Making a video the green way

Chronicle Herald
By Michael Lightstone
Molly LeBlanc has seen the harm her elders and their predecessors have done to this planet and doesn’t want her peers to be the next gang of environmental offenders.

To that end, the Grade 10 student and 11 other pupils in Halifax have been working on two videos about climate change that not only address the issue of greenhouse gas emissions, but have also been planned to be shot in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.

"We need to do something to change (global warming) as soon as we can, and try to make a difference so that future generations will be able to benefit," said Molly, 15.

A student at J. L. Ilsley High School, the teen is well aware of the consequences of global warming. As well, Molly said, she knows the issue has been contentious and that experts from around the world recently issued a wake-up call about climate change.

"There are always skeptics," she said. "There are always people that are trying to tell the public that it’s not an issue, but I really think that it is."

Public opinion polls in Canada show the environment is the top priority for most people, ahead of health care and the economy.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it’s fantasy to believe greenhouse gas emissions can be cut quickly, and Canada must zero in on "stabilizing" emissions before attempting to reduce them, The Canadian Press reported Saturday. He was responding to an international report released last week that says evidence of global warming is unequivocal and that human activity is the cause, CP said.

The metro students’ $2,000 environmental video project began two weeks ago and was to wrap up Sunday in Halifax. It’s being done with the guidance of the Atlantic region chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada, whose education program co-ordinator, Myriam Hammami, has been supervising the local youngsters.

She said the aim of the production team is to make "carbon-neutral" videos that are put together with ecological protection in mind. For example, most crew members walked, biked or took a Metro Transit bus to sites lined up for videotaping. Also, cameras were operated with solar-powered batteries, and trash will be recycled or composted.

"And all our props and everything that we have are second-hand, so we’re reusing them," she said. "There’s very little waste coming out of the project."

Ms. Hammami said interior shots were taken with care to use as little energy as possible.

The two videos are linked to climate change — one is a short work of fiction, the other a 20-minute documentary about the making of the former. Ms. Hammami said they’re to be screened in Halifax next month.

Jared Dalziel, a Grade 11 student at Halifax West High School, acknowledged the film work was logistically challenging. But he said it’s been fun, too, especially for the actors bantering with a central character called Captain Carbon.

"The largest problem we’ve had is with transport, because we have to get from set to set," Jared said, adding there is one vehicle available for the cast and crew. He said once they set up at a particular spot, they made sure not to use too much energy for heat or light. Ms. Hammami said the pupils’ videos will be shown on March 11, after a planned rally in metro to help mark an international day of action on climate change. She said their work will be made available to all schools and other interested groups.


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