Archive for La Mode Verte Research
La Mode Verte has added it’s name to a bill in the US state of California that aims to encourage the recycling of fast-food takeout packaging, thereby reducing the amount of waste entering the environment. The Senate Bill 529 Fast Food Packaging and Marine Pollution Reduction, which has been put forward by Senator Mark Leno to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee in Sacremento, has also been supported by great organisations such as Heal The Bay, 7th Generation Advisors, Sierra Club California, and the Surfrider Foundation. LMV is proud to support the bill, which “would prohibit food providers from distributing single-use food packaging and bags unless the packaging or bag is accepted for either recycling or composting in at least 75% of households in a jurisdiction.” According to the bill, plastic pollution jeopardises California’s $40 billion ocean economy and the city of LA already spends around $1 billion on clearing waterways of trash. The bill, if passed, would be a huge step in reducing the impacts of this pollution.
We are pleased to announce that LMV Productions have been working on a 30 minute version of Plastic Shores especially for the classroom environment. The work would not have been possible without the help of South Wiltshire Agenda 21, who already have every secondary school in the county lined up to receive a DVD of the film. Plastic Shores is a documentary about the effects of plastic pollution on the world’s oceans and was launched in March 2012 at the United Nations. It has since been screened in 12 countries and translated into five languages (a sixth, Japanese, is pending). However, at 56 minutes, it was slightly too long for a classroom slot at the average school, particularly if the teacher wanted to galvanise some kind of debate on the subject of marine debris. Agenda 21, with the help of Barchester Green Investments, CPRE Wiltshire, and the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, sponsored the shortening of the film, which is nearing completion. It is hoped that we can get a copy to every school in the country! Stop back for more information shortly.
This evening (24th January) at 6:10, Plastic Shores director Edward Scott-Clarke will be on BBC Wiltshire talking about the film. Shortly after at 7:30, a screening is taking place in Salisbury, Wiltshire with Ed holding a Q&A afterwards. Organised by Agenda 21, the showing is part of a broader fund-raising attempt to raise money to create a shorter version of Plastic Shores for schools across the country.
At the beginning of January, the Cayman Prep and High School in the Cayman Islands held a screening of ‘Plastic Shores‘ for marine science A-level students. Organised by Verity Redrup, who LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke met when he was based on the islands, the screening was part of a course aimed to raise greater awareness of the problems affecting the world’s oceans. Following the screening, several students (Emma Boyd-Moss, Victoria Tweedie, Aaron Mackay, Aaron Farrington, Tatiana Stewart and Nicola Sharringhausen, pictured above) went out and organised a cleanup of Smith Cove, and area regularly used for marine science lessons. The amount of marine debris they picked up was impressive and goes to show how much wider marine science should be taught in schools around the world.
This Sunday 13th January, ‘Plastic Shores‘ (our documentary on the effects of plastic pollution on the marine environment) will be screened at Hamburg’s Design Museum (Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) as part of their ‘Plastic Garbage Project’. The screening will take the number of countries the film has been shown in to 10: Belgium, UK, France, Spain, Austria, USA, India, Australia, the Cayman Islands, and now Germany. With Portugal (a screening at the Zoomarine Algarve) and Taiwan to be added soon it looks like there will be a few more coming! It is fantastic that the topic of marine debris is being talked about on such a wide scale.
Work has begun in earnest on LMV’s next film ‘Into the Cayman Blue’, a documentary about the marine environment around the Cayman Islands. Director Edward Scott-Clarke was out on the islands for pre-production in October-November time and production dates have been pencilled in for March. In the meantime, Ed has been working with graphic designer Patrick Fry to create a theme for the film. Patrick did fantastic work on ‘Plastic Shores‘ and was the first port of call for ITCB. The graphics he came up with have not disappointed. Above and below are a few examples of his work.
Our film Plastic Shores has been in several film festivals around the world since we premiered it at the United Nations on March. However, yesterday we received our first Grand Jury prize at the South West London International Film Festival (SWIFF). It was a great privilege to be selected best film out of so many different categories and many thanks to the SWIFF organisers for putting together a great local film festival. Plastic Shores was chosen from 70 films from across Europe to take the prize.
Our previous post was all about the our new film ‘Into the Cayman Blue’. LMV Productions director Ed Scott-Clarke was recently out in the Cayman Islands for pre-production work paving the way for production in February 2013 (appropriate work-permits permitting). While there, Ed teamed up with the film’s co-producer Ollie Dubock and underwater cinematographer Michael Maes along with his wife underwater photographer Ellen Cuylaerts for shoot-location. We had the fantastic help of several dive companies around the island and below are a selection of images from Ellen of this journey.
