Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Film's Green Future

Prepping our table at Mamapalooza with recycled newspaper toys.

In getting the script ready for Sundance, I haven't been able to dedicate much time to the blog in the last few weeks. Now that I'm back, it's difficult to know where to begin. Al Gore's gutsy speech notwithstanding, it's quite possible that I'm suffering from a touch of green fatigue. Our initial research period is over. Our final topic, waste & materials, was difficult and raised more questions for me than it answered (corn plastic is not our savior). We'll be lucky to scrape up enough money to make the damn film. Can we really make it green, too?

That remains to be seen as 1) we aren't fully financed, so 2) we don't have a production start date. Without those factors in place, it's difficult to plan our production logistics. There is still a slim chance that we could shoot in October, but the more likely scenario is that we'll begin Spring/Summer 2009. The upside is that timeline gives us plenty of time to figure this green production out.

The thing I have to remind myself is that this began as an experiment. We're not making any promises to be 100% green. I don't think there is such a thing. What we are planning to do is learn as much as we can and ask ourselves difficult questions along the way: is this the most sustainable choice? can we do it better? with less energy, waste, and fewer toxins? We may find that we have to prioritize, compromise, and content ourselves with doing just a few things more sustainably than films that came before us. But at least we'll be more environmentally conscious than before we started, and our experience can be a foundation for future sustainable productions.

So if we're not ready to take you behind our "green scenes" just yet, what will we be blogging about? Plenty. I'd like to show that environmentalism is not just a short-lived trend of the new millennium but something that everyday people participate in in their own personal ways, whether they label it the now ubiquitous "green" or not. So we'll be inviting people to tell us stories about nature, share hard-fought knowledge of sustainable issues, express their own feelings about global warming, and go out into their communities and report back on inspiring examples of activism.

Meanwhile, we'll assess how our sustainable efforts have been going so far, and identify areas in which we can take the next steps for forming a green production plan. We'll begin to answer questions we raised over the last few months and find more resources for other filmmakers who want to make more sustainable choices. And we'll continue to update you on our production – the highs, lows and creative challenges.

I consider Future Weather a beginning place. Not just for me, but for anyone who cares about our habitat, about film, about positive change. If you'd like to contribute, please email me, jdeller@futureweathermovie.com.

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