Ecstatic truth through fiction : re-framing the science film to engage a wider audience
Smith, Elizabeth Ann.
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Americans obtain a majority of their information about science through science films, primarily in the form of documentaries on television. However, despite the recent proliferation of these films, there is much discussion in the science filmmaking community about how ineffective these films have been lately at informing the public about science and compelling viewers to act. It is time to look at the underlying definitions of the genre from a different perspective and determine whether the current standards are the best way to successfully convey messages about science to the widest audience. To explore the possibilities for increasing the effectiveness of science filmmaking, one needs to look at the basic assumptions that come into play during the process of producing science films by re-framing the major components of the science film: goals, subject matter, audience, and format. This new set of paradigms reveals the possibility of another avenue - fiction.