Between September 2011 and March 2012, LMV Productions director Ed Scott-Clarke was out in the Cayman Islands filming for ‘Plastic Shores‘ (above). Immediately after his return, the film was premiered at the UN in Brussels and is still being screened around the world today (see here for a list of screenings). However, LMV Productions has decided it is time to move on to newer pastures and has taken on two new projects, one based in London about the ancient Egyptian obelisk ‘Cleopatra’s Needle‘ and the other about the underwater environment in the Cayman Islands.
When LMV was first out on the islands, we were struck by the underwater beauty of the seas there. Diving is one of the most important (economically speaking) tourism activities on the islands and so we decided to create a documentary that promoted the marine diversity in Cayman. Ed travelled out to Cayman in the end of October to pave the way for official production in February 2013. The reception to the film concept has been very positive with a host of dive companies (Living the Dream Divers, Ocean Frontiers, and Ambassador Divers), local celebrities, the Department of Tourism, the Cayman Island Tourism Association, and local supermarket chain Fosters Food Fair all supporting the project.
In the making of ‘Into the Cayman Blue’ (working title) we are using a lot of the ‘Plastic Shores’ team including soundtrack composer James Bulley (aka Howard Tamarisk), editor Chris Kemble, and graphic designer Patrick Fry. New to working with LMV is consultant shark specialist to the Cayman Island Department of Environment Ollie Dubock (above), who is co-producing the film, and underwater cinematographer Michael Maes (below). Fevi Yu from firstname.lastname@example.org is kindly helping out in setting up the film’s website, which will act as an eco-tourism portal to the islands. More on ‘Into the Cayman Blue’ to follow.
LMV’s director Ed Scott-Clarke has just been asked to judge the iDive Underwater Video Awards on Grand Cayman. The iDive Awards are for aspiring underwater cinematographers and has the backing of the Cayman Island Brewery and Cathy Church’s Photo Centre. We have previously written about the CIB and the fantastic work they do on island promoting sustainability. LMV also interviewed Cathy Church, well-known for her fantastic photographs, on the subject of overfishing when we were last on island. We have already seen most of the videos in the competition and it’ll be a difficult choice picking an overall winner but one particularly stands out. Checkout the youtube link above for the piece by Ryan Cowan.
LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke has recently been in local news on the Cayman Islands in an article about plastic pollution. The 15th September was International Coastal Clean Up Day and volunteers in Cayman collected 98 garbage bags full of waste of just six miles of coastline. They weighed in at almost 700kg. Natasha Were from the Cayman Compass wrote an in-depth article on plastic pollution as a result and Ed is quoted describing the problem, which is on a global scale. LMV Productions last film, Plastic Shores, was partly filmed in Cayman and we managed to get a good feel for the problem of marine debris there. Unfortunately for the islands, a lot of the waste that washes up on Cayman beaches (for example, on North Shore as seen in the picture above) is from further East in the Caribbean, particularly from countries with less stringent waste disposal policies such as Haiti and Jamaica. Ed is currently on island hoping to put together a film promoting the beautiful marine environment there through eco-tourism.
LMV Productions is working on a number of projects at the moment but one is proving particularly interesting, partly because it is deviating from the subject matter we usually deal with. ‘Eye on the Needle’ is a documentary we have started shooting test footage for in London. It is a film that is more relevant to what LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke specialised in at university: Egyptology. On London’s Embankment is the so-called Cleopatra’s Needle, one of the most recognisable Egyptian artefacts in the country, although few would be able to locate it on a map. The Needle is was actually carved during the reign of Thutmose III of the Egyptian New Kingdom in the 15th Century BC, which is a thousand years before the first Cleopatra ruled.
The Needle was presented to the British government in 1819 by the ruler of Egypt Sudan Muhammad Ali, in commemoration of the victories of Lord Nelson at the Battle of the Nile and Sir Ralph Abercromby at the Battle of Alexandria. due to funding difficulties, it wasn’t actually transported to Britain until 1877, when an eminent anatomist Sir William James Erasmus Wilson put the money forward for its travel. The boat tasked with towing the Needle (which had a special pontoon made for it) was called the Cleopatra, cementing the obelisk’s name ‘Cleopatra’s Needle.’ Due to a storm in the Bay of Biscay though, the Needle did not arrive in London until 1878, where it has stood on the Victoria Embankment ever since.
