Showbiz: cleaning up the act - Extinction Rebellion UK

Showbiz: cleaning up the act

Having worked in the film industry for two years I’ve seen first-hand how wasteful it can be. Stars and crew jetting over the globe, poor waste management. Assistants sent off in diesel cars to the same supermarket three times a day. Set build materials being scrapped and thrown away. Sometimes not even making it into the show. And then there’s the food waste…

Encouragingly, there is a hunger within the industry to do more to address the climate and ecological emergency, but the industry also seems focused on its own guilty downfalls, feeling ashamed and then crippled and unmotivated by the situation, forgetting that the only way out of this is mass cooperation where all industries play to their strengths to create the unprecedented change so urgently needed for survival.

As frustrating and large the mess left behind by productions can be, the industry should be both focusing on cleaning up its own act whilst acting on its biggest strength – it’s storytelling and reach.

How do we inspire all story- tellers alive today to begin to focus their energy toward this one goal?

Hollywood alone reaches 2.6bn people just through ticket sales, and worldwide streaming services subscribers are set to reach 500m in the next couple of years. Clearly the global film and television industry is in a unique position to inspire and excite people into taking positive, whatever that may look like.

The climate and ecological crisis is the mother of all emergencies. It is a dramatically holistic issue where we need to address all injustices within society to survive and thrive. We need a new unprecedented wave of films to take on, facilitate and prompt discussion on a mass scale about all of these issues.

It’s a daunting task. How do we inspire all storytellers alive today to begin to focus their energy toward this one goal?

There will be no film, no theatre, no storytelling on a dead planet. So the filmmaker community’s #FilmStrikeforClimate campaign is doing just that. By inviting industry members to the accessible action of showing support to Greta Thunberg and the campaign she inspired #YouthStrikeforClimate, we have created the space to discuss and network within this influential industry.

A group named Filmmakers for Future, composed at present of 120 wildlife filmmakers, has sprung up from the campaign, and we are just getting started. If you are a filmmaker do get in touch – it’s time to switch things up. We can’t fix this in the edit.

Alfie Warren-Knight, aged 25

Find Alfie on Twitter @Strike_Film or email FilmStrikeforClimate@gmail. com

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