Environmental films and their audience: captivating the viewer

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


This paper examines how films concerned with environmental issues can add more elements to achieve a greater impact on the viewer than classic 'blue chip' films such as 'Planet Earth' do. For the viewer's attention to be truly engaged and for information to be retained so that it can lead to social change, the story, music, and cinematography must all strongly reinforce each other for the film to be an unforgettable experience. I will discuss and compare three films: 'Return of the River' (2016), 'DamNation' (2014), and 'The Art of Flight' (2011), and then discuss how they influenced my film 'Missoula: To the MAX' (2019). This discussion will detail to what degree we are drawn into the films based on the elements of a genuinely memorable viewing experience, and what lessons we are able to take away because of them.


Missoula to the max is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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