In January, I worked on a TUC commercial for Acne Production. As well as one day at Park Royal Studio, we filmed at the same house location for two of the days, so there were plenty of opportunities to employ the Five Easy Things!
On our studio day, it was good to get the measure of Park Royal's green credentials: I’m also pleased to report that they have mugs, glasses and a water cooler on set so we didn’t need any bottled water or cups. They also use real plates and cutlery in the canteen. Top marks! And of course, my trusty pin board came out for sticking up all the essential paperwork for everyone, rather than printing out multiple copies. An added bonus of this was that I was able to prep this the day before the shoot at home (with a little help from my furry friend!). On top of what we had going on at the studio, the wonderful Gary Owen (gaffer) put his thinking cap on as to how we could minimise the use of poly on both parts of the shoot. He ended up going with some white cloth to go over flags as a substitute and then requested a reduced amount of re-used poly from Panalux. Result!
City Harvest also came down to collect half a van full of product which was brilliant - it was my first-time meeting Mark who runs the logistics side of things – what a lovely guy! The food was distributed to homeless shelters that afternoon. If you've got food (or anything else) that you could rehome, check out Rehome Your Leftovers before your shoot day.
For the location shoot, we had We Are Find's Martin Wady as location manager, which made my life much easier as we both share a love for ram board and recycling! Martin was quick to embrace the wonders of Quantum Waste, AdGreen's recommended waste & recycling company, signing up for an account, and buying new bins and bags for his location kit. Martin has also done a few jobs with ram board now (a recyclable alternative to correx available from Get Set Hire) and is a keen advocate of it – yes it does take a bit a little bit longer to put down, but it is a whole lot less slippy and dangerous to walk on! He has also made up reusable room signs to use on each job which look particularly smart, so top AdGreen marks to Martin. If you want to keep a set of bin signs in your production bag - check out AdGreen's signage here.
“Quantum Waste are great, I especially like that they send you an email once they’ve picked up.”
Martin Wady, Location Manager at We Are Find
As we were in a contained location, I made the decision to be militant about water bottle usage. On the call sheet email I added a note in the sustainability section about what we would be doing, and in the morning, the runners went around the crew asking who would like a bottle, wrote their name on it for them, told them they wouldn’t get another one - explaining that they could re-fill it from the water cooler outside. And would you believe it – everyone just got on with it, including the cast and agency! It’s funny how worried I get about implementing these things, but when I take the plunge, if people are well informed then they’re more than happy to jump on board too. On top of this, our caterers For Goodness Sake were happy to help us reduce our waste by hiring in real plates at minimal cost, plus we recycled our Nespresso pods, so all in all our amount of waste was considerably reduced.
Finally, Acne Production are now in the process of switching to completely digital accounting which is fantastic news and not something I have come across in many production companies yet. Not only does it save on paper and storage, but also time - the process was so simple and quick for approvals - I annotated the invoice PDFs with my signature and saved to a shared Dropbox folder, which also makes it very easy for everyone to keep track of (more info on digitising your invoice process, including official HMRC guidelines, here). Well done Acne!
To help you on your shoot, check out our Five Easy Things to get some inspiration. You can also point your crew to What Can I Do? and use our signage for your recycling bins and general awareness raising. The Sustainable Production Agreement is also a great way to make sure you’ve ticked as many green boxes as possible, and our FAQ section can help with info about coolers, cups and Ram Board. If you'd like to help inspire others by sharing your experience, get in touch. Just 3 or 4 points and a few pics is enough for us to put together a case study.