Sustainable filmmaking--discussion begins
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Before production, Barbara Ettinger,Sven Husby, and Ben Kalina talk about how to go about green filmmaking.From the paper in the printer to lights on the set: we can't takeanything for granted any more. Especially not if we're going to make afilm about the consequences of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

As we got started on our documentary about how carbon dioxide is radically reshaping the world's oceans we were eager, and maybe even felt a bit obligated, to try to reduce the CO2 footprint of our own filmmaking process.  In this 3 minute clip, filmed as production began in the spring of 2007, Barbara, Sven and Ben talk about their big ideas for making A Sea Change a sustainable film production. 

This will be the first of many blog entries focused on sustainable filmmaking.  As we chart the trials and tribulations of walking the walk of reducing our filmmaking footprint, we're eager to hear your thoughts on what we tried to do, what we might have done, and what you're doing in the film and video universe to reduce your impact on the planet. 

We've been working since the beginning of 2007 with the Greencode Project, an international collective of filmmakers based in Canada working to promote and establish environmentally friendly practices that willhelp create an International set of standards for the film and mediaindustry.  We're also working with Carbon Planet, based in Australia, who are helping us to conduct an energy audit to establish a carbon footprint for our film which will help us to estimate how many carbon credits we're going to need to buy to offset the mess we've made during the production of A Sea Change.

Special thanks to Josh Aronson for shooting.

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Green screen in NYC
Saturday, June 10, 2017

NycdetailWe're glad to see the New York City Mayor's Office giving support to lightening the production footprint. The website offers tips and resources for saving energy while making movies in the Big A. Many of the tips apply more to big-budget features; however, those are the folks making the most waste, so it makes sense.

One question remains: any suggestions for  the easiest way to compost honey wagon contents at the end of the day?

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A virtual Sea Change
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We were delighted to be invited to participate in a web conference for marine educators on Monday. Sven was our intrepid pioneer into virtuality. The event was put together by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, as a lead-up to the Fishers Forum in Honolulu.

Moving forward, we're eager to create more opportunities for robust, virtual presence. A super way to lower our CO2 footprint and put our $ where our mouth is. Though (twist here) we wouldn't say no to the occasional jaunt to, say, Bora Bora, if we can optimize our carbon expenditure.

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Shopping for a green sleeve for our new laptop
Saturday, June 10, 2017

We just invested in a new laptop, a MacBook Pro. We're shopping for a protective sleeve, so we can carry it around safely. Want to go as sustainable as we can with the purchase, live up to our aspirations if we can. We've done a bit of research, and have found the following links to share. Thanks to TUAW for getting us started.

  • AppleSac: "We try to use sustainable fabrics that look great. We also donate 1% of our sales to environmental causes." They're made of hemp or cotton. But is it organic? Where was it raised? The design is cute, with a little pocket for your power supply. We can see ourselves biting into the Red Delicious.


  • redmallo: A layer of wool felt that folds around your laptop. Gorgeous! Expensive! 99 euros! We love it. They come in luscious colors.The advantage ecologically: no plastic. Wool is certainly renewable (no, we're not vegan). But how are the sheep treated?

  • Freitag: "made from original recycled materials – used truck tarps, used car seat belts, used air bags and used bicycle inner tubes." Another European company, Swiss. The laptop sleeve is made of old truck tarp. It's cute! It's $92.65! We really want it. In gold. Wait, is the color eco-friendly?! And does it fit a Pro?

  • Antenna: "Laptop sleeve in our stylish perforated leather with eco-friendly coating." But it's actually faux leather, we think (which we prefer!), from reading copy elsewhere on the page. The design is ho hum, simple. Cost around $43. They make a point of manufacturing in a sweat-shop free environment.

We don't have any answers yet. We have to consider our budget, too. (Money doesn't grow on trees--wait, it does. . . ) We may have to fall back on this choice. We like the design a lot--gold fish scales! We like the price! ($32 from the manufacturer, $24 from a reseller.) But we're talking some major plastic use. They brag that it's got a PVC stamp on the case. Can you say environmental no-no? Argh. We've written to the manufacturer for more info about the materials.

If you have any advice, we'd welcome it.

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Shopping for green laptop sleeve
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Well, such a thing may exist only in our dreams.
But thanks to a kind friend--Steven Volynets from GoodCleanTech--we've found something pretty close from a company called Simple Shoes. Affordable, cute, responsively sourced: yup, pretty close. The materials are hemp, organic cotton, jute, felt.

No cherry red or golden scales. We're leaning toward the burnt brick.

$30. And named "Sleeve Me Alone."

Their website is strangely hard to navigate, though. Thanks to our friend, we didn't have to hunt for the laptop sleeves for long; you won't either, if you follow this link.

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Greening your filmmaking
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Marie-France Cote headed up a green filmmaking panel at Silverdocs 2007. Greencode_greencoderBoth a film producer and co-founder of the Green Code Project, Marie-France spoke about the expanding, international assortment of people who are part of Green Code (Greencoders!) and what they are doing to come up with practical steps to give filmmaking a smaller "footprint." 

This video was originally shared on by Niijii Films with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

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Our green aspirations
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Ben Kalina speaks briefly about our plans to produce a film with a small carbon footprint and a big educational footprint, while making art in the process. Yes, and when we're finished with that, we'll be balancing the U.S. budget and drinking to world peace.

Thanks to Cameron Hickey from Pattern Films for shooting and to our carbon-free buddies Green Code and Carbon Planet.   

This video was originally shared on by Niijii Films with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.

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A cool green case for your iPhone
Saturday, June 10, 2017

Well, our old cell phone was on the verge of dying. The body was cracked in two or three places. High time to upgrade massively because we're also wanting to tweet more frequently and generally be more accessible. Yet not carry our laptop everywhere. So we took the plunge into the 21st century.EcoShield

To protect our new investment, we needed a case. Imagine our pleasure at finding something recycled, right in the Apple Store: this cool case by Agent 18, made from recycled plastic bottles.

Many thanks to Elizabeth Peters for her advice and support during the transition!

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