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Recap of NFF Masterclass “Green Filmmaking: the Future of Producing”

Recap of NFF Masterclass “Green Filmmaking: the Future of Producing”

On October 2nd the Green Film Making Project was present at the Netherlands Film Festival, to host a masterclass entitled Green Filmmaking: The Future of Producing. And after a truly successful evening, the following became crystal clear: the green filmmaking approach, is integral to the future and continuing evolution of the Dutch and international film industries alike. Weren’t able to make it? Fear not, you can watch our recap video here, check photos from the event on Facebook right here, or read our written recap of what went down at the event. [photo: Michael Vervuurt of Vuur Fotografi]


Green Film Making Project @ NFF 2014 from greenfilmmaking on Vimeo.

The event took place at Pandora Hall (Tivoli Vredenburg) to a very well-attended house, and was presented by Simone Weimans (NOS News). First, keynote speaker and on-set sustainability manager Emellie O’Brien (Earth Angel, US) gave a headlining address to all of the national and international attendees. This was followed by a very inspiring announcement by Doreen Boonekamp, ​​director of the Dutch Film Fund, who announced the fund’s practical  support of more sustainable production within the Dutch film industry, by way facilitating Holland’s first on-set Sustainability Manager. Thekla Reuten, Ambassador of the Green Film Making Project, then announced the top three winning teams of the 2014 Green Filmmaking Competition for European Students. A series of short interactive workshops, followed by a Q&A, also gave attendees a chance to exchange their thoughts and ideas directly with the green filmmaking experts as well as sustainability specialists.

Keynote Address by Emellie O’Brien: ‘Grab the low-hanging fruit’

Keynote speaker of the masterclass was NYC based sustainability manager, Emellie O’Brien,  who is an expert in the field of on-set sustainability in Hollywood. She is also the founder of Earth Angel, a successful company that provides sustainable solutions to film and television sets. As an on-set Sustainability Manager, she is responsible for the greening of blockbusters such as ‘The Amazing Spider -Man II’ ( Sony Pictures Entertainment , 2014 ) and ‘Noah’  (Paramount Pictures, 2014). In her keynote address, Emellie talked about her on-set experiences, best practices and current working methods. She also shared her vision for efficient green filmmaking: an approach where both communication with the crew, and encouragement of more enticing sustainable work efforts, are two essential pillars. She suggests that filmmakers can also generate a great deal of momentum for their sustainable efforts by taking advantage of,  and focusing on the ‘low-hanging fruit’. Emellie makes it clear that even seemingly small changes, do make a significant difference. She asserts that when reaching out to broader crew members, be sure to reach out to them on their own terms, rather than the terms you think should apply. In this way, crew members are given the productive space to be themselves, instead of having outside ideas harshly imposed on them.

The Netherlands Film Fund’s Big Announcement by Doreen Boonekamp: Facilitating the first ever Sustainability Manager for the Dutch Film Industry

Doreen Boonekamp (Dutch Film Fund) presented on behalf of the Netherlands Film Fund -and with great pleasure- Els Rientjes (IDTV, Niehe / Stokvis) as the first Sustainability Manager supported by the Film Fund, to the Dutch film industry. Els will work to assist filmmakers as they turn their sustainable production ideas, into realities. And, starting in January 2015, film productions that receive financial support from the Film Fund will also have access to their newly appointed Sustainability Manager.

Thekla Reuten Announces the Winning Teams of the 2014 Green Filmmaking Competition for European Students

Green Film Making Project ambassador and actress Thekla Reuten was present at the masterclass, to share her feelings of enthusiasm and pride regarding sustainable production, along with the work of the Green Film Making Project thus far. She provided an overview of the 2014 Green Film Making Competition for European Students, and also announced the final winners of the competition. The grand prize of € 2,500 and title of ‘Green Filmmakers of the Year’ went to the Irish Film Base‘s production team from the film ‘Poison Pen’. The students of HKU (The Netherlands) were granted the 2nd prize of € 1500, and runner-up title. The 3rd prize of  € 1,000 was awarded to the team of Christopher Taylor, from The Grand Independent / Staffordshire University (UK).

You can read more about the competition and it’s winner here, or see the thank you videos for the top three teams which were screened at the masterclass, on our Vimeo channel.

Interactive Workshops by the Green Filmmaking Experts

Emellie O’Brien also facilitated an interactive workshop on ‘How to Green an American Blockbuster’. She addressed questions such as how do you convince a manufacturer to produce more greenly?, by drawing on her broad range of experiences within Hollywood. In this case Emellie responded that:  “I ​​always start by telling them that it saves money, and if you stress out because you very often hear a ‘no’, it is important to remain steadfast. If we just heard ‘yes’ all the time, there would not be a need for this kind of revolutionary approach.”

In addition to Emellie’s  ‘How to Green an American Blockbuster’ session, there were four other workshops held. Gijs Kerbosch (producer at 100% Halal, NL) and Lynn Koppen (eco manager at 100% Halal, NL) –  shared their current experiences regarding sustainable production within the Netherlands. Beth Bell (Green Product Placement, USA) explained how productions can harness the commercial strategies of ‘product placement’ in order to propagate more sustainable lifestyles through popular media. Nick Francis, creative director and co-founder of Casual Films (UK), described his company’s approach to corporate-social-responsibility within the media world, along with the benefits of ‘producing with a conscience’. Dutch architect Jan Jongert (Superuse Studios), was also present to facilitate a workshop exploring the ways in which one can implement sustainable innovation in business. During the workshop he emphasized not only the economic values associated, but also the social value to be gained through employing sustainable innovation.

The only Future without ‘Green’ Filmmaking, is the Future where ‘Green’ has become the New Normal

After the workshops presenter Simone Weimans led a Q & A with all of the attendees, and the main topics of interest from the workshops were shared. Nick Francis delivered the final thought of the day and expressed hopes that: “within five or ten years, we no longer have to talk about ‘green’ filmmaking, but that we can just talk about filmmaking. Because the ‘green’ part has become the new normal.” The Green Film Making Project also looks forward to the day when this is the case. And judging by a very successful and inspiring masterclass ‘Green Filmmaking: The Future of Producing’, the film industry is well on it’s way towards this reality.

Thank you to all of the guest speakers, and participants who helped to make the masterclass such an inspiring success. We are Taking the Film Industry into the Future…

***Workshop facilitator Nick Francis has also written a short and insightful recap of the masterclass, along with his personal experience of it. It’s great, and you can read it, right here.***

If you enjoyed this article, you will also like the following from our blog: Who’s Who: Doreen Boonekamp, Director of the Netherlands’ Film Fund, and  Who’s Who: Thekla Reuten ( The Netherlands)

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