Saving the Planet One Movie at a Time

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    Eva Radke of Film Biz Recycling. Photo by Wendy Goodman for New York Magazine.

Eva Radke of Film Biz Recycling. Photo by Wendy Goodman for New York Magazine.

Film Biz Recycling is every green-minded thrifter’s dream. If Mad Men or Gossip Girl is also your thing, get ready to go. Started by Eva Radke in 2008 as a googlegroup for environmentally conscious people in the film and commercial industry, the not-for-profit Film Biz Recycling has exploded into a thrift store, waste management resource, small business employer and warm and welcoming do-gooder

Bow down to this noble set

The main initiative of the organization is to take props and materials from the sets of films, commercials, TV and photography shoots, and redistribute them to charities like Build it Green (a non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials), Materials for the Arts (free art supplies to non-profit cultural organizations and schools), and Blissful Bedrooms (bedroom makeovers for young individuals with disabilities). Anything related to children and animals go straight to shelters like Baby Buggy, Hour Children, CHIPS Soup Kitchen, Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition, or The Sean Casey Animal Rescue. All other clothes go to NY Clothes Exchange, theatrical sets are offered to Meserole Street Recycling, and even one-off matches are made with highly specific donations.

“We adhere to a strict policy that nothing animal or baby related stays in our store – it goes to where it can do the most good – to agencies with specific public services.”

Recently a Brooklyn playground received $3000 worth of pit balls (that’s 10,000 balls, by the way), whose original destination was the landfill. Now, the kids have a pit of balls to jump in and the donor can feel good AND get a tax break. That’s the kind of win/win we like.

Ballpit, photo courtesy of mahndo.blogspot.com.

Ballpit, photo courtesy of mahndo.blogspot.com.

Buy yourself a Box of Beach House

What doesn’t get donated gets sold or rented in the the Prop Shop, now located in Gowanus, for 50-90% off it’s retail price. You’ll find both the practical and fanciful in a massive array of items including everything from home-wares (like couches, chairs, lamps, and mirrors,) to supplies for the studio, office or garden, plus paint, wallpaper, beads, dummies, electronics, bones (?), textiles, wrapping paper, vintage radios… the list goes on and on and on. Just recently a full sized parachute came home with me.

In addition to the traditional store layout, there is an entire wall of alphabetized boxes holding items grouped by category or concept. Someone clearly has a sense of humor over there, what with Religion in a Box (generic religious figurines, fake bible, and rosary), Neck Pillows in a Box (I’ll give you one guess as to what’s in this box), and Creepy Clowns in a Box (perhaps Jessica would be interested).

Greening up the set

In her 15 years of experience working in art departments of films and commercials, Radke saw ridiculous amounts of waste and tons of money spent on creating that waste. With just a little bit of effort, she was able to place barely used objects in deserving hands and save the production mountains of money. Her organization now offers services built on this expertise.

Film Biz Recycling can he hired for “Green Storage Clean Out” and “Broadway Green Strikes” helping films and theaters, respectively, dispose of sets and props responsibly. In turn, the productions get a tax deduction from any charities involved, a report of items donated, money saved from the cost of what they would have spent on garbage hauling, and suggestions for new and responsible policies for future productions.

“The film business marches to the beat of its own drum. It’s exciting, fast furious – and expensive… The dumpster has been the only answer for too long. There are some wonderful organizations out there that have the right idea, but don’t really cater to the immediacy of this business. Simply put, you just can’t go dump it and walk away like you can at Film Biz.”

Before a production is put in place, Film Biz Recycling can also be hired to create green action plans for the duration of the project, providing staffing as necessary.

Visit the Prop Shop

With the news full of never-ending environmental catastrophes and abysmal economic stories, it is so refreshing to find a light like Eva Radke with her dedicated staff and network, performing simple and effective acts on behalf of this earth and our future generations. So join the fray and go buy yourself a new (used) mid century modern lamp or a sexy set of wine glasses. Because this is the good kind of shopping.

Film Biz Prop Shop
Hours: Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm, Sat & Sun from 12pm – 5pm
Or by appointment

540 President St., Basement,
Brooklyn, NY 11215
(718) 392-3304

Filmbizpropshop.org

 
  • Mick

    Super awesome!

  • Van

    Definitely a “Dream job”! I wish I could easily visited the shop from Florida!