Data Leak Reveals the Truth About Palm Oil

Owners of Battersea Power Station,  Palm Oil giants Sime Darby, want to build a bio-fuel power station at the site to power the massive development. To side step criticism they claim not have decided what bio-fuel it will use ( yeah right. Maybe Palm Oil?)

This blog has been sourced from an article by David Carrington, for The Guardian.     Click here if you would prefer to view the full article.

A new data leak has revealed how certain bio-fuels can have a worse impact upon the environment then fossil fuels. Although some bio-fuels can be advantageous in preventing climate change, others such as palm oil are quite the opposite due to the large carbon footprint that they generate.

In distinguishing the good bio-fuels from the bad ones it is also important to account for factors such as deforestation and other man made sources of pollution that are involved in harvesting bio-fuels.

A diagram displaying the individual carbon footprint of bio-fuels in comparison to that of crude oil from tar sands, puts Palm oil just beneath that of the crude oil:

Biofuels

Second generation fuels (SG), particularly those that are land-using such as Biodiesel and Ethanol produce the least CO2. While sugar cane and corn maize are thankfully less harmful then crude oil, however their carbon footprint could still be considered a cause for concern.

Recently, the US environmental protection agency stated that Palm oil failed to meet the US requirement of emitting a minimum  of 20% less carbon then the diesel produced from crude oil. Furthermore, bio-fuels campaigner Robbie Blake for Friends of the Earth Europe further condemned the use of Palm Oil (speaking to David Carrington):

“It’s getting quite indisputable that the use of soy or palm oil to fuel our cars is even dirtier than conventional fossil fuels. Forests in Asia and South America are being destroyed by the expansion of plantations to meet the European market. It’s a delusion for politicians to think that biodiesel will solve climate change.”

An important factor that helps assess how beneficial or environmentally unfriendly bio-fuels are is sourced from research into more sustainably advancements, with the latest examples in sourcing low carbon bio-fuel come from seaweed and algae.

An EU target has been made to ensure transport fuels incorporate 10% of bio-fuels by 2020. However the production of certain bio-fuels has been named ‘unethical’ in relation to the environment and to human rights. Research groups meanwhile have branded it ‘immoral’ to not look for an alternative to using fossil fuels.

For more information on this topic view the full article here, or try these related links:

Issues surrounding the production of second generation fuels, how the EU brands fuel sustainability, other recent studies into bio-fuel carbon footprints.

https://www.facebook.com/BatterseaAgainstBiofuels

http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/2013/battersea-biofuels/

Click Battersea Power Station for more blogs
See our Battersea Power Station project pages for more information and videos.
Or visit PlanA our general blog on urbanism, planning and architecture.

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Giving shape to the project

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.

So what’s the conclusion from the director of photography after having visited the location with the glass floor? Does the CGI expert agree with this space? We now depend on these people to take the next steps. Once again we’re at a standstill and, considering that we’re running out of time, being unable to do anything is really stressful. The worst of all is to know that maybe the conclusion will be that we have to go back to our previous plan, forget about the location with the glass floor and order the perspex. This would mean that we’ve been wasting time that we don’t have just to end up going back to the starting point.
The day after the meeting, we receive these pictures from Mark Carey, the director of photography:

It seems to fit our requirements, but the CGI experts, Dave Barnard and Alan Marques, have the final say. Fortunately, after a few days, we receive some videos that make everything much clearer. They are the pre-visualization of the shooting in the location and in the studio. Alan has made 3D simulations of the shooting that are really useful. All the creative decisions now become technical decisions and the pre-visualizations wipe out the charm of the uncertainty, but I think we’ve had enough uncertainty so far, so we’re really pleased with these videos.

If you want to share in our happiness, download the videos from here:

Previs on location 1

Previs on location 2

Previs on studio 1

Previs on studio 2

Or watch them in our web site.

Thanks to this, we now know which lenses we need, the distance and angle of the shots… we even know how tall our actors have to be!

Finally, we can happily say that this is REALLY up and running.

