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Music Video Briefs With Budgets - RadarMusicVideos comes out of development

RadarMusicVideos is a fast growing network which introduces directors worldwide to music video commissioners and promoters. The site has just come out of development, with a new look and already over 4,000 members worldwide.

Major labels, independent labels and management companies use the site to post briefs and scout for directors. Recent commissions include Fatboy Slim and Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip.
Most briefs commission a director from the network, to date over 200 briefs have been posted and over 100 commissions have been made using the site. All briefs have budgets, which range from around £100/$160 to £5000/$8000.


Water Colours wins top Awards again..

From Anita Chaumette from the film Water Colours:

The North Sea Film Festival Amsterdam highest recognition & award goes to "Water Colours: A Touch of Fluorescence", with FIRST PRIZE, BEST FILM in the Professional Category!

Once again, the stunning imagery of the secret communication channels of fish has brought the limelight to fluorescence pioneers ‘Liquid Motion Film'. With the invaluable help of Scientific Advisors from three continents and associated directly with National Geographic/NGTI, Liquid Motion's ‘Water Colours' Series started out in pole position, as the blue-chip underwater series of the decade. This prominent First Prize - Best Film Award from Amsterdam, added to the prestigious Grand Prix de L'Institut Oceanographique awarded in France last week, puts Water Colours further on the path to global stardom. Thank you so much to our Scientific Advisors and friends for years of relentless support (and who made this possible): Dr. Charles Mazel, Mikhail V. Matz PhD., Prof. Roy L. Caldwell PhD., Dr. Ulrike Siebeck, Prof. Shaun P. Collin & Prof. Justin Marshall.


The enviornment is the protagonist in Europe's biggest environmental film festival, Ecovision

From the Ecovision Press Release:

55 films in competition, selectioned among the 1020 arrived, representing 70 countries of the world. 10 world premieres, 3 European premiers confirm the EcoVision’s growing trend, one of the most important European film festival about environment which will take place from 3 to 9 of June in Palermo at Palazzo Chiaramonte (Steri), in a few steps from the biggest European exotic tree, inside the “Univercittà” project. To the winner will be awarded the Fondazione Banco di Sicilia Prize.

The Festival is patronized by Italian Committee of the UNESCO, by Unicef and sponsorized by Regione Siciliana and by Ministero dell’Ambiente e della tutela del territorio e del mare.

“EcoVision – says Tonino Pinto, chairman of the jury – proposes itself as comparison and meeting chance for the author cinema, for the great majors’ cinema, for the courageosuly independent cinema that more and more develops, you can see the last results of 2009 Oscar”.


New free carbon calculator for film production from Film London

underwater-swimming-polar-bear_2968As Obama continues to walk on water with plans to cut car emmissions drastically, Film London - perhaps the UK's most pioneering screen agency - has released in Cannes its Green Screen plan, with a Carbon Calulator Excel file for calculating a film's carbon footprint. With Hollywood film productions producing more carbon than all LA air traffic, and London's screen industries producing 125,000 tonnes alone (the equivalent of 24,000 houses), the tool and its accompanying research (also available in Hindi, Arabic and Chinese) is long awaited.

In February, London announced a plan to make the city one of the greenest places to film on the planet, as part of a number of sector specific campaigns contributing to the Mayor's comprehensive London Climate Change Action Plan to cut the capital’s emissions by 60 per cent by 2025. Like every other part of London life, the film industry has a role to play in the fight against climate change, showing leadership and setting an example to others. Some of the leading companies and names in the film, TV and commercial production sector are supporting the campaign including: UK Film Council, BAFTA, Equity, Ealing Studios, 3 Mills Studios, Pinewood Studios, the Production Managers Association, Advertising Producers Association, Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television, and the Production Management Association.

The Calculater is available to download here.

As an example of how quickly things are beginning to change, and how London's actions could have an domino effect - this time last year I was struggling to find a UK printer who used FSC (Forrest Stewardship Council) paper and card for our latest funding book edition (FSC means that something like 5 trees are grown for every one felled). A good printer was found at a good price - he sent a mock-up book, but switched the papers from FSC at the last minute so we had to ditch him. All the major printers - including Anthony Rowe, the big indie printers - were unable to help with FSC papers and we eventually found a company who mainly printed business annual reports, that could. We made sure there was a big FSC-off notice about the paper stock at the front of the book, and even told people not to buy a copy unless they had to. Anyway, a few weeks ago I received an email from Anthony Rowe saying that all their paper stocks would now be FSC. I received a book through the post yesterday as a belated birthday present and saw an 'FSC + Harber Collins' logo on the back cover. Even the Scottish Labour leaflet through the door this morning had an ugly FSC notice on it. Yes we can.


