Sustainable productions and ABC drama ‘Fires’: a case study

Tanzy Owen talks about her work as sustainability consultant on Fires, and the free resources available to all productions wanting to go greener.
behind the scenes on 'Fires'.

When COVID first hit in March 2020, screen productions around the world scrambled to adapt so they could make work safely and hygienically. Air miles might have plummeted, but the use of single-use plastics soared. Not to mention all the disposable masks, individually packaged meals and wet wipes used for added sanitation. Balancing the needs of a serious and immediate human health crisis with the longer-term well-being of the environment required smart thinking and careful planning in pre-production.

Acknowledging this, two of the key players involved in the Sustainable Screens Australia working group, producer Anna Kaplan, and sustainability consultant Tanzy Owen, gathered their pre-existing experience and knowledge and produced a simple but informative six-page document called COVID-Safe Sustainability Guidelines. It was made freely available on the Screen Australia website in February 2021, and has been downloaded more than 80 times since then.

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Rochelle Siemienowicz is a journalist for Screenhub. She is a writer, film critic and cultural commentator with a PhD in Australian cinema. She was the co-host of Australia's longest-running film podcast 'Hell is for Hyphenates' and has written a memoir, Fallen, published by Affirm Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram

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