Interview with Lauren Selman

Greenlit documented the making of the feature film The River Why and the trials and tribulations that go with trying to green a film set.  I had a chance to ask Lauren Selman, (Reel Green Media) the hired set “greener” for The River Why production, a few questions:

GOFT: What was the hardest hurdle to overcome when shooting The River Why – from a green standpoint…..set recycling, water bottles on set, transportation, services  etc.??

LS: Getting city services (i.e. haulers) to rural locations. The majority of the film was shot over an hour away and the cost and availability of city services was limited at that range. Furthermore, I remember the location manager having to order a dumpster that exceeded the amount of space we needed because the hauler said they didn’t have anything smaller. So it would help to have an increased availability of recycling and composting dumpsters.

GOFT: Did you feel as though you got resource help from state of Oregon and the city of Portland in general?  If not, what could be improved?

LS: I loved the Oregon green resource guide. In terms of waste hauling, I ran into some difficulty around hauling laws and availability. I would be told by one organization that composting was not an option, while another said that it was just for a nominal fee. Consistency among organizations, the state and the city would help streamline information and help make turn key decisions.

GOFT: What is the single most important thing a city/state can offer production to help green a show?

LS: Easy, fast and available resources in PRE-PRODUCTION. Greening must start before cameras start rolling. Another helpful resource would be a directory or listing or shows wrapping up in the area before your shoot begins. That way the following show can use office supplies, tables and other expendable resources.

GOFT: Did you find the Green Resource Guide of help whilst you were shooting?  If not, why not?

LS: Yes. Love it! We ate at several restaurants in it. We also shot 2 years ago and I hear that it has just expanded more and more, so I can’t wait to see the new one.

GOFT: Did you meet resistance from the crew that you felt could not be overcome?

LS: We were on a small budget, with a new idea and on a short timeline, so yes, we did hit resistance but so much of “greening” is about educating so education isn’t something to overcome just to improve upon.

GOFT: How does your experience in Oregon compare to shooting green in other states?

LS: I loved shooting in Oregon! Unlike LA backlots and studios, one has to really rely on the resources available to a production on location.

Greenlit ( can next be seen playing at the Providence, RI, Roving Eye Film Festival.

The River Why, shot entirely on location in Oregon is next playing at Providence, RI, Roving Eye Film Festival.

GOFT Green resources:


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