photo: Set of Les Misérables (BBC, 2018) reclaimed by DRESD
Whether it’s a police station in 1980, a medieval alleyway or the inside of a space shuttle; a lot of time and material goes into making a fitting decor. Unfortunately, all this beautiful work is usually not very long-lived. Two years ago the conclusion of our workshop “Art Department, Costumes and Make-up” was that there is a great need for a shared set depot and prop house, a revival of the former NOB. Specifically because there is a desire from the industry to reclaim sets and to reuse them instead of throwing them away. And a lot can be gained in the art department in terms of reuse, recycling and upcycling.
Slowly but surely the range of alternatives for the diesel generator is growing. Especially the silence of an electrical unit suits a set on location really well. In addition to the True Hybrid, GreenBattery, Wattsun and Greener, that are already known in our sector, The Green Generator and Volta Naos are being used in the construction and event sectors. With its maximum 10 kVA, the Volta would fit well on a smaller set and the Green Generator provides the necessary certainty and power for a larger production with fewer movements. Green Film Making visited The Green Generator’s home base just outside of Amsterdam. And location manager Ralf Wentink is investigating the possibilities for using the Volta for the production of an English mini-series to be shot on Dutch soil.
The Wattsun, a portable, plug and play power supply, is now for rent through Locatiewerk and Het Licht. Location manager Rob IJpelaar has already tested this battery system shortly on the set of Talpa’s Meisje van Plezier. There was a shoot at Schiphol airport, where the space was limited and a lot of care had to be taken with the surroundings. The little Wattsun worked perfectly for the lighting in the clothes and makeup van.
‘One of the advantages of sustainable production is that it saves money!‘ We say this all the time. That it’s not poppycock is of course best proven with a concrete calculation example. We are getting help from various film commissions with the development of our harvest map and that’s how we learned that in Utrecht they have two nice examples in terms of energy. We spoke to Wim Horst, Advisor Special Use of Public Spaces, about how much you can save exactly by using green electricity instead of a diesel generator.
In the past 6 months Green Film Making continued with consulting Dutch broadcaster AVROTROS in making its in-house productions more sustainable. Last year, Els Rientjes already worked with the teams of the shows Tussen Kunst en Kitsch and Opsporing Verzocht. This season the work was more than doubled with a larger number of productions. At the children’s department she advised the crafts and cooking show Jill and the game shows Kaal of Kammen and Zappsport. Besides that, she also consulted popular shows Opgelicht, EenVandaag and Radar. Els: ‘It is really striking to me how fundamental AVROTROS’ commitment to sustainability is. The producers and story editors are all very aware which direction the broadcaster has taken.‘
Several times a year the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) organizes a special ‘Cinema breakfast’, an informal meeting for cinemas, distributors, festivals, cultural centers and other film organizations where new offers and initiatives are presented. The fifth edition was entirely devoted to sustainability and so Green Film Making was invited by our VAF colleague Tim Wagendorp to travel to a chilly Brussels last December 13th. The meeting started early and yet the venue Cinema Nova was packed with a varied group of people from the cultural sector from all over Belgium. Many inspiring examples and initiatives were presented, including the cinema Lewes Depot (UK) founded by Dutchwoman Carmen Slijpen and the eco-strategy of Belgian pop temple Ancienne Belgique. We are pleased to report here on the informative morning with our southern neighbors.