Steven Holtzman, Canal Creatures Productions

February 1, 2013 - Bringing sustainable practices to new productions is all part of the job for Steve Holtzman. As a producer and co-founder of Canal Creatures Productions, he and his team provide sustainable production services and serve as freelance producers.

“Producers will hire us, depending on the job, so we’re conscious of lowering the carbon footprint,” he said. With offices located at Gowanus Canal, Canal Creatures was washed out of the space during Sandy, but they’re still active and are more mobile at the moment.

The goal of Canal Creatures “is to inspire change.” At the start of a project, Holtzman and his team shares a business model that makes sustainability easier. “We outline the goals of the project, and then we figure out, ‘Can we get away with less trucks? Can we eliminate plastic water bottles on set?’” said Holtzman. For a one day shoot, he pointed out that buying reusable water bottles has a significant impact on the environment while the financial impact is equal to buying plastic bottles.

Holtzman, who has worked his way up in the industry, started out as a PA. “I saw so much waste, throwing away unused tape, props, furniture, plants.” As he advanced in his career, he would have conversations with the producer asking if the production could donate their items at the end of the shoot.

“People are often afraid to embrace that extra step,” he said. Now as part of the latest initiative from Canal Creatures Productions, the team is launching an eco-manager training program that would teach different ways to bring sustainability techniques to set and save on the bottom line. He’s also the co-chair of PGA Green and works regularly with Film Biz Recycling and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.

Holtzman is very proud of the career he’s built in New York City. “I love New York. New York is home.” Some of his fondest memories include working on a legendary track walk with racecar drivers Bill Auberlen and Skip Barber for BMW as well as being one of the producers on the show open for “The Colbert Report.”

“New York is an incredible place where so much art comes together,” he said.
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