The Green Room

I'm a sustainability consultant for movies and TV productions. AMA

Sarah Tosone AMA

Hi I’m Sarah Tosone and I am the leading sustainability consultant and environmental manager servicing large feature film productions in Australia and New Zealand.

I have worked extensively in Film & TV for over 15 years in various roles and formats including feature films, TV series and documentaries. In the last five years, I have been specialising and advocating for environmental sustainability in film productions and events.

I have a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland and I’m a Team Leader at the Sustainable Events Alliance.

I’ll be here to answer your questions live on 2020-06-09T15:00:00Z2020-06-09T16:00:00Z

You’ll need to sign up to the forum to take part.

Once you have signed up, feel free to add this to your calendar by clicking the three dots above.

Talk soon!

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for doing this AMA! We have a question: how did you start off working in this area?

Hello everyone! Sarah is here and ready to answer your questions so please keep them coming!

Thanks for having me!! I have worked in the film and TV industry for around 15 years in various production roles but in the last 5 years I have been specialising in a relatively new role - environmental management, where I deal with waste management, procurement and environmental strategies on film productions.

1 Like

Such an interesting job! Can you share the best and worst examples that you have seen of sustainable practice on a film set?

1 Like

Yes I genuinely love this job! It’s really fascinating and I’m constantly learning. I think one of the common problems on film & TV sets is the use of single use plastic water bottles and lack of recycling bins. Being able to encourage the use of reusable bottles is a big achievement!

1 Like

Thanks, that makes sense. Which productions have you worked on, would we know any of them?

1 Like

What do you see as the biggest barriers for a truly sustainable production?

Where do I begin? I do think Sustainability in films does take time and has its own set of skills and knowledge that is required for it to be done well. It is more than just putting out bins. The film & TV industry can and has been wasteful – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Perhaps it is due to tight budgets, urgent deadlines and its transient nature. I believe it’s a full time job and requires a specialized team that is up to date with sustainability practices and products and ensures systems are in place to make it easy for cast and crew to follow, on and off camera. Participation from all is essential in ‘greening’ a film and the importance must come from the top.

1 Like

Hi Sarah,
We always imagine that films have humongous budgets! What are the ballpark costs for producers in bringing on an environmental team

Great question!! Ok so I actually think it is becoming much more cost effective and cost neutral which is exciting. Initially it can be challenging to budget because there are so many variables to be considered and costs impact every department. Overall it can be significantly cost effective to be green as long as there is cooperation from all. It is important to look at the long-term big picture, overall there are significant benefits and it is important to invest in these values. I think it’s important to consider the triple bottom line - people, profit, planet. There are huge cost savings as long as everyone is on board. It is something that is scalable too, to suit all sized productions. To some degree it may be easier for smaller lower budget productions to manage this as they don’t deal with large crew sizes or large set builds. I will always remember being told by a fabulous bulk plastic recycler, “The number 1 rule of waste management is you don’t want to pay to transport air” - so compacting waste and materials is important and avoiding sending valuable resources to landfill. I love this stuff, it’s finding the value in materials that were often seen as waste!

I have worked on a few productions large and small which have been filmed in Australia and New Zealand. :smiley:

That’s a wrap folks! Thank you for your questions and thank you to Sarah for hosting this Ask Me Anything session.

If you have any more questions for Sarah, you can contact her on here @SarahTosone or on LinkedIn.

Take a look at Sustainable Screens Australia as well, a Facebook group of passionate arts creatives who share a vision to transform the local Australian arts sector into one which integrates sustainability into the baseline of all productions and practices.

Join us on the Green Room next week for our Ask Me Anything Session on Tuesday 16th June at 4pm, where we will be chatting about social distancing, PPE and events after COVID-19!. :slight_smile:

This topic was automatically closed after 55 minutes. New replies are no longer allowed.