Who’s Who: Jane Fullerton Smith & Jessica Conoplia (Australia)
Having most recently worked on Baz Luhrmann‘s multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster “The Great Gatsby“, as well as having just published the free online Good Green Production Bible, Jane Fullerton’s GreenShoot Pacific has big things on the horizon for future sustainable film production work.
Jane Fullerton Smith is a name known by professionals concerned with sustainable practices in many different areas of the entertainment industry. This is because she has spent over twenty years gaining experience in a wide variety of entertainment platforms- having first taken on sustainability in 2007. Her mission? To reduce the negative impacts of production management while enhancing positive outcomes and legacies.
It is no wonder then that her GreenShoot Pacific acts as a sustainability consultancy providing strategic “services, systems, solutions and training” across industries including events, screen, sport, touring and facilities. In working with any of these, GreenShoot always delivers a comprehensive performance measurement and analysis report allowing their clients to clearly communicate as well as understand, their commitment to sustainable practices with positive social an environmental impacts.
In order to ensure a consistent level of consultation, GreenShoot Pacific references the indicators of sustainability performance set down by the Global Reporting Initiative and uses the online Sustainable Entertainment Management System (devised by Fullerton, and released globally, online) which adheres to International Standards including ISO 20121.
Though the sporting event sector is their biggest client at current, GreenShoot Pacific offers support to film productions from conception and project development, through pre-production, shooting, post-production, and even premiere. They currently have representatives based in LA, London, Vancouver, Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, and Mumbai.
What happened with The Great Gatsby?
It was LA based Business Development Manager Jess Conoplia who approached Warner Brothers’ Vice Presidents on behalf of GreenShoot to discuss the benefits of joining forces for Gatsby. As a former film commissioner -and author of a paper on the screen industry’s move to increase environmental responsibility, titled ‘Back away from the Gulfstream G550 and think twice: Greening the screen, how Commissions can work with filmmakers to increase environmental responsibility’- Jess saw sustainability funds from Warner Brothers going directly into the production crew of Luhrmann’s Australian based shoot. In her opinion, this acts as a huge and invaluable long term investment in sustainability training and education for those involved. For GreenShoot, Gatsby has provided an opportunity to increase industry presence, and stands as a massive experience to learn from.
So, what could be improved?
According to Jess, bottom up demands from crew means that there needs to be top down action and support. Commitment from the top of a production has to be clear, and there must be a designated person to bridge communication gaps between producers and crew, so that sustainability practice can be consistent throughout. Once a sustainability agenda has been established, access to the production office must be open and clear for the entire duration of a project.
For Gatsby, GreenShoot was able to provide a sustainability consultant on-set. This involvement commenced just after the start of pre-production, meaning that sustainability consultancy and sustainability planning entered the equation after main production planning had begun. Earlier participation would have allowed for a more efficient practice of sustainability methods and consultation, as these efforts could have been clearly outlined and embedded into initial planning processes. Lesson learned. Be there early, and get there from the start.
What was not identified as ‘savings’ in economic terms for the shoot, was gained as valuable marketing leverage in the communications arena before the film’s release. A “Green Gatsby” could serve to highlight the more commercially identifiable environmental agenda of both the film’s director, as well as it’s leading man: Leonardo DiCaprio.
With plans for a more extensive global roll-out, presence at an upcoming conference in Mumbai on greening Bollywood, and intentions for more educational guides and tools such as the newly published “Good Green Production Bible” (download for free here), GreenShoot pacific will certainly continue to live up to their motto: Guiding organisations with a vision for tomorrow, to be the sustainable leaders of today.