Archive for LMV
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!
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.
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!
Having been on Grand Cayman for almost a month, LMV has had plenty of time to study the problems of marine debris on the Caribbean island. Fortunately, the Cayman Island government, through the Film Commission, was kind enough to allow director Ed Scott-Clarke to stay filming on the islands for 6 months after a mix up at immigration resulted in his passport being seized. The Cayman Islands are a typical case study when it comes to the problems of disposable plastics and their effects on the environment. Whereas many Cayman beaches are regularly cleaned to give the impression of pristine shorelines to visiting tourists, it is not hard to travel somewhere away from the normal tourist route and find a very different story.
In the last update we spoke of John Marotta from the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme who showed Ed a beach tucked away on the north shore of Grand Cayman. This beach was covered in debris ranging from flip-flops to deodorant sticks, plastic and glass bottles to plastic garden chairs. Just as with the Cayman Shoe Tree on the south shore, other visitors had hung washed-up shoes on a bush in an artistic statement about the state of the beach (pictured below). Much of the waste would have come from cruise ships such as the one pictured above. However, a lot would have come from other Caribbean islands too, as well as the North American mainland. Another beach on the western side of Grand Cayman held a large amount of medicinal waste including hypodermic needles.
Not all waste would come from off-shore sources. Recycling is almost non-existent (particularly for plastic) and the country’s landfill is the tallest point on the islands. There has been talk about shipping the waste to the USA but so far nothing has come from it. Over the coming weeks LMV hopes to secure interviews with the Minister for Health and the Environment Mark Scotland and various NGO leaders to discuss the topic of marine debris and what is being done to solve the problem. Ed is also helping with the filming of a local documentary on shark fishing, which is being put together by the Department of the Environment shark specialist Ollie Dubock and his filmographer brother Chris Dubock. Chris has also kindly taken on the role of stand-in DP for Plastic Shores’ Caribbean filming over the next two weeks.
LMV’s director Ed Scott-Clarke has just written a new short editorial on the effects of plastic waste on the marine environment. The article closely follows the theme to LMV’s film (working title: ‘The Plastic Tide’), which should be finished in the beginning of 2012. ‘Our Plastic Seas’ will be published in the Focus Magazine (based out of Wiltshire) next month.
The LMV team (director Edward Scott-Clarke and cameraman Huw Poraj-Wilczynski) spent the day in Cornwall yesterday interviewing Andy Cummins, the Campaign Director from Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). The SAS have been campaigning hard all across the UK, since 1990, to clean up British coastlines. It was formed by a group of Cornish surfers who were fed up with swimming and surfing in sewage pumped straight into the UK’s seas by complacent water companies. They banded together and took their protest directly to the private water companies, Westminster, and even the European parliament. Within 7 months of their inception, the charity achieved 2,000 members and put significant, and successful, pressure on the UK’s water companies to amend their attitude towards sewage discharge. Today, it can be said they were key players in changes made to the EU’s Bathing Water Directive as well recommendations made by the UK government that all sewage released into UK waters be treated to a tertiary level. Among current projects organised by the SAS are No Butts on the Beach, Motivocean Beach Cleanups, and Return to Offender.
Update (1st July): LMV returned to Porthtowan on the 20th June to interview Chris Hines MBE, founder of SAS and his current project A Grain of Sand, and Andy Hughes, an artist whose incredible photographs of marine debris seeks to raise awareness about the harmful effects this debris has on the coastal environment. Below are a few photographs taken by LMV of a our days at the (not very clean) beach.
LMV visited the village of Modbury in Devon today to investigate how they managed to pass a ban on plastic bags. In 2007, Rebecca Hosking, a former BBC wildlife photographer, returned to the village, her hometown, after a visit to Hawaii documenting the effects of plastics on the environment there. The horrific she saw galvanised her into action. Over a beer or two with the local delicatessen owner Adam Searle and their respective partners, Rebecca and co. decided to make Modbury plastic bag free. They began by gathering all the village’s 43 shop owners at the Brownston gallery owned by Sue Sturton, another supporter of the project, and showed them Rebecca’s documentary ‘Message in the Waves’. The images of turtles choking on plastic bags and dead albatross chicks with stomachs filled with plastic was enough to make everyone agree on a 6 month trial of banning disposable plastic bags.
