When there is no water supply on set, it becomes difficult for the production design department to clean painting tools. The inappropriate disposal of chemicals and leftover painting materials is no longer a trivial offense, but punishable by a fine. As a member of the French collective Éco-Déco, the set designer Sabine Barthelemy has made it her business to test eco-friendly materials and practices for set decoration. During the shooting of Michel Hazanavicius‘ zombie comedy Z (comme Z) on the fallow land of the former racetrack in Évry, where her five-member set design team had access to neither water nor electricity, she used a mobile cleaning system developed specifically for painting tools.
„We offer a range of mobile and stationary solutions for cleaning tools that operate in a one-hundred percent closed circuit. They work without consuming water or discharging effluents contaminated by micropollutants“, says Thierry Hatat, whose company Enviro Plus provides innovative cleaning solutions. Reprocessing the wastewater in this roller and paintbrush cleaning system is done by a flocculating agent, which is based on bentonite. Clay absorbs the pollutants in the water, and it leaves behind a sludge. After it has dried, the sludge can be disposed of as commercial waste.
Thanks to the partnership with the Ressourcerie du Cinéma, which collects set-design elements from productions and refurbishes them for reuse, various studios and film productions are now using this successful cleaning system. Noted clients include Studios de la Montjoie in Saint Denis as well as production designer Sylvie Olivé, who created the set design of the films Mr. Nobody and The Brand New Testament by Jaco Van Dormael. The system also found its way to the prestigious film school La femis in Paris. „The Chef Constructeur Claude Doaré was initially doubtful“, says Thierry Hatat, „but the students think highly of the cleaning station.“
Photos: © Enviro Plus