Category Archives: EcoMedia
Did you have a good 4th of July? Did you spend it eating organic corn-on-the-cob and knocking back a glass of raw milk? No? Me neither. In America, we tend to celebrate our freedom eating the most inorganic materials agribusiness has to offer. You can commemorate our freedom and our forefathers with fireworks, flags and Cool Whip or you can support a film that shows another fight for freedom happening with less fanfare but with a huge impact
Farmageddon isn’t a pastoral Michael Bay film as the title suggests, but it is explosive and may provide welcome respite from this week’s Transformers Bay bonanza. It’s a documentary by mother Kristin Canty, who found her way into filmmaking by sheer outrage. Canty follows several farmers and distributors on the frontlines in a war against raw milk.
Raw Milk? Yeah, the stuff people have been drinking for over 8,000 years ever since someone pulled on a cow udder and found it produced something tasty. Louis Pasteur originally intended the pasteurization process for keeping wine and beer from souring – the French commitment to their alcohol is amazing. The process was extended to milk, and for a long time pasteurized milk was sold side by side with the raw. However, as the industrial food system took hold, the pasteurization process became necessary, as the industrial milk would often make people ill. Pasteurization became the FDA’s failsafe even though the benefits of raw milk, which has more healthy bacteria, has been claimed to improve allergies and digestion.
Are you rolling the dice with raw milk and its by products like yogurt and cheese? Sure. Raw milk can contain bacteria that can make you sick, or kill you. So can spinach, hamburger and fried Twinkies. But raw milk seems to bring out the nasty side of our government, by which I mean raids, guns and million dollar surveillance operations. The film is a collection of eye witness interviews, expert testimony and actual footage showing our U.S. government spending your tax dollars to stalk small farmers, raid their farms, confiscate their equipment and sue them in court. Rarely with a warrant or cause.
Canty’s film is elegant in its simplicity it shows you the evidence and allows you to ask most of the questions – like why do we punish small co-ops for producing healthy foods and subsidize the industrial complex that’s contributing to obesity. Is it really safer to pasteurize dairy products or is it something we’ve just grown accustomed to even though it may be detrimental to our health? And wouldn’t Pasteur, a Frenchmen, be rolling in his grave to know Americans were pasteurizing cheese?
In the film, perennial food documentary favorite Polyface Farms’ Joel Salatin asks “why do they have such a problem with freedom?” It rhetorical, of course, because we all know the answer is money. Canty tries for straight answers from the FDA and the Department of Agriculture but what no one seems willing to fess up to is the revolving door between politics and agribusiness. Canty’s film is a small victory in a larger battle fighting for the freedom to choose better food. It’s a war that can use all the patriots it can get.
For more information visit farmageddonmovie.com
Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!
Laurel, Montana – Hundreds of barrels of crude oil spilled into Montana’s Yellowstone River after an ExxonMobil pipeline beneath the riverbed ruptured, sending a plume 25 miles downstream and forcing temporary evacuations, officials said.
© AP Photo/Billings Gazette, Casey PageOil swirls in a flooded gravel pit in Lockwood, Mont., after an ExxonMobil pipeline break early Saturday, July 2, 2011
The break near Billings in south-central Montana fouled the riverbank and forced municipalities and irrigation districts Saturday to close intakes.
Cleanup crews deployed booms and absorbent material as the plume moved downstream at an estimated 5 to 7 mph.
“The parties responsible will restore the Yellowstone River,” Mont. Gov. Brian Schweitzer said.
A 600-foot-long black smear of oil coated Jim Swanson’s riverfront property just downstream from where the pipe broke.
“Whosever pipeline it is better be knocking on my door soon and explaining how they’re going to clean it up,” Swanson said as globules of oil bubbled to the surface. “They say they’ve got it capped off. I’m not so sure.”
ExxonMobil spokeswoman Pam Malek said the pipe leaked an estimated 750 to 1,000 barrels of oil for about a half-hour before it was shut down. Other Exxon officials had estimated up to 42,000 gallons of crude oil escaped.
Duane Winslow, Yellowstone County director of disaster and emergency services, said the plume was dissipating as it moved downstream. “We’re just kind of waiting for it to move on down while Exxon is trying to figure out how to corral this monster,” Winslow said.
“The timing couldn’t be worse,” said Steve Knecht, chief of operations for Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, who added that the plume was measured at 25 miles near Pompeys Pillar National Monument. “With the Yellowstone running at flood stage and all the debris, it makes it dang tough to get out there to do anything.”