The trial was such a success Modbury remains single-use plastic bag free today. Shopkeepers use a combination of corn-starch based plastic bags, renewable bags, and paper bags as alternatives. What they have discovered though is that fewer people over the years are buying the 10p starch-plastic bags and are bringing their own. LMV interviewed both Sue and Adam in our visit and both had said that public opinion was, from the very beginning, behind the ban. Adam said he was using 200+ conventional plastic bags a week before the ban and now he barely sells 5 a month of the alternatives (LMV director Edward Scott-Clarke bought 5 at once to show other people so numbers are slightly higher this month).
The simple question is, if it was so easy to do in Modbury then why not the rest of the country? With Italy recently introducing its nation-wide ban and France already virtually plastic-bag free, the UK is lagging behind. LMV is doing its best to reintroduce a ban in Tisbury in Wiltshire, which fell through months after its introduction. The results of this campaign will be shown in our film, due to be released at the end of the year.
Congressman Sam Far (Democrat representing California’s 17th District) has worked hard in his political career to draw attention to the plight of the world’s oceans. It was through his hard work that the first National Ocean’s Conference in the USA was put together, held in 1998 during Bill Clinton’s presidency. The Conference was a stepping stone to the pioneering Oceans 21 bill (the Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act), which was submitted to the house by Congressman Farr and adopted by President Obama. LMV caught up with the Congressman during the 5th International Marine Debris Conference where he was a keynote speaker. He kindly granted us an interview and spoke about many of the topics he discusses in the video below.
Below are a series of photographs published in the L.A. Times on the devastation wrought by the tsunami in Japan this past March. Triggered from an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter Scale, the world watched horrified as helicopter reporters filmed a series of tidal waves batter the Japanese North Eastern coastline. LMV was filming in Long Beach, California, at the time and even there warnings were sounded to stay away from the water. When we arrived in Hawaii a few days afterwards, there were fears of radiation clouds from the damaged Japanese reactors and tidal surges from the earthquake had left hotels damaged and large pieces of marine debris on the coastline. Below are a small selection of the 53 harrowing pictures to be found on the L.A. Times website.
Over the next week, posts will be sparse as the LMV team are travelling around the UK filming. Over the past few days we have been in Ayrshire in Scotland shooting plastic waste on beaches around the village of Maidens (adjacent to the Turnberry golf course). After a long drive back down South, we are to interview the managing director of a company called Cyberpac based outside of Ipswich. Cyberpac are an innovative packaging company that have created some clever alternatives to conventional plastic packaging. One creation in particular, Harmless-Dissolve, has great potential and has been tried out by LMV. This weekend, we have yet another beach cleanup, this time in Herne Bay, Kent. Posts will resume once we have settled back to our home in Wiltshire.
LMV (director Edward Scott-Clarke and editor Chris Kemble) has just been down to the Brentford Ait to film a local cleanup organised by the volunteer group Thames 21. Around 30 people turned up for the event and everyone proceeded to get extremely muddy on the Thames foreshore picking up litter. Within the space of 90 minutes, four large skips were filled with a collection of tyres, plastic waste, construction site debris illegally dumped in the river, and assorted pieces of metal. Unfortunately, there was so much waste on the shore that even this fantastic work did not remove all the rubbish. Thames 21 chief executive Debbie Leach told us that there is no organisation responsible for the cleaning up of the river so charities have to do it instead. Some councils are very supportive but none are obligated to help at all!
LMV director Edward Scott-Clarke has released a new editorial: “Comment on the British Green Movement“. The article discusses the role of the UK’s rural population in driving the success of our country’s sustainability movement. Written as a result of Edward’s own experience in both the green politics of London, and that of his new home in Wiltshire, the article debates the commonly held belief that the green movement is driven by the younger generation. All comments are welcome.
Now that the team has made it back to the UK (and overcome the jet-lag), here is a selection of photos from our trip. There will be more as we develop our film ad take stills from the footage. We have been away for a month filming for our documentary on the effects of plastics on the marine environment and human health. Our trip started in California then made its way up to Washington state before flying to Missouri and finally Hawaii. Thanks to everyone who followed our progress.