An alliance of Toronto-based film industry associations and service providers – including Toronto Film Studios, Panavision, FilmOntario and ACTRA – announced a bold initiative to make Toronto a leader in "greening" the film production industry. The Green-Screen initiative rationally identifies and endorses a set of environmentally sustainable standards and recommendations for all productions shooting in Toronto from small documentaries and independent films to mega budget blockbusters.
Already the Green-Screen mandate is getting support from major productions including <em>The Incredible Hulk</em>, which is currently in production in Toronto.
"Toronto’s Green-Screen initiative will be one of the most comprehensive in the world," said Melissa Morgan of IATSE 873’s Environmental Committee and alliance member.
Toronto’s Green-Screen initiative will go even further by implementing a certification program to measure and recognize the efforts of individual productions to reduce their impact on the environment.
"While production costs are always a concern to producers, there are many ways that productions can reduce their impact without adding costs," said Toronto Film Studios president Ken Ferguson. "For instance, switching from halogen to florescent lighting in production offices.”
Other practices being encouraged include use of low VOC paints, having craft services use biodegradable containers rather than Styrofoam, rental of hybrid automobiles for production use, composting of food wastes, double-sided photocopying of scripts and selective distribution of copies to save paper, reduced use of the tropical hardwood lauan for set construction, and reclamation of set-building materials which often are dumped into landfill.
To date, its founding partners have contributed over $100,000 and the group is seeking additional funding from provincial government programs to further support its efforts.
"There has been an overwhelming show of support for this initiative by Toronto’s screen-based industries," said alliance member Candida Paltiel of Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival. "Greening of the film industry is no longer just a suggestion; it is now a serious mission that Toronto’s Green-Screen initiative is helping to vault into the realm of mainstream film and television production."
Toronto’s Green-Screen initiative will be featured during a panel on "Going Green in the Film Industry" at the Planet in Focus International Environmental Film & Video Festival in Toronto October 24 to 28. The festival showcases film and video focusing on environmental themes and this year will be presenting its first carbon-neutral entries.