Oregon film industry strives for green impact

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Oregon Film has influenced Grimm's green practices.
Courtesy Oregon Film

Oregon Film has influenced Grimm's green practices, including its use of biofuel. Click through to see more. 

Oregon’s film industry had a whopping $1 billion economic impact in 2012, according to the Oregon Media Producers Association. And with three television shows — Portlandia, Grimm and Leverage — filming this past summer, along with feature films and commercials, the industry has other impacts as well: environmental ones.

That’s why Oregon Film – the state’s helper for the industry on scouting locations since 1968 — is informally working to green the industry. Encouraging everything from recycling and composting to lowering energy use, the department officially known as The Oregon Governor’s Office of Film & Television is also advocating for reduced transportation needs and sustainable building materials in set construction, among other things.

“If you take this industry above all others, it is really green — except that it’s very in and out,” said Oregon Film’s Jane Ridley. While most ideas about greening production tend to come from the studio or producer who is particularly interested in sustainability, her job is to make it easy for those who go green, targeting some of films dirtier deeds.

True, the mostly digital world of film doesn’t need darkrooms anymore, or the tons of chemicals that used to come with them. But the industry does need temporary offices, accompanying furniture, an energy supply on set, along with catering services and garbage and recycling, props and building materials.

“They have to go the extra mile a bit,” to make the production green, said Ridley. Sometimes that means just requisitioning used chairs for the office or used props for the set and donating them when work is over. Sometimes it’s more complicated – like getting an energy efficient power supply to some remote area of the state.

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