Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Musicians Who Care

It’s easy to forget that film and music have similarities. Many musicians have started their careers in film and vice versa. There’s a common thread, the understanding of a time-keeping beat. Telling a joke in a scene is the same as keeping a tune in 4/4; the only difference is in what it inevitably creates. With that knowledge, I gave myself a question: What could I learn from environmentally conscious musicians outside of this common vernacular and then apply it to the film set?

Let's start things off with Piebald. Piebald is a band I’d seen a few times in college. Though one of their albums, If It Weren’t for Venetian Blinds, It’d Be Curtains for Us All, is still in my top ten albums of all time, I really hadn’t followed them as I’d gotten older. When I did an initial search of bands going green, they were the one that first jumped out at me. Surprised, I navigated to their site, where I learned about their RV, which they had converted to run on waste vegetable oil. They have a great video that helps introduce the viewer on how an engine like that works (which is very similar to that of a diesel system). The Grease Not Gas website can further educate you as well.

As we are going to be traveling to shoot the film, this seems like an affordable way to transport our equipment to the shooting locations. Not only would it be safer for the environment, but it could save us money, a major plus when shooting an independent film. Unfortunately, Piebald recently broke up. You should still check them out though, they’re music is still awesome!

Someone else that took me by surprise were The Roots. A local hip-hop group, The Roots have their hands in many organizations, most notably with PETA. But while I couldn’t find much on their causes outside of a few, small articles tied in with their new album (which I haven't heard, but apparently has songs about the environment), I did get to stumble across this really cool site called Global Inheritance.

What’s great about Global Inheritance is they are presenting new ways to tackle activism, something I’ve lamented to a few people about recently. With times changing, a lot of the old methods of protest just don’t seem to have the same power. This site seems to realize that, offering various alternatives that get the message across while still feeling cutting edge and without condescension. While it seems to be more west coast-based, I’m hoping to hear more out of this collective, especially with their partnership with Planet Green, the new Discovery Channel which should launch in two weeks.

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