There are many opportunities within these departments to conserve energy. Rechargeable batteries, digital cameras and more efficient lighting are a healthy start, but there are many other ways to cut the environmental impact of these teams at the heart of the production.
LIGHTING AND GRIP
- Integrate fluorescent or LED lighting instead of incandescent bulbs whenever possible.
- Dispose of spent CFLs, which contain mercury, as hazardous waste.
- Look for petroleum-free backings and adhesives.
- Use dimmers to reduce energy use between bright shots.
- Turn off all lighting that’s not in use.
- Designate containers for collecting expendables that can be reused and label each clearly.
- Save color gels for future productions, donate them to an organization that can reuse them, or, if your recycling center takes unmarked plastics, recycle them.
- Consider purchasing long-lasting glass dichroic filters.
CAMERA AND SOUND
- If shooting digitally, record to a hard drive, flash drive or other reusable media instead of film or tape.
- View digital dailies directly from the hard drive or on digital systems instead of transferring them to a disk, when possible.
- When using traditional film, discuss shooting in 3-perf, which uses 25% less film and processing chemicals, with the post-production team.
- Recycle all unused film and packaging.
- When renting equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR certification and ask for tips for using the machine efficiently.
- Unplug all equipment that features a stand-by mode, which will continue to draw energy when not in use.
- Use rechargeable batteries.
- Set up an on-set receptacle for battery recycling, possibly in the sound department, where all dead batteries can be put. The production office can later manage the shipping to a battery recycler such as GREEN BOX.
- Identify potential environmental hazards before the shoot, and take every precaution to avoid and mitigate harm.
- Avoid burning petroleum-based materials, including plastic, rubber and diesel fuel.
- If possible, use propane and water-based smoke fluids for fire effects.
- Use biodegradable snow products when possible.
- Recycle all scrap metal. Visit earth911.org or 1800recycling.com for local facilities.
TIPS FOR GRIPS
- Set up an area to collect off-cut sheet materials, and check the pile for small projects before cutting into new material.
- Set up waste cans for wood scraps and sawdust only.
- Wet mop or HEPA vacuum dust as it accumulates.
- Provide containers to sort expendables into piles, designating which to recycle, which to return to the manufacturer, which to donate and which to reuse.
- Recycle expendables that can’t be reused. Sash, zip cord and black wrap are recyclable. Make sure there are clearly labeled receptacles for these items on set.
- Until a process is established for recycling Duvatine, donate it to local organizations and film schools.
- Organize pre-cut gels by color and size so that they can be easily reused.
Download a PDF copy of the Lighting, Camera, Sound & Special Effects Best Practices.