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Focus on Green Film Shooting : Birgit Heidsiek

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, German initiative Green Film Shooting organized the second edition of a sustainability panel at the Italian Pavilion in the luxurious Hotel Majestic. Co-hosted by the Cine-Regio Green Subgroup, it brought together a group of sustainability front runners from all over the world. A good opportunity for Green Film Making to catch up with Green Film Shooting’s Birgit Heidsiek, and ask her about the results in Cannes and the current situation of sustainable production on her own turf: Germany. Your latest Cannes panel: Sustainability First was the fifth you organized so far (after 3 editions in Berlin and 1 in Cannes). It seems that sustainable production is still on the radar. It is crucial to bring green film production to the attention of the industry at a huge event such as the Cannes Film Festival. We were delighted that the German film In the Fade by Fatih Akin which has been awarded a Green Shooting Card by the Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein, was presented in competition. We had a good mix of speakers who shared their green expertise such as Christiane Dopp from Hamburg Film Commission, the Film London‘s Adrian Wootton and Pedro Barbadillo who is going to introduce a green program at the Mallorca Film Commission. Italy had a strong presence with Nevina Satta of the Sardegna Film Commission, and Luca Ferrario from the Trentino Film Fund. New York-based producer and PGA Green Founder Lydia Dean Pilcher spoke about her latest green production, the Disney film Queen of Katwe. She explained how EcoSupervisor Emillie O’Brien trained two crew members who became eco supervisors on set...

Focus on albert (UK) – Jeremy Mathieu

Photo by Annie East Jeremy Mathieu, International Manager of albert, the UK’s think-tank on sustainability in film and television, was recently in the Netherlands for a second training at NTR. The Dutch broadcaster has acquired the license for this British initiative to implement as the sustainability standard for their productions. It could be argued that albert, governed by the BAFTA albert Consortium, is the most established and developed program for sustainability in the audiovisual industry in Europe. Jeremy, originally from France but in the UK for over 15 years, divides his time between albert and his other job as sustainability advisor for the BBC. We catch up with him to get more insight in the possibilities of widespread implementation of the program and the context of the UK industry compared to the Dutch. He is clearly very driven and becomes increasingly enthusiastic when speaking about the vision and possibilities of albert. And it’s easy to see why. The UK context The sustainability efforts in the UK audiovisual industry differ from the Netherlands in that it all started within the established TV broadcasting system. In fact the collaborative albert project grew out of a BBC initiative with the development of a carbon calculator back in 2011. Keen to share the application with the rest of the industry the BBC brought it to BAFTA, a pan industry organisation, and now the BAFTA albert Consortium works similarly to Ecoprod in France, joining all major players in the field. All fourteen members of the albert Consortium are putting some money in the pot, which makes it possible to employ two people fulltime and...

Focus on VAFs ‘e-Mission’ – Tim Wagendorp

After our report on our French colleagues at Ecoprod last month, we got curious to look across the border more often to see what our different neighbors are up to. This month: the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and their e-Mission program. We reported on their groundbreaking initiative in the past when it was still in its infancy. These days they are many steps ahead and still with the frontrunners in Europe in terms of sustainability. Since 2013, the e-Mission program encourages all film and media productions supported by VAF to produce sustainably. Starting from pre-production, they are counseled by a sustainability coordinator. The support consists of a sustainability training, workshops and set visits. In order to receive the last 10% installment of a VAF grant, each production must follow this sustainability program and use the carbon calculator. The results are impressive: back in 2013 a Flemish film was emitting an average of 83 tonnes of CO2, but by 2015 this was reduced to 54 tonnes. Cutting Edge On a sunny morning we call with Tim Wagendorp, VAF’s brand new sustainability coordinator. What distinguishes him immediately is that he originally comes from a completely different background. As an agricultural engineer with a specialization in land and forest management, he worked for years as a scientist at the University of Leuven. Through a craving for work with a greater concrete social impact, he switched to KOMOSIE, an umbrella organization for environmental companies in the social economy (including second hand shops, energy reducers and companies that work with food waste). Among other things, Tim worked on circular economy policy and was responsible...

