La Créative Films has been awarded the Excellence level of the Rolling Green accreditation by the Quebec Film and Television Council (QFTC), the Conseil québécois des événements écoresponsables (CQEER) and Québécor for the eco-responsible shooting of its short film Until you die (Jusqu’à ce que tu meures), directed by Florence Lafond. The green gestures implemented on the set are not only related to ecology, but also to the well-being of the team.
Challenges and benefits of shooting in camera
Until you die (Jusqu’à ce que tu meures) is an 18-minute short film set in camera in a Montreal apartment. The story plunges us into the lives of Léa and Xavier, following their decision to experiment with the concept of an “open couple”. The film begins with Xavier having sex for the first time. While they have high hopes of helping their relationship, the two young people may be pushing it to the end.
The filming of Until you die took place in Verdun, a borough of Montreal easily accessible by public transit and bicycle. “Our head machinist cycled for 1 hour each morning and evening, as he was keen to limit the environmental impact of his travels,” reveals Mylène Corbeil, producer and co-founder of La Créative Films. And when they had to take the car, team members preferred to carpool.
Verdun is successfully implementing a Policy on Eco-responsible Events. To authorize the filming of Until you die, the Bureau Accès Montréal of the borough required greener logistics, food, waste management and transportation. “I thought it was a great initiative that considered the well-being of the borough’s residents,” explains Mylène Corbeil.
To reduce carbon emissions, the production chose not to use a gasoline-powered generator, but to plug directly into the apartment’s outlets. In addition, the equipment trucks could be left on site for the duration of the shoot, limiting travel. “The in-camera scenario allowed us to use as little gas as possible to avoid pollution and noise for local residents,” comments Mylène Corbeil.
An eco-responsible menu
La Créative Films used an eco-responsible caterer for breakfasts and snacks during the shoot. Fruit and nuts were purchased in bulk. The crew helped themselves with reusable serving utensils. “Each crew member brought their own plates, cutlery, coffee cups, water bottles. There were no disposable items,” explains Mylène Corbeil.
The menus have been carefully designed. The caterer focused on local and seasonal products. Most snacks were vegetarian. ” Out of the twenty people on the team, eight were vegetarians, and those who weren’t were happy to eat vegetarian,” says Mylène Corbeil. Portions were measured accurately, preventing waste.
On the set, the garbage containers were clearly labelled to enable recycling and composting. Frequent reminders were given to the crew regarding waste disposal. At the end of the shoot, Mylène Corbeil weighed the waste in order to have reference points for future shoots. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste from one shoot to the next.
To prevent discarding the sets, the production opted to rent numerous items. A significant portion of the film’s furniture was sourced on-site within the apartment. Additionally, the technicians utilized their personal equipment throughout the filming process. No promotional items were produced by La Créative Films, which is not traditional in the short film industry.
Green filming all the way through to festivals
To calculate its carbon footprint, La Créative Films used the Albert calculator. The production company kept the calculator open to include festival travel. “We go to festivals when it’s important for the career of the film, the production or the director. Otherwise, we don’t go,” says Mylène Corbeil.
In short films, ecology and economy come together
The budget allocated for eco-responsible measures on the set of Until you die was approximately $1,000. It covered the purchase of a box of COVID masks and a mask recovery service, rental of a Mégot Zéro ashtray, carbon offsetting and Rolling Green accreditation fees.
However, it’s difficult to really assess the cost of green initiatives, as the majority of actions actually save money. “Not buying disposable utensils actually saves us a lot of money,” explains Mylène Corbeil.
Eco-responsibility to promote well-being
The eco-responsible measures taken by La Créative Films were not only aimed at making the shoot green, but also at promoting the well-being of the crew. “An eco-responsible shoot is one where the crew feels good in both body and mind,” concludes Mylène Corbeil. For example, the organic snacks provided by the caterer helped regulate the technicians’ energy levels on set, resulting in better concentration and optimization of time.