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Rethinking waste: Sustainable Set Design

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. Here in The Netherlands, Florian Legters of The Uncrowned King is trying to find a suitable location for such an endeavour and Green Film Making has also looked at an option in old silos in Amsterdam. But until now it is wishful thinking with the biggest stumbling block being: space. Because where do you store all those materials, especially when you want to keep complete set pieces for reuse? And we are not even talking about accessibility.. In the UK they are also facing this dilemma. How can you change a used set from waste to raw material? Our British counterpart albert, the sustainability program of BAFTA, organised a special meeting for art directors: Setting the Stage for Sustainability. And so Green Film Making took a train to the heart of London to look for inspiration that can be applied here at home. The BAFTA offices are located...

Sustainable generators: Volta Naos and The Green Generator

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 Green Generator There are already 89 units of The Green Generator, a hybrid off-grid power solution, available for rent. But only a few are left on site in Zuidoostbeemster. Sales director Johan de Leeuw says that most units are usually rented out, especially at construction sites. Also here they are very popular because of their silence, which is ideal for use in residential neighbourhoods. The unit has also been used for festivals and concerts such as Lowlands, Mysteryland and for a classical concert on the beach. There are two versions for rent, a 30 kVA hybrid with a 45 kVA generator and a 45 kVA hybrid with a 66 kVA generator. Power comes from the battery pack (with a storage of 60kW) combined with solar panels and is, if necessary, re-charged by the built-in generator. Units for sale range...

Wattsun on set of ‘Meisje van Plezier’

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. Only the base unit (Dock) was needed, which could last 16 hours without recharging. Perfect for a whole shooting day. With its 1200W, it does not have the capacity to also connect hairdryers and other devices, but the Wattsun is ideal for certain applications. Think for example about a remote fill light on a larger set or battery recharging. A nice addition for the film set to have portable power available at any desired location! Read our more extensive article about the Wattsun here (IN...

Calculation: saving 96% on energy costs in Utrecht

‘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. The first example is the annual arrival of Sint and Piet, a ‘special’ Dutch December celebration. The parade always ends at the Dom square where some electricity is needed on location; there are a number of small activities, some lighting decoration and also local broadcaster RTV Utrecht shoots their usual reportage. Previously they used diesel generators which are relatively expensive at around 300 to 400 euros per day. Part of what makes them expensive is that they have to be dropped off and picked up by someone, by car. But now there is the possibility to use clean energy for a fraction of the price through the construction of two in ground feeder pillars on two sides of the square. These pillars are unlocked by Wim who, as he has done for 20 years, goes around on a folding bike (you can see him in action on the photo above). You pull a cable from the pillar to plug in and Bob’s your uncle. Invoicing goes directly through the municipality, which buys renewable energy. And here the calculation:...

AVROTROS recycles clothing and props

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.‘ The entire company now drinks from ceramic cups that are washed every day and are returned to all kitchen areas, clean and in crates. Espresso cups are the latest addition, so everyone can now drink their preferred type of coffee from matching glasses and cups. For meetings or errands at the nearby Mediapark you simply book a company bike and the company canteen is sufficiently stocked with healthy choices. Els spotted more and more people using their own water bottles that are refilled with tap water. For each of the consulted productions she provided the teams with multiple tips to be worked on. They range from recommendations for more sustainable energy and transport on set to extra attention for catering on shooting days and tips for sustainable clothing for the presenters. A great success has already been booked in the field of clothing last November. The basement of the AVROTROS building was bursting at the seems with...