New green missions in France: Waste, Post-production and eco-bonus in funding

After our first profile in 2013 on French partner in green production Ecoprod, we are catching up with them at the beginning of the year to see what they have on the agenda. Green Film Making spoke with Joanna Gallardo, the new director of the Ile De France Film commission as well as the international delegate for Ecoprod. Already 8 years in existence, the consortium is comprised of several stakeholders who all contribute to the Ecoprod initiative equally through sharing tasks as well as financially. They are an impressive list of high profile organizations: France Télévisions (the leading French public broadcasting group), the number 1 commercial channel TF1, CNC (National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image), ADEME (French Environment and Energy Management agency), Audiens (social protection group for the cultural sector), Île de France Film Commission, and Le Pôle Media Grand Paris (hub for the audiovisual and film industry in the Paris region). Like Thekla Reuten in The Netherlands, Ecoprod has just attracted famous actress Audrey Dana to be the ambassador of green filmmaking for France. Charter At the Ile de France Film Commission headquarters, which doubles as the Ecoprod HQ, around the corner from the Paris Opera, Joanna explains that the complete team consists of 10 people who are all dedicating part of their time whilst employed by one of the consortium members. All members are engaged to attract new partners to Ecoprod through their respective vast networks. Prospective partners are asked to sign the Ecoprod charter and thus commit to the sustainable goals set within it. Becoming a member means getting access to the different trainings...

Make-up, special make-up and SFX

For our research section this month we dive into the world of Make-up and Special Make-Up, departments that are vital for how actors eventually appear on screen. We visit Carolina Leenders of ‘Head Affairs’ who has done make-up and wigs for numerous well-known characters in film and television. Further we invite ourselves to Rob’s Propshop of Rob Hillenbrink, where you are at the right address for the real specialists work. Both Carolina and Rob are professionals who try to work as sustainably as possible. Rob Hillenbrink wants to offer solutions by buying in bulk and re-sell the most sustainable glues and facial paints in smaller amounts to make-up specialists. He also offers an ecologically friendly and non-toxic glue, that he developed himself, to colleagues. It’s a big frustration for Carolina Leenders that the most sustainable mounting glues for moustaches and beards don’t hold so well. Most Make-up specialists don’t have enough knowledge to correctly interpret all the labels and too little time to really study the latest developments in that market. However, Rob Hillenbrink does have both. On top of that he shares the advantages of his large international network with his Dutch colleagues. Carolina Leenders has years of experience. Amongst others she is known for the very famous characters Van Koot & De Bie and of Kopspijkers. Her company is completely designed for a sustainable approach. Everything is carefully transported and stored in separate boxes. If handled correctly, wigs often last a long time and have to be rented many times before the manufacturing costs are recuperated. She only uses real hair and it shows. This is sustainable, but also more expensive....

Video & Recap: Dutch Workshop ‘Sustainable Production in Practice’ Sheds light on Fresh Insights

On March 19th professional filmmakers, executive producers & location managers gathered at pllek, in Amsterdam to attend the workshop ‘Sustainable Production in Practice’. Els Rientjes (Sustainability Manager to the Dutch Film industry) hosted the workshop to harness a new way of thinking & working for production professionals: “If we do not participate in the sustainability shift now, we will soon loose our relevancy” said Rientjes. Best practises identified during the workshop include: detailed planning & communication of the sustainability strategy in pre-production, introducing a broader definition of work for location managers (since location managers best know the capacities of a site), strategic waste management, & the introduction of a Sustainable Coordinator as a permanent crew member on set.  We would love to complete your request on “write my research paper for me” in record time! Location manager Tijn Heerkens (LocatieGoed), producer Marc Bary (IJswater Films), producer Trent (OAK Motion Pictures) & Remko Zuidema, the founder of BRIQS, were all on hand to share their working experiences with sustainable production. The main topic of discussion: waste. And in a broader perspective: How do you manage the location you’re running, and how do you leave it behind? What do you do with the huge amounts of waste and material which you no longer need after production?   One of the main take-aways presented by Els, was a reframing of the professional production approach; from the context of a linear economy on-set, to that of a circular economy. If we think this way, going green can also save ‘green’ for sets. See photos from the event here, or get the full Dutch recap of the workshop...