Green Filmmaking: Part IV

| July 30, 2015 | Comments (0)

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Jonathan Victory concludes his series on green filmmaking with 30 practical tips to make your project a greener shoot.

 

This series has outlined how green filmmaking, the practice of producing screen projects in an environmentally-friendly way, is an emerging field internationally but requires effective planning on the part of filmmakers. Film crews could start taking on eco-managers [as discussed in Part II] to implement policies that will improve workflow, cut energy costs and reduce waste. Such policies could include those outlined in the list below of 30 practical tips for green filmmaking. These could be pursued without an eco-manager but having a dedicated crew member to focus on sustainability will increase the likelihood of actually making your project a green shoot.

They have been arranged into three sections; tips that are easily implementable, tips that require more planning, forethought and research, and tips on managing the production wrap. Plan for green filmmaking throughout pre-production and see how many of these you can do on your next project.

Should Be Easy To Organise

1. E-MAIL
An explanatory e-mail on Green Filmmaking to each crew member before shooting starts

2. TALK
An explanatory talk on Green Filmmaking to an assembly of crew members before shooting starts

3. DAILY REMINDER
A daily reminder on call sheets about the Green Filmmaking protocol on-set

4. DRIVING
When walking between locations isn’t an option carpool between locations; vehicle drivers should drive smoothly, change gears efficiently and avoid roadworks and rush hour whenever possible

5. REUSABLE CUPS
Provide each crew member with a name-marked reusable container for drinks

6. PACKAGING
Catering, along with products used by all departments, should have as few packaging materials as possible

7. PLUG OUT
Appliances/computers/equipment should be turned off and plugged out if not in use for a while – Certainly if not in use overnight

8. PAPER
All departments should limit their use of paper (or exclusively use recycled paper)

9. ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION
Send out call-sheets, scripts and other important documents electronically and only print them when you absolutely have to (be advised that this may or may not hinder efficient communication)

 

May Be Harder To Organise

10. RECYCLING
Have 3 reusable containers as bins, distinctly marked and brought to each set, so that waste can be sorted into general waste, waste for recycling (clean paper, cardboard etc.) and composting waste

(be advised that a crew member should be assigned to set this up at the start of each day, take it away at the end of each day and ideally monitor the bins to ensure they’re being used properly)

11. ELECTRONIC RECYCLING
A fourth bin for electronic waste such as batteries or printer cartridges should be available when necessary

12. WASTE COLLECTION
Either locate a convenient waste disposal centre or contract a waste service to collect recycling & composting waste at the end of each shooting day (or week or at the end of the shoot)

13. CATERING
Catering should avoid red meat and other energy-intensive foods and should consist of food that originated in Ireland or as locally as possible

14. CUTLERY
Use plates & cutlery that are either reusable or biodegradable so that they can go into the compost waste

15. LEFTOVER FOOD
Donate leftover food to a homeless shelter

16. COSTUME
Costume department should source existing clothes as sustainably as possible and avoid the use of dry-cleaners or inefficient cleaning practices

17. SETS
Production design department should source suitable aesthetics from existing locations and source their materials as sustainably as possible

18. LIGHTING
Shoot with natural light insofar as possible and use energy-efficient lighting equipment insofar as possible e.g. LEDs, Kino-Flo etc.

19. FIRE EFFECTS
Use propane rather than liquid for fire effects

20. VEHICLE FUEL
Using vehicles powered by electricity or waste cooking oil will dramatically reduce petrol costs and carbon emissions

21. CREW INCENTIVES
Incentivise crew members to be green by awarding a weekly prize to the crew member who did the most for environmental measures

22. DIESEL GENERATORS
Avoid the use of diesel-generators by using grid-power or sourcing an alternative energy-source for generators

23. CLEAN ENERGY
Have clean energy provided to locations that are on the power-grid insofar as possible (Airtricity and ESB assisted Filmbase with this last year)

24. BUY IN BULK
All departments should purchase anything they’re likely to need in bulk so as to avoid multiple journeys to re-supply

25. AVOID POLLUTANTS
In make-up and hair, special effects and any other department, avoid the use of chemicals that pollute the atmosphere, soil and immediate working environment of crew members

26. AVOID PETROLEUM
In make-up and hair, special effects and any other department, avoid the use of chemicals that originate from petroleum

 

Organise for the End of Shooting

27. SHOOTING-WRAP DISPOSAL
Organise the sustainable disposal of any scrap gels, dead batteries or other materials that are not going to be reused on another shoot and retain materials that can be used on another shoot

28. SHOOTING-WRAP REPORT
Produce a report detailing the savings in kilowatt-hours of energy, kilograms of waste, gigatonnes of pollution and financial costs

29. CARBON OFFSETTING
Calculate the carbon footprint of the production and pay a reputable carbon-offset company to offset the carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy or forestry projects (though it is questionable whether such an off-set would be tangible and whether one would be better to wait until after distribution of the film so that the entire life-cycle of the production can be taken into account)

30. PASS IT ON
Replicate these practices on other productions and in home-life insofar as possible

 

You can read Part I here Part II here & Part III here

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