Mobile solar energy supplier Firefly is #winning!

Hi there! We’ve been in contact with Firefly Clean Energy, a mobile energy supplier that can be used on set. And we are planning a case with them, together with a Dutch film production. Stay tuned, we’ll share our updates on Facebook. For now, we celebrate this great success with Firefly!

Firefly Wins HAE ‘Event Industry Product of the Year’ Award

Firefly Hire Association Europe HAE Hybrid Power Award 2016

Firefly attended Hire Association Europe’s annual Hire Awards which took place on the 23rd of April at the Northumberland Hotel in London. We are pleased to announce that we were presented with the ‘Event Industry Product of the Year’ award for our Cygnus® Four Hybrid Power Generator.

The awards represent the best in the industry for plant, tool, hire and event equipment. Presented by host Jeremy Vine, our team took to the stage to collect the award which was sponsored by Acrotherm.

The judges said:
“An excellent entry with impressive case studies to back up how this product delivers reliable and sustainable power solutions to the event industry, with real business benefits which include 100% silent and vibration free power and significant cost savings”.

Green Screen Day IDFA 2015

Green Screen Day 2015
26 November 2015
Location: Brakke Grond, Nes 45, Amsterdam
11u45 – 23u30


On 26 November 2015 Green Film Making will host, in collaboration with IDFA, another edition of its Green Screen Day. Five documentaries with a broadening view on social and sustainable issues were selected for screening; with introductions and Q&A’s by special guests. Green Film Making also invited architect and innovation specialist Thomas Rau for a special lecture: “Our being is temporary, the consequences are permanent.” Rau will analyse and discuss the steps we have to take to turn sustainability into durability and will present a model for a new economic system.


11.45 Salero
With short introduction by Els Rientjes (Green Film Making) and Q&A with Marnix ten Kortenaar.
Brakke Grond, Expozaal

Moises is one of the last ‘Saleros’. On the Salar de Uyuni, worlds’ largest salt plane, he runs a small salt business in the old ways of his forefathers. Underneath his feet, in the blinding white ground, something else is hiding that could elevate Bolivia’s poor population into relative wealth: lithium. Bolivia has 35% of the worlds recourses of lithium, the building block of most rechargeable batteries. It’s the Green Saudi Arabia. But, is the world’s need for a green solution to transport worth the destruction of this unique environment and the ancient way of life that lives on it?  Lithium for thought.

Are those lithium batteries really such a good solution? Ex-professional ice skater Marnix ten Kortenaar, now better known for his company Dr Ten, develops batteries made of sea-salt. He doesn’t like the hype surrounding Tesla and the Powerwall home battery that much. Because why is nobody looking at the source of what is in these batteries? His plans are big. By 2020 half a million sea-salt batteries should be installed in homes. Preferably assembled in the Netherlands. A sea-salt battery has a longer life, is cleaner and cheaper than a lithium-ion-battery. On top of that, it is 100% recyclable and non-explosive unlike it’s lithium cousin. A different view on salt.



14.00 Banking Nature
With short introduction by Els Rientjes (Green Film Making) and Q&A with Elfrieke van Galen
Brakke Grond, Expozaal

What do you think about first with the color green, nature or money? Banks have now sniffed out what seems to be the last untouched territory, the environment. It was here before us, but somehow it makes sense to some of us that we can also put a value on things we did not and cannot produce ourselves. But is the term ‘Green Economy’ really an oxymoron, or is the best idea to save the environment? In ‘Banking Nature’, this idea is explored, hearing both sides of the argument. If the financial sector can be enticed to invest in saving the environment, what happens when there is no profit? Will we take our final dive into black?

Elfrieke van Galen knows a lot about Green Economy. As partner with TheRockGroup she works to speed up the transition to a sustainable economy through consultancy and entrepreneurship. She also has a seat in the Dutch Emission Authority that monitors the CO2 emissions in the Netherlands. In the past she has been Senior Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility with KLM. A question about the intersection of nature and economy? Ask Elfrieke.



