Entertainment’s Growing Green Message


In terms of thinking GREEN in the entertainment industry, I could talk about how show productions are trying to waste less and recycle more. I could note how our transition into the digital age is helping us fill up landfills at a slightly slower rate than before, with digital dailies rapidly replacing bulky VHS tapes and stacks of DVD disks. For the entertainment industry, however, the GREEN theme that truly speaks to me isn’t so much the television and filmmaking process, but rather the content we’re creating. And not surprisingly, that brings me back to “Avatar.”

James Cameron had been wanting to tell the story of “Avatar” for years, but in order for the work to live up to his vision, he had to pioneer a whole new class of filmmaking technology. Revolutionizing the filmmaking process is one (mind blowing) thing, but what I find even more impressive, is what Avatar’s story has to say.

The story speaks of the cost of our dysfunctional relationship with Mother Nature. She gave birth to us, she raised us, supplied us with everything we needed, but now we seem to have the impression that we don’t need her, that our technology holds all the answers. Come to think of it, Humankind starts to sound like a rebellious adolescent. We used to look up to our parents, but not now, we know better!

“Avatar” topped the previous worldwide box office record of $1.84 billion (set by Cameron’s “Titanic”) and it kept soaring. And while theater patrons in 3D glasses bask in the entertainment of it all, they’re also soaking in an important collective message – The world we live in is fragile and precious, and until we understand that, we’re likely to destroy it.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that while our news programs have become more like entertainment, our entertainment has deepened its purpose as a necessary collective message provider.

About The Author

I was raised in the Des Moines, Iowa, and had the good fortune to come out during my early days at Stanford University, which meant that I came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area, circa 1978! (That deserves two - !! ) I was thrilled to finally understand that piece of myself, and found many inspiring members within the gay community that helped me feel great about who I was. After college I moved out to New York to pursue a career as an actor. My 20's were fairly eventful (it was the 80's in New York, mind you) but by the end of that period in my life, I was looking for a more satisfying way to work and live. When my agent and manager both started moving clients to LA, I went, happily. Eventually I found my way into Renaissance Pictures, the production company run by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, where I worked on "Hercules" and "Xena." After several very cool years with them, I headed back to New York, motivated by a possible position on a gay cable network (that never happened) and a new love (that most definitely did!). 13 years later I find myself happily married to my husband Chris, working on two cool shows ("Nurse Jackie" and "Bored To Death"), and living in Chelsea with our golden retriever Jezebel. During the summer we're lucky enough to balance our time between the Pines on Fire Island, and Ptown on Cape Cod. During those visits, Jezebel loves nothing more than to jump the waves after a ball, or chase seagulls along the beach. She's a good role model on how best to enjoy the simple pleasures, and as easy a child to raise and love as ever there was! (She is a golden, after all!) You can reach Brad at carpenterbrad@me.com.

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