Hollywood isn’t the first thing you’d think of when it comes to being green. From elaborate productions that zap thousands of watts of energy to excessive on-set food trays that leave behind mountains of waste, one would guess the mecca of entertainment creates more of a drain on our natural resources than preserves them. I was on a shoot once that made Marie Antionette’s dessert table seem like a small town bake sale and lights that made me feel like I was about to be interrogated or probed by aliens. True story.
In fact, if anything, Hollywood is the pinnacle of excess, right down to the millions upon millions of pages of screenplays that get tossed in the trash on a daily basis. But Daniel Riser, founder of Greenwriter.org wants to change all that. And tackling Tinseltown is just the beginning.
1. Why did you decide to launch Greenwriter.org?
I had just finished a screenplay that took me two years to complete. Rather than print it out, I wanted to find an online venue. I was shocked to find nothing but online scams charging $60 to $1500 to upload a PDF with the “promise” that a few producers might read it. Immediately, I shelved my screenplay and started developing my own website. As my research progressed I discovered about 180 million sheets of paper were printed every year by the screenwriting industry alone. That’s when Greenwriter really found its voice:
Let’s put an end to mindless waste.
2. Tell us more about the concept and services you offer.
Greenwriter.org is a web service designed specifically for industry professionals looking for content. We save studio readers time and money by focusing on the essential elements of a screenplay in order to determine if it’s worth reading. Likewise, we give writers a 100% free venue to showcase their work on a professional interface that allows them to see how many times their screenplay has been downloaded (or ignored).
These numbers are important for the writer to further his craft and give his screenplay the best chance to be sold. If that happens, fantastic! We remove ourselves from the process as soon as the screenplay is downloaded, and the writer then deals directly with the buyer. Our fees are $50 per month for unlimited screenplay downloads or $1 per screenplay and all that does is cover our bandwidth and server costs. Again, I stress writers can upload all screenplays for free. :)
3. What has been the response so far?
Right now if you were to visit our site you’d see nothing more than a press release, but believe it or not, that little splash screen has gotten us quoted in the Wall Street Journal online, USA Today, Sierra Club and Treehugger. We have been invited to attend screenwriting conferences, Hollywood screenings, shot a commercial and have partnered with the Environmental Media Association!
4. What is your long-term vision for the initiative?
Frankly, I want to put an end to printing paper in every literary market imaginable – journalism, song writing, playwrights, television, commercials, legal documents… the list is endless. We are in this for the long haul. I want writers to know regardless of financial status, there is a place where they can showcase their works, and as long as Greenwriter.org is online, that will never change.
5. What advice do you have for others who want to start an eco-focused company?
Be genuine. Too often I see start-ups exploiting “green” as a vehicle for profit. I don’t consider myself an environmentalist. I’m a human being who is environmentally responsible. I recycle, don’t litter and drive a fuel efficient vehicle. I’m not interested in forcing my views on anyone; however, in the age we live in, there’s no reason for senseless waste. If you have a strong passion for something and you see how it can also help the environment, please by all means drop everything you’re doing and develop that idea NOW! We need more people like that in the world.
Name: Daniel Riser