- Tap Water Pilot 2017
- 'True Hybrid' Generator
- Firefly power solution
- Setsink: Mobile tap and sink
Tap Water Pilot 2017
From February to June 2017 Green Film Making took action to use only tap water on set, in collaboration with Join the Pipe and the City of Amsterdam. This because of their collective wish to permanently get rid of plastic disposable bottles of water. In the future the city of Amsterdam will implement strict rules for events and filmmakers in town, and this way wants to ensure a circular economy and a sustainable future for the people of Amsterdam. This is why Green Film Making has taken the lead, with the help of Join the Pipe, to also stop using plastic water bottles on film and TV sets. The idea is to only use tap water on the set through water taps and reusable bottles. To help get everyone started, Join the Pipe provided their reusable bottles to film and TV productions free of charge.
Each participating production received a reusable bottle for every member of crew and cast. If there was no tap water available on the set, they used the Jerrycarry, also sponsored by Join the Pipe, which is easy to move around and can hold 2-3 gallons of tap water. The crew refilled their bottles themselves during the day. This process is besides cheaper, also more efficient and sustainable. A great side effect is that this drastically reduces the amount of waste as well. Which also saves money and time, especially for location managers.
The action was met with a lot of enthusiasm, in total more than 20 productions have used the sponsored water bottles of Join the Pipe! A great result. Among others they were:
Limburgia (Halal Film & Photography) – One Night Stand
Avondland (The Film Kitchen) – ONS
Jungle (BIND) – ONS
De Dag Dat Mijn Huis Viel (Venfilm) – ONS
Het leven is vurrukkulluk (Sigma Pictures Productions) – feature film
Spangas (NL Film) – TV series
Papadagen (Bosbros) –TV series
Turn It Around (World Visuals Film) – short film
New dance movie from Blackframe
The students of the Film Academy, class of 2017, participated with all their graduation films (coordination by Maxim Rozenstraten).
During the AV festival 2017, Green Film Making Ambassador Thekla Reuten officially closed the tap water pilot action. Thekla once again underlined how easy it is to introduce sustainable changes on set and how important it is to work on this together. She toasted with Els to a successful outcome of our pilot action, with a Join the Pipe bottle of course. This means that it’s no longer possible to sponsor your production with free tap water bottles, but of course you can include them in your production budget, which ultimately saves money. For contact and help, you can still turn to Green Film Making! Cheers!
‘True Hybrid’ Generator
To increase flexibility on set and reduce operating costs, Het Licht has developed True Hybrid generator van. The True Hybrid consists of a silent diesel generator in combination with a Li-Ion battery pack with inverter. This provides the ability to run entirely on a battery. So very silent, but with the diesel generator as a backup. After a year of thinking and planning and another year of patience during the construction process, the 28 kVA generator Hybrid Light is now operational. The first set where it was tested was Moordvrouw of gaffer Mick Durlacher.
Daaf van der Veen from Het Licht says: “Funny to see how Mick parked the generatorbus on the first day of shooting almost literally on the set in a park in Baarn, then plugged a 4 kW Max HMI and a 1800 W Max HMi, and some LED batteries that had to be charged and then the power of the remote control of the camera crane. And all this without any sound … on battery power. The fuel saving was almost an ‘afterthought’. The gain in operational convenience and flexibility alone, was met with great enthusiasm. Exactly what I was hoping for. They will notice the fuel saving soon enough.” Later that day there was external night shoots, which needed even more power. For this, the machine ran full hybrid (ie batteries combined with the generator) successfully.
We asked gaffer Mick Durlacher about his experience. ‘It is an innovation I embrace‘, he answered immediately. The concept works. At het beginning they had some hick-ups because the lighting design for Moordvrouw had already been made and the set-up of the True Hybrid is slightly different. But eventually he was able to save a lot of time, because the van can be parked directly on set and a lot less cabling was needed. And those cables also didn’t have to be rented and transported. But Mick is most enthusiastic about how silent it is. It makes working on set much more agreeable and efficient, plus it opens up a lot of possibilities for different locations. Shooting in the centre of Amsterdam at night without noise pollution will be much easier to arrange. It’s output is still limited, so at the moment the hybrid generator is only suitable for smaller productions. But Mick is impatiently waiting for the day the big generators will be as silent as the True Hybrid.
