On April 8, 2019, Zena Harris, President of Green Spark Group, presented on behalf of Reel Green to a cohort of the Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) on the impacts of climate change, and how highlighting sustainability on the screen can make a big difference.

BC is a sustainable production hub, and screenwriting is a foundation of film and television. Ensuring that screenwriters are engaged with sustainable production is key. Production is a system—all departments are connected, and everyone plays a role in contributing to a sustainable production.

In her presentation, Harris referenced IBT’s Climate Change on Television report, and spoke to the challenge that content about climate change turns people off, but that incorporating sustainability into other content can successfully help shift our collective mindset.

The presentation featured some of the ways that screenwriters can incorporate environmental topics into their projects, including having characters:

  • Drive an electric vehicle

  • Use reusable items instead of single use items

  • Turn off lights when leaving the room

  • Come back from grocery shopping carrying a canvas bag.

  • Walk or ride a bike for errands, to school or parties; or carpool.

  • Talk, talk, talk – fun jabs, jokes, and subtle comments that speak to environmental awareness – they all matter

The first step screenwriters can take is to identify one thing that they can do to empower audiences to participate in environmental sustainability, and make a commitment to make it happen.

The PSP was officially founded as a non-profit in 2018 to provide support and career advancement opportunities to film and television writers of all levels in British Columbia, with support from Netflix, Creative BC, CMPA, and the WGC. The PSP aims to build and maintain a vibrant community of screenwriters in British Columbia, to promote BC’s diverse voices, and increase the province’s ability to attract and retain talented screenwriters.