Why Cut It?

As crews working in the film and television industry, we have a deep-rooted passion for what we do.  I will often affectionately refer to non-filming folks as muggles.  They consider our jobs to be glamorous (sometimes!) but they may struggle to understand what drives us to work the hours we do or be away from home for so long.  Ultimately, we live by the motto “the show must go on”.  

Crew4Climate Pledge

The effect of covid has been profound on our industry but what if the there was another problem further down the line which couldn’t be solved with a vaccine race?

And what if the solution involved a commitment going beyond mask wearing or social distancing?

We are facing that problem.  It is Climate Change.

The Digital Revolution has given us easy access to information and statistics that show we are dealing with the repercussions of the Industrial Revolution.  Our ancestors would not have been aware of their carbon footprint but we are now.

During the intervening years we have done little to help the problem despite our increasing awareness through digital and technological advances.  So before time is up, we’d better make a humongous effort and quickly.

The evidence about ecological change is out there.  A seemingly small rise in global temperatures has seen us face adverse weather conditions, fires, floods, epidemics and species extinction.  It makes for grim reading but there are positives.  Amazing people are doing amazing things to tackle the problems but this is a huge team effort and the one thing I know about film folk is they are good at team work.

Back in September 2019 a group of DOP’s and Camera crew got together and decided to use teamwork to motivate film and TV crews to contribute to making the industry more sustainable.  They wanted to educate crews, work collaboratively with other environmental groups, work collaboratively with production and most importantly, create a cultural change in our industry.  So Cut It was born. The group continues to steadily grow, with members from many parts of the industry, whether trainee or HOD, based in all corners of the UK, we work as a team.

Lockdown had a big affect on how CUT IT grew as crews were confined to home.  Living on Zoom, we spread the word, pooled ideas and created initiatives which gained traction. Cut It had meetings with Albert, Bectu, PACT, POP, Screen Yorkshire, Screen Northern Ireland, Vancouver Film Studios, Green Spark in Canada and Filmmakers for Future in Europe.  Our initiatives include a Green Agreement for crew contracts in conjunction with PACT, encouraging Studios to use green energy, pushing for incentives for greener travel and utilising social media to educate are some of our initiatives. 

As an industry, our environmental track record has not been good with transport, power usage and waste being our biggest offenders. Sure, we can all fill our reusable water bottles and bring our own knives and folks to work but this is only the tip of the iceberg.  We need to:- 

  • Drastically reduce the carbon foot print of travel as individuals and production companies by swapping to electric or hybrid vehicles.  Up to 50% of a shows carbon footprint is associated with travel and that is not taking into account how we all get to work….
  • We have to plan for wrap during prep so what we buy to make our shows can be reused or given a new home. 
  • Stop last minute creative changes where the problem cannot be easily solved.  As crew we need to flag the huge environmental footprint involved in last minutes changes. 
  • Work sustainably.  Costume, Camera and Make-up have created sustainable guides which can be seen on the Cut It resource page.  Art Department are working on theirs.  What about your department?

We welcome new people joining Cut It.  We are ALL volunteers and as we slowly return to work, the hours we can dedicate to Cut It work will reduce but our passion to change the industry will not.  Can you help spread the workload?  If you love our ethos, enjoy tinkering on social media, are handy with websites or graphics, fancy joining an initiative or starting your own then come and make a difference with us. 

Join Us