Zena Harris, president of Green Spark Group and program manager for Reel Green caught up with Brent Hodge of Hodgee Films and director of Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary to talk sustainable production.

Bringing it back, y’all…Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary is premiering at Tribeca Film Festival this month. The film looks at the fan favorite from creator Paul Feig and executive producer Judd Apatow, and its dedicated cult following. It’s a film by Hodgee Films, and AETV, completely powered by VOLTstackTM green power stations. This is the third time Hodgee Films has premiered a film at that festival and they are looking forward to going back!



What’s your approach to sustainable production?


“I used to think sustainability didn't apply to me, or smaller productions, it was only a big studio or production thing, and we just weren’t big enough – We don’t have big trailers.” Says, Hodge. “This is really not true. It was an eye-opener for me using the Portable Electric technology. It even goes beyond sustainability and is also a safety factor.  Indie filmmakers tend to assume a lot of times that plugging into the grid is safe and that nothing will happen but we’re sometimes in interesting situations and that assumption doesn’t hold true and there are the added costs and insurance.”


Why did you want Freaks and Geeks to incorporate sustainability?


“Sustainability comes down to the individual and your personal values and systems.  We ask what can you give back? We as filmmakers should intentionally look out for the environment and the world.”

“At Hodgee Films, one thing we value is leaving every room the way it was when we entered it.  There’s an honor in that and sustainable production adds to that value.”


Tell us about sustainable production on Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary.


“Success stories matter,” remarks Hodge. “One thing can change the way you make a movie, the way one thinks.”

“On Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary, we used the Portable Electric 2K unit on production. It works. There’s no catch.” Says Hodge. “We asked Portable Electric if we could use a unit because the electricity and plugging into the grid on location was challenging. We were filming a lot in California and it was nice to use Portable Electric and represent BC down there in our own way. It felt rewarding that we weren’t totally in the LA machine and we could support a BC company.”

Further, Hodge says, “No one really talks about the “sustainability system” but it works to integrate the Portable Electric units on production [to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gases.]”


What are your thoughts about sustainable production within the film industry as a whole?


“You know, folks don’t tend to think about sustainable production, but as things are getting more compact and efficient you don’t need to buy into the notion of sustainability, you just need to be a good person and sustainability comes with you.

Filmmaking has been around for a long time and we still use the same language. Ultimately shifting comes down to the individual. You see it, something new, and evolve. Everyone becomes responsible.”

Spreading the word:

Brent Hodge supports both the Reel Green initiative and sustainable productions through using clean energy VOLTstackTM power stations for his power needs. The mission of Reel Green is to enable the evolution and implementation of sustainable practices in the motion picture industry to contribute to the betterment of the world.“It’s important to support this effort.” says Hodge.

Freaks and Geeks: The Documentary premieres at Tribeca Film Festival in NYC on April 21st, just ahead of Earth Day. 

Additional screenings include:

April 22nd 6pm: Tribeca Film Festival 2nd screening, NYC

April 26 4pm: Tribeca Film Festival 3rd Screening, NYC

April 22nd 6:30pm: Calgary Underground Film Festival, Calgary

May 5, 7pm: Northwest Fest, Edmonton

May 11, 8:15pm: DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver

May 13, 8:00pm: DOXA 2nd screening, Vancouver

May 31st, 6:30pm: Hot Docs Cinema Screening, Toronto