With all the hullabaloo about going green for a better future and thinking about film making and the waste that goes with that I thought I would dwell for a short time and diverge from my usual rhetoric into the sphere of “sustainable film making”.

Now sustainable film making to me means being able to make films again. Alas, this is not what is meant with sustainable film making. It has plenty to do with the bottom line but not in the way that you would imagine. And this kind of film making could in reality actually change the world!

Just for quick (as my German friend would say) I want to talk about Saachi&Saachi. The global commercial agency monolith has started a sub-company called Saatchi S. The first office opened in San Fransisco headed by ex-Sierra club president Adam Werbach. The company runs less like an agency and more like a consultancy. They basically employ brand strategists, scientists and psychologists who in turn talk to the biggest corporates on the globe (Is Wal-Mart going green?) in order to change them from inside out to becoming a fully “green” company…

I mention this little tit-bit to show the impact and commercialization of “sustainability”. It is real and it is here. We cant deny anymore that we should all do something about saving our little blue planet. The way that we have interpreted that is by recycling, consuming less and ultimately just being more considerate. If Wal-Mart can and is doing it then why the hell on my little short films can’t I get my sh together…! Of coarse I can and it’s actaully quite easy.

By having a brainstorm session with someone you will quickly see how easy it is to make a green production. I know that a couple of studio films have recently decided to “go green” and have used solar power to run offices, donated trees to offset carbon adn even built low-cost housing from discarded building material.

I cant wait for my next film to try this concept. I’m even considering getting a full time person on board for the entire time thinking and improving as the shoot progresses and then actually calculating my (hopeful) savings. Consider for a moment, no purchase of disposable cups, no water bottles, savings on generators by minimizing light and heat usage.

So, this from the Code for Best Practices site here are the basic ideas:

ONE: Calculation
PRINCIPLE: Know how much energy we are actually using.

TWO: Consumption
PRINCIPLE: Lower overall carbon debt and environmental impact by using less.

THREE: Travel
PRINCIPLE: Reduce the carbon debt created through travel.

FOUR: Compensation
PRINCIPLE: Since we cannot completely eliminate our footprint, we should compensate for it through organizations that offer a carbon reduction equal to our carbon production.

As a producer this is exciting to me because I get to play with the dynamics of actual on set principals. On set has a lot to do with customs, hierarchy and “this is the way we do it” attitude. But since the globe is in dire straits who’s going to argue, don’t you want to save the world?!!

Enjoy this new time of experimenting and finding new cool ways to run sets and make films sustainably. You might be quite surprised if it helps your bottom line and then really does make it sustainable film making!

Links:

The Daily Green
Center for Social Media
Environmental film fest
Greens Speak TV
Sundance Channel Green

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