Workshop Sustainability on Location

What do you get if you stick sustainable entrepreneurs with their products, location managers and film producers together in one room? Good ideas about how you can collaborate to make the filmmaking process on location more sustainable! Exactly what Els Rientjes had envisioned when she organized a workshop on the 22nd of May 2015 with ‘sustainability on location’ as it’s central theme. This workshop was the result of the March 2015 event ‘Sustainable production in practice.”

Place of action: the premises of ‘Locatiewerk’ owned by Tijn Heerkens, who was also present as a speaker on the 19th of March. For a while now Tijn has had several energy saving products on offer, such as the location van/trailer ‘Skyliner’ and the ‘WC-flex’. Both products are easy to relocate, energy efficient and have low water usage, which make them smart and efficient alternatives for the more traditional location facility vehicles and the classic Dixi porta-potty.

The invited producers Ron Groenewoud (Ron Groenewoud Film), Daniel Aiss (ALP) and Niek Teunissen (Umami Media) inspected and assessed the product range of ‘Locatiewerk’ and besides this, Green Film Making had invited several other entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative equipment to the film industry.

I am definitely planning to start using what I have seen today’, said Ron Goenewoud at the end of the day. What did he see? The GreenBattery for example. This mobile battery is a smart replacement for the engine-generator and is already being used at music festivals. Daniel Aiss and Niek Teunissen are also enthusiastic and would like to take part in a test case with the GreenBattery.

Spectral Utilities (a Metabolic Venture) also visited, with the Solar Transformer. Ward Hupperets, chief technology officer, talked about this mobile battery that is basically a trailer with solar panels. Because of the energy-saving qualities and it’s ease of use (assembly time: 2 minutes) this could be a very clever application for film sets. Biggest advantage: You only need (free) sunlight, nothing more. Without sunlight, the Solar Transformer supplies power for 5 hours. With sunlight, it generates 10 kVa continuously. You can also use the Solar Transformer as a battery during high tariff hours. According to Groenewoud this is perfect if you are shooting in a field on a sunny day. ‘Maybe it’s a little big to use in the city’. Nonetheless, Groenewoud sees useful applications if the Solar Transformer is further developed: ‘Especially for big lights it is interesting’. ‘And if you can combine the Solar Transformer and the GreenBattery, it could work well on set’, in Aiss’ opinion.

All producers called it an inspiring afternoon. Well, let’s have Niek Teunissen expand a bit: ‘Because for me it was already clear that something should be done with sustainability in the film sector. I think it is a given, it is just part of the times we live in.’ But Teunissen, a sucker for gadgets according to himself, is impressed with what he has seen. He also mentions an intrinsic advantage of working sustainable in the film industry: ‘It can really bother people if we are shooting with a diesel-generator. The noise, the smell. For example in a heavily filmed city like Amsterdam, it is important that we as a sector are keeping the goodwill for the filming process.

Read the full report of the day (in Dutch).