16.30 Thomas Rau
With short introduction by Els Rientjes (Green Film Making)
Brakke Grond, Rode Zaal

Entrepeneur, architect, innovator, inspirator and visionary. There is a lot on the plate of Thomas Rau, who has since many years been giving significant input into the field of sustainability, renewable energy sources and architecture as well as to how to deal with the current lack of raw materials. With his architectural firm RAU he has developed multiple innovations in the field of carbon-neutral, energy-neutral and energy positive construction and recently also for circular architecture. In everything he does he let’s himself be guided by what will be needed in the future instead of what is feasible today and he shows with great enthusiasm that our energy crisis can actually be solved. Plenty of renewable energy, it’s just a matter of the right attitude.



19.00 Land Grabbing
With short introduction by Els Rientjes (Green Film Making)
Brakke Grond, Expozaal

Who owns the earth? Apparently, he (or she) with the most money. Since there is no end to our growth doctrine but there is an end to the amount of available land, we are now entering a third cycle of colonialism. And this time it is disguised as ‘sustainable farming schemes’ or ‘EU anti-arms programs’. Because if it sounds right is must be, right…? From Ethiopia to Cambodia, Romania and Indonesia, ‘Land Grabbing’ gives insight into new business ventures where cheap land is wriggled out of the hands of local communities to produce with a capital P. This fight for available land is based on the misconception that bigger machines feed larger amounts of people. On the contrary, in this film it becomes clear that farming with crop rotation on a small scale, is much more sustainable to feed all of us. Keep things small and in your own backyard.



21.30 Racing extinction
With short introduction by Els Rientjes (Green Film Making) and discussion by special guests: documentary filmmaker Renée Scheltema, engineer Ward Hupperets and social entrepreneur Tom van de Beek.
Brakke Grond, Expozaal
Welcome to the Antropocene, the age in which earth and its natural environment has started to significantly alter through human activities. In ‘Racing Extinction’, humanity is compared to the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaur: Rooftops spilling over with thousands of drying shark fins; Manta rays on the verge of disappearance because of a medical superstition; The unanswered call of a very last bird of its species; Our daily living arenas slowly sinking into an invisible mist of carbon dioxide. Not a pretty picture. But exactly this picture might be able to open our eyes. Instead of serenading the end, there is still too much to fight for. It’s too easy to say “too late”. It’s too late to say “tomorrow”.

Renée Scheltema has been making documentaries for TV for 25 years, mainly as a one-woman crew. A constant theme in her work has been sustainable development and the protection of the environment, which has culminated into her latest feature documentary called Normal Is Over on the big picture of what is happening to the planet, through an environmental lens. From practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time, this film is intended to offer hope. Renée is the embodiment of getting up from your lazy chair and doing something.

Ward Huppeter is Lead mechanical engineer for Spectral Utilities (Metabolic), a cleantech development and systems consulting firm based in Amsterdam. They design and implement holistic and replicable systems by advising industries, governments, and the non-profit sector on how to transition towards a circular and sustainable economy. Ward specializes in developing modular solutions for basic needs provision, in other words, bringing the best sustainable solutions within reach for anyone.

Tom van de Beek is a man wearing many hats. Since years he has been a sustainability front man and social entrepreneur and has started different ventures and blossoming projects in and outside of the Netherlands, for example The Tipping Point and Bushwick BV – Impact Consulting. Having built a professional career in the fields of business, communications and development he has now crystallized his mission to catalyse conscious, sustainable communities across the globe. Inspired by nature he is also an active member of several organizations and is passionate about wild unbridled nature and the connection of humanity in modern society. He is also co-founder of the Strawberry Earth Film Festival.


Looking back at the workshop ‘Sustainability on location’ (22nd of May)

What do you get if you stick sustainable entrepreneurs with their products, location managers and film producers together in one room? Good ideas about how you can collaborate to make the filmmaking process on location more sustainable! Exactly what Els Rientjes had envisioned when she organised a workshop on Friday the 22nd of May with ‘sustainability on location’ as it’s central theme. This workshop was a continuation of the previous event ‘Sustainable production in practice’ that had taken place on the 19th of March.
Visiting ‘Locatiewerk’

Place of action: the premises of ‘Locatiewerk’ owned by Tijn Heerkens, who was also present as a speaker on the 19th of March. For a while now Tijn has had several energy saving products on offer, such as the location van/trailer ‘Skyliner’ and the ‘WC-flex’. Both products are easy to relocate, energy efficient and have low water usage, which make them smart and efficient alternatives for the more traditional location facility vehicles and the classic Dixi porta-potty.