The True Hybrid, has been used on many different productions since the pilot on the set of Moordvrouw. Daaf from Het Licht is very keen to get feedback from gaffers that have used it to take into consideration with further development. Users until now: Moordvrouw (gaffer: Mick Durlacher), Toon 2 (gaffer: Thomas Jeninga), Weemoedt (gaffer: Johan Hoitink), Dayan Yuragim (gaffer: Michiel Kingma), Van God Los (gaffer: Nicholas Burrough), Hollands Hoop (gaffer: Uwe Kuipers), Tarik (gaffer: Janneke Hogenboom).
Thomas Jeninga, who has already used generator van several times on the set of Toon 2, finds it very appealing. ‘I really like the idea that it is not running on fossil fuel’, he explains. He is also impressed by it’s efficiency. On a production with many different locations it is really practical the generator is so close to the set. You have to roll out much less cable and can more or less just drive straight off to the next location. The sound guy was looking slightly worried about the fact the van was parked so close and asked how that was going to work. And then it’s very satisfying to be able to say: ‘It’s already on!‘ Thomas is definitely going to ask specifically for the True Hybrid in the future. With rental costs the same, the decision is very easily made.
VW Crafter 35
18 – 28 kVA True Hybrid
Generator fuel tank
Running time @ 75%
Weight with full tanks
0 – 45 dBA @ 7M
Max load in full hybrid mode
Max load in battery only mode
30 A Batt Only
1 x 125 A 3p CEE
The FireFly on set
The FireFly is a battery pack with computer which is charged by a diesel generator. It’s already widely used in the UK during events, and for the production of a number of television series. The FireFly acts as a primary power supply but must be charged beforehand, in this case by a diesel generator. Normally, a generator is selected for it’s ability to deliver the highest power output. In practice this is actually only needed a few times a day. The Firefly jumps in (it assists) on this surge moments and this makes for a more efficient and even power supply. This makes it possible to work with a smaller and more economical diesel engine. The FireFly can also provide power when the diesel engine is turned off. If the batteries are running empty, the generator automatically turns on. Using the FireFly thus reduces both the CO2 emission significantly, but also reduces the diesel fuel expenses.
US production The Hitman’s Bodyguard, which shot for 18 days in Amsterdam in the summer of 2016, provided a great opportunity for a pilot test with the FireFly. It was a large-scale production by Dutch standards: on average of one hundred to 200 crew and 50 to 150 extras per day. There were seven filming areas in the city with different locations within them and almost everywhere there was two shoots; once with cast and once with stunt doubles. An average of three to four cameras were used for each scene, a lot of grip, not much light. Each set was prepared a day in advance by the responsible location manager. Six days into the shoot, there was already a reduction of 30% of power use.
The Firefly ran for a total of 88 hours and the diesel generator 94 hours. In addition, 158 liters of fuel were saved in week 1 and 0.42T CO2 emissions. The calculation and measurement is based on day and night usage because the base camp had to be supplied with power day and night (for washers, dryers, refrigerators, toilets, charging batteries, 150 portaphones, etc.) Diesel costs 1.10 excl. VAT per liter and so you can easily make a calculation. In addition, money was saved on the usual hiring of a generator to serve as backup in the event of power failure. The use of such a generator is common on production this size.
After a week of shooting the following sum could be made: Not hiring an emergency generator saved € 325. A more simple generator was used: saving € 35 per week. As mentioned 158 liters of diesel was saved (158 x € 1.10 / l). If, as usual, a heavy generator was used, it would have consumed an average of ¼ more diesel. That would come down to about 80 liters extra per week.
Total saved on average in a week: € 325 + € 35 + € 173.80 + € 80 = € 613.80
In addition to reduced CO2 emission and cost also noise was reduced considerably. Diesel generators make a lot of noise. Through the power stored in the batteries the FireFly can partially during the day, but especially at night provide electricity silently. Certainly in the crowded inner city this makes a big difference for local residents.
Concretely, all pros and cons at a glance:
By day, the base camp can run approximately 10 hours on batteries through the FireFly and at night for the whole night. This makes for less disturbance during the morning, evening and night. There is guaranteed constant power backup. The FireFly provides real-time insight into power consumption at any time of the day and there is the ability to read energy usage remotely. Good thing is that solar panels can be connected. Combined with the FireFly you only need a regular generator and that’s advantageous in all respects. The combination of the FireFly and the standard unit can (when a lot of power is asked) supply a relatively large current (smart boost.) And not in last place, there is less disturbance for the neighborhood and CO2 emissions are significantly reduced.
