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On the set of a new Blazhoffski drama series

by Els Rientjes It is mid-May 2019 and I’m in a meeting with executive producer Marjon van Welzen and production manager Diana van Wegen at production company Blazhoffski. It’s two weeks until their first shooting day of a major new drama series. More than 80 shooting days are planned between June 1st and the end of November for a series that is ambitious in appearance, but low in budget. On the wall of their office is a series of portraits of the cast. Largely young faces, with a few open spots where negotiations are still under way. Blazhoffski has stated they want to make sustainable production a habit, which is why Green Film Making has this discussion with the heart of this production. I am greeted enthusiastically and we go through the whole design of the series, on which I can give direct feedback and tips and write a report they can use right away. I offer to negotiate with the caterer in particular, since their setup really requires a creative caterer for whom nothing is too much and who has sustainable cooking already in the genes. During several phone calls afterwards I learn that the right caterer has been found. And by some stroke of luck, she also has the perfect spot for the main location of the series. A house in a beautiful rural area, on the outskirts of Amsterdam, where the central couple of the series can have their house. In the first few weeks, they test how much waste the crew produces on an average shooting day. Is it worth it to separate waste? Marjon...

Film Harvest Map now online!

For the past 2 years, Green Film Making has worked hard on the development of our Film Harvest Map, in collaboration with architectural firm Superuse Studios. And yesterday it was officially launched! Find public charging points, electric generators and battery packs in The Netherlands that can be used on the film set: www.filmoogstkaart.nl You will find all tech specs and necessary contact details to get started right away. For the options of public charging points in several big Dutch cities we have had help from the local film commissioners. And all suppliers of sustainable applications listed on the map are ready to provide you with clean and quiet energy for the set. Do you have comments, updates, additions or would like your own profile to create entries yourself? Contact us now! Next year we will add to the map with options for sustainable set design, props and costumes. The map is not only limited to the Netherlands, new entries can be made for the entire world. Do you have ideas about cross-pollination with other initiatives or sectors that could find the map useful, we’re happy to hear from...

Production team The Big Escape goes the extra mile

Dutch production company BlazHoffski wants to produce as sustainably as possible and asked Green Film Making to consult their productions. And so on June 4th, sustainability manager Els Rientjes met with executive producer Nicolle Weenink and production manager Yara Graber, who were scheduled to shoot their third series of The Big Escape, a big reality game show with Dutch celebrities, in September. In a detailed conversation it became clear how they had produced the show in previous seasons and all details related to logistics were carefully evaluated. Based on this, Els made an initial report and detailed advice, with which Yara went to work. There was regular phone contact during the preproduction process, so that Els could always jump in or add something extra when needed. Of course, preparations are easier if you have run the production twice before, but then the trick is to make choices that are slightly different. And not just go on autopilot. From the outset it was clearly communicated with the crew that BlazHoffski really wants to produce sustainably, through the digital call sheets and in conversation with the crew and cast. In September, on the last construction day, we were invited to visit their set to speak to all the Heads of Department. We wanted to know how they had been involved in the preparations and what their vision was of the possibilities of a more sustainable season. Here a report of the measures that they took together. The crew slowly arrived one by one during the day, according to schedule. Production manager Yara had arranged personal drinking bottles with people’s names on...

Sustainable goals live broadcast classical concert ‘Prinsengracht’

Good preparation is half the battle! In 2019 Green Film Making joined the production team of the big annual live broadcast of the classical Prinsengracht concert in Amsterdam. Broadcaster AVROTROS raised the bar and, in addition to the many studio and news shows that had already been consulted, wanted to shoot this major event as sustainably as possible. Ronald Kok, the producer of the show, knows how the cookie crumbles and how to collaborate with partner Pulitzer Hotel. This year there was an extra challenge, since the Municipality of Amsterdam had raised the requirements for events in terms of sustainability considerably. The production of the Prinsengracht concert has been done by AVROTROS together with the Production Factory since many years and the technical suppliers don’t want to miss an edition of this annual landmark event. Such a close knit team has many advantages, but when you’re suddenly required to do everything sustainably, the pressure goes up. Sustainability Manager Els evaluated all departments together with producer Ronald and as a first measure the AVROTROS decided to work completely digital. A website was created where both the crew members and the festival audience on boats could go to arrange everything; registrations, callsheets, technical information, construction schedules and the content of the concert. The additional requirements of the Municipality of Amsterdam includes an environmental coordinator who must account for catering, waste, energy, safety, communication and transport before, during and after the concert. No permit without full approval. Not a problem for Ronald though, who submitted everything on time and was planning to run the show on clean energy this year. But the...

On the way to the top: Taking stock after 4.5 years of Green Film Making

photo: Summer With Rana by Sanne Vogel By Sustainability Manager Els Rientjes In January 2015 I took over from Strawberry Earth and founded the Green Film Making Foundation. Now, 4.5 years later, I look back on a time of hard work, a lot of pushing and pulling, but also a time of meeting many professionals from the industry who really want to work together towards a different approach. Together we made beautiful films and shows produced in a more sustainable way. In the meantime, ambassadors have emerged in all areas of film making who lead the way in offering their craftsmanship to producers more sustainably. Each year I visited a few departments and made an inventory with them of how things are going; Catering, Art Department, Costumes and Make-up, Light, Location management and Postproduction. With their expertise and help, supplemented by research from other fields such as events and architecture, I came across new methods and materials that are also applicable in our profession of producing sound and image. But the film world is a rigid world, where changes are not so easy to achieve. People are often afraid of being the weakest link in the production chain and no Head of Department wants to cause delays. Or having to say “no”. So we are often on set with too many people and it is difficult to let go of our routines for new, cleaner methods. This will only work if we are convinced that it really works and if we dare to trust each other. It really helps if the producer can say that it is more efficient...

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...