Location, Location, Location: The Greening of Hollywood


Jon Corcoran, scientist, of Sony Pictures
Co-sponsored by Carsey Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media

Shelley Billik,
Vice-President, Environmental Initiatives, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Hart Bochner
Actor/Writer/Director and Environmental Activist

Jon Corcoran
Vice-President, Corporate Safety and Environmental Affairs, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Cindy Horn
Co-Founder and Board Member, Environmental Media Association

Amy Lemisch
Director, California Film Commission

Debbie Levin
President, Environmental Media Association

Gary Peterson
President, Environmental Problem Solving Enterprises and Member, California Integrated
Waste Management Board

Gary: “The government” began a recycling center in the 80’s. Disney started recycling paper with them. ’76 in SB helped write the California Recycling bill. ’87 began the refund program for bottles and cans. ’88 initiated the recycling and waste management program. ’89 required newsprint to have a certain percent recycled paper.

In those days production companies were reluctant to conserve energy, but California requires more and more business to conserve energy. Recycling also creates more jobs than burying trash.

Shelly Billik from Warner’s realized the benefit financially from recycling. They currently save $3-4,000 per year. Now they purchase lots of recycled paper for their office supplies. Plastic lumber is used. Warner’s is actually way ahead of the state requirements. The use petroleum free DVD packaging for their distribution. With the ENCORE program, they donate of food and supplies and materials they don’t need get donated to non-profits for re-use, especially for construction materials. Warners is now demolishing an old building with old timbers and giving it to a furniture builder for use in low income housing projects.

Jon Corcoran – Sony Pictures is using photovoltaics. GM (General Management) 2010 are new standards they are setting . Sony is currently establishing a recycling program to accept any Sony equipment in neighborhoods around the US, to be open very soon. Employees are trained to plant trees in LA. Has environmentally friendly studios. Starting to purchase green products. Gave furniture and furnishings to Habitat for Humanity. Using bicycles instead of golf carts for messengers and small trips around the studios.

Cindy Horn wanted to know, in the 1980’s, what was safe to eat and drink because she was pregnant. Hooked up with Heal the Bay in Santa Monica. They organized an environmental fundraiser for the group and hired their first scientist to help publicize the pollution in the Santa Monica bay. In order to incorporate environmental issues into movies, music and entertainment, they encouraged actors to behave as environmentalists.

Debbie Levin: The entertainment industry sets the trends for behavior. Encourages recycling in the scenes, use of sustainable practices, life styles of rich and famous using canvas bags and driving hybrids. Are trying to get a common EMMA greenseal which will certify that the content promotes sustainable living. What celebrities do will be noticed by their fans.

Hart Bochner: He and his wife Debbie have been working on trying to get the Greenseal on movies. Encourages green practices in his movies. Got 25 directors to not use woods from the rain forests so it won’t destroy those habitats. Many studios still use the precious woods. It’s hard to tear people away from their luxury cars and so forth.

Amy Lemish, State Film Commissioner:
Helps producers get their films made. Also now includes the green resource guide to find a bio-diesel generator company, recycling services, green caterers, etc. Above the line talent needs to do their part in their behaviors during production.

What can students do to conserve energy? To be in nature will give you many of those answers. Use less. Buy green. Request classes which address the environment impacts in what you are studying. Recycle and save energy in what you do – ride a bike.

Ask yourself how to “green” whatever your goals are.

Q: How can the studios encourage environmental movies from students?

Include the green practices in your scripts and stories that you tell in your movies. They are human stories and they include protecting the environment.

Q. How can I persuade my parents to buy “green”?
Ask them if they love you. If they want the world to be better for you, they would want to protect the planet for you. The payments of hybrids might be higher but they will save money on the cost of gas. Tell your parents it is not cool any more to drive around in an SUV.

Q. Are there jobs in “green” at the studios?
Jon, from Sony: My background is science. My staff is all scientists. It’s part of the business to study the environmental impact. Now these things are studied as part of the practices of businesses.
Shelly – we have recycling facility at he studios. Renewables are sprouting jobs. Green collar jobs are on the rise. Recycling has lots of new jobs now and renewables.

Q: Use of cell phones could be affecting the environment in negative ways. What can the entertainment industry do?

Bluetooth headsets. Cell phones in mens pockets reduce sperm count.

Q: Industry standards for green practices?
The EMMA seal on films. Standards are great and a third party standards are great. Certifications where the science has been justified.

Shelly – the LEED building seal took a long time and it is a rigorous rating system and complicated, being checked by a third party. The certification might make things rough and stifle creativity . It would be difficult for the productions to get done expeditiously in order to support their ideas with having to go through the additional step of a third party checking your work. That takes time.

Submitted by Dorothy Littlejohn

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