Pedal Powered Transpo Fulfills Sustainable Film Production Commitment

10_6_09_loaded_bike.jpgFilm gear by bike. Photo: Rebel Without a Car/Facebook

Last Wednesday we premiered At What Price, a short film that I wrote and
directed and that was shot 100% sustainably in East Hollywood.

Sustainability typically is limited to "no plastic" and "no styrofoam" but we explored sustainability further. Much further.

wanted to involve the community and make the neighborhood be part of
our sustainability commitment. Oftentimes, film productions come into
town, tow cars, disrupt peoples lives, trash the streets and then leave
town. We wanted to be different. We asked the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council to help us and to endorse our
sustainable production. They did. We asked a local arborist Cassandra
Pruett and LA’s Park Czar Alfredo Hernandez, to help us with tree
planting after our shoot is over. After all, we wanted to leave the
community better then we found it.

The food for cast &
crew was brought fresh from local farmers markets, the food was mostly Mediterranean or raw to avoid cooking and the catering area had a team
of compost experts from CaterGreen namely Allan & Herminia. We had a
footprintologist on set to keep us honest and the shooting location as
well as the casting and production meetings were near Transit
Corridors.  Everybody used stainless steel water containers and the
utensils and dishes were washed and sanitized. Half the cast came to
set via Metro and the others walked or rode bikes.

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was transportation and that was when the Greensters came in. Led by Transpo Captain Ron ‘the Sherpa" Durgin, the Greensters are a completely pedal
powered transpo team that hauled all grip and electic equipment, all
camera and audio and also did the shopping at local farmers markets for
the caterer and handled all prduction needs during the shoot.

of thought was put into making our film sustainable, including sourcing
solar powered Libery Paks for lighting and for camera, as well as
"green" lighting, water usage and sanitation, film vs. cards, etc. And
once the film was finished, we continued to be sustainable.

film was dropped off for submission to Sundance and Slamdance via bike
(both offices are in LA) and the Cannes submission was mailed in reused
envelope and the CD was put in a paper envelope and all materials were
printed on 100% recycled paper.

All transactions after the film
wrapped were done on-line or in person and delivered on bikes. The
editor even had a bike rack in front of his business. That was very
cool and very convenient!

Nine weeks have passed since the shoot and we held our first screening at the beautiful Barnsdall Art Park in East Hollywood. East Hollywood has three Red
Line Stations so it is very conveniently located to make sustainable
choices. We promised indoor bike parking at Barnsdall and we also
encouraged travel via public transportation. Refreshments to the after
party were also brought in via bikes.

I saw the audience, I was pleasantly surprised at what a bit of
encouragement and the promise of a secure indoor bike parking did.
Probably half the audience didn’t bring a car. People walked, took the
bus or the Red Line and biked. It was a beautiful sight that I hope I
will see on many more film premiers and screenings.

film production into town can add to street live and to the health of
the community if planned right. Buying and renting local, biking and
walking the streets, seeking Neighborhood Council endorsement and
leaving the community better then before would not only bring money
back to the community but also bring money into the pockets of the
producers because locals would help promote the film. If more
productions would embrace the local approach our film industry would be
much healthier not only to our communities but also to our soul.

If you would like to find out about festival screenings of the sustainably shot film At What Price, follow us on facebook or on twitter.

you are interested about seeing the documentary about our 100%
sustainable film shoot, send us an email to and we’ll put you on our mailing
list.  You will
definitely see it on my set because I wouldn’t travel any other way.


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