Film: Greenpeace goes Hollywood

Org works with Dave Stewart on music, films

Amidst the proliferation of greenhorn green groups clamoring for attention, one of the environmental movement’s oldest and most powerful players, Greenpeace, almost seems to have been left out of the media shuffle.

But the 36-year-old org is learning how to move with the times, establishing a creative arm, Greenpeace Works, and aligning with Golden Globe and Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Dave Stewart (perhaps best known as Annie Lennox’s other half in Eurythmics) and his Weapons of Mass Entertainment venture to produce music and feature films.

“The bottom line is that these film and music productions are dealing in the big world,”says Greenpeace Works creative director Mark Warford, who stresses that the projects will move beyond straightforward environmental advocacy. “We want to put a really big story out to a really big audience.”

Grenpeace Works’ still-untitled inaugural feature – for which they are in negotiations with a major indie – will film in the Amazon, telling the story of Dorothy Stang, an American-born nun whose outspoken opposition to Brazilian deforestation lead to her murder in 2005.

On the music side, Stewart hopes to combat the pitfalls that he feels have plagued social-issue oriented projects in the past, where “they’re trying to sell you something that seems to be falling apart and is, marketingwise, sort of half-baked,” he says.

His project, titled “Lover Earth,” will consist of six albums recorded with a plethora of musicians in Atlanta’s eco-friendly Tree Sound Studios, along with a DVD of the recording sessions, which Stewart and Warford plan to release in 2008.

Explaining the title, Stewart demonstrates a bit of his own marketing savvy.

“Everybody always calls it ‘Mother Earth,’ ” he says, “but I thought that, for a lot of men, that doesn’t sound very sexy. So I thought, let’s call it ‘Lover Earth.’ Because that’s what it is, with all the living and breathing plants, this sort of wet, throbbing mass …

“Sorry,” he says, stopping himself. “I guess I shouldn’t get any more graphic than that.”