21 Aug Sustainability on Your Video Production Set
A production set is like a well-oiled machine. Each person knows their role and each position contributes to the creation of something that didn’t exist before. But with all those people on-set they are creating more than just film or video, they are creating a carbon footprint.
We know first hand that with all the responsibilities you have on-set, convenience is a huge factor so we wanted to share some easy tips on how to turn your production green while keeping your production in the black.
SAY BYE-BYE-BYE TO PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES:
Globally, humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute! Most plastic ends up in either the ocean or in a landfill. Since you spend at least 12 hours a day on-set, each little water bottle multiplied by the very thirsty crew equals a lot of plastic.
Instead of picking up plastic water bottles, invest in reusable bottles. Encourage the crew to bring their own, with a top! (equipment is expensive and spills are no bueno). However, when production starts, buy reusable water bottles in bulk to supply each crew member with one and have extras on-hand for those forgetful Freds. And if you want people to remember your company you can always get branded ones (like this one) that are small enough and have a carabiner so that they are easy to carry around and don’t spill while on the move.
Productions across the world use a ton of paper for call sheets and scripts each day they are on set. The average American uses more than 700 pounds of paper each year. In this digital era, it isn’t that hard to go paperless by using mobile-friendly versions of call sheets and scripts. We’ve learned that our crew and actors prefer paperless because it’s so much more convenient to carry all the information on their mobile devices and computers.
Designating where trash goes and where recyclables or other non-trash items go is another simple but important method. Assign a PA for post-meal trash monitoring. We know everyone is focused on their job at hand and may forget or get confused about how to sort recyclables if they aren’t used to it.
You can also add a third bin for compostables. Things that can be compostable are some leftover food scraps, coffee grounds, even natural tea bags. You can drop off scraps at about 100 sites run by New York City, or one of its partner organizations like GrowNYC or The Compost Project.
USE SOLAR POWER TO RECHARGE MOBILE DEVICES:
While sometimes you are shooting at a dark studio, other times you may be out in the elements. Utilize the sun when you can by having small solar panels with USB connections to charge phones and other mobile devices. This reduces the amount of power you are using but also allows you not be tethered to an outlet!
If you are shooting in NYC you know the drill, wake up early, meet in Union Square and look for the go-to white 15 passenger van. But when you are in other cities it may seem more convenient to drive yourself. When you have a crew of 10-50 people that is a lot of people in single cars! Try to carpool, take mass transit or find a closer more central location where you can have a van pick the crew up.
It’s important to remember that while some of these things seem small, over the course of a year or even ten years they can have a huge impact! What sustainability tricks do you use to reduce your carbon footprint? Share them with us in the comments!
Come on back and see us next month for our best tips on editing! We’ll be covering how to get your raw footage down to a great video. Until then, Midweek fans!