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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...

Report Workshop Sustainable Energy & Launch Film Harvest Map

Green Film Making ended a busy 2019 with the launch of our Film Harvest Map in Mediamatic in Amsterdam! On Tuesday November 5, participants braved the dreary weather and were treated to an interactive workshop on sustainable energy on set. It was a varied evening with, among other things, a case study of the live broadcast of the Prinsengracht concert, Wim Horst from the Municipality of Utrecht showed the public electricity points for sustainable power in town and various suppliers showcased their sustainable generators and battery packs. All the entries for these good examples were of course shown live on the Film Harvest Map, developed together with Superuse Studios. You can now find sustainable power solutions at a glance across the country! Mediamatic is located next to Amsterdam Central Station and is known worldwide as a center for experimentation at the intersection of art and science, with a focus on nature and biotechnology. In their unheated warehouse we installed our presentation so it could run on green power from the Wattsun battery pack. Outside the warehouse the generator van True Hybrid of Het Licht and electric van KAREL were placed as good examples of power on location. We chose not to heat the warehouse, as this could only be done (within budget) with patio heaters on gas; not sustainable! Luckily everyone was game to just sit a bit closer together and keep their jackets on. Many departments were present; gaffers, filmmakers, location managers and various film commissioners from all over the country. Launch Film Harvest Map Els opened the event by introducing Jan Jongert from Superuse Studios, the architectural...

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...

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...