The nights had drawn in but it wasn't quite Christmas, this could only mean one thing: it was time for another Green Production Get Together! Again partnering up with albert, we were very excited to have Green Voltage in the house. Those who come to the November 2018 Get Together should remember us connecting up with Mark from Portable Electric in Vancouver via video call. Portable Electric have been supplying rechargeable electric power units in the US for some time and we were itching to have them available in the UK. Fast forward a year, and Green Voltage now stock the units for rental across the country so we invited them to come and educate the crowd on how to use them on your production.
Many of the units have been out on big productions since arriving on our shores, notably Bond which has been shooting all over the UK, and also The Crown. They've been employed in all sorts of ways due to their main selling point: virtually silent and with no emissions. They found once one department had one, others wanted in on the action, from the DIT to video village, to small units using only a few LED lights. Perhaps most valuable of all, Dave Sinfield, a gaffer now working with Green Voltage, was able to teach us some generator maths. For many a production manager, genny operation is a dark art so this was rather enlightening (excuse the pun). Particularly when in commercials we are billed in generator hours, rather than litres of fuel, which would at least give the (fossil fuel powered) car drivers amongst us a handy reference point. Using the 2k and 5k VOLTstacks, Dave and his GV c0-founder Adam Baker guided us through some basic sums - some of which are highlighted on the presentation we showed on the night. The most of basic of all being that however long you're able to run something, e.g. 1 x Arri C60 Sky Panel for 14 hours using the 5k VOLTstack, if you double the power requirements (i.e. run 2 of those Sky Panels instead of one), you'll halve the running time. The moral really is the less power you draw, the longer they will last before you need to recharge (which happens in around 2 hours). What if the DP works to the power available with a VOLTstack on your next job, rather than the relatively unlimited traditional generator running on nasty fossil fuels? It'll save you a lot of money in genny run time that's what.
It's important to note that in the main, the units are currently being employed out on set to complement traditional power sources (e.g. diesel generators), however plans are afoot for a 200k unit - frankly, an absolute game-changer in how we could power sets in the future.
What if the DP works to the power available with a VOLTstack on your next job, rather than the relatively unlimited traditional generator running on nasty fossil fuels? It'll save you a lot of money in genny run time that's what.
After Green Voltage, Lucy Hawes and Jo Guthrie from The Mill talked about their film 'Turning Tides', made almost entirely from gifted footage from around the world, in collaboration with City to Sea. A massive problem, and one that's still taboo for many, Turning Tides highlights plastic waste from period products, noting that '700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million pads from the UK alone are flushed down the toilet every single day'. Not only demonstrating how using stock footage can dramatically reduce the impact of film making on the planet, Lucy and Jo inspired the room to go out and make something of their own to help highlight an issue that they felt passionate about.
As we did last time, we finished up the event with an update on albert's Creative Energy project - using the collective power of the industry's energy requirements to secure great deals on renewable energy, and we covered off some questions you noted down whilst RSVP'ing... we've noted the answers to these on the keynote presentation for those who weren't in the room.
- What are the obvious tips that people might overlook when it comes to being green?
- How do I do it when budgets and time are tight?
- Is offsetting travel enough?
- What can I do with leftover sets?
- How do I get buy in from clients and funders?
As ever, a massive thanks goes to Solomon and his team at The Mill, they really brilliant advocates, beyond helpful, and we couldn’t put on these evenings without their generous support. Thanks also to all of those who made it down - the room was packed to the rafters and the atmosphere was wonderful.
You can see all the pictures from the event here, and download the (Mac friendly) keynote file here if you'd like more information on what was presented. Want to get more carbon literate? albert run FREE training up and down the country - click here to find the next session closest to you. Their carbon calculator is also free to the creative industries - find out more here.