However, it’s position adjacent to the River Thames is far from ideal for a granite monument. There are many fears about the preservation of the stone and its hieroglyphs. ‘Eye on the Needle’ is a film put together by Doctor Paul Harrison and LMV Productions’ Ed Scott-Clarke to raise awareness for its preservation. It covers the history of the monument, its current preservation, and possible alternative locations. Production starts late November.
LMV’s film ‘Plastic Shores‘ managed to come in second place at the Green Up Film Festival in Brussels, Belgium. We were invited to attend when we premiered Plastic Shores at the United Nations Regional Information Centre in March and were more than happy to have the film entered. The Green Up Film Festival is an innovative new way of hosting a film festival as it allows all the films to be viewed online. Viewers then vote on the film or films they like and at the end of the three week period, the public choice award is given. This time around the award went to the Spanish film ‘LIRA, RÉSERVE DE VIE’ directed by Marcos Galleco Fernandez. It is a fantastic film on the first marine reserve created in Spain by local fishermen. In third was the humorous French film ‘VÉLOTOPIA‘ directed by Erik Fretel (trailer above).
‘Plastic Shores‘, our documentary on plastic pollution in the oceans, has recently been accepted for the Green Up Film Festival, the first online festival for the green economy. With backers such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN RIC (where we premiered Plastic Shores in March), Oxfam, and the International Polar Foundation, it looks to be a great success. There is a public vote on the films that have been entered so please take a few moments out of your day to vote for Plastic Shores. Our trailer is above and a short film featuring Megan Lamson and Stacey Breining of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund on Big Island is below, with animations from the talented Alice Dunseath. The whole film is available to view for free for the duration of the festival.
Yesterday, LMV Productions director Ed Scott-Clarke was invited to talk at the beautiful Sherborne School (pictured above) for their inspirational speaker series. Every other Saturday morning the pupils, around 600 of them, gather together in assembly and listen to an Old Shirburnian (an old pupil of the school) talking about their respective jobs. Unfortunately, the time available meant the whole of Plastic Shores, LMV’s recent documentary, couldn’t be shown but Ed gave a broad overview about the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans as well as the path he took to become an independent film-maker. Afterwards, Ed gave pupils the opportunity to gain experience in film-making by coming on as runners for LMV Productions’ future projects. Around twenty pupils signed up and we now have to make sure that all get the opportunity to come on set!
LMV was recently contacted by a newspaper in the Caribbean asking about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP). For those of you who haven’t heard of this before the GPGP is an area of calm water within the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre where trash, particularly plastic, accumulates. People immediately presume, upon hearing this, that the GPGP is a floating island of plastic but this image is misleading. In reality, as Emily Penn from Pangaea Explorations described to us in our documentary ‘Plastic Shores‘, it would be hard to tell you were crossing the patch at all. The plastic breaks down into microplastics that float around in the water column. Furthermore, around 70% of plastic waste sinks causing unknown consequences on the seafloor. We have all heard of, however, the problems plastics cause to marine life (for example, the affects it has on the albatross populations on Midway Atoll).
The journalist from the Caribbean asked whether the GPGP was the only garbage patch in the world. This is a common misconception as the patch in the North Pacific is the one that has been studied most since its ‘discovery’ by Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Institute in 1997. In reality though, the truth is far more depressing. There are 11 gyres in the world’s oceans of which the five largest (in the North and South Pacific, the North and South Atlantic, and the Indian Oceans) have documented garbage patches. Research into these patches can be found on the 5 Gyres website. However, plastic pollution is not limited to here, with the UN stating that there is not a beach in the world that is not contaminated by plastic pollution. Recently, plastic marine debris has been recorded in the Arctic.
