Beyond words : the use of the non-verbal genre in natural history filmmaking

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Natural history filmmaking has a history that begins with the advent of cinematography as a form of artistic and documentary expression. Natural history filmmaking has increasingly used techniques of fiction, drama and anthropomorphizing to represent the natural world in storytelling. This paper will examine the use of the nonverbal form of filmmaking as an alternative style that can be used to effectively document natural history using a more lyrical, poetic and often more thoughtful style. This work examines previous works in the non-verbal genre and discusses how this style compares with historically more traditional natural history films and why this alternative style is used for the thesis film. Additionally, works from the disciplines of geography and natural history writing are examined for relevance to the non-verbal natural history filmmaking genre.


Canyon is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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