* Greening Beauty *
Weekend-long program to feature top producers and
industry leaders including Harvey Weinstein, Simon Lythgoe,
Mark Gordon, Mark Johnson, Hawk Koch, Gale Anne Hurd,
Sean Bailey, Marshall Herskovitz, MARC CHERRY, DAMON LINDELOF, JOHN SLOSS and Lauren Shuler DonNer, among many otherS
LOS ANGELES, CA (March 29, 2011) –The Producers Guild of America (PGA) and the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) announced today the first slate of speakers confirmed to participate in the 2011 Produced By Conference (PBC) which includes some of entertainment’s most sought-after producers and industry leaders. It was also announced that The Walt Disney Studios along with the ABC Entertainment Group will host the 2011 event in conjunction with AFCI’s Locations Show June 3-5, 2011.
“We’re excited to announce the initial speaker line up for this year’s conference to be held at the Walt Disney Studios,” said Producers Guild President Emeritus and co-chair of PBC, Marshall Herskovitz. “We’re extremely grateful to everyone at The Walt Disney Studios for agreeing to host the third annual conference. The Disney lot provides an amazing backdrop for the producing community to gather for an exciting weekend of learning and networking.”
“The Produced By Conference continues to exceed my expectations. I’m thrilled to be a part of this exciting program, and throughout all of the PBC programming, we hope to continue to advance the theme that the role of
the producer is a crucial one,” said Gale Anne Hurd, PBC event co-chair.
The list of featured speakers for 2011 PBC includes some of the entertainment industry’s most renowned producers and executives including, in alphabetical order:
- Sean Bailey (President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, TRON: LEGACY)
- Joe Berlinger (Crude, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster)
- Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity 1-2, Insidious)
- Ian Bryce (Transformers 1-3, Spiderman, Saving Private Ryan)
- Adam Chapnick (CEO, Distribber.com)
- Albert Cheng (EVP, Digital Media, Disney/ABC Television Group)
- Marc Cherry (“Desperate Housewives”)
- Joseph Chianese (SVP, Tax & Production Planning, Entertainment Partners)
- Charlie Corwin (HALF NELSON, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, “LA Ink”)
- Kris Eber (Disney’s “Movie Surfers,” “Muppet’s Bohemian Rhapsody”)
- Jon Fougner (Principal, Product Marketing Monetization, Facebook)
- Nolan Gallagher (Founder & CEO, Gravitas Ventures)
- Tim Gibbons (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
- Mark Gordon (Source Code, Saving Private Ryan, “Grey’s Anatomy”)
- John Hadity (Master Harold and the Boys, Burning Blue)
- Dana Harris (Editor-in-Chief, IndieWIRE)
- Marshall Herskovitz (Love and Other Drugs, Blood Diamond, “thirtysomething”)
- Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead,” The Incredible Hulk, the terminator Trilogy)
- Mark Johnson (The Chronicles of Narnia, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, “Breaking Bad”)
- Barry Jossen (Executive Vice President, Creative & Production, ABC Studios)
- Hawk Koch (Source Code, Primal Fear, Wayne’s World)
- Paul Kontonis (VP & Group Director, Brand Content, The Third Act, Digitas)
- Damon Lindelof (“Lost”)
- Simon Lythgoe (CMT’s “Next Superstar,” Former Producer, “America Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance”)
- Andrew Marlowe (“Castle”)
- Lori McCreary (INVICTUS, “Through the Wormhole”)
- Keri Putnam (Executive Director, Sundance Institute)
- Lauren Shuler Donner (X-men Franchise, Free Willy 1-3, The Secret Life of Bees)
- John Sloss (Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Kids are All Right)
- Ricky Strauss (Waiting for “Superman,” Fair Game, The Beaver)
- William Stuart (The Rock, Eddie and the Cruisers, Holy Matrimony)
- Larry Tanz (President, Vuguru LLC)
- Chris Thomes (Executive Director, Digital Production & Programming, Saban Brands LLC)
- David Tochterman (Head of Digital Media, Innovative Artists)
- Hayma “Screech” Washington (“The Amazing Race”)
- Harvey Weinstein (THE KING’S SPEECH, BLUE VALENTINE, MIRAL)
“The slate of panels, sessions and roundtables that are shaping up for this year’s event are extremely unique and exciting—offering attendees the chance for unprecedented access to some of the industry’s leading producers, providing both education and inspiration,” said Rachel Klein, PBC event co-chair.
