Local filmmakers Guy Noerr, Justin Maine, Leanne Robinson Maine and Michael Swantek spent three years hard at work filming and editing. By late 2008 , they had turned 350 hours of footage into their 1 hour and 40 minute documentary, “So Right So Smart,” and now, it’s finally ready to debut to the local public.
“So Right So Smart” will be screened in the Capital Region for the first time at 7 p.m. Saturday at The Palace Theatre in Albany.
It is the first feature-length film from locally owned and operated MagicGreen Pictures, part of the larger MagicWig Productions. MagicWig is based on Union Street in Schenectady and was formed in 2002.
“So Right So Smart” will be screened in the Capital Region for the first time on Saturday at 7 p.m. at The Palace Theatre in Albany.
The idea for the documentary came in early 2007, according to Noerr, who used to work with the film’s primary subject, Ray Anderson. He decided that Anderson’s work, and the work of other companies to “green up” industry should be documented. “You always hear the negative,” Noerr said. “We wanted to make a positive film.”
Anderson is the founder and chairman of carpet tile manufacturer Interface Inc. Anderson made the shift in the early 1990s from a captain of industry to a sort of “captain planet,” when he started making attempts to “green up” his business, reduce waste, and use recyclable materials. Since then, Anderson has become a sort of ecological rock star, helping other corporations, hotels and businesses reduce their footprint on the environment. He has fans and a following.
“He’s my Mickey Mantle,” Noerr said. “He’s one of my heroes.”
While Anderson and his efforts are the main focus of the documentary, “So Right So Smart” also details how other companies like Green Mountain Coffee, Stonyfield Farm, HermanMiller, and yes, even Wal-Mart, made green by going green. Companies can invest in things like energy efficient light bulbs, lighter cardboard boxes, and finding ways to produce items with less waste to save money and make money.
“I don’t have a sustainable company. There is no such thing as a completely sustainable company,” Anderson said in the film. “I just have a less non-sustainable one.”
This is the message that the film tries to drive home. Nothing is completely sustainable, but the consumer has the power to demand a higher level of sustainability. “That’s what I learned from making the film,” Maine said. “The consumer has power, all it takes is a letter or a phone call to ask a company why they don’t recycle their bottles,” Robinson Maine added.
“So Right So Smart” has already won much acclaim from film festivals in the United States and internationally as well, including Best Feature Film at the Reel Earth New Zealand Film Festival and Best of Festival at the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival in Nevada City, Calif.
The film will be screened in a night-long event at the Palace Theatre, featuring a question and answer session with all four directors as well as a concert by local band SIRSY, whose song “Revolution” is featured in the film’s opening credits. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Palace Theatre box office or on http://www.sorightsosmart.com.
“Great things can come out of a small city like Schenectady,” Robinson Maine said. All four directors hope that everyone in the capital region can come out to see the film on Saturday and hopefully take away that lesson. “We want everyone to come out and have a great time and learn that it’s easy to be a part of this movement,” Maine said.
The film has funny, sad, and even laugh-out-loud moments and should be seen with friends or a group of people, according to the directors.
“Like the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show,’ it’s better with people,” Robinson Maine said, and Maine adds, “Yeah, only minus the toilet paper.”