The Katz Group in the middle of the Black Forest in Weisenbach, Germany, traditionally made ground wood pulp board that was used for beer coasters. Now the company, which started in business more than 100 years ago is supplying what the company says is the ideal material for sustainable scenery construction in film and television.
The company, a subsidiary of the Koehler Paper Group in Oberkirch, recently provided two students from the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg – Josua Tobias Krüger and Sabrina Kreutz – with the materials they needed to build the sets for their film Virus Mensch (Virus Human).
Krüger and Kreutz got 1.6 mm thick Katz Display Boards measuring 120 x 80 centimeters and 244 x 122 centimeters for their scenery construction. The boards, which are mainly made from ground wood pulp, natural starch and water, were laminated with silver-metallic colored paper to create the look and feel of the interior of the spaceship they were building.
"The silver-colored paper surface was perfect for the look of a spaceship interior and the ground wood pulp board as such was extremely easy to process,” said Tobias Schächtele, a trained media designer who studied media technology at the University of Applied Sciences in Offenburg. He was responsible for the scenery construction in the film Virus Mensch (Virus human).
“It can be creased and folded as desired, with very simple cutting with a knife and scissors,” said Schächtele. “The transport was super easy, and because we wanted to be sustainable in every detail, we supported the scenery with wooden slats that we had processed with wood glue."
Schächtele even sees multiple uses of the board as a tried and proven option. "Just handle it carefully," he said.
Katz product manager Scott Treick is pleased that the film industry is being added to the Katz Group's customer portfolio.
"We already convinced [film and TV professionals] with our products at the Sustainability Day of Südwestrundfunk (SWR, a regional German TV station) in March 2019,” Treick said. “Our different thicknesses of ground wood pulp board fit perfectly into the effort to achieve more sustainability in film and TV productions.”
Treick said that top executives from ARD and ZDF, the two national public TV stations in Germany and top organizations of the German and international film industry are already committed to sustainability. “This means that giants like Netflix, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and the like are also on board," he said.
Katz ground wood pulp board is produced in the middle of the Black Forest and the thinning wood for production is sourced within a radius of 250 kilometers from the company. A closed-loop recycling system, a sophisticated heat recovery system and a closed water cycle maintain sustainability.