Stupid premiere turns spotlight on film industry's footprint

The Age of Stupid has had its world premiere across 65 screens throughout the UK, including a green carpet premiere in London with a solar powered cinema and bike powered popcorn. As Channel 4 News points out in this segment on the film, the carbon footprint of film production is less often discussed, with the Film Council apparently now researching the area. A recent survey found that the Hollywood film industry creates more carbon than all LA air traffic.


Age of Stupid signs UK distribution and launches vast new site

age_of_stupid.jpgFranny Armstrong's The Age of Stupid, produced with Oscar Winner John Battsek has been getting very strong early buzz, and recently celebrated bringing DogWoof Pictures onboard to handle distribution in the UK while keeping all rights. The film should be released in the UK in March 2009, and follows near-five years of work to bring the film to light. Having raised over £450,000 through 228 the film is one of the earliest and most successful crowd-sourced funded films.

Persuade Your Local Cinema To Hold A Screening

The team have kept the public involved with the film throughout production through the website  - with regular vlogs, diaries and calls for help. This looks set to continue with the cinema release, with a call to visitors of the packed new site - -  to encourage your cinema to host a screening. 

Set in 2055 the film sees Pete Postlethwaite mournfully looking back at this part of our century, questioning why we did not do more when we still could while browser a video archive of news footage. Living on a tower above a flooded London, he provides a point of perspective between six stories from around the world tracking those affected by climate change - from a Texan oil worker to an Indian entrepreneur looking to launch one rupee flights.

With RyanAir threatening to launch £8 transatlantic flights, the Maldives looking to buy a new home, and the new US adminisitration expected not to re-sign up to Kyoto - negotiating instead to reduce the former commitment (of a 6% fall on 1990 emisions by 2012, instead to return to 1990 levels by 2020) - the film couldn't be more timely.

From the (brilliant) website - one of the making-of mini-films, and the newly finished trailer:

A flooded planet


Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront : New doc puts food under spotlight

nosenfents2.jpgThe documentary Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront (Our Children Will Accuse Us) is released in France this Friday looking at the effect of agro-chemicals on the environment and human health, noting that young people today will be "the first generation in a very long time to be less healthy than their parents". Following in the footsteps of Jamie Oliver, the film focuses on a local village school canteen making the transition to organic food. (thanks Todd).

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Carbon Neutral Filmmaking

lastpolarbear.jpgAl Gore’s climate change documentary, An Inconvenient Truth opened up people’s eyes to the devastating potential effects of climate change around the world. There has finally been an increase in the film world of the sometimes controversial carbon offsetting, whereby carbon used in a film's creation is offset through environmental projects such as tree planting or energy saving in the developing world. Film such as No Country for Old Men, The Day After Tomorrow and Syriana have all been carbon neutral, with an increase in the past two years in lower budget independent films also taking this path. Carbon offsetting may seem like a luxury for a low budget shoot, yet costs no more than 1% of the budget and often less.

Ali Selim’s Sweet Land , for instance, cost $1m to make and a further $5,000 for London based Carbon Neutral Company to calculate and report on the 8,000 tonnes of carbon used in the process. Offsetting this by investing in a reforestation project in Germany and windmills and compact fluorescent lighting in Jamaica cost another US$10,000.

The filmmakers were given incentives to minimise environmental costs during the production – ‘shooting out’ each location, by filming all the scenes there before moving on. Actors used an on-set carpool, while sunlight was used as a light source wherever possible.

There are lots of services online to try and help you estimate your costs for small things, such as flights to Film Festivals - which will cost less than you think. A return flight from London to India (as I've just found out for personal reasons), for instance, costs around £13, a trip to Cannes would be much less. Of course the best option is to take a train, or not go altogether, but at least with an offset there is some positive impact.

This Carbon Calculator can tell your CO2 for flights and offers a choice of options. Two directory sites provide links and details of carbon offsetting providers - Carbon Catalog and the Emisions Offset DIrectory .


New Documentary into Gas Flaring

gas flareApparently 150 billion cubic metres of gas are burnt off every year - enough gas to power the United States for three months. Even worse - the 390 million tonnes of carbon dioxide released while doing this is more than the reduction of CO2 emissions from many of the carbon offseting projects of the Koyoto protocol. Nigeria alone burns off enough gas to power half of Africa for a year. Writer, producer and director (and co-author of the first funding book), Caroline Hancock, has just completed a documentary on the subject and apparently almost got shot when shooting in Nigeria. While the screening on BBC World has passed it may well appear online at some point or be replayed on the channel - and either way sounds like a pretty important contribution to an ever more urgent problem.

The flaring and venting of Natural Gas is wasting valuable resources and contributing to climate change. The World Bank’s Global Gas Flaring Reduction partnership estimates that 150 billion cubic metres of gas are burnt off or ‘flared’ every year – enough to supply the whole of the United States for three months. Gas flaring and venting also puts 390 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year – more than the reduction of CO2 emissions from all the projects currently registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. A new programme in TVE’s Earth Report series goes to Russia and Nigeria to assess the scale of the problem and to examine possible solutions.