…and the Green award goes to…

Saw Alistair McGowan twice this week…I guess comedians are like buses. You don’t see them for ages and then there are loads of them. Hmmm…yes I think I’ll leave the jokes to Alistair.

I learnt two things about this gentleman that I was none the wiser – one that he yearn to be a concert pianist and secondly he was passionate about being ‘Green’. So passionate that he wrote a letter in 2006 to BAFTA about his concerns that the industry weren’t playing their part to address their impact on climate change.

Fast forward to 18 October 2010, Mr McGowan was our chair at the ‘Greening the Screen’ event at BAFTA a panel led event to promote carbon awareness and sustainability in the film industry.

A recent study estimated that screen production (film and TV) in London alone produces 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, about the same as a town of 20,000 people. And that’s before you take into account emissions from cinemas and from all the other links in the film business chain.

Four years to host an awareness raising panel is testimony to the challenge of getting people to take climate change seriously when the industry has been said to be built on heat and “hot air” (that was a borrowed joke, if you didn’t laugh; my own if you did). The science is compelling and the practical solutions were presence but the key obstacle seem to be changing behaviours. Our behaviours. An audience member asked a panellist what they thought about a runner being sent 20 miles to get a DOP (Director of Photography) throat lozenges. The panellist promptly replied without a sense of irony that with the green vehicles used on set this would reduce the carbon emissions generated from the car journey.

Having spent my younger days in TV and Post Production as a ‘(wo)man Friday’, sorry I mean runner I had a flashback to many of the carbon burning activities I used to participate in chasing the dream of one day climbing the heady heights of TV to have my own ‘man friday’. I was almost overcome with a tourette style compulsion to shout out across the auditorium,

‘How about the DOP play his part to reduce carbon emission by packing some ‘Lockets’ before he left for the shoot? Voila! No need for the 20 mile pilgrimage for lozenges for the creative with little need to speak on set’. Sounds like a feasible, simple and cost effective solution, wouldn’t you agree?

Saving the planet one lozenge at a time

I loved the fact that Greenshoot , an environmental management company for film, TV and commercials trained up Runners to be ‘Greenshoot Coordinators’ who act as change agents. The custodial of green. Ensuring people are adhering to the ‘green way’.

Hopefully this will empower Runners to play their part in challenging unhelpful behaviours causing a ‘bubble up’ effect to start driving the changes in behaviours which hopefully make the efforts of the passionate green pioneers and champions sustainable – keeping us all optimistic about the future.