I’m a film purist. I can admit that. I’m also an environmentalist, I can admit that too. I love shooting on film and I often cringe at first glance when I see a digital image. But I’ve had to come to terms the digital image, and some could say we’re friends now. Thanks to advances in cameras, such as the HVX200A with the Brevis system which allows you to shoot through real glass and, yes, finally get some depth of field out of the non-film image. Without the digital revolution, many filmmakers would still be living in their parents basement saving up every penny to shoot a five-minute short on film. Or simply wishing they had the money to tell their stories. But things have changed, and I for one am thankful for that.
Besides the economics, digital filmmaking and I became friends because it’s helping to make the entertainment industry a little more Green. Lets face it- film is beautiful and often I don’t think that anything will ever match the reaction and emotional attachment one has to it, but its kind of been an environmental mess from birth. In the early 1900’s Nitrate (nitrocellulose) film was brought into the market. It was highly flammable and couldn’t even be extinguished by water. There was once a handmade sign in the basement of the Library of Congress that said, “In case of fire run like hell….” Nitrate was discontinued in the early 50’s.
Today, film is not subject to disposal restrictions, and the chemicals needed in its development haven’t been given a hard line either. But all is not lost. In 2003,Eastman Kodak Company received the 2003 Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in recognition of Kodak’s commitment to reducing ozone-depleting chemicals through the development of Particle Transfer Roller (PTR) technology for cleaning motion picture film. And many film distributors have contracted with FPC, Inc., a Kodak company located in Hollywood, Calif., which certifies destruction of film content and recycles the base or burns it as an alternate source of clean energy. Progress is being made in the film industry and that makes me very happy. Now if I can only find a way to reduce the number of water bottles I see thrown about our set. Yes, recycling is an option, but not having to recycle at all is a better one.