Friday, June 13, 2008

H2O: On Set

Video by Max Joseph for Good Magazine

One of the problems we expect to encounter with shooting a movie on location is a lack of readily available water. One idea that we've been floating around is purchasing reusable water bottles. Slate did a really great article last year where they tested the various bottles and gave them a rating. Unfortunately, they also gave a price. With the cheapest bottle being around $8.00, this is a cost that can add up pretty quickly, especially if we need to figure in at least 40 units. They do have a really cool corn-based water bottle though that easily bio-degrades. Just make sure you don't put it in the dishwasher.

Along the same lines, it's also possible that we can just re-use glass bottles. Think of something like Snapple. It's a perfect glass bottle with a screw-on lid that can be washed and reused often. It's also fairly easy to fill at the tap. Karyn also made a great point that crew members can think of a water bottle as one of the tools they're expected to have on set and bring their own. This means it can also be a tax write-off. And at around $15 for a durable stainless steel bottle, like a Sigg, it's not as much of a liability.

If we go with BYO bottles, then we've gotta come up with a source for water when we're away from a convenient tap. One idea we have been tossing around is a bottled water cooler, as in the old office water cooler. But the more research we do, the less it seems like a good fit. One, you have to plug them in. Depending on the office we set up, we'd have to take into account the amount of energy that would incur. A quick Google search shows that it can be a lot, sometimes using more power than a fridge (yikes). Two, if the shooting location is nowhere near the office, we will have to continuously send people back and forth to fill their water bottles, which is a waste of our time and resources.

What seems like the smartest, most convenient idea may be an old-school, insulated water jug - the kind they used to have at football practice. While we obviously won't be using the paper cups, this may be the best way to get water to the set. Buying and filling a few containers with tap water or a hose won't cost nearly as much as a bottled cooler and it doesn't use anywhere near as much energy (just our own). A problem with this, though, is not just the location of the water source itself, but also the potability (that means quality) of the water in our locations. Ultimately though, it may come down to cost and what will be most useful for our production logistics.

But I want to open up this discussion to you, faithful readers. What are some ideas that we're glazing over? What do you think would be the most effective way to keep our crew hydrated and happy without creating a lot of waste?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I realize that you are a small movie with a tiny budget, but have you thought about product placement? I would approach Kleen Kanteen, Sigg or whatever other company that might be a viable option. Use the product in the movie and they will either give you a substantial discount or a free supply.You have a nice web presents and I am assuming you will be shopping it at all of the film festivals, so they might be interested. Definitely worth a try. Kleen Kanteen has what they call co-branding which you could get the containers printed with the movie logo, and hand them out on the first day as a gift. (you might want to have a label maker on hand as well since it will be easy to loose track of your bottle!)