Hollywood, Please Start Addressing Global Warming



I believe escapism is indispensable to the movie viewing experience, and thus filmmakers will do anything to properly and convincingly build their cinematic worlds. But as of late, I’ve begun to wonder if the means by which some Hollywood productions are going to are worth it. Today we deal with the obvious looming issue of of global warming, and it is especially beginning to affect movie productions. Quentin Tarantino recently found himself in a predicament as he delved into production of his film “The Hateful Eight.” While, in the film, the characters find themselves inconvenienced by the onslaught of a blizzard, Tarantino and his crew ran into the opposite problem during production in January, struggling to attain the snowy tundra he desired for the film. As co-star Channing Tatum said to Vanity Fair this summer, “Quentin asked one of the guys that took him into this mountain, ‘What are the chances of us getting an actual blizzard?’ He said 100 percent. Well, they had a record low amount of snow that year.” But instead of simply accepting that snow has become a rare commodity, Hollywood should be using situations like these to better inform the public of just how impactful global warming has become.

Tarantino’s isn’t the only production team running into this ever escalating problem. Amongst those productions fighting against the weather is the “Fargo” production team which had to battle record highs during the first season shoot, and, a year later, record lows. This dicey weather has no signs of letting up. In fact, according to a study published this year in the journal “Nature Climate Change,” the higher global temperatures that have increased four-fold since the Industrial Revolution could increase even more. With Hollywood experiencing problems with their location shoots due to the extreme weather conditions, many a production has submitted to expensive alternatives, including renting equipment to create snow for a shoot that can cost up to $100,000, as was the case with Fargo’s production team. Taking all this information into account, it’s time for the conversation to change from one of alternatives and their dollar costs to more on the question of the artistic cost this situation creates.

Movie production teams are at a crossroads when it comes to shooting realistic winterscapes for their films. Authentic wintry landscapes now require traveling to dangerous parts of the world, imperiling the cast and crew involved. So on one hand there is the choice to continue to risk it and go for these dangerous location shoots, which even then are unlikely to yield precisely what is expected as was Tarantino’s case. On the other hand is the option to completely opt for expensive simulation machines, but both fail to discuss further the important topic at hand, and in fact both of these decisions actively ignore it. Now is a time where Hollywood needs to make the issue of global warming known, be it through documentaries like “An Inconvenient Truth” or through the “in” genre of the present, the post-apocalyptic thriller.

Now, both of these suggestions have their pitfalls. Documentaries are rarely as popular as your average big budget film, and even then there will still be members of the public who will dismiss the content. When it comes to the angle of integrating the conversation of climate change into fictional, big budget movies with climate change as the “antagonist”, there is still the case that people will leave seeing it as just a story. Even if neither idea is perfect they both are suggestions to Hollywood to at least do something, if nothing else get the conversation started. Get a public figure to be a part of a documentary to get more traction with public attention. Make movies like “Snowpiercer,” post-apocalyptic and thrilling to get the public’s attention, even if through a fictitious story. Either way, say something more on the matter, Hollywood, don’t keep sweeping it under the rug.