Tijn Heerkens and the Skyliner – photography: Dorien Grötzinger

Tijn Heerkens and the Skyliner – photography: Dorien Grötzinger

The invited producers Ron Groenewoud (Ron Groenewoud Film), Daniel Aiss (ALP) and Niek Teunissen (Umami Media) inspected and assessed the product range of ‘Locatiewerk’ and besides this, Els had invited several other entrepreneurs to pitch their innovative equipment to the film industry.

Green film making bij lokatie werk-28

Niek Teunissen, Ron Groenewoud and Daniel Aiss – photography: Dorien Grötzinger

GreenBattery: a mobile battery trailer

‘I am definitely planning to start using what I have seen today’, said Ron Goenewoud at the end of the day. What did he see? The GreenBattery for example. This mobile battery is a smart replacement for the engine-generator and is already being used at music festivals. Daniel Aiss and Niek Teunissen are also enthusiastic and would like to take part in a test case with the GreenBattery.

How can a product like this be profitable on a filmset? Groenewoud sums up the disadvantages of a generator: the costs of a GreenBattery are reasonable, ‘a generator will cost you about 135 euros a day, this one would only cost about 85 a day’, you don’t have any exhaust gas, you don’t have to refuel with Diesel, it’s much more environmentally friendly and it’s very silent when in use. Aiss adds: ‘And especially this last point can save a lot of time, because how often do you have to shut down the whole set when waiting for stuff to recharge?’. Niek Teunissen is also positive: ‘The mobile battery of GreenBattery is a simple application that can be used in a smart way. I would like to start using it in the fall, when we shoot ‘Kappen’ by Carry Slee. I don’t bring a generator usually, but if I could connect this to a house grid, I would be able to compensate for the differential tariff.’

Green film making bij lokatie werk-37

Han Huiskamp with his GreenBattery – photography: Dorien Grötzinger

Test cases with the GreenBattery

Han Huiskamp of GreenBattery is happy with the enthusiastic reactions and feedback. ‘The most attractive advantages of the GreenBattery are that it is so silent and that it can protect the power demand of a residential circuit whilst still making high power supply possible. This means less hindrance for the location that is hosting the filming, no blown fuses and you only need one cable.’ Huiskamp hopes that this will lead to a first test run in the coming weeks or months. Daniel Aiss is motivated: ‘I have a pending funding application for a short film, so if this is granted, I will definitely be in touch.’ And Ron Groenewoud is shooting Eddy Terstal’s Alberta (FuWorks) in the fall. ‘Part of the shoot will take place in a forest, so in this case the GreenBattery is definitely an interesting option.’

Solar Transformer: Solar-power on location.

Spectral Utilities (a Metabolic venture) also visited with the Solar Transformer. Ward Hupperets, Chief Technology Officer, talked about this mobile battery that is basically a trailer with solar panels. Because of the energy-saving qualities and it’s ease of use (assembly time: 2 minutes) this could be a very clever application for film sets. Biggest advantage: You only need (free) sunlight, nothing more. Without sunlight, the Solar Transformer supplies power for 5 hours. With sunlight, it generates 10 kVa continuously. You can also use the Solar Transformer as a battery during high tariff hours. According to Groenewoud this is perfect if you are shooting in a field on a sunny day. ‘Maybe it’s a little big to use in the city’. Nonetheless, Groenewoud sees useful applications if the Solar Transformer is further developed: ‘Especially for big lights it is interesting’. ‘And if you can combine the Solar Transformer and the GreenBattery, it could work well on set’, in Aiss’ opinion.

