Greensters Wrap Film and Start a Revolution
8:09 AM PDT on August 4, 2009
This video is close captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Three weeks ago I asked the world for help in fulfilling Rebel Without
A Car Production's commitment to producing a film sustainably. Our goal
was to shoot locally and in partnership with the community.
It all seemed so doable when we were brainstorming and imagining a
world of "Big Stories told with Little Footprints!" but when the
production got going and I realized that all the grip & electric,
all the camera and audio, all the food and all of the production
supplies would need to be transported on bikes, I began to sweat.
There was a brief moment when I imagined myself riding solo through
the streets of Hollywood in the middle of the night, laboring to keep
the production moving, all the while cursing Enci's commitment to
shooting "At What Price" sustainably.
That's how I found myself posting a video, calling for help, hoping
that someone, somewhere would come and join me. In a moment of
optimism, we named our substitute Teamsters "The Greensters" and the
Time was running out and I received a couple of emails, a couple of
calls and a few nods and expressions of interest. I was happy for any
interest, I was hopeful for help, and I was under pressure!
The day of reckoning came and history was made in East Hollywood!
Greensters showed up from all over, Beverly Hills, Orange County, Highland
Park, Silver Lake, K-Town, Pasadena, Hermosa Beach, Marina Del Rey.
They arrived on Xtracycles, they pulled wagons and trailers, they came
on bikes of all shapes and sizes. DJ Chickenleather, who usually gets
up at the crack of noon, even on his day off, arrived
with a homemade bamboo trailer that looked suspiciously like a
re-purposed Pier One patio display. It was all good!
We were a team. A team of Greensters and we had some history to make. Oh yeah, and a film.
The Greensters proceeded to pickup the rentals for the film shoot,
getting in line with the Teamsters and their Studio trucks. The
Greensters moved a lot more quickly and a lot more efficiently. They
put the Teamsters to shame. (One guy with a big truck is no match for a
swarm of Greensters who divvy up the load and "Ride Loaded!")
Ron "the Sherpa" Durgin served as Transpo Captain and planned the routes, organized the
Greensters and led the convoy down Santa Monica Boulevard and to the
location in East Hollywood, riding an Xtracycle loaded with gear and a the filmmaker who documented the journey!
Jeremy Grant also rode an Xtracycle as did Erik Knutzen and by the end of the production, they had quite a few converts. I
had anticipated more cyclists with trailers and wagons but the
Xtracycles proved to be the transpo solution of the future. No matter
how we started off, within moments the Xtracycles were at the front of
the pack while DJ and I rode caboose, debated philosophy and interviewed each other.
The Greensters came from all walks and with different perspectives and
that added another layer of sustainability to the endeavor. Laura is a
Film Producer, Dale is a Transportation Engineer, Wai is a Marine
Biologist, Shant is a LEED Contractor, Feather is a Chef, and Allan
& Herminia are ZeroWaste Consultants. Through it all, the
Greensters shared a passion for creating community and challenging the
During the shoot, the Greensters shopped local Farmers markets and the
crew was nourished with fresh food, prepared at Camp Rebel, all with a
zero waste commitment. Production was supported at all times with
cyclists such as Ricardo who were quicker to get around the
neighborhood on bikes than if they had been using cars.
Riding around Hollywood was loads of fun but the true test came when
late at night it was time for a company move. The Camera Crew were a
little under-impressed as they watched us roll out, ready to move all
the equipment to an exterior location a couple of blocks away. "Time is
money! It's getting late! What about power?"
In less time that it takes to pry a Teamster out of a Motorhome, we had
moved everything including the solar-powered LibertyPak generators and the Nila lights and we were
ready to shoot. Josef's Bakfiet served as camera-bike and the DP sat in
the bucket with her camera and a contented look on her face as Flying
Pigeon LA put another dolly grip out of work, replaced by a Greenster!
We had a great time, we challenged the transpo paradigm of "the Industry" and Hollywood didn't fall of its axis.
At the end of the shoot, Enci had her film. That, in and of itself, is
an accomplishment. But we went one better. We did it sustainably, with
a zero waste commitment and by overcoming the two biggest obstacles
that prevent Hollywood from doing the right thing; Transportation and
As for the Greensters, the next objective is to lay down the "Sustainability Manifesto for the Industry."
The challenge is on!
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