Now we can go ahead and we all know that everything will speed up, but this doesn’t have to finish up in tragedy if we all know what we have to do and if we’re organized. We know which camera we need: the Red One; which lenses and lighting we have to order; which other props we have to get, like a black and a green cloth, a green rope, a window frosting film

On the other side, the moment has arrived to speak with the owner of the location, and that’s something that we’re a bit concerned about. We’re really enthusiastic with the idea of shooting the video in that place, but… what if he is not as keen on it as we are? What if he doesn’t like more than 20 people wandering around his house, with a lot of cameras and lighting and food? (yes, it’ll be a long working day and we all need to eat at some point).

We visit the location wearing our best smiles and promising to behave. We take the measure of the glass, try different lenses and angles… and speak with the landlord. It’s a tricky issue because this location is his house, and he’s had bad past experiences with big production crews, so he prefers small photographic projects. He’s concerned about the implications for the neighbourhood. We get to an agreement and he even gives us some advice regarding the catering. Things are looking better… or are they?

Mark Carey (director of photography), Mark Saunders (producer), Dave Barnard (CGI expert) and Karim (landlord) working

Mark Carey (director of photography), Mark Saunders (producer), Dave Barnard (CGI expert) and Karim (landlord) working

Dave Barnard relaxing for a while and then discussing some points with Mark Carey

Dave Barnard relaxing for a while and discussing some points with Mark Carey below the "Glass Ceiling"

Suddenly a dark cloud sets over our heads. The focus puller calls saying that he’s been offered a 3 day job in Italy. We’re just offering him a 2 day job in Clapton. Mark, the Director of Photography, asks us to sort it out, even to put off the shooting day. No, that’s not possible. We’ve already contacted the actors, the Council of Europe, the other studio… Mark trusts in this focus puller and thinks he’s a key factor in this project. We’ll use state-of-the-art technologies and he only feels sure working with this guy. Few people know how to work with these equipments. Once again we see how many important people there are behind a film, while all we’ve dealt with so far is a few actors.

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.



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In a nutshell

Para leer este blog en español pincha aquí.

Everything seems to be on the right track: we’ve found a studio and we’ve decided to get the perspex structure. The studio also offers some extra services that will save us time researching camera and lighting equipment. Perspex has also some advantages compared to the glass: it’s easier to get it and we just need to order it a couple of days in advance (whereas we would need to order the glass with at least 15 days in advance). Summing up: we are all really pleased and “relaxed”. It’s a good time to start working hard on the shoot schedule.

We get hold of the breakdown, we group the shots depending on the actors and on the technical requirements in each of them. It would be perfect if we could work just one day with all the extras and another day with the main characters. Then we could save some money as we wouldn’t need eight extras working during two days when their role of strolling in front of the camera, even if it’s crucial, can be done in one morning. By  “technical requirements” I meant the shots will need the perspex structure. Fortunately, both of the factors are compatible: the shots where we need the extras don’t need the perspex structure.

So we get to the next “ideal” shooting plan (when I say “ideal” I mean “very optimistic”):

  • First day. Morning:

8 extras + main character + 3 background characters (let’s say B, C, D)

Green screen shooting.

  • First day. Afternoon:

Main character + 3 background characters (let’s say B, C, D)

Green screen shooting.

  • Second day:

Main actor + 2 background characters (let’s say E, F)

Green screen shooting and perspex structure.

We are already so familiar with the project that everything seems obvious, but it’s hard to explain with words each shot, so there’s no point in trying to do it. It’s much easier and intuitive to download the shooting plan so you can get a literal view, with color, design, and all that stuff that makes things more user friendly. A picture speaks a thousand words. So if you want to see the first draft of our shooting plan you just have to click here.

If these plans go ahead it will also mean that we would be saving circa £1000 in our casting. But this doesn’t mean that the company would profit; it just means that the money is moving from one point of the budget to another. In short, it’s not bad news, but it’s not excellent either.

Good, good, it looks like the project is up and running. Now we “only” need to book the studio, get the actors there on time, order the perspex and start hiring technical staff. That’s nothing!

If you want to get more information about the project “Speak out against discrimination”, click here.

For more information about Spectacle, click here.


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