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Green Film Productions

Film’s like Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Leonardo DiCaprio’s “11th Hour” are very important projects. They draw an entertainment industry focus around the idea that people can and should motivate themselves into saving the environment.

When it comes to the production of films, why not make carbon neutral film sets and recycle the goods that keep the film set running from day to day? Many different organizations and independent film projects have already offset their carbon emissions and adopted many sustainable practices.

Here are a few examples of what some filmmakers are doing to stay green:

Plan to make one of the first green production companies:
The plan for one of the first green production companies has been developing under the leadership of John Yost. The article [jacksonville.bizjournals.com] explains: “Slated for Robinson Township, the 750,000-square-foot facility would be powered by solar, wind and geothermal energy sources and include 13 sound stages ranging from 5,000 square feet to 25,000 square feet.” Not only does Yost plan to promote green film making, but he also expects to cut the cost of production with his eco-friendly resources.

“Get On Board” with EVAN ALMIGHTY:
Universal is now involved with green film making through its implementation of the new “Get On Board” campaign [getonboardnow.org]. Universal hopes to create awareness and improve the state of the environment by informing people. The film EVAN ALMIGHTY, a Universal production, used green tactics on their set. In Variety’s article [www.variety.com], it is explained that while already promoting an eco-friendly plot, “during its production, pic’s cast and crew adopted such eco-friendly practices as recycling waste materials and riding bicycles on set in Los Angeles, Virginia and Washington, D.C. All of these measures contributed to a reduced carbon footprint.”

3:10 TO YUMA: New Mexico helped make this film production green:
Entire cities–even states–are also strongly encouraging green filmmaking. Among those active in the process are Toronto, Canada, and the state of New Mexico. Very recently, the film 3:10 TO YUMA (shot in Sante Fe, NM), as well as the director Paul Haggis embarked on efforts to conserve. More on how officials are encouraging green practices and how films have already implemented these tactics can be found in the following articles:
Article 1 [www.studentfilmmakers.com]
Article 2 [www.thestar.com]
Article 3 [www.hollywoodreporter.com]

In case you are running a movie set, work on one, or know somebody who might be interested in being green in their film work, take a look at this list of green film making guides.

Guides to green filmmaking:

Online guide: Greening the Screen [www.greeningthescreen.co.nz]
New Zealand’s film industry has developed a thorough guide to maintaining an eco-friendly production atmosphere.

A manual for green success:
The book Low Impact Filmmaking [www.glasseyepix.com] serves as a guide to prevent wasteful film making habits and to promote environmentally sound film production. It was written by filmmakers with experience in waste reduction practices.

Environmental Media Association: The Green Seal Award:
Not only does the EMA give useful tips for green film making, but it also offers its seal of approval, awarding films that take an environmentally conscious approach to their production with The Green Seal Award [www.ema-online.org].

Hollywood’s solution:
Providing a simple solution to stop wasteful habits on set, California’s Hollywood Recycles [www.eidc.com] offers free delivery and pick-up services of recycling containers during film production. The Office Coordinator for the MTV Movie Awards commented on their use of Hollywood Recycles: “The entertainment industry is definitely a place that needs recycling. It’s sad to see trash bins overflowing with bottles and cans that should be recycled. It’s nice to have a service like Hollywood Recycles that will take care of all of that for free. It makes my boss happy because it doesn’t need budget approval and it benefits us as well as the environment.”