Unfortunately, although there are many innovative ideas on how to collect marine plastics (such as the recent Drone 1-001-1), none are realistic. The areas of water we are talking about are gigantic and, although concentrations of plastic can be dense, the financial and logistical problems of trawling the surface water for plastic waste makes a solution hard to come by. So, right now, the best thing we can do as individuals is stop more plastic getting out there. We can do this very simply by reducing the amount we use, reusing what we do use, and recycling what we can’t reuse. These 3Rs are explained more thoroughly in Beth Terry’s ‘Plastic Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too’, sold on the Plastic Shores website.
www.independent.co.uk 21st September 2012
A recent poll put together by the “Break the Bag Habit” coalition has shown that 75% of adults would try to reduce their use of new plastic bags if there were a 5p charge on them. The poll of 1,752 English adults comes as statistics show disposable plastic bag use went up 5% last year, the second annual rise in a row, to 8 billion across the UK. However, in Wales where a 5p charge has already been introduced numbers have dropped significantly. Northern Ireland is about to bring its own levy and Scotland is consulting on doing the same. England, as yet, has no plans to follow suit although the poll shows 54% of those surveyed think the country should follow the rest of the UK. The “Break the Bag Habit” Coalition is a partnership of the Marine Conservation Society, Surfers Against Sewage, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and Keep Britain Tidy set up to tackle the rising use of single-use bags. Plastic bags are a hazard in the environment and take a long time to break down. Large numbers find their way into the oceans where they become one of the more visible side of marine debris. Turtles, for example, can mistake them for jellyfish and then die from ingesting them.
Unfortunately it seems that the website for LMV’s film, http://www.plasticshoresfilm.com, has been sabotaged. Instead of details of our documentary, which explores the problems of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, a list of plastic manufacturers appears. We are desperately trying to rectify this problem but in the meantime we have set up www.plasticshoresmovie.com to take the old site’s place. Our apologies for this inconvenience. It is incredibly frustrating for us.
A couple of weeks back LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke was offered the opportunity to interview Tanya Streeter, the women’s world record holder for “No Limits Apnea” diving. In August 2002, Tanya dived to a depth of 160 metres (525 feet) on one single breath of air, securing her the world freediving record. Although this depth has since been trumped by Herbert Nitsch (with a depth of 214m), Tanya still holds the women’s record.
More recently, Tanya has been working on ‘Plastic Oceans‘, a fantastic documentary due for release in 2013 about the problems of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans. LMV had the pleasure of meeting and working with the Plastic Oceans team (minus Tanya unfortunately) in Hawaii during the 5th International Marine Debris Conference. We interviewed Tanya after filming for ‘Plastic Oceans’ was finished and she assured us it was not to be missed. Watch our interview in the link above and the trailer for ‘Plastic Oceans’ below.
One of the memorable bits about filming Plastic Shores was our visit to Big Island, Hawaii where we filmed the plastic pollution on Kamilo Beach. Two members of the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Megan Lamson and Stacey Breining, showed LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke around the coastline and explained how the problem was. Although this journey occupies a chunk of the full-length Plastic Shores, we liked it so much we thought we would put together a short film of it too, alongside the fantastic animations of Alice Dunseath. Find the video above.
It has now been several months since Plastic Shores, LMV’s film on plastic waste in the oceans, has been released and screenings continue to be organised around the world. Most of our most prominent showings have been at large inter-governmental and governmental organisations such as the UN, the European Commission, and the US House of Congress. However, increasingly we are now showing at educational and private events. Our screenings during August include the Annual Back2School Festival in St. Augustine, Florida (USA), The Clipperton Project at Glasgow Sculpture Studios (Scotland), and the 7th International Film Festival – Voices from the Waters (Bangalore, India). We hope that there will be many more to come!
A couple of days ago, LMV director Ed Scott-Clarke added his name to a letter sent to the editor of the Daily Telegraph by Greener Upon Thames, an environmental charity that hosted the first UK screening of Plastic Shores. The letter called for a reduction of plastic bags used during the 2012 Olympics and other signatories included Zac Goldsmith MP, Sir David Attenborough, Dame Vivienne Westwood, and Jeff Bridges. Already Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) has stated it will not use disposable plastic bags in its shops but there are many other stores that still need to follow suit.
We have been fortunate enough here at LMV to have screened Plastic Shores at numerous high-profile organisations including the United Nations, the OECD, and the European Economic and Social Committee. We can now confirm that we can add Capitol Hill in Washington DC to this list. Hosted by Congressman Sam Farr (pictured above), who appears in the film, the event, in the House of Congress’ Visitor Centre on the 18th July, will also include Congressman Don Young; Nancy Wallace, the director of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program; Nicholas Mallos, a conservation biologist with the Ocean Conservancy; and Judith Kildow, the director of the National Ocean Economics Program and the Center for the Blue Economy. We are very privileged to be able to screen the film at such a prestigious place and think that it is a sign that the problems with marine debris are becoming more main stream. Sam Farr was one of the key-note speakers at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in Hawaii, which we filmed last year. He has been working tirelessly for much of his political career to secure the protection of our world’s oceans.
