In the new movie Fair Game, undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) is exposed when her name is leaked to the media in a politically motivated vendetta. While investigating the claim of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, Valerie’s diplomat husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) publishes an editorial in the New York Times, sparking political fallout and controversy forever linked to George W. Bush’s administration.
Controversy makes for great headlines and great movie plots, but controversy over reducing, reusing and recycling our waste in film/television production is a silly battle. Producer Mari Jo Winkler has been spearheading sustainability and the greening of the sets on all of her films for the past six years. “It was easy to set up (making Fair Game an environmentally conscious set) because we set it up from the beginning. I have been greening film sets since 2004. I have learned from each experience and incorporated more and more of these practices. The key is to make it easy for the crew and to implement it from the very beginning as soon as you open an office.” How does Mari Jo do it? “It is a way of life for me on every film so the set up is very habitual and straight forward. I started by speaking with every department head to make them aware of our sustainability goals. It helps to personally discuss sustainability with the crew and to ask for their participation. The production office helped execute and implement and while on location/set the location department pitched in to keep it going. The crew was open and excited to really have a system in place and happy to be in a clean, healthy environment.” It is inspiring to see how a successful producer goes about greening her latest film set.
Written by Tara Tovarek
Tara Tovarek joined the PGA in 2006. In addition to filmmaking, she enjoys wine, whiskey and the ponies. Tara currently resides in Los Angeles. This article originally published on PGAGreen.org