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Local filmmakers feature firms going green

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Castleton filmmakers Justin Maine (second from r) and Leanne Robinson Maine (r) are seen here on location during the production of So Right So Smart, a documentary about companies going green, which will plays at FilmColumbia Sunday, October 25. Photo by Stephen RossCASTLETON—Local filmmakers Justine Maine and Leanne Robinson Maine are getting ready to show their film “So Right So Smart” at FilmColumbia, the Chatham film Festival. Their movie, a documentary about companies that become more environmentally sustainable narrated by Daryl Hannah, will play at the Morris Memorial Sunday, October 25, at 12:30 p.m.

“So Right So Smart” was directed by the Maines, Guy Noerr and Michael Swantek, and filmed all over the country, with post-production done at MagicWig Productions, Inc. in Schenectady. In a recent interview at his home near Castleton the Rensselaer County, Mr. Maine said of the film, “Any time you see trees and nature, it’s all in our backyard.” 

The movie highlights Interface Inc. founder Ray Anderson and his company’s move toward sustainability. The filmmakers also interviewed CEOs and staff at Stonyfield Farms, Green Mountain Coffee, Herman Miller, Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Walmart about efforts to make more environmentally friendly companies. Mr. Maine said he wanted a “cross section of different businesses” to show how companies can have less negative impact on the Earth’s resources. “We went with the [premise] that companies are the ones doing the most damage so they need to do the most clean up,” he said.

Looking closer to home, Mr. Maine included the new Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library, which is designed and built using “green” methods. The library has received certification as part of the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Mr. Maine grew up in East Greenbush and now lives in Castleton-on-Hudson. His wife, Leanne Robinson Maine, moved up to Rensselaer County as a teenager; their co-director, Mr. Swantek, grew up in Troy and now lives in Albany. The film had its local premiere last May at the Palace Theater in Albany. Mr. Maine said they sold over 600 tickets. “I was blown away,” he said of that turnout.  

Mr. Maine and Mr. Noerr are partners at MagicWig Productions , Inc., which makes industrial videos and stages events, and Mr. Noerr was a fan of Ray Anderson. Interface, the company Mr. Anderson runs, describes itself as “the world’s largest manufacturer of modular carpet.” Using Mr. Anderson and Interface’s story as a jumping off point, the filmmakers interviewed many environmentalists and company managers for the film.

The film weaves in animation and staged footage, all narrated by Ms. Hannah, to explain the history and what they believe is the future of green business in America. Mr. Maine says he wanted to keep the documentary positive. He said that a lot of environmental films are “doom and gloom,” but this is about companies doing something to change. He said a goal of their film is to inspire people.

Mr. Maine said he grew up going to the Crandell Theatre in Chatham. Besides showing at FilmColumbia, “So Smart So Right” won the Best of Festival award at The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival and Best Feature at the Reel Earth Film Festival in New Zealand. Mr. Maine said the film has been playing in theaters in New Zealand with Reel Earth Film Tour.

 Mr. Maine said that making the film defiantly opened his eyes to environmental practices he could use in his own company. He said MagicWig is moving away from using tape, using more LED lights and reusable drives. “Going green takes an investment,” he said, but he says his documentary show that it’s well worth it.

For more information about the film go to www.sorightsosmart.com. For the full line up of movies at this year’s FilmColumbia, which starts, Thursday October 22 and runs through Sunday, October 25, go to www.filmcolumbia.com.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com.

 

 

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