WTF: Hollywood Going Green?!

I was catching up on my DVD watching this week, and I was in the middle of watching the special features to The X-Files: I Want to Believe when I found myself in church.

Well, I wasn’t really in church, but there was definitely some preaching going on.

Amid some really nifty special features, there was a ten minute “message” from Chris Carter lauding his production for being green. In fact, Carter says that the waste produced by a television production was part of the reason that he stopped making The X-Files in the first place. (I’m sure that demanding actors, a show that had jumped the shark and a fizzling fan base had nothing to do with it.)

Some of the toots the came from Carter’s own horn included using hybrid cars from Ford, requiring the transpo department to turn off the cars rather than let them idle, using local food for catering and having a strict recycling program on set.

What the carbon footprint?

This proselytizing would have been acceptable if in other behind-the-scenes interviews the producers hadn’t bragged about leaking fake call sheets and scripts (that I’m sure were left unrecycled), shot “tons of footage” (which was all processed into dailies) and struggled to light massive outdoor shots (which were lit with 2K and 4K lights, not with fluorescent bulbs).

And anyone who has worked on a production knows that all this power doesn’t come from the local electrical grid. That’s right, folks, it comes from a massive portable generator powered by gasoline. Did Carter secure a hybrid production generator for this task? Probably not.

This reminds me of a PSA I saw several years ago on public access television featuring Cameron Diaz telling everyone that they should buy fluorescent bulbs to light their homes.

Oh, I’m not knocking fluorescent bulbs. But why should we get preached at about this by Cameron Diaz, who was in the middle of filming Charlie’s Angels 2 at the time. I don’t recall hearing that this production used fluorescent bulbs to power the massive amounts of lights on that film set. I’m sure the power used to light Diaz for a day could have lit a small town for a month.

Or what about the Academy Awards from 2006? The show bragged about how it was a green production. Yet, I’m sure they were still air conditioning the theater. I’m sure they had plenty of non-recyclable materials in their gift bags. And hybrid limos or not, I don’t think anyone involved in the ceremonies rode their bike to the show or took public transportation.

Let’s face it. Hollywood is a wasteful industry. I’ve worked on film sets before, and I’ve seen so much waste – whether it be plastic water bottles, reams of paper to print scripts and file production paperwork, or the massive power consumption to run trailers, lighting equipment and even craft services – that it would make you compost yourself.

I’m all for saving the planet, but why do we have to be preached at by Hollywood in television commercials, studio logos on the bottom of the screen and in the special features of our DVDs. Unless it’s Ed Begley, Jr. (one of the few non-hypocritical Hollywood do-gooders) doing the talking, I ain’t listening.

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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