A New York film festival decided to celebrate Climate Day on October 22 with a series of panels on climate change awareness and innovative ideas to confront the challenge. The Chelsea Film Festival hosted the event on the FIT campus in midtown Manhattan, featuring a panel on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts of film and TV production.
PGA Green Committee Co-Chair Katie Carpenter was one of the panelists, and reported to the group about the growth of the Green Production Guide, and the expanded use of its Green Vendor Directory, Green Guidelines and the Carbon Calculator customized for film. Panelist Ken Ebie from the New York City Mayors Office of Motion Picture Entertainment reinforced the idea that these guidelines are spreading through the film community, and New York is encouraging all productions to use them.
Matt Reid, Filmmakers; Alysia Reiner, Actress; Katie Carpenter, Producer and PGA Green Co-Chair; Ingrid Jean-Baptiste, Film Fest Director; Ken Ebie, Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture Entertainment; Katherine Keating, Publisher, Vice Impact
Another panelist, Matt Reid, director of “A Plastic Ocean”, reinforced the idea that greening a film set is more than just recycling — it’s important to get on lighting, transportation, sound for batteries, even catering opportunities to reduce impacts on the environment. And plastic bottles are definitely forbidden on his sets.
Actress and indie director Alysia Reiner counted the number of green strategies used on her last movie, and she was excited how everyone in the cast and crew got on board. “The film and TV industry has a bigger responsibility to do this than most”, said Reiner. “Our messaging potential is greater than almost anyone’s, we can tell the world.”
“Our web site is supported by 7 movie studios”, said Carpenter during the panel, “we should give them a shout-out because they were pioneers. They are Warner Bros, SONY, FOX, Amblin, Paramount, Disney – and last week, Amazon Studios joined as well. If you are working on a movie with one of these studios now, please give them some love for their support of the Green Production Guide.”
Photo by Kahlil de Guzman
Carpenter also mentioned a few recent examples of productions using the Green Production Guide tools.
“Warner Bros recently built large LED installations on their stages for Pretty Little Liars and the Mentalist, and that meant 85% more energy efficient than conventional lighting.”
She added: “Sony produced Spiderman to such an extreme green degree that it came to be known around the studio as “Eco-Spidey”. They also shot one of their X-men movies on a little island in Georgia called Jekyll Island, where I went on assignment to do a story on their remarkable botanical restoration after the shoot. They actually left it better than new – today it’s a park!”
Ebie gave props to the production of Madame Secretary whose green project was monitored and supported by the Mayor’s Office and CBS Television.
“You want to get the message around — do something radically green,” said Carpenter as she held up a recent headline from a local paper:
Carpenter encouraged the audience to get involved, however they can: “ On this Climate Day, take one action for reducing your impact — then tell everybody. Not only should we have productions where no animals are harmed, let’s have sets where no climate is changed!”
Photo by Kahlil de Guzman