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PPC Webinar: Crafting Hollywood Storylines That Flip the Script on Plastics

September 14, 2022 , 4:30 pm 6:00 pm EDT

Date: Wednesday, September 14
1:30-3 pm PT, 4:30-6 pm ET
Click here to convert to your timezone.

Removing single-use plastics from Hollywood sets is important to help address plastic pollution, but if storylines continue to be littered with plastics we are missing a critical opportunity for societal awareness and transformative change. Entertainment is a powerful way to engage audiences on the issue, and while we’re seeing more references to the impacts of plastics on human health, animals, and the ocean in film and television, it’s not enough. So how do we ensure our stories set the scene for a plastic-free future without turning our favorite films and shows into a PSA on plastics?

Join us on September 14 for a conversation led by Kate Folb, Director of Hollywood, Health & Society, as we discuss tips and tools to help scriptwriters seamlessly craft plastic-free and plastic-aware worlds. Fishtown Films’ Emily Gallagher & Austin Elston, the creative team behind the first ever zero-waste feature film “Citywide, and Scott Z. Burns, one of the producers of An Inconvenient Truth, and the screenwriter behind Contagion and AppleTV+’s upcoming Extrapolations, will discuss the opportunities and challenges of going plastic free from the start—in the script. We’ll also hear how audiences can learn to recognize and appreciate when their favorite media creators are doing the work—and if they’re not, how they can encourage them to Flip the Script on Plastics.


Scott Z. Burns, Writer & Producer

Scott Z. Burns is a screenwriter, director, producer, and playwright. His work in film includes producing the Academy Award–winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, as well as An Inconvenient Sequel and Sea of Shadows. Burns’ writing credits include The Bourne Ultimatum, The Informant, Contagion, and more. As a director, Burns’ credits include PU-239 and the Golden Globe–nominated film The Report. Burns also directed the digital series The View From Here, a collection of documentary shorts on the terminally ill. Burns is also the creator and executive producer of a forthcoming anthology series about the ramifications of climate change and the future of humanity, Extrapolations, for Apple TV+.

Austin Elston, Director & Co-founder, Fishtown Films

A director and writer, Austin co-founded Fishtown Films with the vision of creating a company that focuses on art, collaboration, and sustainability. Austin began his film career at University College Dublin, Ireland, where he earned his Masters in Film. Over his 15-year career, his work has won multiple awards for direction. Visual literacy—turning words into images—continues to fuel his work.

Emily Gallagher, Cinematographer & Co-founder, Fishtown Films

Emily is a cinematographer and editor who earned her Masters in Film at University College Dublin, Ireland. Emily’s passion and respect for the planet have driven her to create the first zero waste film studio. Her mission is to tell inclusive stories while showcasing a new style of filmmaking, one that is significantly less wasteful than the norm. With extensive film experience under her belt, Emily has a unique perspective that she brings to both the lens and the editing suite.


Kate Langrall Folb, M.Ed., Director of Hollywood Health & Society

Kate Langrall Folb, M.Ed., is director of Hollywood, Health & Society (HH&S), the flagship program of the University of Southern California Annenberg School Norman Lear Center. She has spent more than 20 years in the entertainment education field. At HH&S, she leads a team of public health and media professionals to connect entertainment content creators with experts in health, medicine, science, safety, and security to ensure accuracy in their depictions. Her team also conducts research on the impact of television storylines on viewers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. From 2001–2012 Kate led Nightingale Entertainment, an independent consulting firm garnering celebrity involvement, producing public service announcements, and coordinating national media events for a variety of health-related causes. She joined HH&S in July 2012.



To Stop Plastic Pollution