Making films can be environmentally disastrous

Mother Nature is not a Garbage Dump (photo: Faisal Lutchmedial)

It’s something I think about, and something that worries me.  But its very hard to be carbon neutral / environmentally friendly when you are making a movie, even when you’re making a small movie (or perhaps it’s even harder when you’re making a smaller movie).

The fact of the matter is that a lot of energy, time, and resources are put into films, and the process is difficult as it is without worrying about catering packaging, recycling, paper use, or the impact of using bottled water at all.  I try to avoid waste and excess packaging in life, even when it is recyclable.  Sometimes I feel as though making one film in a year negates all of my attempted environmentalism.  It’s the nature of the beast.  Its a short term company, intensely making a short term project.  You don’t have an office where there are regular recycling programs,  water fountains, fridges, kitchens with washable cutlery, etc.  Sometimes its like being in a hotel with single serving everything, just it is the whole crew, and sometimes on top of that you are actually staying in a hotel.

We’re doing our best, trying to keep the catering packaging to a minimum, bringing our own dishes, forks, and knives, recycling (although using bottled water isn’t great, I know), and carpooling.  To be honest the carpooling is more convenience than conscientiousness, so I am not ready to give us points for that.  The massive amounts of energy consumed for lights doesn’t give us environmental awards either, but at the very least Hydro Quebec is carbon friendly.  I’ve actually fantasized about having an iPad because I could read and edit and read scripts, look at storyboards, schedules, notes, rushes, location photos, (the list goes on) without having to print them up.  But then, I also try to limit my technology purchasing because of the high price of coltan. From my understanding though, Apple has been a leader in making tech more recyclable, which is great.

After all this thought has gone into film set conscientious consuming, when the production of my film begins in a couple of days I am going to shut that part of my brain off and try to make the best movie I can.  So, have we done enough?