Global Premiere preparations 1 - New York

Date 10th Sep 2009

New York, New York

New York, New York

Crazy days here at Stupid Towers and our sister bunker across the pond in NYC as we buckle up and bear down on the moment we've been working towards for the past six years: The Age of Stupid Global Premiere. There's too much to tell for a single news item, so this one focuses on the plans for the Premiere Hub in New York - see the accompanying article for news of what's happening around the globe.

Even just homing in on NY, it's still hard to know where to begin explaining the veritable garden of delights that we have in store for you. So let's start with this literal garden of delights:


Edible decor

If you are wondering what you are looking at - it's a garden plot in Brooklyn where the "edible decor" for the Premiere is growing. The idea is that instead of the throwaway ephemera of cut flowers brightening up the place for an all-too-brief moment before being thrown in the trash, instead we will literally green the event by decking the halls with boughs of salad. Picture contented VIP guests frolicking like, erm antelopes in their natural habitat, and assembling their own super-fresh canapes to graze on from the surrounding foliage. Yum.

London Premiere - the 1% Event

At our London Premiere earlier this year, we brought in guests by an assortment of different low-carbon transportation, from bicycle rickshaws and chip-fat fuelled vans to the futuristic solar powered car that Piers (the British wind-farm guy from the film) arrived in. But the New York venue has let us go one better, since it is right on the river...

The Good Ship Stupid

The Good Ship Stupid

Actually, she's called Ventura, but she'll be Stupid for the day as she delivers celebrity guests from Chelsea Pier to the Green Carpet (which is made from recycled soda bottles no less) and into the Solar Cinema Tent. More bravely perhaps, some waterborne guests will be traveling by rowing boat (named the Rachel Carson, of Silent Spring fame!) - which is really quite tricky as the currents are strong and unpredictable. There will be five people rowing for an hour to deliver a couple of high profile guests to the Green Carpet. Tough for the rowers, but great for the Stupid story - and for the photographers. Will they make it in time for the start of the film? Or will they be swept out to sea, never to be seen again?

As well as the marine shenanigans, we'll have guests gravitating towards the Solar Cinema by public transport, pushbikes (with a bike valet serivice, naturally), cycle rickshaws, and these bad-ass electric cars, charged from renewable electricity...

Tesla roadster

Tesla roadster



From our friends at the Beautiful Earth Group. I want one (don't tell anyone I said that).

The whole event will be powered renewably of course, by solar, bio-diesel from waste and pedal-powered sound system. No plastic cups or bottled water will be in view either - strictly re-usable bottles filled with tapwater - and instead of that carbon-hungry air-conditioning, guests will be given hand-ade fans to cool themselves with. Elegant and environmentally friendly.

So who's coming?

Franny and Lizzie (Director & Producer of Stupid, in case you somehow missed that) are ever present of course, and they'll be joined by a dazzling array of climate change A-listers:

James Hansen,  Head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (and the scientist who first brought the threat of climate change to the world's attention)
Steve Howard, Chair of Climate Group
Majora Carter, Macarthur-winning founder of Sustainable South Bronx
Ed Miliband, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
Kumi Naidu, Chair of Global Climate Change Alliance
Phil Radford, Exec Director Greenpeace USA,
Dr Gerd Leipold, Exec Director of Greenpeace International
Jeff Hayward, Head of the Climate Program at Rainforest Alliance
Dan Matthews, Senior Vice President of PETA
The panel discussion, chaired by Franny, will include some major heavyweights and front-liners in the battle against climate change:
Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General
Gillian Anderson, Actress - The X Files
Pete Postlethwaite, Actor - The Usual Suspects, Brassed Off, In the Name of the Father
Mary Robinson, Ex-President of Ireland, and recent recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Greenpeace Scientists, live from a Himalayan glacier and the Indonesian rainforest
Thom Yorke, playing acoustically live via satellite linkup

Alvin Duvernay
Good old Alvin Duvernay, the New Orleans star of Stupid, has confirmed that he's coming too. Now we just need a sexy low-carbon way of getting him there. Electric motorbike charged by renewables perhaps? Hmm. Watch this space.
Moby has a gig in NY on the night of the 21st, but since he is as concerned as the rest of us about the threat of climate change, he has promised to come along for bit. We've got our fingers crossed he might even bash out a couple of tunes on the Green Carpet before he has to shoot off. We've even specially drafted in a model wearing sustainably produced clothing to pedal-power the PA just in case (what haven't we thought of, I hear you ask.)
Beam me up
Beam me up
Now, we know they like to do things big over in the US - but we were still stunned at the sheer size of the behemoth that is the satellite truck which we'll be using to beam the Premiere out to the 440 US cinemas that are tuning in. It reminds me of the Death Star.
Techno wizardry
Techno wizardry
One of the operators at the controls of this beast. These chaps are also responsible for patching in the Greenpeace scientists from Indonesia and the Himalayas, and Thom Yorke from his studio in London - more on this in the Premiere Worldwide item.
Don't touch anything
Don't touch anything
This equipment is powerful enough to physically beam an entire human being into space.
Now, although this high-tech power-gear might not look too eco-friendly, you have to remember what it does: having satellite screenings around the country saves tonnes of emissions from people travelling from all over to one central location.
The NY satellite broadcast team have now tested out the live link transmission from Thom Yorke's studio and the jungle and mountain locations where the Greenpeace people are at - and given them the thumbs up, thank goodness. 

Stupid is not the only show in town on the 21st by the way: we chose the date partly because the UN's Climate Week is taking place in New York at the same time - and we are now officially a part of it. Tony Blair is launching it on the same day as our Premiere...

Team NY