SOURCE: Cleveland.com | Peter Krouse
May 11, 2023
CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Environmental Media Association has given the upcoming LeBron James biopic “Shooting Stars” a Gold Seal Award for the sustainable practices used in production of the movie.
It’s believed to be the first movie filmed in Northeast Ohio to have been awarded such a distinction, said Bill Garvey, president of the Greater Cleveland Film Commission.
The motion picture, produced by NBCUniversal and The SpringHill Co. and available for streaming on Peacock June 2, generated its share of waste at dozens of filming locations in an around Akron and Cleveland during several months of filming last year. But thanks to Sara Griffin and her Subaru Legacy, much of those discarded items that would otherwise have been trashed, ended up being recycled, reused or donated to various charities.
“I was a one-man band with a budget of almost nothing,” said Griffin, who was paid $12 an hour to be the sustainability coordinator on location.
A self-described yoga therapeutics facilitator, Griffin said she fell into the job with Shooting Stars because her meditation coach is related to the unit production manager on the film.
“I just walked in with a lot of motivation,” she said, and found a helpful ally in Doreen Schreiber, business recycling specialist at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District.
Griffin said she would often spend 16 hours a day moving stuff around, having others make deliveries and talking up sustainable practices with the various crews. She would arrange for everything from water bottles to plywood to leftover food to be carted away.
Some of the recipients of the surplus goods were the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity, men’s and women’s shelters in downtown Cleveland. She also helped line up a variety of green vendors.
Griffin also took it upon herself to encourage those operating vehicles to limit their idling and to have food staff consider sustainable menu options.
And if she couldn’t always get people to do the right thing, Griffin at least would have the appropriate conversations with people.
“There’s a lack of education,” she said, “and nobody really wants to be bothered.”
That’s what made it the hardest job she’s ever done, Griffin said, but she would gladly do it again.
“There is so much waste on a film set,” she said. “So much waste.”
Shooting Stars is one of many movies, television shows commercials and print advertisements presented with either a Green Award or the higher Gold Award for how well they complied with various EMA criteria. The filmmakers make their own self assessments that are then turned into the EMA for consideration. A score of 75 points out of 200 warrants a Green Seal; 125 points earns a Gold Seal.
There has been a growing push toward sustainable practices in film production industrywide, Garvey said, especially when it comes to repurposing sets. And the Greater Cleveland Film Commission, which helps provide studios with the resources they need for a successful time in the region, is now placing greater emphasis on helping studios make greener films.
“It’s a focus.,” he said. “And it’s important to us.”
To aid in the effort, Schreiber at the Solid Waste District is producing a “one sheet” that future productions can reference when they come to town. It should list such things as where to get green cleaning supplies, donate clothing and rent costumes, rent electric vehicles, find a sustainable drycleaner and deliver recyclables and leftover food.
It will be a go-to document that will live on the Solid Waste District website that anybody can reference.
“Anybody can use it although the way its set up its really geared for the film industry,” Schreiber said.