the show. The chief minister of Rajasthan created a fast-track court to prosecute doctors who commit female feticide. Health ministers in Maharashtra cracked down on illegal abortions. The nonprofit Snehalaya founded a shelter for women and girls and named it Satyamev Jayate Bhavan in the show's honor. The series has inspired people everywhere to take action in their communities and try to make a difference.
Satyamev Jayate wrapped its third season last weekend, and all of its episodes are available to stream with English subtitles at SatyamevJayate.in. To reach Zachary Pincus-Roth's full cover story "Can TV Save India?" visit LAWeekly.com.
At the Fox Studios Lot in Los Angeles last week, top Fox talent and executives gathered to celebrate the launch of the Fox Global Directors Initiative (FDI), a multi-year program from 21st Century Fox and Fox Audience Strategy to promote diverse voices in film, broadcast, cable, and digital. In its first year, FDI will focus on championing the work of female directors. Its inaugural class consists of 20 Director Fellows.
"Our 20 Director Fellows are a reflection of the many talented directors who are at the core of great, authentic entertainment," said Dana Walden, Chairman and CEO, Fox Television Group. "These amazing women have achieved tremendous recognition for their work, and they represent exactly the kind of globally diverse creative talent that we want to be in business with here at Fox."
The Fellows were selected from a global pool of creative talent and span a range of media including film, television, and commercials. They include a mix of established talent and rising stars, such as Blackfish director Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Emmy nominee Jennifer Arnold, and Oscar nominees Steph Green and Jessica Sanders. The full list of fellows, including complete bios of each, is available at FoxAudienceStrategy.com.
For six-weeks, the Fellows will participate in the Fox Directors lab, an in-depth mentorship program with executive across 21st Century Fox entertainment businesses, including FX, FOX Broadcasting, Fox Film, Twentieth Century Fox Television, and Fox International Channels. At the end of the six weeks, five finalists will be selected for a 10-month program that gives each finalist the chance to produce a Fox-branded short.
"We could not be more pleased with the response to what we believe is an extraordinary opportunity to cultivate relationships with directors from global backgrounds," said Nicole A. Bernard, Executive Vice President, Fox Audience Strategy, The Fox Group. "The caliber of the Director Fellows that have committed to participate in the Fox Global Directors Initiative is a direct result of our referring partners and the abundance of diverse talent that they represent."
Fox's partners on this project include Women in Film, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, Sundance Institute, AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Outfest, and Film Independent, FDI's curating partner.
For more information on the Fox Global Directors Initiative, visit FoxAudienceStrategy.com.
The U.S. celebrated Veterans' Day on November 11, and 21st Century Fox businesses recognized the occasion by paying tribute to the men and women who have and continue to serve in the nation's armed forces.
At the corporate level, 21st Century Fox announced a renewed relationship with American Corporate Partners, a nonprofit organization that provides U.S. veterans with career guidance as they transition back to civilian life. The organization pairs 21st Century Fox executives with veterans hoping to enter the media industry, and the professional guidance they share gives veterans the tools they need to launch their post-service careers.
In addition, Fox Audience Strategy, a group working across the Fox entertainment businesses, created the 30-second spot above, which features Fox talent thanking U.S. veterans for their service. The Audience Strategy group also gave Fox employees the chance to thank veterans by leaving messages of appreciation on the Fox "Gratitude Wall" for troops overseas.
FOX Sports Supports, the charitable arm of FOX Sports, developed several pieces of content to mark the occasion, including Veterans Day campaigns on FOX Sports 1, the NFL on FOX, and FOX Sports Regional Networks. On Veterans Day itself, FOX Sports brought 100 active and reserve military personnel to FOX's Los Angeles production studio for a tour of the Studio Lot. The troops were then escorted to the set of FOX SPORTS LIVE, where they appeared on air throughout the show in appreciation for their continued service. FOX Sports Regional Networks also aired five new "Warriors Among Us" Veterans Day shorts, the first of which can be viewed below.