So fresh off my Tesco experience, there was a nice familiarity to being back at Rattling Stick a few weeks later to work on the Christmas campaign (in 30 degree heat). This was a 6 day shoot on location so it was never going to be a walk in the park, but I did have a good amount of prep time to get things organised which made it a lot easier.
One of my bugbears is the piles of casting head sheets that end up lying around after every job. Having worked the same director on the previous Tesco campaign, I knew that he worked remotely and never looked at the physical head sheets - I was determined to work out a better solution this time around. Newman St Studios use Casting Networks' paperless casting system, which is amazing. As well saving reams of paper, it also saves the actors time when they arrive, as all of their information is already pre-logged into the system, so they can concentrate on giving their best performance in the session! Newman St Studios were also able to add in job specific information to the digital headsheet such as dietary requirements or children’s ages. Working with them in this way also made it much quicker and simpler to file everything on Dropbox and share with the agency after each casting. TOP TIP: ask them to remind actors to double check their wardrobe sizes are included and up to date, as we were caught out on a few people who hadn’t filled this in on arrival.
When it came to the shoot I did all the usuals like recycling, getting runners to use canvas bags on runs, and encouraging people to use anything other than poly to stick up the storyboard! I was also keen to trial some new ideas as well. As it was a 6 day shoot, I got quite a lot of pleasure out of reducing the number of callsheets and schedules we printed each day. By the end we got it down to 4 copies of the callsheet, and that was a reduced version that I created. By changing the layout slightly I could fit the front page, as well as cast and crew information onto one double sided sheet of A4. Winning!
For most of the job we were at the same location, except on the middle shoot day (typical). To combat this, we struck a deal with our unit base and got it on a weekly hire rate, which meant our facilities vehicles could come and go over the weekend which not only saved us a fortune in mileage and drivers time, but also lowered our emissions. We were also able to hook all the vehicles up to mains power at the base which meant we didn’t need 6 small generators running to power the trucks, again saving us both emissions and cost. I was also excited to test Get Set Hire’s new fully recyclable Ram Board as an alternative to correx at one of our locations – I had mixed reviews from the locations department until we realised we’d stuck it down incorrectly! It looked great though and did the job - I’d definitely give it another go in the future.
Delicious Film Catering were very helpful and accommodating with my green requests (you can copy and paste the AdGreen questions if you're not sure what to ask of your caterer). Along with the palm leaf plates they use as standard, we decided to trial out Vegware’s range of cups, bowls, cutlery and napkins which are all completely compostable. They're more expensive than what Delicious usually use, so it might not be something that can be done on every shoot – but hopefully it will become more affordable as demand increases. Another thing I love about Delicious (apart from their fantastic food of course!) is their fruit flavoured water: not only does it look beautiful, but it went down a treat in my Millican Water Canteen in the 30 degree heat!
In an effort to try and get more crew using a thermos instead of disposable cups, I also set up a little shop at the tea table, to try and flog a few Contigo Mugs - described as “the best thermos out there for crew”! With the help of Amazon Prime (OK I know my green rating goes down a bit by using them but still…), any crew who had ordered one through me on day 1, had their thermos on day 2 to use for the rest of the shoot, and of course all their other jobs after that. Another discovery I made (thanks to Jo) was how easy recycling Nespresso pods is – I’ve always felt guilty about having a Nespresso machine on set, but not anymore! We set up a small bin for the capsules and they were sent back to Get Set Hire to be recycled. Alternatively you can get your own bags and send them back yourself if you're not hiring your Nespresso machine from GSH. See here for more details... Along with all these things, we also had a Get Set Hire water cooler on set, and the runners encouraged everyone to re-use their bottles through the day.
This shoot was also my first chance to work with fantastic food waste charity City Harvest, who picked up all the leftover food product at really short notice. I’d highly recommend everyone to give them a go the next time they have a home economist on set - they're so accommodating and lovely to deal with! As with the last campaign, all of the F&F wardrobe and Tesco props were put into storage by the agency for future shoots. I also donated all the left over client and agency magazines to my local doctors surgery which they loved, and gave me the warm and fuzzies!
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.