The first month of filming on ‘Plastic Shores‘, March 2011, was spent in the USA (California, Washington, Missouri, and Hawaii). That particular March was a great month to be in the states researching the problems of marine debris with the San Francisco Green Film Festival, the Ocean Shores Beachcombers’ Fair, and the 5th International Marine Debris Conference all happening. The latter took place in Honolulu Hawaii towards the end of March. It brought together politicians, environmentalists, industry experts, and scientists to discuss what to do about the growing problem of synthetic waste in the world’s oceans. While there we met a host of interesting people, most of whom ended up in our film, including Camden Howitt and Sam Judd from Sustainable Coastlines (above) and Hayden Smith (below) from Waitemata Harbour Cleanup Trust (now the Watercare Harbour Cleanup Trust), all from New Zealand.
We interviewed Sam, Camden, and Hayden on the Honolulu waterfront and they told us the great things they were doing back home in New Zealand raising awareness for the problems of marine plastic pollution. They were bringing the cleanup effort to Hawaii however and took LMV on an impromptu cleanup of Honolulu harbour, a surprisingly dirty body of water, which, if local stories are true, has been known to cause the death of people who have open wounds when swimming there. By the look of the marine debris in the water (below), this is not surprising. The guys found syringes, poison bottles (far below), and every form of plastic you can imagine (bottles, bags, coat-hangers, straws, nurdles, etc.).
You could tell the three were passionate about what they were doing. To come half way around the world and clean litter showed true dedication and we can’t thank them enough for the time they gave us for the interviews and the cleanup (and the beers afterwards). We are only sorry we missed the larger cleanup they helped organise the day after the 5IMDC as we were filming on Big Island with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund.
On the 1st January 2008, Tisbury, a small village in Wiltshire with a population of just over 2,000, became the second settlement in the UK to ban plastic bags. The first had been Modbury, which features in our documentary ‘Plastic Shores‘, to great success. Six months down the line however and Tisbury abandoned the ban. Today, LMV is based partly in the village and we are making steps to get disposable plastic bags back on the agenda. On the 1st June, we held a screening of Plastic Shores in the Nadder Hall. After a relatively small turnout for the Oxford screening two days before, the Tisbury showing was a full house. We wanted to do something on top of the film to promote the ideas of reducing, reusing, recycling in the village and so a bag-making day was organised in a local pub: The Benett Arms. The pub is run by Alistair and Charlie Large of the Keystone Brewery, who have been the subject of a LMV article before. Helping us was Judith Gait, an artist specialising in textiles, who has the most beautiful collection of vintage Singer sewing machines in art-deco style (pictured).
Because of the limited budget we had for ‘Plastic Shores‘, it was very difficult for us to attain footage of animals being affected by plastic pollution. For several examples, we had to make do with photographs kindly provided by photographers posting on the Marine Photobank (e.g.: see the picture below of a dead albatross by Claire Fackler). However, some of most shocking footage was provided by Paul Nicholas from Christmas Island, Australia. We first saw Paul’s footage of turtle hatchlings making their way across plastic debris on Great Beach from Tim Silverwood, founder of the Australian NGO Take 3.
Paul replied pretty much as soon as we got in contact with him. He very kindly said we could use his footage for free and it sets the tone for the horrible ways marine debris can disrupt the normal lives of aquatic creatures. We cannot thank Paul enough for his charitable contribution to Plastic Shores. Most of the plastics that wash up on Christmas Island do not originate in Australia but from the northern countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and those around the Indian Ocean and are perfect examples of how one country’s waste can affect others a long distance away. We wish Mr Nicholas all the best in promoting this important issue.
After just over a year working on Plastic Shores, our film on plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, it is now for sale. Please visit the Plastic Shores website to purchase a copy. We will continue to write articles on all those who helped put together the film here on the LMV website.
Yesterday (Friday 11th May), LMV was fortunate enough to show our film Plastic Shores at the Mare Mostra Ocean International Film Festival in Palma, Mallorca. Set in one of the most beautiful locations we have ever seen (for a film festival), the Museo Es Baluard (of Modern Art, see the photographs below), Plastic Shores was shown alongside other films such as the Academy Award winning ‘The Cove‘ and ‘SharkWater‘ in a festival created to highlight the problems in the world’s oceans.