AM I the only person not raving about the new Bond film? The acting was shplendid. The locations impeccable. But the plot? Mind-numbing.
“What do you expect?” said Mr Green. “It’s a Bond film.” This is true but, really, couldn’t they have attempted some tension rather than doling out the usual ‘here’s the baddie, now James has two hours to do car chases, fights, explosions and put a halt to his evil plans’?
The two boys in front of me were so bored they had a competition to see who could most effectively shove their head into an empty popcorn carton. Their negligent father spent half the film gazing into the hypnotic glow of his smartphone. I sat in a distracted haze, alternating between speculation about what sort of exercise regime gives Daniel Craig such muscle definition, and wondering about the carbon footprint of 3D glasses.
Has greenness infiltrated the world of film at all? There’s a cinema in New York’s Sixth Avenue that sells organic popcorn, but this is not the norm. Still, it has been announced that work will soon commence to monitor the carbon footprint of the Screen Machine mobile cinema. This impressive entity tours Scotland’s more remote Highland and island communities, providing access to films to those without a cinema nearby. The idea is that it reduces carbon emissions by taking blockbusters to the people rather than everyone having to drive all the way to a major metropolis for their cinematic fix.
Moving on, I uncovered details of the British Standard for sustainability, BS 8909, at the British Film Institute. It sounds like a kitemark you get on safety glass. The institute has lots of hints for how film industry professionals can reduce their carbon footprint and it bigs up Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) for being the UK’s first Industry Green certified cinema. GFT’s environmental efforts include reducing carbon emissions by ten per cent since August 2011 and holding high-profile awareness events such as the UK Green Film Festival. As well as implementing energy-saving measures, the cinema’s emissions caused by waste (36 per cent) are being tackled by recycling, including food. You mean people don’t finish those hot dogs?
Over in Hollywood, it is hard to imagine how big-budget film-making could ever be green. With the sheer number of people, equipment, travel and far-fetched catering demands of A-list celebs, reducing the carbon footprint must be nigh on impossible. Some films, including Syriana and The Day After Tomorrow, declare themselves carbon neutral by offsetting emissions, while others have made a real effort to be greener – makers of the Matrix sequels commissioned an organisation called the ReUse People to recycle material from its sets. It was a success, with 97.5 per cent of materials getting redirected elsewhere.
The Green Production Guide lists more than 1,500 companies that provide “sustainable and energy-saving products and services” for film and television. So the screen industry seems to be tentatively considering a greener future, although I can’t see Mr Bond swapping his martini for a mug of organic cider any time soon. Still, the website features a carbon calculator, which it informs us has been used by all manner of productions to “green their sets” – including The Muppets, Black Swan and The Hobbit. So I’ll leave you with an image of Miss Piggy recycling her skinny latte cups, Natalie Portman wearing a vintage tutu and Bilbo Baggins trying to verify that the ring he has his eye on was ethically mined. Green film? It’s coming soon to a cinema near you.