'Walking Dead' Producer Gale Anne Hurd on Greening Film and TV Production

Gale Anne Hurd

Hurd produced "The Terminator," "Aliens" and "The Incredible Hulk" (and won a Saturn Award).

Saving paper by using digital call sheets distributed to crew and cast via smartphones and tablets may be one way to get people as environmentally-friendly at work as they are at home.

TORONTO – The Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has long campaigned for the greening of Hollywood.

But she faces a big hurdle: most people think and act green at home, but do little to protect the environment at the office or on set.

“We tend to be more environmental at home, than at work, regardless of the industry we’re in,” Hurd, the veteran producer of the Terminator series, Aliens and Armageddon, told The Hollywood Reporter.

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In 2007, Hurd and her production team made The Incredible Hulk movie shoot in Toronto a green standard-bearer for Hollywood.

Actors were driven round in hybrid vehicles, set builders used sustainably harvested wood, and Hurd gave everyone a stainless steel mug to replace plastic water bottles and disposable coffee containers.

“We had a green department head meeting, and before the meeting we asked people to come with suggestions from their department,” she recalled.

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Still, film and TV shoots, whatever their size and budget, remain wasteful ventures, and making them more environmentally friendly remains a head-scratcher for the Hollywood producer.

“I just don’t understand it. No matter how easy you make it, people don’t want to be told how to live their lives,” Hurd insisted.

“Most people I think, if given the right opportunity, will do the right thing,” she added.

Enter David Plant, vp of media & entertainment at Doddle Canada, with one way to green film and TV shoots that uses something that is already in everyone’s pocket.

His newly-launched Doddle smartphone and tablet app distributes digital call-sheets to talent, crews and service providers on location or on set.

Plant insists low-budget productions especially can’t afford the paper waste involved when someone changes a line of dialogue and new scripts need to be printed off and distributed.

“That’s back to where it was in the 1990s, where everything is duplicated and people are driving around in cars for deliveries,” he added.

The Doddle app allows the call sheet, a common focus on film and TV shoots, to be digitally distributed from a central hub to people on a need-to-know basis, via their smartphones and tablets.

“Now you’re not producing something that looks like a racing form and having four or five people in the production office racing to get the call sheet prepared before midnight,” Plant said.

That’s a paperless world solution that Hurd applauds.

“We don’t print out nearly as much as we used to. That’s because of tablets and smart-phones, as people can read them (call sheets) on their tablets without printing anything out,” she said.