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A Sustainable Film Shoot Invades East Hollywood

evening formal dressesEast Hollywood has garnered a reputation as the Neighborhood Council of firsts. They were the first NC to use a Music Video as their application for certification. They were the first NC to endorse the Cyclists’ Bill of Rights. They were first to declare themselves a Pedestrian Oriented Community and they were the first to partner with a sustainable Film Production Company. The short film that they endorsed is titled AT WHAT PRICE and shooting wrapped this past month. This film used 100% sustainability standards that no other production company ever dared to do.

Rebel Without A Car Production started with basic “no plastic” and “no styrofoam” mentality and they planned to recycle everything that they used. But this was just the beginning. The Rebels continued the idea of sustainability with utilizing East Hollywood’s public transportation system and riding their bikes everywhere. East Hollywood has 3 Metro Redline Stations, several Bus hubs and it’s also the home of the Bike District. So getting around was easy and the Production team made sure that all meetings, casting and filming were accessible via all modes of travel.

Have you ever heard of actors in LA taking the Metro to their acting gig? What about the producer? I think this might have been the first film in Hollywood that actually had two of the leads and two of the Producers use public transpo and bikes to get on set. Now that is sustainable!

Wai Leong unloads the ice

Wai Leong, one of our Greensters, rides loaded. Ice on her bike and drinks on her back. Photo by A T-Rex Photography

Of course the Production didn’t stop there. What about all the grip & electric, camera gear and audio? Well, they thought about that as well. Rebel Without A Car Production employed some cyclists with Xtracycles, trailers, and wagons to pick up all the rental gear, and so the Greensters were born. These cyclists worked faster and harder then anybody on a bike in Hollywood history. Not only did they haul gear across Hollywood, they also made themselves available throughout the day to run productions supplies, and support the production team with pickups and dropoffs. They even transported the Documentary Filmmaker during the initial pickups, while he was filming.

This is where feeding the cast and crew came into play and the question arose, how to feed so many people sustainably (at all times there were 25 people around). The Rebels were tossing ideas back and forth, about electricity, coal, meat vs. vegetables, grocery stores vs. local food and they decided that the fruits and vegetables will be picked up from the local farmers market each day fresh.

Again, the Greensters did the shopping and tranportation for the production. Meat and cooking is generally not good for the environment and of course there were many people with various food needs, allergies and preferences, so the Rebels agreed to serve fruits and vegetables, cold foods and raw foods and only once with the main dish at lunch will they serve some meat that has been cooked with propane fuel. This was great for both cast and crew. Nobody got tired from overeating or from heavy food, but the energy was preserved throughout the day, into the night.

If there was any carbon footprint left behind from this production, the Rebels teamed up with a local urban forester and a park czar, who will plant trees and/or a garden, to truly offset their carbon footprint. One of the mandates of Rebel Without a Car Productions was to leave things better then they found it.

Rebel Without a Car Productions proved that filming can be sustainable and that filming can also help the community and the local businesses, without disturbing the neighborhood. Keep your eyes open for the documentary of this sustainable filmmaking at a film festival near you and the short film AT WHAT PRICE coming to a screening near you as well. In the meantime, you can follow the Greensters and their next project on twitter.com/LAGreensters, the Rebels at twitter.com/RebelWithoutCar and you can subscribe to their YouTube videos their Facebook fanpage or their blog.

This video is close captioned for the deaf and hard of hearing.

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