The 2011 PBC will feature over 20 conference sessions, panel discussions, mentoring roundtables, networking opportunities, social events and workshops designed to provide producers with important career tools and insights necessary to compete in today’s competitive marketplace. Among the many topics to be discussed are new media, global finance, producer/director collaboration, distribution, independent film, scripted television, reality television, digital content, brand identity and much more. Over 150 exhibitors are already on board to participate in the 2011 event. Sponsors for the event to-date include General Motors (the official automotive sponsor of the PGA), Entertainment Partners, Raleigh Studios, Cast & Crew Entertainment Services, Baseline, Avid, PRG, LA 411, Westfield Malls, Kodak and Coca-Cola. This year’s unique collaboration of the Produced By Conference along with the AFCI Locations will bring together the producing field alongside more than 300 film commissions from around the world. These commissions collectively represent over 2 billion dollars in financing and incentives available to filmmakers.Last year’s sold out conference connected more than 1,100 producing professionals. Interested individuals can register online at www.producedbyconference.com.
Reaching across film, television and new media industries, PBC is an educational forum that involves acclaimed producers, including countless Academy Award®-winning filmmakers and Emmy Award® winners, as well as the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. The PBC event is chaired by Marshall Herskovitz, Gale Anne Hurd and Rachel Klein. For more information on the Produced By Conference, visit www.producedbyconference.com.
Recycle, Reuse, Rejoice!
While Hollywood gets global attention this week for its self-congratulatory handing out of golden statues, the industry won’t be winning any awards for being an environmental star. A new survey reveals that entertainment and digital media companies aren’t following the script for being as green as celebrities would have us believe.
When it comes to pollution and energy consumption, Tinseltown is pretty brown. According to a 2006 study from the UCLA Institute of the Environment, the film and television and film industry is one of the major polluters in California, trailing only the petroleum industry in some categories.
And it’s not just blowing up cars and building temporary sets that are contributing to the entertainment industry’s footprint. Creating special effects and animations requires networks of power-hungry computers, while saving and streaming all of those images and sounds involves countless servers and storage devices.
Released on the day after the Oscars, the “IT Sustainability Imperatives in Digital Media & Entertainment Business” survey says that only 24 percent of industry IT professionals rated the industry’s sustainability efforts thus far as worth of an “A” or “B.” Less than half of the more than 100 information technology (IT) professionals in digital media who responded could verify that their organizations had corporate sustainability initiatives.
The survey, which was jointly produced by the Think Eco-logical initiative and the Global Renewable Energy and Environmental Network (GREEN), found that the industry’s actions have not lived up to their understanding of the importance of managing an organization’s environmental footprint.
Nearly 90 percent of people surveyed said that having network servers that consider the environment is important. However, more than three-quarters said their IT departments were spending 10 percent or less of their budget on green initiatives.
The report did cite media & entertainment companies NBC, Apple, Sony, and Warner Brothers as having the best reputations for “Eco-Logical” practices.
George Skaff, the vice president of Marketing at Rackable Systems, which hosts the Think Ecological website, said greening digital media should also benefit the bottom line. “At the end of the day, [greening your IT] should not cost you more money,” he said. Skaff said that buying all new equipment isn’t needed either. Companies can use their existing infrastructure more wisely, such as improving the ways hardware is stacked and cooled.
The digital media energy footprint is projected to grow faster than a blockbuster’s production budget in the coming years. Between 2005 and 2012, the digital storage capacity for the film and television is expected to grow tenfold, according to a study by analyst firm Coughlin Associates. This is in part due to the conversion of Hollywood’s archives from analog to digital, along with the creation of new online digital video streaming services.
The survey was created to spur conversation about the topic and to enable companies to share ideas and questions about how to become more energy efficient. Both GREEN, which is an interest group of the Business Performance Management (BPM) Forum, and Think Eco-logical will work with their members and advisory boards to encourage the adoption of clean energy and sustainability solutions. “The next phase is to communicate directly with [participating] organizations and provide them with the means to push the agenda, including materials, content, and the means to communicate the message,” said GREEN director Derek Kober.
Kober said GREEN will conduct webinars on subjects such as how to make the business case for greening IT and how to get started with a corporate sustainability initiative. He hopes that survey’s findings will prompt discussion and a grass roots movement where people will blog about what they are doing to address their environmental impact.