Dresd: sustainable sets

Lauren McCrostie: Interview with Lynn McFarlane, Managing Director of Dresd

"We provide the broadcast industry with a viable, cost-effective and sustainable alternative to set waste being sent to landfill or waste to energy. We are a certified albert supplier and recommended by the BBC, helping to support an environmentally sustainable future for the TV and film industries." - Dresd

What do you do?

We aim to create a circular economy within the industry; salvaging sets and props to be reused not only in the industry itself but to be used by other industries such as Interior Decor and Events. Dresd is also a creative company and designs and builds sustainable global events, as well as running its own film studios in South Wales.

Why did you start Dresd?

There was an evident gap for a sustainable solution to what was and still is a wasteful industry..... there has been a good shift towards sustainable productions in the past two years but we have a long way to go yet.

Why do you see it of benefit to the theatre industry?

The benefit is not only about saving the planet, though that’s a good enough reason alone... it’s about creating a circular economy; not wasting good crafted sets and saving on time and money by passing them through various productions. Fewer sets will need to be created, fewer trees will be cut down... the list goes on in terms of ecological reasons.

What challenges have Dresd faced in being more sustainable?

Changing mindsets is the biggest challenge.... especially for those who may have worked in a specific way for many years... getting the changes to be seen as a positive step forward, not a hindrance!

What wider change do you believe needs to happen in order for the theatre and entertainment industry to become more sustainable?

Changes need to be at the top of the leaderboard; government need to encourage big studios and theatrical companies to make that shift and lead the way. We should look at the end of our productions as well as the beginning... there is a lot of work to be done to make these changes but we are heading in the right direction.

So what is the easiest thing theatre makers can do to make their productions more sustainable through their set?

Find reclaimed sets; speak with other productions, see if you can share sets/props or reclaim them to adapt and change to fit the purpose! Avoid skips... contact a sustainable service like Dresd to clear; donate to colleges or universities; and seek out opportunities to network with your local community.

Find out more about Dresd here.

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