Extra transport (2.3 ton) is needed. It is essential that a power plan with expected power consumption is made. Thus, the power supply of the battery pack and the generator can be optimally matched. It is important to pay attention to a good distribution across the three peak power stages and that can be difficult for a shortterm setup. An accurate estimation of the total power usage is quite difficult to predict. A good power coordination is essential for the whole process. This must be followed up by the location management or an appointed coordinator. In the event sector this is very common, but in the film world there is still a lot to gain. Using the FireFly is ideal for larger productions with large power consumption (also at night), and where there is more time to set up a system. For smaller productions we suggest other alternatives.
GreenBattery: a mobile battery trailer
The mobile battery GreenBattery is a smart replacement for a diesel generator, and is already being used at festivals. Han Huiskamp of GreenBattery explains: “The most striking advantages are that the GreenBattery is quiet and can protect the power demand of a home circuit very well whilst simultaneously ensuring a high power supply. This makes for much less disturbance on location where you are a guest, there will be no blown fuses and you only need one cable. “
On the set of “Idiot”
Executive producer Ron Groenewoud was willing to test the GreenBattery, and took it to the set of “Idiot” in Rotterdam, a short children’s film by In-Soo Productions (script / direction: Dewi Reijs). And probably to the next production… For a while the pilot seemed to end in disaster, because it was not possible to connect a 4 kW. However, in co-operation with the gaffer it turned out to be possible, and very safe, to connect two 2 kW’s! And because there are four sockets on the GreenBattery there was still room to hook up the catering too. All in all a positive experience! Ron Groenewoud has indicated that he wants to see if the GreenBattery can be used again in his next movie, ‘Alberta‘ by Eddy Terstal.
Benefits Green Battery
Han Huiskamp was also present and incredibly excited by the potential of “his” GreenBattery on a film set: “It was wonderfully silent: the GreenBattery provided power to the monitor at the end of the afternoon. It was faster to put the trailer closer than take an additional extension cable from the truck. Here it was at 3 meters from the sound technician and they did not even notice it was there!” The fact that you only need to use one socket for lighting proved useful. “The GreenBattery supplied electricity to 4.5 kW lamps of one 16A group (= max. 3.5 kW). This meant we needed to roll out less cable, and thus cause less disturbance on location. Any lack of power from the single socket could be supplemented by the GreenBattery from the battery pack. Otherwise they would not have been able to be supplied from the same socket. Should a fuse blow, because, for example a kettle is switched on in the house, it would have taken power from just the batteries.” So additional security for the power supply. Huiskamp said he had also gotten a lot of new ideas to improve the product for use on set.
The price of the GreenBattery is reasonable. You pay €135 p/day for an ordinary generator, this one would set you back €85 p/day. You have no emissions, no need to fill it with diesel, it is more environmentally friendly and is quiet in use. In short, the future for this renewable battery in the film industry looks bright!
Are you (executive) producer, location manager or in any other way interested in avoiding having diesel generators on the set? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we put you in touch with GreenBattery.
Best Boy and Gaffer Hans Bredero developed a mobile sink for clean drinking water and for washing hands on film and TV sets. This eliminates the need for plastic water bottles. Additionally it prevents unnecessary transport of bottled water and the associated pollution – CO2 emissions and waste of all those water bottles. A system to support comfort and hygiene on set.
The mobile sink has a clean water tank on the back and a waste water tank on the front, under the sink. If you turn on the tap and you push the foot pump in, water will come out from the reservoir (jerrycan). If there is water in the vicinity, it can be connected to the water tap with a hose and existing water pressure can be used without needing to pump. The waste water tank can be emptied into the drainage system. If you use organic soap, you can throw the water out anywhere.
Harm does not supply cups for the time being. On a set it is the responsibility of the catering department to provide water. The best thing is when they work with refillable bottles that van be reused each day. It requires some extra effort on their part and must be discussed and planned by the location manager and caterer in advance. Green Film Making went with Harm to a set of Hazazah Film & Photography in the Schoorl dunes. The prototype of the Setsink was used and tested for the first time. The Setsink was located next to the catering van in a remote location of the State Forestry. And the next day in the dunes as a stand alone.
And what was the opinion after two days of testing on the set of Hazazah? “The crew found it interesting and supports the idea. The Setsink was used without prompting. Especially as a sink and not so much as ‘bottle filling station’. Location manager Floris van der Wal was very enthusiastic, especially for shoots in the middle of nowhere ”
Are you interested to be in touch with Harm about his Setsink? Contact us at email@example.com