The 2020 BSC Expo saw the launch of Cut It, the first crew-led initiative to tackle carbon emissions in film and TV production. Three of the organisation’s founding members – cinematographers Anna Valdez Hanks and Sarah Cunningham, and 1st AC Jason Henwood – were invited to speak on a panel about the industry’s response to the climate crisis.
Unlike existing initiatives such as BAFTA’s Albert, which encourage producers to opt into green filmmaking schemes, Cut It wants crew to devise and demand new working standards. It intends to hold an industry-wide summit on climate this year, bringing together crew, actors, agents and producers.
“The abhorrent waste and high CO2 emissions in our industry are now unacceptable given the situation we face,” said Valdez Hanks. “Most people in the film business are crew. If we act together we can change the industry’s approach.”
“For many of us, 2019 was an important year in understanding the urgency of the climate crisis,” Cunningham said. “While we may hold certain standards in our private lives, we often feel forced to leave our values at the door when we come on set.”
Cut It has already reached out to camera and lighting rental houses, calling a meeting to reflect on working practices and consider abolishing single-use plastics. “I’ve been amazed at the willingness of everyone I’ve spoken to,” said Henwood, who organised the meeting. “It seems we’ve reached a critical point – we all want to change and Cut It is simply gathering our voices together to make a plan.”
Cut It’s next step is a social media launch with five key campaigns. Its founders say it welcomes voices and opinions from across the industry. Register for news and updates via www.cutit.org.uk or follow Instagram @cutit.org.uk