Newsletter May 2020

Post it's

Did you answer yes three times?

Yep. You’re like us.


CUT IT. is a crew-led initiative to drive change in our industry

We are not an industry funded body.

We are you.


We’ve got big plans. Can we tell you more?

Join us for a 45-minute Zoom introduction: 8pm on Mondays (but we’re flexible – contact us!) plus 5pm Saturday May 16th. Reply to this email with INTRODUCE ME as your title and the date you want to attend. We’ll send you a link.


Who the heck are CUT IT?

In the beginning, we were two DPs, talking on the phone.

Now we are a growing team of crew, producers, directors, cast and agents, each department talking to the other.


Our mission is to effect a dramatic reduction in CO² emissions and material waste in the UK’s film and television industry.

We need to do three things:

1. Spread the word

We all know that the planet is in deep sh*t and we need to face up to the role we’re playing in its demise. It’s urgent and our industry is not responding. Let’s talk.

2. Cultural Change

In our industry, chucking 20 portions of uneaten food, still in their single-use containers, is normal.

Sets ending their days in skips is normal.

Flying to LA for a couple of meetings is normal.

If these things are normal, we need a new normal.

3. Climate Summit

We’ll hold a climate summit, at which your proposals, generated with the help of environmental experts, will be presented to key UK production companies and broadcasters.

Climate Summit DiagramExisting green organisations are companies-led. They are limited in making changes.

It’s up to us now. Join us for a Zoom introduction, or share our website and support us on Instagram ( and on a soon-to-come FB page.We’ve got lots of campaigns to launch and we could really use your help. Join us.



The coronavirus outbreak has brought home just how vulnerable we are, as humans and as freelancers. Yet, despite our personal fears, discussions are turning to what we want our workplace to look like when we return. Kinder? More diverse? More sustainable? In the hope of a safe return to filming, BECTU and others have issued a suggested plan for what a socially distanced set might look like. The changes would be radical.

In the pursuit of a COVID safe set, we mustn’t loose sight of the need for a zero-carbon set.

Our future safety depends on both.

Here’s how they’re doing it in Uraguay



When my mum was choosing a new wallpaper, my dad used to say ‘I’d need to see it up’.”

“So in order to imagine something, he’d actually need to see it there. And here we are, the situation we’ve got: a vision of a world with less pollution, less traffic, with nature flocking back to our cities, and cleaner air. This is the wallpaper up. We can see it. This gap will be evanescent and fleeting. It could kick back really quickly. We’re in a climate emergency, and if we don’t do something the next generation won’t be able to.  It’s beyond our responsibility as filmmakers; it’s incumbent upon us as human beings.”



 It seems like a different world into which CUT IT. launched at January’s BSC Expo, the British Society of Cinematographers’ annual trade event.

Digital Orchard donated us a stand at their New Talent Bar, where we spoke to crew and workshopped how to cut carbon in our industry. CUT IT. members Anna Valdez Hanks, Sarah Cunningham and Jason Henwood spoke on a panel on sustainability. Joining them was 1917 producer Callum McDougall, environmental co-ordinator Ash Gadhvi, DP Chris Ross BSC, gaffer Harry Wiggins and Melanie Dicks from GreenShoot.

Watch a recording of the panel discussion here.

The discussion touched on deep problems. In 2019, only four UK-based features published data on their carbon emissions, while 1917 was the only feature to bother completing Albert’s voluntary green certification.

And 1917, despite their best efforts, was still powered by fossil fuels from Pinewood’s energy supplier and the use of supplementary diesel generators. We have no idea how much impact other large studio productions have had. When studios are reluctant to share their carbon data, you have to ask what they worried about?

The good news is Ealing and Warner Bros are leading the way and have switched to renewable energy. When will the other studios follow suit?

We’ll be asking them.


Last year, 1st AC Jason Henwood kick-started an initiative to end single-use plastics in equipment prep at camera rental houses. For the first time ever, he brought together every major London-based rental house and convinced them to put competition aside to focus on change.

Jason expected resistance, but was surprised to find them asking him what else they could do. Switch to a renewable energy supplier? Electric vehicles? In response, he wrote a green pledge plan. Signatories so far are:

We can’t wait for the others to join the party.


Wouldn’t it be great to take this initiative to other departments? Costume? Props? Facilities? Want to do this? Want to help? Email us.

PLEASE can you…

Share CUT IT’s sign-up page with friends

Join us on Instagram and Facebook

Interested in knowing more? To be invited to a 45-min Zoom intro reply to this email with ‘INTRODUCE ME’ in your title, and let us know when you’d like to attend. Running each Monday at 8pm (but we’re flexible– contact us!) and Sat 16th May at 5pm.



Our future is unclear. It’s not looking good. But we have hope.

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.


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