By: Ann Murray
The green carpet rolled out for The Environmental Media Association’s EMA Awards this Saturday at the Warner Bros. movie lot, which was hosted by Olivia Munn and Jason Ritter. The event, which was completely plastic water bottle free, honored environmental films and television series, tackled topics such as alternative fuel sources and even featured a live Native American Dance troupe.
Celebrity guests included the brilliant James Cameron and his beautiful and green conscious wife, Suzy Amis Cameron (famous for her own green fashion choices). They were both on hand when Avatar snagged the night’s award for Feature Film. On the green carpet, Cameron explained the significance of how his film was shot and its overall environmental impact.
“Let’s look at the big picture,” he said. “Avatar was a film that took place in an enormous rain forest. Can’t shoot big battle scenes in a rain forest. It was 100 percent CGI. There were a few people playing multiple roles so the footprint compared to the visual impact was very tiny. But ultimately it’s a multi-hundred million dollar movie, there are a lot of people working on computers, and those computers are absorbing energy. There’s no way you can say this movie was made with one watt of power. But you have to weigh the value of the film with the environmental impact in the public consciousness.” – James Cameron, on making Avatar
Other stars gave us the scoop on how their television sets are enviro-friendly and waste-free. Sarah Drew from Grey’s Anatomy took tips from a fellow star on the set: “I was very inspired by Sandra Oh, because she never uses paper products on set,” she told us on the red carpet. “She uses her own mugs that say “Oh” on it, and she has her own plates. I went out and bought a reusable mug that looks like one of those coffee cups. I also bring my water bottle to set every day.”
Katrina Bowden took us inside 30 Rock’s very serious green policies; “Our show is green, we have done away with all plastic bottles,” she said. “At the beginning of the season we get our own mugs with our names on it, there’s recycling bins everywhere, efficient light bulbs everywhere. The same thing I am doing at home too.”
Mark Paul Gosselaar, on the other hand, told us it hasn’t always been easy to keep a set’s waste and energy consumption down, but that now being green on set is the norm. “So much so that when they gave my character a car, I asked that they made it a Prius” he told us about his time on ‘Raising the Bar’. “They said “we’ll get you a Prius!” but I don’t think that would have happened years ago.”
But if a film or TV series still finds it difficult to keep their carbon footprint in check, they might want to follow green guru Ed Begley Jr.’s guidance. “Contact EMA and get that green checklist for production,” he told us. “It’s simple things like recycling on the set, not printing scripts – if you have to print them, do so on recycled paper. Use pdf files. As an actor, I like to use pdfs. Shuttling people around, get a low mileage vehicle and more fuel efficient shuttles, buy green energy, have efficient lighting in the production office. Really it’s as easy as checking out the EMA list.”
In addition to “Avatar,” “30 Rock,” the documentary “Gasland” and Begley’s “Living With Ed” took home top honors of the night.