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Foldable solar panels: special demonstration in Utrecht

A cloudy day, last March 12th. Exactly the day of a demonstration of solar panels for on set. Just before the pandemic broke out, we met the British team of Renovagen with their Fast Fold; a battery system with foldable solar panels. Last month we contacted them for our update on applications in development and found out we could arrange a special demonstration in the Netherlands. In collaboration with the always helpful Wim Horst of the Municipality of Utrecht, Head of Business Development Colin and R&D manager Dan unfolded the Fast Fold system in the Griftpark. A location especially selected by Wim, since they are already experimenting with solar panels there, for example embedded in the pavement. Earlier that day, Colin and Dan had demonstrated the Fast Fold to the Dutch Marine Corps who will test it during their exercises. Two demonstrations in one day are easy to do, according to the team, the system is set up within two minutes. First see then believe, we thought, but within 2 minutes that was indeed quickly proven. It is immediately clear how easy the system is to use; it’s basically a battery (Energyhub) with a button that you connect directly to the solar mat. Dan explains: When you press start, the first power out is after 30/40 seconds. You already have power even before you roll out the solar mat. You could even leave the Energyhub inside a vehicle, so you are quicker to move around if you need. The distance between the mat and the battery is a maximum of 10 meters, without loss. But for the AC power,...

What’s up with…? Sustainable applications in development revisited

In the last years we often reported on new sustainable applications being developed, as inspiration or perhaps to use on set in the future. As a filmmaker you are naturally mostly concerned with when these will be available for use, but in practice development often takes years. That’s why we decided to follow up on various ‘Greenspirations’ from the 2015/2016 period and see wether they are already for sale or rent. Or if the dream is over… Rollable solar panels: Fast Fold British company Renovagen had a prototype of the Roll Array in 2016; a battery system with rollable solar panels to work anywhere off-grid with power up to 100kW. The 50-meter long Roll Array can be deployed in minutes and transported to its destination on a trailer. Now 4 years later, the company has 2 versions operational and a 3rd in development. The small Fast Fold, with its 5 meters, seems best for on set. You can simply transport the system in a van or car. The developers are coming to the Netherlands this month and a demonstration for Green Film Making is planned, which we will report in detail in the next newsletter! Plasticroad In 2015, construction company VolkerWessels wanted to build sustainable roads from recycled plastic and developed the concept for the Plasticroad with KWS Infra. The first prototype of a plastic bicycle path in The Netherlands opened in September 2018 in Zwolle, followed quickly by a second in Giethoorn in November 2018. These two paths will be monitored until 2023, while at the same time opportunities are being explored to market the concept. Both bicycle...

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...

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...

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...