The Solar Transformer - Picture via Spectral Utilities

The Solar Transformer – Picture via Spectral Utilities

Click to read more info on the Solar Transfomer (PDF)

Sucker for gadgets

All producers called it an inspiring afternoon. Well, let’s have Niek Teunissen expand a bit: ‘Because for me it was already clear that something should be done with sustainability in the film sector. I think it is a given, it is just part of the times we live in.’ But Teunissen, a sucker for gadgets according to himself, is impressed with what he has seen. He also mentions an intrinsic advantage of working sustainable in the film industry: ‘It can really bother people if we are shooting with a diesel-generator. The noise, the smell. For example in a heavily filmed city like Amsterdam, it is important that we as a sector are keeping the goodwill for the filming process.’

Discussion afterwards featuring producers, location managers and entrepreneurs - fotografie: Dorien Grötzinger

Discussion afterwards featuring producers, location managers and entrepreneurs – fotografie: Dorien Grötzinger

Also present: Location manager Willem Doorman, filmmakers Jaap & Kasper and Watt now

Location manager Willem Doorman also visited, with an electric cart for on set. Watch the interview with him in the video report by Jaap & Kasper Filmproductions:

Recap workshop May 22nd: Sustainability on Location from greenfilmmaking on Vimeo.

As previously mentioned, Els Rientjes wants to start doing several tests this summer, during which for example the GreenBattery’s energy use will be measured to make it clear what it’s advantages are more concretely. The people of Watt Now will be coordinating these tests.

To be continued..

And Tijn Heerkens sees possibilities to work out a plan together with Spectral Utilities to combine the GreenBattery with the Solar Transformer. As soon as we have an update available on their progress we will of course share them on our website and social media. And through are newsletter. You are not getting it yet? Sign up here!

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Video & Recap: Dutch Workshop ‘Sustainable Production in Practice’ Sheds light on Fresh Insights

On March 19th professional filmmakers, executive producers & location managers gathered at pllek, in Amsterdam to attend the workshop ‘Sustainable Production in Practice’. Els Rientjes (Sustainability Manager to the Dutch Film industry) hosted the workshop to harness a new way of thinking & working for production professionals: “If we do not participate in the sustainability shift now, we will soon loose our relevancy” said Rientjes. Best practises identified during the workshop include: detailed planning & communication of the sustainability strategy in pre-production, introducing a broader definition of work for location managers (since location managers best know the capacities of a site), strategic waste management, & the introduction of a Sustainable Coordinator as a permanent crew member on set.  read more…

Next Generation of Filmmakers Make own Green Production Guide, Support @ Indiegogo

The film, entitled Cassiopeia, begins shooting in May and is an ambitious and intense drama short, about two lovers that meet again after not having seen each other for two years. The production is also a Masters project for a team of international film students at the University of Edinburgh’s College of Art, who are aiming to produce their film as eco-friendly as possible. That’s why the student production team behind ‘Cassiopeia’ has made its very own ‘Green Production Guide’; a guide that coordinates specific green filmmaking efforts among all of the project’s members & levels of production.  In order to take full advantage, the green filmmaking approach is prominently featured on most of the project’s promotional materials, effectively broadening the scope of confident film funders & shareholders. As a sign of great success, the crew’s green filmmaking ethos has already been awarded the SRS Student Project Grant by the University of Edinburgh’s Department for Social Responsibility & Sustainability – Bravo! You can support the green production of Cassiopeia on its Indigogo page here, or check out its Green Production Guide here.

read more…

Industry ‘Shades of Green’ Panel at the Berlinale: Recap & Coverage

Policies on sustainability, and more sustainable practices, have already made their way as ‘norm’ across many pertinent and high emitting industries – think cars, energy supply, waste management. The film/TV industries however, have yet to enforce limits on their carbon emission outputs, despite the fact that these highly visible industries posses great social influence, and often rely on funding via pubic resources. That’s why at the Berlinale International Film Festival this year, representatives of several European Film Funds and green filmmaking initiatives sat down to discuss the film industry’s continued move towards more sustainable production practice. Yup, and it all went down at a panel entitled ‘Shades of Green’. [image: Bildschön]

read more…